Old Growth Wood VideosOld growth wood, from deep within the forest primeval. From fairy tales to an awed reverence in bungalow fans, the forest is endemic to the lore of humankind. Trees have been regarded as sacred in many early traditions. Since the dawn of time humankind has understood that his survival & that of the tree are interconnected- for shade, for food, for fuel & for shelter.

In old house circles, ancient wood is highly regarded for its strength & its beauty. I wrote an article about it & it is the most viewed post on my blog. That post discusses the properties of old wood, but in these videos, you are going to look at the forest & how it contributed to the wonderful characteristics of the trees & the lumber that was cut from them. 100 years ago, this lumber was used to build your house & today your house stands strong & sturdy.

You are going to hear a fascinating talk by a woman who grew up in the forest & listens to trees. She has learned the secret of how trees in the forest form a strong community, helping one another survive & grow, through communication & by passing chemicals & nutrients to trees in need.

You are going to find out how farmed wood differs from forest grown wood & why it results in inferior lumber.

You are going to see 100 year old logs pulled out of rivers to be milled into building materials.


No matter how much you cherish your old growth fir, pine, oak – these videos will increase your understanding & appreciation for it immensely. The people who are speaking, are authorities in their fields & each one loves old wood. Let’s get started.



old growth wood houseFrom their framing to their siding to their doors & windows to their built-ins & their flooring, our old houses, are built of old growth wood. Thousands of board feet of it.

“Old growth.” What does that mean?

Let’s have a tree history lesson. Fossils show that the first tree-like plants, with vascular systems that transported water & nutrients, allowing the plants for the first time to rise up off the ground (Think moss.) & to form trunks & branches, developed 400 million years ago. Their evolution since then included the development of seeds & true woody stems.


Over 300 million years ago: The earliest conifers (i.e., cedar, fir, pine, redwoods & others) appear.
67 million years ago: Evidence of the first maple trees.
56 million years ago: Evidence of the first oak trees.

They continued to evolve & to create the great forests that covered most of America, generation after generation contributing to the next as they produced seeds, died & decayed, becoming part of the rich soil of the virgin woodland.


loggers cutting old growth woodLet’s start with the Redwood, one class being the oldest plants on earth, living from about 800 to 3,200 years. On the west coast, before they were chopped to build our houses, they played an important part in the lives of early indigenous peoples who revered them, building  structures from fallen trees. Native elder Minnie Reeves called them “a special gift from the Great Creator. Destroy these trees and you destroy the Creator’s love . . . and you will eventually destroy mankind.”

When California became a state in 1850, there were nearly 2 million acres of redwood forest. San Francisco was built twice with redwood, before & after the quake & fire of 1906. But the worst was yet to come. During the first half of the 20th Century when California experienced a major building boom, the redwood forest suffered its greatest losses, with trains of lumber heading south as trains of oranges headed north.

Going into the 21st Century, only 5 percent of the old growth forest still stood, thankfully protected on public lands.

In modern times, redwood farms produce wood for lumber, however, this new wood does not have the same high levels of toxic tannins, a type of bitter, astringent chemical compounds which protect the trees from fungus & insects & decrease its susceptibility to rot.

Selective cutting of young trees is permitted on redwood farms but these trees do not have enough age on them to acquire the decay & insect resistant properties of the old growth. If you want the original, old growth wood, you must buy it second-hand, salvaged from old buildings that some uninformed person has chosen to demolish.


The Douglas fir forests of the Northwest were treated just as casually. The timber industry, both logging & milling’ developed into a huge industry. The quantities were regarded as unlimited, if they were regarded at all in the push to maximize profit. As harvesting & transportation technologies developed, so did the quantity of forest land destruction increase.

It wasn’t until the 1880’s that conservation of timber supplies was considered. National forests were established & research into good forest practices began.


Clear cut forestThe Domesday Book of 1086, a survey ordered by William the Conqueror to record his holdings, indicated a forest cover of 15%,  By the start of the next millennium, this coverage had dropped to 5%.

