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Home & Garden
Old House Journal

Old House Journal

December 2020

The Original Restoration Magazine for people who are passionate about old houses to repair, rehabilitate, update, and decorate their homes; covering all classic American architectural styles,—from the earliest Colonial-era buildings to grand Victorians of every variety to Arts & Crafts bungalows and mid-century ranches.

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United States
Active Interest Media
8 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
it’s all about unmuddling.

In this end-of-year issue, we publish stories juried by editors, then picked for publication according to the volume of engagement, on Facebook and Instagram, over the course of the year. See which bathroom and kitchen from our archives were best loved: People like cozy, nostalgic cottage kitchens, apparently, and they voted for an ethereal California bathroom with antiques and Deco allusions. Up front in the issue, we’ve included practical, beautiful, unique, and fun things that might make a nice gift for friends—or for your own house. Our DESIGN article chronicles, in a series of pithy takeaways, one interior designer’s project “unmuddling” (or de-remodeling) an awkward part of the house. It’s her own home, and she had plenty of time to plan exactly what she wanted for her family. A boot room!…

1 min.
side notes

KITCHEN THINK A guide to design and construction: that’s the promise of this brains-on and handson book from accomplished woodworker Nancy Hiller. She explains what true custom cabinetry means, not so much as a luxury but often an affordable necessity. She shares her own efficient, hybrid method for building and installing cabinets. She covers how to build an island and a plate rack, dos and don’ts for storage at inside corners, scribing a countertop in an awkward space. Later chapters visit finished and period-inspired kitchens. This book is helpful to old-house owners; it was written, too, for woodworkers and designers. “I see no reason to replicate the many [good books and videos on cabinetmaking],” Hiller writes, “instead, [I offer] a perspective on kitchen remodeling as a driver of often wasteful economic activity…

2 min.
gifts for home

1. LIGHTING CLASSIC The E.F. Chapman leaf-and-arrow pendant chandelier is defined by such classic elements as candle-mounted lights, a spherical center, and arrows. Shown in a bronze finish with antique-brass accents, it measures 15 ½" x 14" high; $828. Visual Comfort, (866) 344-3875, visualcomfort.com 2. SILVER FEET The naturalistic Root tree stand in cast aluminum becomes an organic part of your holiday tree. Stain-resistant and sturdy, it fits trunks up to 4 ½" dia. In silver, white, or black with solid-brass screws: $249. In gold: $699. Boxhill Design, (520) 909-6109, shopboxhill.com 3. NATURALLY CHERRY Timeless in design, the Audrey dining suite is crafted in Vermont. It is offered in cherry or walnut in three widths, with table extension options up to 9', $4,071 and up. The Ingrid side chair starts at $897; armchairs at $1,062.…

1 min.
gifts unexpected

1. MISSION INCENSE This Fair Trade incense burner modeled on the San Juan Pueblo mission church, built in 1598, can double as holiday decoration. Handmade in New Mexico, it measures 4" x 4" x 2 ¾". It arrives with a 36-count bag of cedar and piñon incense: $39.95. ClearLight, (505) 501-7566, clearlightnm.com 2. ART FROM NATURE The Desert Tree table lamp combines a hand-blown art-glass base by Lindsay Fine Art Glass and an art mica shade with impressed natural leaves. Overall it measures 23" tall x 21" wide and takes three 75-watt (or equivalent) bulbs. Sue Johnson Custom Lamps, (510) 527-2623, suejohnsonlamps.com 3. TAILORED COMFORT A collaboration between craftspeople in Maine and New Zealand, the stool’s coal-shovel seat is hand-shaped from cherry or walnut. With turned ash legs. it’s sold in heights from 25" to…

2 min.
red & green

1. DOME PLANTER In an intense red-orange, the mid-century-inspired Dome Pot may be used indoors or out. Resting on the included stand, it’s 23" tall by 14 ¼" wide. The planter does not have a drainage hole, keeping it safe for floors and furniture: $400. Bauer Pottery, (888) 213-0800, bauerpottery.com 2. KNOT FOR ETERNITY The two-toned, iridescent Trinity Knot tile from the Celtic collection represents the interrelatedness of life, death, and rebirth. Individually hand-pressed in stoneware, the 6" x 6" tile has slight glaze variations typical of hand work. Each, $125. Pewabic Pottery, (313) 626-2000, pewabic.org 3. VICTORIAN FINERY The Victorian Jewel knob and pull are shown here in Brite Nickel crowned with natural green aventurine stones. (Other stones and finishes available.) The pull is 3 7/8" x 1 ¼" deep; knob, 1 ¼" wide.…

1 min.
brick & stone

ALLIANCE, OH / $950,000 This sprawling brick Tudor Revival house of 1930 with multiple wings and gables has a massive tower entry with a circular brick and stone staircase. Inside, find vaulted paneled ceilings, brickwork, a copper-hooded fireplace, and a 360-degree library. BRUNSWICK, MD / $424,900 This stoutly built fieldstone foursquare of 1902 is colloquially described as “hangover Georgian.” Inside are late-Victorian touches, including the door and window trim, plus a handsome newel post and staircase in the side-hall entry. CATSKILL, NY / $395,000 Built by a Revolutionary leader in 1792, this Dutch Colonial saltbox is remarkably intact, with wide-board floors, paneled cupboards, and period decorative painting. Also find an enclosed turning stair, original mantels, and plank doors. SCHWENKSVILLE, PA / $975,000 Thick stone walls and period staircases, wainscots, and wall paneling are just some of the…