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My House Restoration

This three-bedroom Craftsman house was built in 1918. It was decorated in '70s decor when we bought it in 1996.

Everyone could use a little inspiration. This section is dedicated to everyone lucky enough to own an Arts and Crafts home and brave enough to want to tackle restoration themselves. Though the task of restoring your home may be hard, sometimes frustrating, and seemingly never-ending, it should be, above all, a labor of love. The rewards are enormous and you will be amazed at what you can achieve.

I hope you enjoy this section and find some inspiration in the fact that except for laying the carpet all the renovations were completed by a couple of complete novices with absolutely no previous building, renovation, or homeownership experience. And the most immediate and dramatic interior renovations were completed in 30 days.

Background: By the time my wife and I found this 1918 house we'd already been house-shopping for several months and had walked through dozens of homes (much to the frustration of our real estate agent who, like many people, had never even heard of the Arts and Crafts Movement). Most of the Craftsman homes we looked at were essentially original, which was very appealing at first thought. However, they also tended to need updated heating, plumbing and electric, as well as new windows, and sometimes extensive plaster work. As beautiful as many of these homes were, the cost to update the mechanics and infrastructure was tremendous.

The house we eventually bought (above), wasn't first or second or even fifth on our list, but it did have some modern features that were very important to us, such as new windows, new electric, plumbing, and mechanics, as well as convenient location on a street with many fine Craftman homes, and a decent sized lot for an urban property.

And while we cringed when we entered the cold, smoke-stained house, we could tell it had good bones, as well as the telltale signs of Craftsman styling - beamed ceilings, an Arts and Crafts-style room divider, and working fireplace. It took some effort to envision the potential, but we thought that a few basic renovations could dramatically change the character of the house and go a long way toward restoring its original character.

Let's begin with the inside renovations....

or wander in the gardens instead...

or look at the latest photos

(As best I can) Flemmish motto that was Gustav Stickley's shopmark