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.
Joys & Mysteries of Color
Old House Journal
Victorian Kitchen & Bath • Victorian is not a style but an era—conjured by these well-designed fittings.
Miniature Pleasures • These period-friendly bits and pieces are delightful diminutives.
Victorian Royalty • Say “Victorian” and most people think of the Queen Anne style (ca. 1875–1910) wrapped in gingerbread and turrets.
MY NICE LITTLE BUNG ALOW • Downsizing and moving into town, this homeowner, an accomplished gardener, kept things simple.
inspirations for INTERIOR POLYCHROMY
LOOK UP to color
then came ARTS & CRAFTS
OBJETS of many colors • Polychromy isn’t just for walls and ceilings. A favorite application was on transferware china, developed in Staffordshire, England, in 1756, as an alternative to expensive, hand-painted imported chinaware. A printed pattern would be transferred onto a copper plate and then onto the pottery. Thousands of patterns were produced in brown and white, blue and white, green and white, or multiple colors. A guest might dine off a plate with a scene of Yosemite in blue, green, and red… or with a tranquil japonesque landscape done in soft pastels. Collectors today often mix and match colors and patterns. See transcollectorsclub.org
A Polychromatic Tapestry
Outside the Bungalow • Arts & Crafts-era picture postcards, from the collection of author and photographer Douglas Keister
A Surviving Victorian Bath • The elegant, understated bath is near-original in this 1886 mansion.
ARTS & CRAFTS ENTRY DOORS
SHAPING the HARDSCAPE • Farmer and quarry owner Johanna Andersen–Pratt tells a funny story about a long-ago dairy farmer who wanted some of the natural flat stone he’d seen on a neighbor’s property. So the farmer paid the owner $16 to harvest a load of stone and deliver it to his barn, where he laid it on the floor. • Apparently he’d gotten tired of standing in knee-deep mud to milk his cows. • Whether you have in mind raised stone beds for plantings, walls for water conservation or erosion control, a fountain to create a cooling breeze in summer, or you simply want to cross the yard from the driveway to the house without getting your feet wet, hardscape materials are the way to go. • Stone, brick, and other durable landscaping materials can transform a plain patch of yard into a place you’ll want to spend time in, whether it’s high summer or a clear winter day. For the most authentic look, use time-tested materials relevant to the age of your house: brick or locally quarried stone for paths, steps, or walls around a home built in 1820, for example—or concrete or brick used in an imaginative zigzag walk for a 1950s Ranch house.
BUILDING A FLAGSTONE PATH • Creating a flagstone path is relatively simple. Plan on devoting at least a weekend to the project.
A Grand Path to Water
SHOPTOUR: • On a recent visit to Ashfield Stone, I got a geology lesson as well a chance to see how the versatile stone harvested here is split, shaped, and finished into a surprisingly broad array of products.
Surface Remedies • Authentically repair, smooth, and embellish walls and ceilings.
Buying Kitchen Cabinets • The specs are confusing, quality and pricing all over the map. Here’s a stab at untangling the choices.
STUFF AN AGENT SCREWED UP
A Garden That Rocks • Pretty in its own right, a rock garden can...