House for Sale: A Vintage 50's Charmer


The MLS ad went something like this:  Wonderful California rancher, great street and beach close.  Classic in every detail, with a well thought out floor plan and a kid friendly yard with beautiful mature landscaping.  Wont last Sunday 1-4
Well, they really were not lying, after all it was a "house" and the word "beach" was part of the address.  And the landscaping...well yes "mature" works.  
What were we thinking!!!! 
 My husband Greg and I bought this house in 1985, yes to live in, just in case you were thinking "who would live in that dump?"
Note to self:  stains on ceiling result from leaking roof.  Lovely, lovely, lovely
Notice the vintage details in the vinyl flooring and tuck and roll naugahide kitchenette. 
 The fluorescent drop in ceiling lights were a bonus...
Wall paper stripping is a job that must be tackled only after at least a six pack of Budweiser has been consumed 
I love how the peel and stick mirror was trimmed out to match the color of the prefab paneling.  What is the color of that carpeting?  It looks sort of like brown gravy.
And yes, what California rancher would be complete without a blue bathtub with grey speckled tile.  Notice the little no slip flowers  
and the rusting sides
No the baby didn't come with the house, he came a little later...
Someone please call Child Protective Services immediately!

Now that's some grass.  The stump... it just works with the overall design

I've have always felt that a little Asian influence is important in a homes decor...
Just not at the end of the roof line.  The sellers threw in that pot for free, can you believe it?

We did the floors of the entire house in Saltillo tiles, unfinished by the way,  which soaked up gallons of oil based urethane.... My job.  I'm sure I killed a million brain cells inhaling those fumes

The Armoire on the left was a huge purchase for us, I think it was around $800 dollars.  The little wicker settee's came from Pier One.  Not sure where I got those lamps but I like them.  This was 25 years ago, in case you forgot.

I think we eventually painted out all of the brick white, but this doesn't look all that bad 
Greg built this great big deck in the back, very kid friendly and we re-sodded the entire yard

I'm not sure what the thought was here with this planter idea but I think inexpensive comes to mind
Not that bad!  

A lovely little rancher,  if I do say so myself (circa 1985)

Enjoy your weekend

  1. your little rancher. I can see the love!

  2. Thanks for a trip down memory lane! ;)

  3. Hi Kelley,

    I really enjoyed this is nice to look back. I think when we were newly weds and we bought our house, we were so naive looking 'round thinking it only needs this and that and still nearly 18 years later we are still going!! To this day I have never seen mould build up on ceilings like in the two spare bedrooms here. It looked like someone had grown a vine all over the ceiling and it had died, that's how thick it was!! I like to think we are on the home straight now on the renovating, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I loved to see the way you decorated your rancher. There were certainly elements there that I thought were dateless. The lamps, the armoire (please tell me that you still have it, or did that get sold with the ranch??) and the white chairs (and I think you were the first one to put a dent in the top of your cushions like that Kelley!). Did they get sold with the ranch also??? So this to me reinterates what I have thought for a long time WHITE IS DATELESS....I think that is why I like to keep all my favourite decorating magazines, to look back through and see what is a classic and what was a 5 minute craze!!!! Anyway, thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful weekend.
    Take care
    Tasmania, Australia

  4. Hi Janine, You are so right about white! I did not sell a thing when we sold that house but I gave some things away to sweeten the deal. The armoire I finally sold, but not before I had an artist put leaded glass in the doors and it had served out it's life well.

    PS My son is gonna kill me when he see's his photo in the tub! He is now 24. LOL kelley

  5. I visit via Artie where I have stalked and envied. Love your home and what you've done. I like the tile mucho. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Love what you did to that home. It just goes to show that if a house has good bones, it can be revived into a beautiful home.
    Jane (artfully graced)

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Jane said...

    Hi -
    I just saw your question re: Cuban bread. It's a special kind of bread basically made in the Tampa and Miami areas. This bread has a paper thin crust and soft, doughy center. It's not very thick...about like a French baguette. Each loaf is a yard long, and has a palm leaf place on the center, top, to make the characteristic indentation. It is FABULOUS. Here is a link to a recipe...and additional information. I have never made it since I can just hop in the car and go to the Cuban bread bakery (That's all this place makes!)in Tampa. There is a photo of Cuban bread in one of my earlier posts...along with another Cuban recipe for Chicken Salteado...I think it's around the middle of Feb.

    Jane (artfully graced)

  9. love the baby bath photos!
    today is my son's bday and he's 24 too!....seems like yesterday....
    wow, that house was alot of work....but rancher's always have great "bones"& charm...
    & hey, to be by the beach!!
    have a great evening Kelley!!....

