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Old House JournalOld House Journal

Old House Journal

May 2019

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.

United States
Active Interest Media
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8 Issues


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where has all the clutter gone?

We have a well-curated independent bookstore in town, but last Sunday I headed up the line to Barnes & Noble to check out publishing in the wider world. With a separate Architecture section gone, the House & Garden shelves have become … eclectic, with “how-to for dummies” paperbacks next to expensive design books. My impression is that a quarter of the books were about downsizing or decluttering. As an editor who’s published many voluptuously furnished houses, I was tempted to take this personally. But then the very next day our writer Regina Cole called to ask: “Can you Kondo-ize a Victorian house? Forbes wants to know.” She’s writing a story for them that looks at period houses from the standpoint of celebrity tidying expert Marie Kondo.We both knew the answer.…

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side notes

ON ARTS & CRAFTSTidbits from the 32nd annual Arts & Crafts Conference at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C.:• Conference founder, historian, and educator Bruce Johnson “wrote the book [he] always wanted to read”: Tom, Scott & Zelda, Following in Their Footsteps. It’s a triple biography as well as a guide for touring the North Carolina towns where Thomas Wolfe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Zelda Fitzgerald found inspiration in the 1930s–40s. The Grove Park Inn is included!• The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms is celebrating its 30th year. Gustav Stickley’s family lived in the iconic Log House, built in 1911 in Morris Plains, N.J.• Rosalie Berberian brought her gorgeous new book Creating Beauty: Jewelry & Enamels of the American Arts & Crafts Movement; through your bookseller…

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18th century colorways

1. SHADES OF PRUSSIABased on a Pennsylvania German antique, the Scrolled Wall Cupboard in cherry is shown in a deep hue once created only from imported “Prussian blue” pigments. It measures 34" high x 38 ½" wide x 11" deep; $1,284–$1,784. Martin’s Chair, (800) 993-9452, martinschair.com2. INDIGO BLUETattershall Indigo revives a 1920s Sanderson textile inspired by 18th-century copperplate toiles. With peonies and pheasants, the fabric is 90% cotton/10% linen. To the trade. StyleLibrary, (800) 395-8760, stylelibrary.com3. A BRIGHT NATURALA favorite in Colonial America, natural indigo still appears in traditional textiles worldwide, like the hand-dyed and hand-woven Saagar dhurrie rug made by Tamil artisans in India. The rug comes in sizes from 2' x 3' to 5' x 8' for $125 to $595. The Citizenry, (866) 356-4284, the-citizenry.com4. ADAMESQUE PINKDelicate pinks…

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the sixties

1. THREE POINT LANDINGHans Wegner designed the Shell chair for Carl Hansen & Son in 1968. The form-pressed shape comes in a choice of veneers and the molded, cold foam seat may be upholstered in fabric, leather, or cowhide; $3,785 to $4,185. Design Within Reach, (800) 944-2233, dwr.com2. PLAYFUL OPTICSDaisy and Reverb are two fresh-faced wallpapers from the Mod Generation collection. Shown in Kooky Coral, Daisy has a 9" straight repeat, as does Reverb, shown in Moody Blue. Papers are machine-printed using archival-quality latex inks; $79 per roll. Bradbury & Bradbury, (707) 746-1900, bradbury.com3. KOOL COLORSBased on 1960s work by graphic designer and filmmaker Saul Bass, diamond-sculpted tiles from the Atomic Tile series come in colors taken from mid-century Formica and Fiesta dinnerware: brilliant Mango and Chartreuse to pale Aqua…

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the modern ranch

PALM SPRINGS, CA /$849,000Designed by Modernist architect Charles DuBois, this low-slung 1966 home has a façade of concrete and open grilles, period-style exterior lighting, a covered entry courtyard, original concrete fireplace, and a bean-shaped swimming pool.Kyle Hermann, Russ Lyon Sotheby’s, russlyon.comPHOENIX, AZ /$730,000This 1953 Ranch features vertical-plank exterior paneling, Eichler-style clerestory windows, and original low brick planting beds and enclosure walls. Inside find beamed and paneled vaulted ceilings, Saltillo-tile floors, and a massive brick fireplace wall.Katie Harrison, Fazzone & Harrison Realty, fazzoneandharrisonrealty.comSHERMAN, CT /$699,000Shingle-clad but thoroughly Modern, this 1955 Ranch has a flagstone entry, beam-supported paneled ceilings, a hand-built stone fireplace, a fully (double-) glazed sunroom, and trapezoid-shaped bedrooms, all on one floor.Christopher Barnes, Windermere Realty Trust, windermereportland.comPORTLAND, OR /$719,000Designed by Robert Rummer, this 1968 house features an Eichler-style interior…

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a house built on sentiment

BEFOREThe original house was a simple ranch.My newlywed parents moved to Vermont after World War II. They were living in a small apartment over my great-grandfather’s store and wishing they could buy a home of their own. There was little money—but plenty of rocks! My parents got the idea to build a house from stones taken from brooks. In those days, a weekend with friends meant picking up rocks together and then having a potluck dinner—such was a social outing in rural Vermont in the mid-1940s.With a mason, they built the house, a simple stone ranch, but eventually they sold it and moved to Florida. In 1995, I got a surprise phone call: The house was for sale again, and since my parents had built it and I grew up…