My Restorations

1918 Craftsman Home

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, above all it should be a labor of love. The rewards are enormous and you will be amazed at what you can achieve.

I hope you find inspiration in the fact that - except for floor sanding and laying 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 we found this 1918 house we'd already been house-shopping for several months and had walked through dozens of homes. 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 wasn't first or second or even fifth on our list, but it did have new windows, electric, and mechanics, as well as convenient location on a street with many fine Craftman homes.

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 - coffered 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 go a long way toward restoring its original character.

Renovation Photos

Landscaping Back to Top
Photo: My 1918 Craftsman, with hand-built mantel, bookcases, and window seat, and Stickley sofa, chair and table.