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Old House Journal

Old House Journal January/February 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
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8 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
surprising, whimsical, unpredictable

Last week I went to a real-estate open house because the listing said the interior was “remarkably intact.” It is, and what a treat! The house was built in 1920 as a “summer camp” on the water. It feels more like a turn-of-the-century house. The owner had done a meticulous job upgrading for year-round use while preserving the house’s integrity. He insulated walls from the outside so that the rustic interior still has exposed stud walls and original beadboard. The kitchen is a throwback—with a soapstone sink and a restored 1920s Glenwood range and not much else. A small back-hall added behind the kitchen holds the refrigerator and an extra oven. The pantry, the rustic granite fireplace, the stairs, and the original bathroom remain as built. The house has a whiff…

1 min.
side notes

SPANNING DECADES Not a big decorating book but rather one with historical insight into 1950s-60s kitchens during a time of “optimistic consumerism.” Amusing text and archival images. The Midcentury Kitchen: America’s Favorite Room by Sarah Archer (Countryman Press, 2019) A yearning for authenticity comes through in this presentation of rooms classic and personal, all with patina. The author exhibits a fine sense of the regional and the vernacular; rooms are in houses from Texas to California, so this book is a fresh departure from the Americana of New England. Lots of antiques and salvage use. Find inspiration for curating and displaying collections. New Americana by Holly Kuhn (Gibbs Smith, 2019)…

1 min.

1. PEAKED-ROOF CHANDELIER Part of a series, the Dartmouth four-light chandelier is Arts & Crafts with a touch of the English Cotswolds. It’s available in seven finishes and six shade colors. It measures 27 5/8" high x 23 ½" wide; $1,440 to $1,656. Arroyo Craftsman, (626) 960-9411, arroycraftsman.com 2. A TOUCH OF FRANCE The Cambridge lantern sconce has an unusual, heavy-cast wall canopy. In distressed brass, it’s fitted with a tapered opaline art-glass shade with a linear overlay; $645. Brass Light Gallery, (800) 243-9595, brasslightgallery.com 3. ORION SKY The copper table lamp with a Midnight Sky drum shade signed and hallmarked by the artist is a fresh take on rustic. On a Vermont slate base, it measures 25" tall x 9" wide; $410. Janna Ugone & Co. (413) 527-5530, jannaugoneandco.com 4. GASLIT GLOW The Dawson sconce captures the…

1 min.
statement lights

6. LAYERS OF LIGHT The Whitaker has the rope detailing and plain piping typical of mid-Victorian gaslight fixtures. Adorned with alternating crystal jewels and notched spear-point prisms, it’s shown with white frosted shades. The chandelier measures 28" wide x 31" tall; $2,659. King’s Chandelier, (336) 623-6188, chandelier.com 7. ROSE-TINTED BEAUTY The Devon pendant is a re-creation of a ca. 1934 Art Deco fixture from a Kansas City manufacturer. The solid brass, lost wax-cast fixture has rose-tinted sideslip shades held in place by polished brass chains. It measures 21" tall x 17 ½" wide. $475. Vintage Hardware, (360) 379-9030, vintagehardware.com 8. HALO FOR A CANDLE Inspired by the “Liberty Tree” lanterns of 1776, the aged-tin Beech Leaf sconce from Scofield Lighting has a round back encircled with double rows of leaves gilded in 23-karat gold. It measures 11½"…

1 min.
to the task

1. HIGHLIGHTING ART Angle to direct light on artwork without exposing it to damaging infrared or ultraviolet rays. The 14" version of the Hemmingway LED picture light produces 300 lumens on the warm side of the color spectrum. Finishes include polished or antique nickel, burnished brass, and rubbed bronze; $279 and up. WAC Lighting, (800) 526-2588, waclighting.com 2. SCONCE AS SCULPTURE Create flattering task light in the bath with a pair of Echo wall sconces in white or black porcelain. Shown with the opal Deco Skyscraper shade, the Art Deco-inspired light is 10 ¼" high x 4 1/8" wide x 4" deep. $165 each. Rejuvenation, (888) 401-1900, rejuvenation.com 3. ROCKER ON The perfect complement to a cloth-covered cord for a reading lamp, inline rocker switches were an innovative convenience in the 1930s and ’40s. (The…

1 min.
fixer uppers

BROOKLYN, NY / $5.5 Million Likely to be converted to luxury apartments, this 1873 Renaissance Revival landmark features a cut-stone exterior with quoins and pedimented surrounds on arched windows. Inside: 12-ft. ceilings, a spiral staircase, original window trim, and some original plaster. BROWNSTOWN, OH / $210,000 Considered one of Indiana’s most endangered properties, the Thomas H. Branaman house was built about 1868; the circular porch dates to the 1920s. Features include a grand columned entry, 9/9 sash windows, and period staircase, mantel, and window trim. CRISFIELD, MD / $98,000 About 90% intact, the 1836 Nelson Homestead is Federal with telescoping additions: multiple attachments, decreasing in size. Historic elements include an early, nearly pristine kitchen, paneling, tiger-maple graining, gouge work, and built-ins. ORMONDSVILLE, NC / $100,000 The Edwards–Turnage House was built 1850–52 in a transitional Greek Revival style…