In the 17th Century, as thousands of colonists arrived in the United States from England, they placed heavy demands on the forests taking huge trees, some hundreds of years old, of many species for lumber not only for building but also for fuel. Additionally, they cleared lands for agriculture & livestock.

Additionally, after the Industrial Revolution, potash, potassium carbonate derived from burned wood was in high demand in the colonies & in England where they had already decimated their forests. By the early 1800’s, the pre-revolutionary American colonies were providing England with more than 60% of its potash.

The construction boom after WW I, especially during the mid-1920’s, furthered reduced our forest resources. You can read about pine’s story, in the forests of the Eastern U.S.,  here.


old growth bungalow woodTrees are planted in man-made forests with the purpose of generating a large amount of product, fast. These farms do not replicate the ecology of the natural forest.  Generally they are one species only, & all the trees are planted at the same time. The trees are planted in rows spaced to allow maximum sunlight & water exposure so they grow very fast. The old forests allowed trees to grow slowly, putting on more tightly-packed growth rings

Because of this, new growth wood does not have the strength, stability nor the decay & insect repelling properties of old growth wood- not to mention the beauty. But. stick with me here. I have a theory about additional environmental factors that made the virgin forests a much better place for trees.

The conditions in the old forests had evolved over millions of years. Co-evolution is the evolving of all the parts of an ecosystem to assist each of its parts survive better. i.e., evolutionary change over time, benefiting each interacting member, usually involving different species. Tree farms lack this dynamic. They are the new  kids in school without a support system, not oriented to their environment, & growing in unnatural conditions.

The virgin forest is home to many tree species as well as hundreds of different insects, animals & microbes. All of these organisms have made reciprocal adaptive changes in cooperation with one or more other species, over the millennia, helping one another to survive with greater & greater efficiency.

Old growth forestMuch of this mutual adaptation involves microorganisms, the fungi that break down the fiber of the dead trees & turn them into nutritious soil, but also form a communication network for the trees. Watch this short video by National Geographic that explains how trees connect & share with one another.

Trees do not stand alone, competing with one another for sunlight, water & nutrients. Rather, the forest is almost like a single organism, the different trees interacting with one another, both within & outside their own species, through their roots & the fungal networks that connect these roots. They exchange communication & nutrients through this network, with the larger, old Mother trees forming the hubs. As an example, Douglas firs share excess sugars with the leafless birches in the spring & fall, & in return, the birches send sugars to the Douglas-firs in the summer, via the fungi underground.

Here’s my crazy theory. The health of the human body depends on the quantity & diversity of the microbes that live in the gut. To build a strong, healthy body, one needs a strong healthy microbiome- the colony of microorganisms within the body. This is a lovely short video of 2 Stanford researchers who have discovered much of what is known in this science. They have a big picture of bacteria over the fireplace in their home.

My hypothesis is that lumber from a tree grown in the virgin forest is better, stronger, more stable, more decay & insect resistant not just because it is old & bigger, but because it has grown up with a Mother, a family, neighbors & friends in the form of an active ecosystem that has had millions of years to get it right. “It’s not better because it’s old, it’s old because it’s better.”

What do you think?



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American-Bungalow-Magazine-eventWhat seems like a lifetime ago, with a great amount of help from my friends in the 3 areas that make up the bungalow neighborhood of Seminole Heights, in Tampa, Florida, I produced an American Bungalow Magazine event. I had coaxed, cajoled, pleaded with the editor to have genius photographer, Alex Vertikoff come to Central Florida to shoot our houses. I coordinated with 4 other neighborhoods in Tampa, St. Petersburg & Lakeland to make it worth their while to drive all the way across the country. Publisher John Brinkmann came to speak to us at a wonderful event  in our historic church.

I had been a devotee of American Bungalow for a number of years.  They had attended our first home tour in Eagle Rock & published a beautiful article on the Hanson Puthuff house, displayed on the poster to the left.

