6.08.2009

Dreamier than Don & Betty Draper's Home...

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to join the throngs of treasure hunters to attend an estate sale in this lovely traditional mid-century mansion. The home is located in Riverview, one of Chattanooga's most prestigious historic neighborhoods. I have never seen anything like this: the mansion was built in 1955 and is remarkably like a time capsule of the era. Aside from some older antiques, a couple of high-end trendy preppy 1970's items, and a swanky record collection that extended into the 1960's, it was as if every furnishing, houseware, and accessory in the house was purchased when the house was built in 1955. Please forgive the not-so-great pictures. For some reason the drapes were drawn in most of the rooms, and of course most photos were rushed as it was tough to capture the grandeur of this home with all of these people milling about.
The master bath. Note the Old Spice aftershave and cologne. This was just one of 4 1/2 baths - all of which were just as fabulous as this one. Each was wallpapered, extensively tiled in the most awesome 50's patterns, and had a mod Formica vanity like this one. Color combinations included gray/yellow, pink/gray, peach/brown, and a really unique olive/blue. Every bathroom sink and tub was a different color.
This wallpaper is so cool, and I'm digging the gray bathtub. Everything was in perfect condition, as if it had just been installed yesterday.
Sorry about the stuff on the beds. Because this was an estate sale, there was stuff strewn everywhere. Check out the table/lamp. Sweet butterfly wallpaper. These beds were marked down to $300 on the second day. A total deal!
Curved mauve metal kitchen cabinets. The corners had great built-in lazy susans. Ugly 70's linoleum (other than the newer carpet, I think this was the only update to the house since it was built).
1956 casual dining set. The table folds in the middle. Built-ins on both sides of this room.
More twin beds. This house had 4 pairs of twin beds. Some of them had sweet little matching desk and dresser pairs as well.
The coolest medicine cabinet ever.
One of many great 50's fixtures. Unfortunately, none of them were for sale. Note the wallpaper on the ceiling. Real wood paneling, not that ugly fake stuff.
I'm usually not a fan of wallpaper like this, but in this house every detail was just perfect. Birds and butterflies, and flowers...
Now we enter the swanky basement. The tongue and groove wall paneling is rich walnut. The pool table was just to the left of this.
The bar! The metal lemon tree on the wall was well made, heavy and just too cool. Unfortunately becuase it was attached to the wall, they would not sell it. One day I will find another one of these and design a room around it.
Fantastic bird cage light fixture. Again, not for sale.
Dig this sofa! Another deal - marked down to $475 the second day, but I had no money or a place to put it.
A closet and a strange little room the The Boy called "the iterrogation room", heh. It had chocolate brown linoleum squares on the floor, painted concrete block walls (for soundproofing?), and one of those huge old fancy tape recorders. Hmmmm...
Sweet side porch.
A little more about the house: 5800 square feet on 3.3 acres. Winter views of the river. Supposedly it has 6 bedrooms, but there must have been at least 15 rooms (not including the bathrooms). Available for $1,150,000 - a good price for anything in this neighborhood, especially with the enormous plot of land. Sadly, someone will probably buy it and remodel from top to bottom. Please keep at least a few of those bathrooms and the walnut paneling?! We're going to stalk this house once it is sold to see if they remodel. I'd love to make nice with the construction workers and have first dibs at the stuff they pull out of this place.

Never have I had more fun at an estate sale. It has nothing to do with the fact that this is a mansion, but more that the house was so warm and inviting and SO original. I wish I had known these people and attended fun cocktail parties and bridge parties and teas at their house. The swanky basement & fabulous record collection, the closet full of hundreds of photography items: cameras, movie cameras, lighting, meters, and projectors. The library of medical texts, novels, gardening, and history books. Those sweet twin bedrooms. Le sigh...

