With her long history in the real estate business, Regina had developed an instinct about houses. This one, she felt, was crying out to be a full-fledged Craftsman, which delighted her. A major fan of the style, she had, over the years, amassed a sizable collection of signed Stickley furniture. The Stilps knew enough about trends in interior design to know that, as Regina puts it, "nobody does 'oaky' anymore." Many people feel that too much wood can overwhelm a house, making it seem too dark, too claustrophobic, too…woody. Regina scoffed at the idea. Cheesy paneling was one thing; quartersawn oak was another. In the ensuing gut rehab, they would hew closely to the American Foursquare's stylistic roots. "You couldn't have done anything else," Regina says now. "I feel strongly that you have to design for the house."
Here, a corner of the dining room is set up as a reading nook, showcasing the new wainscoting and paint colors. Above the rail is a rich blue found in Rookwood pottery of the Arts and Crafts period. Below is a soft yellow-gold. The leaded-glass windows throughout the room are original; a few required some repair.