In my Tampa neighborhood, I enjoyed the privilege of being the magazine distributor. Every quarter the magazines would arrive in a big box, & I would peddle them around the neighborhood at events & meetings & deliver to people’s homes when requested. It was a great way to meet folks, educate Tampa on historic houses & support the valuable work of the magazine.

porch-in-american-bungalow-magazineThe neighborhoods pitched in, volunteering their bungalows for the project. I recruited writers for all the articles & each author (or group of authors) gathered material & researched their areas.

My neighborhood, Seminole Heights produced some beautiful houses & the authors encouraged a woman who had lived in the neighborhood in the early years to tell her story- A Place to Grow Up. Her sweet childhood voice & photos brought those times to life.  I am lucky enough to have another story from her to tell you here, Childhood Pets in My Bungalow Neighborhood.

The article tells the story of how the neighborhood association began- a response to the threatened destruction of many bungalows along one of our central corridors. By the time I arrived 25 years later, it was a powerful force for preservation & revitalization. When I say, “Do something about it,” I have seen firsthand what can be done by a group of committed citizens.

The neatest part about the in article occurred when the editor sent me a proof & there was my front porch in a 2-page color spread opening a piece in my favorite magazine, American Bungalow! There were a couple shots of my living room too, but they were pretty small. Finally, at the age of 60 my dream of being a centerfold was realized! And it was one that I could show my mother!


In the center of Tampa is a farm with a bungalow farmhouse, built by Sicilian immigrants, Salvatore & Vittoria Giunta, who arrived in Tampa in 1907. Peasant farmers, they hoped for a better life for themselves & their children in American. Work was plentiful in Ybor City in the cigar factories & farms & they worked at a variety of jobs, saving money until they could buy land. Self-sufficient, they raised heirloom vegetables & herbs with which they fed their family & sold the surplus to supplement their income. At one time, this area, now residential was dubbed “the breadbasket of Ybor,” providing food for up to 10,000 cigar factory workers.  After time they purchased more land & in 1924, the house was built just in time for the family to enjoy their Christmas together. The farm up to this day, almost 100 years later, is still being worked by the two granddaughters, who live in the old farmhouse.

Though the farm is a prime piece of property in a very desirable location the sisters stand firm against offers from developers & in 2020, City Council agreed with their request to designate the farm a historic landmark offering some protection against future development. Please watch this beautiful video to learn more about the history of the family & the farm & best of all, to meet the sisters.

Make no mistake about it. This is a farmhouse. The floors are not glossy quartersawn oak but are covered with linoleum & the usual Stickley pieces that you see pictured in American Bungalow are not in evidence. I spent 2 days helping the sisters stage the house for the shoot (No, Alex didn’t know about know this!) I pulled all the family antiques- a charming deco armoire, an old tricycle, a child’s chair, from the bedrooms & arranged them in the family gathering room off the kitchen. A century ago. their father had made a wooden boat to sail down the flooded Tampa streets, & I pulled it from a closet & had a shelf built for it to be mounted over a quilt-covered chair in the corner.

In the kitchen sits a “Nana cabinet,” a traditional Sicilian piece in which were displayed the china, glassware & collectables of the grandmother of the house. This one was built by her son of recycled materials—wood slats from apple crates, curved glass sides from a discarded retail display case & the best part- it is topped with a decorative crown from an old circus wagon offered by a friend who just didn’t think that the cabinet looked complete.

The pieces were just stacked in the cabinet, with no attempt to display them. We spent several hours removing the items, carefully placing them on the kitchen table. I returned them one by one, showing each one to full advantage. These pieces hold the memories of family dinners of 3 generations & deserved to be elegantly celebrated.

The sisters are not artists. They are revered teachers, beloved daughters, dutiful sisters & aunts & hard-working farmers. They were astonished at how I managed to honor their family by displaying their heirlooms & photographs artfully.

It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life.

The morning after John’s event in my neighborhood of Seminole Heights, he & I went for breakfast at the farm. John toured the house & admired the fields, lush with produce whose seeds were brought from Sicily 100 years before. He played fetch with the farm dog & chatted with the chickens. He was honored to have met the Giunta sisters & honored them in return with this beautiful article.