All photos taken by me except: #1 & #2 from Chattanooga MLS and #6,7,8,17 from Estate Sales

22 comments:

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

I can just imagine the ladies in their Joan clever dresses and the men in their skinny black ties and white shirts having a cocktail party here! It is a shame that some people "renovate" and totally loose sight of the original place. Pretty cool...great history and a beautiful home!

mandi said...

that was a wonderful house! i loved all the wallpapers, how fun! I can believe how clean and new all of the older items looked. Thank you so much for sharing!

Tikimama said...

What heaven! I could spend hours in a house like that, photographing rooms and details. I can imagine how frustrated you must have been. Please, please, do stalk the house and make sure they don't trash any of those great features. Maybe you could get more photos, too!

Margaret said...

I would love to live there. Or just photographing it like the person above me said:)

Sixpence and a Blue Moon said...

Wow!!! I love this house! I am not a big fan of mansions, but this one does not look over-the-top. It is a large house, but not compared to today's mansions. That kitchen is a dream kitchen. The entire house appears to be a trip back in time. I love the wallpaper, especially the room with the birds. What a treat to have been able to walk through this home. It is a grand tour and thank you for the wonderful photos. I will come back and look at them often.

Sounds and look like you had a glorious weekend.

I'm Julia said...

A place where people actually did their living, not a museum... sort of a time capsule of the mid-century.

Joan said...

You were right!!! this was a wonderful estate sale. Much classier than the one I attended in Kenosha. I love the folding diningroom table with the brown chairs and look at that original kitchen.. thanks for sharing this and thanks for visiting my blog this morning. Happy Thrifty Monday. xo Joan

Vivian said...

thanks for stopping by my blog! your blog is quite fascinating!! i'll be coming back for more!

clorivak said...

Amazing!!!! I am in love with that retro heaven! Now,that is the real deal. I love every last detail.

Hello Lindello said...

I love good estate sales!! Here in Duluth I've been to some where the house was built around 1900. Crazy cool! That wallpaper was out of control awesome, and that lemon tree?! Thanks for sharing. I never thought about bringing a camera with me to estate sales....good idea.

Helen Cox said...

This looks fabulous. That sofa is definitely a treasure but as you say, finding space for something that size is tricky. I just know I'm going to end up some old crone hording loads of beautiful things without actually having anywhere to put them haha.

drollgirl said...

ach!!! those twin beds! that bar! that green sofa! THE KITCHEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so cool! and you were so lucky to see this in person. just amazing!

Sabine, La Marquise des anges said...

this is fantastic ... I love every picture ... I can picture myself on the weet side porch and this sofa ..

a few month back, as we were still in a looking-for-a-new-nest hunt, we 've visited dozen of houses. one day we entered in a lovely, but not very original, little house, in the neighborhood. what a surprise inside ... nothing has changed during he last 40 years !!! truly amazing ... it was a vacation residence, decorated by a (wealthy) and decoration addict couple ...the house was cute but little and the locztion wwas not ideal.
they were selling the house AND the furnitures and deco items together .. and we truly considered buying it, for the indoor items ... :) :)

me melodia said...

AHHHH! What a splendid post. That bathroom wallpaper, the basement and those lighting fixtures- to die for. So lucky.

rightbank said...

Thanks so much for the tour! I love peeking into old homes like this. What a treat.

*** said...

thats an amazing house!
nice blog!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I love the wallpapers! And the curved green settee.

Tina Tarnoff said...

What an amazing house! I love the wallpaper I want to go treasure hunting with you. Badly! xoxo

Pyzahn said...

Nothing gets my heart beating faster than a good estate sale. Oh, the thrill of the hunt.

Those kitchen cabinets are fab. Love the curves, but I'd paint them white.

Thanks for your kind words on Prattle.

mcmillan said...

Nice blog, here is some more information on bathroom lighting fixtures.

gangsta bride said...

wow. that couch is freakin sweet. i love looking at other people's homes. i even considered becoming a real estate agent because of it, but i hate selling things.

K @ Blog Goggles said...

Such a blast from the past! Love it. Great find. :)