colorful kitchen with 1920s details like subway tile, wood floor and beadboard ceiling
Photo: Judith Bromley
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Old Houses Come with Problems

As with any old house, it had some problems. Several families had occupied the home, and it showed: Porches were enclosed, picture windows had been added, and a spray-on cottage-cheeselike preservative sold by Sears in the early 1970s encased the cedar lap siding and had cracks running through it. Interior trim had also been altered, and most of the solid five-panel doors had been cut to fit wall-to-wall carpet. In short, it needed lots of work.

The house had 1,440 square feet of living space plus a large front porch, but it lacked some modern-day conveniences, namely a home office, laundry room, and crafts area. Since the property covered three city lots, we decided to add on. While we couldn't be purists, we wanted to make every new detail look as old as possible.

Shown: With its beadboard ceiling, subway tile, and wood floor, the colorful kitchen pays homage to the 1920s.
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