“…it’s not about how big you live, it’s about how genuine you live. That’s what the magazine stands for.”  – John Brinkmann, American Bungalow Magazine

I was thrilled to be able to provide him with the opportunity to visit a family that had lived so genuinely in their farmhouse bungalow for 3 generations.

The plaque installed by the City reads:

In 1907, Salvatore and Vittoria Giunta arrived at Ellis Island from Santo Stefano, Qisquina, Sicily. Like many other Sicilian immigrants, they left behind peasant farming for a better future in Ybor City where work was plentiful. They brought little but their strong work ethic and the seeds of the crops that had always sustained their family. Sicilian families settled on the east side of Ybor beyond the cigar factories and worker housing. They held a variety of jobs, even as laborers on the local celery farms.

After years of work, Salvatore and Vittoria saved enough to buy land at the corner of 11th Avenue and 24th Street, where they farmed their heirloom produce and herbs to supplement their income. They gradually bought more land, and in 1924, built a home for their growing family. Like many of their Sicilian neighbors, the Giuntas grew their own food, raised chickens, baked bread in an outdoor oven, and were largely self-sufficient. The homestead of nearly an entire block contained the house, auxiliary buildings, farm fields and a orchard. For over a century the Giunta family has carried on their farming tradition in Ybor City. The Giunta homestead and farm tells the story of many Sicilian immigrants’ live in Ybor City.





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bungalow-window-traements-carftsman-houseA cautionary bungalow window treatments tale.

Once Upon a Time, the Hare House was on the market. I had just finished the bathroom, glad to have a few more weeks in which to enjoy it, kicking myself for not having done it sooner so I would have had a few years.

I spent a day bustling about, getting everything perfect, (including planting a border of annuals, wearing a headlamp, from 10 PM to midnight.) Jane Powell & Linda Svendsen were coming to visit & photograph the house for the book, BUNGALOW: The Ultimate Arts & Crafts Home.   During the shoot, I had flung various pieces of furniture, window coverings & décor all around again to comply with Linda’s suggestions. And then, one more exhausted fling for the staging of the open house the next day.

This was, of course, during our neighborhood association’s Home Tour preparation, the grueling last month of pulling together all the loose ends that liked to spring up. Whee-ee-ee!

Soon after the open house we were under contract, but still taking offers. The FOR SALE sign was still outside & the flier box was almost daily restocked with fliers telling the story of Reverend & Grace Hare. This beautiful home, on which I had lavished such care, drew people from all over Los Angeles. Over 100 people had attended the open house, many staying for hours, & Realtors brought long parades of buyers.

Then the packing began. I was beyond exhausted. One afternoon I could do nothing more. I peeled off my sweaty clothes & hit the cool sheets of my brass bed. But was the front door secured? I got up & staggered out to make a quick check on the lock of my beautiful door with its lovely, un-curtained, leaded glass window. A couple, flier in hand, stood at the end of my walkway, peering right at me. I dropped to the floor, hoping that they would believe that I was but a Rubenesque apparition.


I am writing this as one who prizes old wood windows, loves the various lite patterns of the period & is transported by looking at the world through old, wavy glass. This is about window treatments for old windows that enhances them rather than hiding them.

Well, we already know one re-e-e-eally good reason to cover windows, but there are several others. Different types of window treatments allow you to regulate the amount of light shining into each room, & also to change the light throughout the course of the day. Layered treatments can diffuse light or block it altogether as well as providing some bit of R value.

The textiles of the Arts & Crafts Movement are exquisite. Utilizing natural materials, such as cotton & linen, as well as ornamentation-embroidery, applique & stenciling- inspired by nature, window coverings enhance your interior as well as softening the angular bulk of much Craftsman furniture. Gustav agrees.



