Active Interest Media

Old House Journal

Old House Journal

July/August 2021

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
a thing for shingles

Where I grew up in northern New Jersey, I remember mostly clapboards (some of them aluminum), and brick and stucco. We’d pass a few old shingled places on trips to the Shore. Those houses had a weathered, almost unkempt look. By the time I was a teenager I was regularly visiting Boston’s North Shore and Cape Ann, where shingled houses are numerous. I don’t know when I developed a thing for them, but I did. I’d seek out the old family summer houses, with mildew-blackened shingles and forest-green trim, windows boarded in winter, porches strewn with rockers and beach towels by the end of June. These big, brooding, and expensive houses were more like camps, welcoming wet dogs. Shingle siding weathers naturally to a silver-grey or red-brown patina, depending on whether…

1 min
side notes

PRIVATE GARDENS OHJ’s West Coast editor, Brian Coleman, and photographer Bill Wright together are our most prolific and indefatigable scout-it, shoot-it, and write-it duo. Now they’ve produced a stunning new garden book focused on the northwestern United States. Readers are given exclusive entry into 20 private gardens, from meandering estates to little sanctuaries. The story behind each garden accompanies beautiful photos, 280 in all, capturing bonsai, a stone moon gate, floral extravagance, water features, neat hedgerows, and overflowing planters. Some of the gardens are in the city—Portland, Seattle—others on islands or the coast. Some are whimsical, others in the golden-age tradition. The gardens are presented in their entirety and in intimate detail. It’s all so lush. Private Gardens of the Pacific Northwest By Brian D. Coleman, photography by William Wright; Gibbs Smith, August 2021,…

2 min
the blues

1. BLUE FIRE Add drama to a pendant, large wall sconce, or newel-post light with the Peacock blue flame shade in iridescent glass. Made by American artisans, the shade takes a 3 ¼" fitter. It measures 7" tall x 4 ½" wide; $152.90. House of Antique Hardware, (888) 223-2545, 2. THE DESERT SKY A capacious 36" wide, the 1958 French-door fridge from the new Palm Springs collection is shown in Cerulean. Gliding pantry drawer, factory-installed icemaker, and filtered-water dispenser: $6,795. Elmira Stove Works, (800) 295-8498, 3. CHINESE BLUE Found in a Massachusetts sea-captain’s home, Chantung is a Chinese Quercus (oak) leaf design adapted for the West by the English and French; this revival dates to the 1930s or earlier. About $145 per roll. Thomas Strahan Wallpaper, (212) 644-5301, 4. POPS OF COLOR Accent a…

1 min
at the windows

1. SWINGING CEDAR This maker of exterior millwork also builds screen doors in standard sizes or to your specifications. Made of Western red cedar, doors are available in widths 24" to 36", with or without a frame. Framed door with screen: $550 and up. ProWood Market, (800) 915-5110, 2. QUICK-SHIP SHUTTERS Made from PVC patterned to resemble wood, these historically accurate, louvered shutters arrive within 10 days, ready to assemble. They’re available from 3' to 10' tall. Shutters 84" high x 21" wide cost about $850 per pair. Aeratis, (888) 676-2683, 3. CRAFTSMAN ENTRY One of many Arts & Crafts styles available, the 3610-H screen door features a toe-kick bottom panel and inset overlay muntins. Shown in mahogany, it also comes in oak, Douglas fir, cedar, and more. Interchangeable screens/storms and pet doors…

1 min
near the water

BOOTHBAY HARBOR, ME / $1,395,000 Built in 1902 as a summer home but now year-round, Glasfryn stands on a high point overlooking an arm of the Atlantic. Features include a massive stone fireplace, pine paneling, period doors and hardware. GAUTIER, MS / $1,425,000 With a wraparound porch on three sides, this storied 1896 Victorian on the Gulf of Mexico has an unusual cross-gabled hipped roof, and original floor-to-ceiling windows and staircase. There’s a private dock. PORT TOWNSEND, WA / $1,500,000 Built in Stick/Queen Anne style in 1889, the Starrett house has a massive, four-storey entry tower with a free-hung staircase. Intact period details include exterior trim, stained glass, and woodwork. ORLEANS, MA /$995,000 Original features in this 1830 Greek Revival on a saltwater cove on Cape Cod include wall paneling, original pantry, a winder stair, and a…

3 min
restoring rest harrow in arden

This little gem is an original cottage designed by Will Price in the Arts & Crafts enclave of Arden, Delaware. My husband, Rodney Jester, and I were so taken by it, we joined in its restoration, along with our friend Dink Pompper, who lives next door to the cottage. Built ca. 1912, the cottage was basically all still there, quite neglected but unchanged. Rodney says that the best thing about the house was that it was untouched—which was also the worst thing about it! The original, main house is a mere 18' x 18'. During the 1930s or ’40s, a 10' extension was added at the back for a small kitchen and bath. Features that make the cottage unique include carved stucco, inlaid Moravian tiles, original Arden Forge door hardware, and…