Hearthside Idea Home 1995
The Showcase Home
This home honors the Arts and Crafts Movement's dedication to workmanship and natural materials. Like many homes built in the Midwest from the 1890s to the 1920s, this house links itself to the land with an exterior of cedar shakes and shingles, combined with stone from local quarries.
You won't find a sofa in this family room. Instead, four cushiony leather chairs and two ottomans can face the fireplace, look out on the patio and the backyard beyond, or turn to view the television tucked into the oak cabinetry. The room's soft green-and-copper color scheme reappers in many variations throughout the house.
Hand-printed wallpaper in green and terra-cotta paints a rich background for a Mission-style bookcase and library table. The rattan chair pleasingly contrasts with the weightier oak furniture.
The living room shares the neutral walls, warm wood floors and handsome woodwork of the rest of the home, then delivers an unexpected punch of color. Shiny cobalt-blue fireplace tiles seem to cast their light up to the twilight-blue ceiling. A playful geometric border surrounds the solid-blue center of the area rug.
Half-walls with bookshelves and tapered columns were common in bungalows and other early 20th-century homes across the Midwest. Here, they separate the living room from the hallway and staircase beyond. The open hall ceiling rises two stories to the upper level, where windows on the second-floor landing light the stairway.
The handcrafted Prairie-style table and chairs in the dining room reproduce designs by Wisconsin-born architectural genius Frank Lloyd Wright. More handwork created the extensive wood paneling and the built-in cabinetry, with its stained-glass panels. A sliding door opens to the kitchen.
Oak cabinetry in the Arts and Crafts style is featured in the kitchen. The butcher-block-topped island includes a round stainless-steel sink. Both the ceramic tile floor and solid surface countertop have low-luster finishes.
The inglenook was a popular feature in turn-of-the-century homes, but disappeared when modern heating made fireplaces more decorative than necessary. One of the most appealing spots in the home, this little hideaway tucks around the corner from the kitchen. High-back benches with plush upholstery face each other on either side of a fully tiled fireplace wall.
Multiple layers of paint and glaze produce a rich, burnished wall surface. A brightly painted nightstand and an old-fahsioned iron bed add to the informality. The area rug boldly combines black and white checks with a multicolored striped border. Framed vintage magazine covers hang on the walls.
The master bedroom captures a lighter, airier mood. Patio doors open to a private deck. Custom-designed and hand-wrought iron curtain rods support simple gauze curtains, which provide a bit of privacy without eliminating the view.
Accessible from the master bedroom through paneled pocket doors, the master bathroom displays the same tapered columns and fine wood working details as the rest of the home. One-inch-square ceramic tiles in various colors form an intricate inlaid "rug" leading to the dramatic tub.
Exposed rafter ends and wide roof overhangs typify both modest bungalows and grand houses of the early 1900s.