The-CraftsmanStickley brought Arts & Crafts over from England & I’m going to say, evolved it into a truly American  aesthetic which suited our more casual lifestyle. Here are some direct quotes from Gustav Stickley’s publication, The Craftsman, regarding textiles in general, with specific references to window coverings.

“At first it was very difficult to find just the right kind of fabric to harmonize with the Craftsman furniture and metal work. It was not so much a question of color, although of course a great deal of the effect depended upon perfect color harmony, as it was a question of the texture and character of the fabric.”

He discarded delicate materials & searched for fabrics- “that possessed sturdiness and durability; that were made of materials that possessed a certain rugged and straightforward character of fiber, weave and texture… not be coarse or crude… “

He decreed the appropriateness of “certain fabrics that harmonize as completely as leather with the general Craftsman scheme. These are mostly woven of flax left in the natural color or given some one of the nature hues. There are also certain roughly- woven, dull-finished silks well as linen, …and for window curtains we use nets and crepes (crinkled texture giving a wrinkled appearance) of the same general character.”


bungalow-pillowStickley goes on to state, “A material that we use more than almost any other for portieres, (curtain dividing rooms which helped conserve heat) pillows, chair cushions, — indeed in all places were stout wearing quality and a certain pleasant unobtrusiveness are required — is a canvas woven of loosely twisted threads of jute (a very long plant fiber that feels coarse and rough, and is very strong) and flax (a plant, the stem of which is used for making thread, rope, and cloth, and its seeds are used for making linseed oil) and dyed in the piece, — a method which gives an unevenness in color that amounts almost to a two-toned effect because of the way in which the different threads take the dye.

This unevenness is increased by the roughness of the texture, which is not unlike that of a firmly woven burlap. The colors of the canvas are delightful. For example, there are three tones of wood brown — one almost exactly the color of old weather-beaten oak, another that shows a sunny yellowish tone; and a third that comes close to a dark russet. The greens are the foliage hues, — one dark and brownish like rusty pine needles, another a deep leaf-green; the third an intense green like damp grass in the shade; and a fourth a very gray-green with a bluish tinge like the eucalyptus leaf. Our usual method of decorating this canvas is the application of some bold and simple design in which the solid parts are of linen applique in some contrasting shade and the connecting lines are done in heavy outline stitch or couching; (a technique in which stitches are used to tack down a piece of thread, yarn, etc. to create a unique look and texture. The material being couched doesn’t penetrate the fabric but sits on top of it.) with linen floss (a slightly glossy, 6-strand thread that is a loosely twisted.)

The article about the colors of the Arts & Crafts Movement might help you make some choices too.

We get a further color clues when, speaking of dyed sheepskin, Stickley says, “…we finished in all the subtle shades of brown, biscuit, yellow, gray, green, and fawn…”


“Simplicity is characteristic of all the Craftsman needlework, which is bold and plain to a degree. We use applique in a great many forms, especially for large pieces such as portiere, couch covers, pillows and the larger table covers. For scarfs, window curtains and table furnishings of all kinds we are apt to use the simple darning stitch, as this gives a delightful sparkle to any mass of color.”

“The whole scheme demands a more robust sort of beauty, — something that primarily exists from use and that fulfills every requirement. The charm that it possesses arises from the completeness with which it answers all these demands and the honesty which allows its natural quality to show.”

Pretty much textbook A&C design theory. Not surprising since Stickley wrote the book!


stickley-bungalow-window-treatmentAny Victorian house worth admiring has lace curtains, but lace was used in windows long before Queen Victoria’s reign. They provide privacy as well as admitting light & can be woven into a myriad of patterns from fussy to the more substantial patterns of the Arts & Crafts Movement.

This is the modern interpretation of Gustav Stickley’s version of lace. It certainly follows the lines of his furnishings, being very geometric & extremely simple in design. Made of an open weave, light cotton, I’m thinking that this is what Stickley is speaking of when he mentions the use of net as a material.

