The space house: Small-home design & decor from the ’50s

Note: This article may feature affiliate links to Amazon or other companies, and purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here.

The space house Small-home design and decor from the 50s (2)

The space house: A new concept in small-home planning (1956)

By Joseph B Mason – Family Circle (June 1956)

This luxury home — priced under $13,000 — fills the modern family’s requirements for an integrated life

One of a group built near San Jose, California, the Space House was designed for the family who lives as a closely-knit unit yet respects individual privacy.

The space house Small-home design and decor from the 50s (1)
Convinced of the importance of indoor-outdoor living, the architects created floor-to-ceiling windows that extend the walls of the house to include the two private courts and the garden terrace.

Designed for children

Other features of the one-story space home:

The architects realized that children, as well as parents, need a lot of room for their diverse hobbies and games — and a place to keep pets. This home doesn’t cramp active youngsters; it uses all inner and outer space to give them the most freedom.

The space house Small-home design and decor from the 50s (3)

In addition, children have protection from street traffic: The two courts and the terrace are enclosed by six-foot fences, and the entire lot is surrounded by a five-foot fence. With this safeguard, the space home can be built safely on any city street.

Window wall (with door at one end) in the living room gives on a fenced-in court. Sloping plank-and-beam ceiling and extensive use of glass contribute to over-all feeling of space.

The space house Small-home design and decor from the 50s (4)

The bedroom designed for parents has its own entrance to the outside court, and an adjoining bathroom. In a separate niche between the closet and bath, a vanity table fits compactly.

Basic rectangular plan of the house contains 1,200 square feet. But with the three exterior fenced-in courts and the oversize two-car garage, the house’s usable living area is doubled.

The space house Small-home design and decor from the 50s (7)

ALSO SEE: Retro pink kitchens: 1950s home decor you don’t see much today

Beyond the glass wall of the dining room, a private court provides the family with a pleasant mealtime view.

From the kitchen (above) — between family and dining rooms — snacks and dinners can be served easily.

The space house Small-home design and decor from the 50s (6)

The integration of the all-purpose family room and garden terrace is achieved by sliding glass doors. A good place for youngsters to read and play games, the family room is in full sight of the control-center kitchen.


The space house: The home’s floorplan

The space house Small-home design and decor from the 50s (5)

ALSO SEE: Space-saving small home decorating hints the ’50s way

If you liked this, please share it! You can also get our free newsletter, follow us on Facebook & Pinterest, plus see retro-inspired products in our shop. Thanks for visiting!

More stories you might like

Check out our books!

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Because the fun never ends:

Join the fun

Don’t miss out on the latest and greatest vintage stuff!

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter here.