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Old House Journal

Old House Journal March/April 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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Active Interest Media
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8 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
design = problem solving

Home-design books and magazines tend to focus on the finishing touches, such as color, furniture, and decorating. That changes only when the central issue of the chapter or article is, say, sustainability, energy efficiency, or accessibility—topics that sometimes feel akin to eating spinach. Solving problems, however, is the point of design. It’s integral to the design process: define the problem, fix it, and only then make it pretty. Problem solving is central, of course, to the article on Universal Design (p. 22). Look for it in other stories, too. Tangible solutions to real-world problems are at the heart of the success! feature (p. 16). A family who’d lived in their modest 1901 house for 20 years hired a design team to address issues that had plagued them the entire time. Before…

1 min.
side notes

THE WORLD OF TILE Ceramic tile is ancient, durable—and oh so beautiful. In many shapes ands sizes, tiles long have been used as a decorative material inside and out, in churches and city halls and residences, for floors and fireplaces and fountains. This new book—it looks like a tile—is a visual history of tile from the Middle Ages until today. Published in association with London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the book presents a chronological timeline and a geographic/ethnic tour. The diversity is stunning, as is the revelation of proto-modern designs among the oldest tiles. The 300-page book starts with mass production of tile in 13th-century Europe and moves through the abstract complexity of Islamic design, to figurative Delftware and to traditional Portuguese tiles. Learn about types and designers as you find inspiration.…

2 min.
kitchen & bath tiles and more

1. BURSTS OF COLOR Accent a bathroom or kitchen backsplash with ceramic tiles in Arts & Crafts stencil designs by Helen Foster. Crisp and clean in detail, the square tiles are available in 16 patterns and offered in two sizes, 4 ¼" and 6", for $17.85 to $22 each. Fair Oak Workshops, fairoak.com 2. FLOWER POWER On-trend yet period-sympathetic, the Floral Cottage “Marshmallow” back-splash is composed of alternating 4" x 4" Medieval floral and field tiles that create a rhythmic optical illusion. Field tile: $49 per sq. ft. Floral tile: $22 each. Clay Squared to Infinity, (612) 781-6409, claysquared.com 3. LUXURIANT LEAVES At first glance, the “Leaf Triad” mural appears almost monochromatic; subtlety and depth come from rich glaze colors (Antique Gold with Black Forest). As a centerpiece for bath or kitchen, the mural measures…

1 min.
functional ornaments

1. BEADED CLASSICS Sold through dealers, the Savannah collection includes knobs and cup pulls in more than two dozen finishes, including ng unlacquered brass. Shown in chrome, the pulls measure 4" wide. Coordinating ng knobs are 1 ¼" tall. Pulls: $31–$36. Knobs: $24–34. Classic Brass, (716) 763-1400, classic-brass.com 2. LITTLE TREASURES The Artisan collection features themes salty and traditional in relief. In antique pewter, antique brass, or museum gold finish, the knobs range from 1" to 2 ½" in size, depending on motif; they are $17 each. Acorn Manufacturing, (508) 339-4500, acornmfg.com 3. SARGENT SUNBURST This 4" cast-brass sunburst bin pull is a particularly fine reproduction of an Eastlake design by Sargent & Co., ca.1880. It measures 3 ¼" (scre-whole) center to center. In polished, unlacquered, or antique brass, $8.89–$9.49 each. House of Antique Hardware,…

1 min.
colonial revivals

PITTSFIELD, MA /$299,000 Spectacularly intact, this 1928 Center-hall Colonial offers Georgian Revival built-ins and panel mouldings, the original kitchen and pantry with intact cabinets, and a large dressing room with a built-in vanity and period cupboards. PORT CHESTER, NY /$925,000 A large foyer, gracious formal rooms, French doors, and a large pantry are just a few of features in this three-storey, dormered house built around 1900. Exterior features included a colonnaded entry porch that extends into a pergola-covered gallery. MAPLEWOOD, NJ /$710,000 This 1922 charmer is Colonial, Tudor, and French all at once. Note the “ski-slope” gable, a bay window, and diminutive entry porch with fancy hood. Inside find arched passageways, original wood-work, a period-inspired bath, and brick fireplaces. LOCUST HILL, VA /$825,000 “Indian Springs” was impressively built of brick with Georgian-style symmetry around 1940. A herring-bone…

3 min.
from awkward to stylish

Built in 1901, our house in Minneapolis is not aVictorian but neither is it a bungalow. In the late 1960s, someone had endeavored to turn the interior into a suburban ranch: they removed trim, added blond casings, dropped the ceilings, and added carpeting and vinyl flooring. In the 20 years before we hired David Heide Design Studio, my husband, Nathan Lockwood, and I had pulled up vinyl flooring and plastic tiles, reglazed windows, rebuilt the porch, renovated bathrooms, and replaced the 1913 boiler. After each project, we liked the house and the neighborhood more, and couldn’t imagine moving. By now our family had grown to include our two boys, Ian and Malcolm. We were ready to finish the renovation—with help. Despite a tight budget, project architect Chris Christofferson was able to bump…