  10. You do make me laugh - reminds me so much of our first home in what we refer to as "the slums of Irvine"." Gotta live in SoCal to truly appreciate - especially the mature flora.

    Keep writing !

  11. I loved this post Kelley! I keep saying that my next house is going to be a rancher to just totally rehab California style.
    Glad you kept these pictures. They are just priceless!

  12. Loved this Kelley! Looks like many of us can relate to this. Our first home was also a 50's ranch purchased in '87. Our first major furniture purchase was also a pine armoire...and I still have it!:) I even ordered it sight unseen (I had way more guts back then..or was I just more naive..hmmmm:) This was a fun post!

  13. Kelley,
    I had to laugh cuz i read this post again...the part about the Budweiser/wallpaper! HA!!
    Once I had a wallpaper border at the top of the ceiling, where it meets the crown molding (in my daughter's room)...I thought "how hard could that be?", I decided to tackle it myself....never, again...just that lil border was MAJOR work! Maybe it's easier nowadays, but I know to leave that one to the pros!

  14. One word: BRAVE
    I loved that post and can totally relate. My husband and I purchased our first home (1951 cape) 4.5 years ago - the previous owners had painted EVERY room the same baby blue. (sale on paint?) at the time we painted real quick to get moved in and livable. We completely stripped the basement; cured the groundwater problem, redid the electrical, added a full bath, laundry, den and "craft/desk" area - we replaced the boiler and added a separate heat zone in the basement. I had the ground floor tub refinished, added lights in the kitchen and redid each room one by one. Flash forward to March 2010 - I am finishing the final room - (bedroom used as office) - will be spending this weekend stripping my final room of painted over wall-paper and giving it a complete extreme makeover! and then the good weather arrives to New England and the landscaping can is endless....

    PS I would like to say again how much you have inspired me since you started your blog - truly your influence can be seen in my home and you have made me like my house more. Thank you.

  15. Carol....Your amazing! Four and one half years of remodeling, OMG but I bet it is wonderful now. Landscaping is so much easier!!

    Jeanette: Totally agree, wallpaper stripping is THE Worst job ever. I stripped a room in a different house that had paper on the ceiling. It makes me dizzy just thinking about it. And helps.

    Hi Mary: The slums of Irvine...thats a new one, too funny!

    Delores, don't do it!!!! Well, Ok, I agree I would do it again. My husband even said he could tackle another demo, only with lots of help this time.

  16. Great story Kelley. I especially love the asian inspired eaves. I've never been able to understand them.


    p.s. Will be going to the Rose Bowl sunday, I'll give you a full report.

  17. It was fun strolling down memory lane wit you. I know it's a lot of hard work, but so satisfying to turn a sad house into a warm and cozy home.

  18. You sure changed that place the tub photo with the studs showing...and by studs...I mean the

  19. I loved this post and your writing style is so cute too. Glad I found this place...

  20. After living in a 1947 Cali Ranch home,I have gained a whole new appreciation for them & am trying & desire to create the best Ca ranch home I can & stay true to the era!! I love your little ranch & noticed a couple of clever things,the photo of the deck looks like it was built over old fireplace bricks,I see some underneath anyways & I love the way you neighborscaped that area with only the tree limbs & branches showing along your fence line,love the tile & white,great little ranch.My street name is Buena tierra,which is good earth or dirt so am thinkin of a clever name for my corner ranch that is still a work in progress!! Im thinkin I love Casa Ca Ranch! sumthin like that,not sure how like I will it as am thinkin it definetly needs a bigger family to enjoy the pool,yard,etc,as a recent divorcee am over all the upkeep & maintenance but I just keep hanging on sayin to myself it has everything I would want in another home,open floor plan,hardwood floors tongue & grove,lathe & plaster etc,french doors,etc.but oh so much maintenance for one person!!! perhaps a smaller ranch or cottage is just what I need as I must have a yard for gardening!! My dream has always been to have a place by a lake,to walk ,hike ,have nature,water,not a big place but a place,,I like the ocean but I love lakes!!! It's time to go outside & get the lawns mowed,shrubs & trees trimmed & fix a couple of sprinklers that I broke last time I mowed,always sumthin to fix, & think it's time to fertilize the grass. Thanks for posting your ramblin ranch Kelley & I would like to add that I'm doing all this after a 33 year marriage ended & still figuring out what next ? Iam laying the ground work for ......Thanks Kelley

  21. Dear Anon: You are one busy Girl!!! kelley

  22. This house is really nice and big, i loved the kitchen and the backyard it was clean and green. What is the size of the garage how many cars can i park there. I am interested in this property so let me know more.
    home for sale

  23. i love this! love your comments too!!!

  24. HA! That's close to what our house looked like when we bought it 3 years ago!


~*~love to hear from you~*~

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.