Sears catalogues & other advertising materials show only the froofy lace patterns that one would associate with Victoriana. And I have to say that I am not opposed to this type of lace in a bedroom. Not everyone purchased new furniture for the bungalows. My bedroom in the Hare House had a chunky brass bed & Victorian furnuture with simple lines. Reverand Hare had a reputation for helping congregations pay off their church building mortgages in full- quite a celebratory occasion topped off by the burning of the note. So I’m thinking that it was more his nature to make do with the old rather than to buy new for the private areas.

But wait! There’s more!

For the Hare House, I chose a rather obscure A&C lace. Having been built by a professional man, the leaded glass built-ins, the box beams & the wainscoting seemed to want something formal & I decided early on that I would go in the direction of the more ornate English A&C, rather than the simple, casual American Craftsman style. Truth be told, I have been an Anglophile since my teen years- Twiggy, Carnaby Street, the Beatles- & I had a huge crush on William Morris.

So, for my living room, I chose C.F.A. Voysey’s The Stag, first produced in Scotland in the early 1900’s. I loved the Hare House. We were soul mates. But of all the bits & pieces that made up the house, I think that I loved these curtains the very most.


I think that rather than continuing on, I’ll send you on to Part 2 which is a list of resources for window coverings-curtains, roller shades, valences, café curtains- & period window hardware. They should all be good choices for you. I also have over 100 window treatment images on my Pinterest page so you can see the work of these very skillful fabric artists & others.


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by Jane Powell, author & Linda Svendsen, photographer

BUNGALOW-The-Ultimate_Arts-&-Crafts-HomeThis book, BUNGALOW: The Ultimate Arts & Crafts Home, was Jane’s most impressive work & it is majestic, with 285 large, glossy pages. She referred to it as “The Big Book of Bungalows” & I’m not certain that she was enthralled with the publisher’s final choice of title.

Hewn & Hammered’s review of the book opined, “The book is written with humor and warmth, never taking its subject matter too seriously, which is a welcome alternative to many other books in the genre that treat these buildings as museum exhibits before their original purpose (and, in most cases, only purpose) as homes.”

A quote from an Amazon reader: “This is my first contact with Powell/Svendsen’s books, and while it is indeed coffee table size (it needs to be large to accommodate the beautiful photography) it is so charming and readable that, without so intending, I READ it (in one sitting, yet). We have several other books of gorgeous bungalows, many with the same houses as subjects, with accomanying commentary equivalent to dry stale cornflakes; this one is crumpets and cream. Like others documenting bungalow style architecture, this book is not intended as a construction or instruction manual, but as inspiration. For admirers of bungalow style and for those seeking a picture to replace the thousand words BUNGALOW:The Ultimate Arts & Crafts Home is an easy choice.”

While her other books are much more instructional, there is much factual information to be gained from reading this book. Jane is an amusing teacher so you just don’t notice that you are sitting in class.


American-Bungalow-Magazine-image-the-stairway-of-the-author-of-Bungalow-the Ultimate-Arts-&-Crafts-HomeJane introduces the book with some beautiful shots of bungalows by Linda Svendsen, including the impressive staircase of Jane’s bungamansion, the Sunset House in Oakland. Walking up these stairs, so sexy that they made the cover of American Bungalow, photographed by Alex Vertikoff, is an awesome experience. I wish this word had not been appropriated to mean, “like, totally cool” because the huge Doug Fir staircase is truly, “extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear.” The workmanship is masterful, the dark wood lovely, & when you walk up these stairs, you are cocooned in the world of the wealthy 100 years ago. (Jane mentions, the builder was the owner of a lumber company so he got the wood wholesale, but still.)

As Jane says about it, “… this book deals with the philosophy, history, & influences that led to the bungalow as we know it in North America. Don’t worry, it’s not very scholarly. Most it’s a celebration of bungalows & everything on them & in them, & the Arts & Crafts movement they represent. I think that you will enjoy the ride.”

And by “ride” she meant a purple PT Cruiser. Mine was red.


This chapter addresses, what is a bungalow? Well, it originated in India, & ended up in California inspired by a socialist design movement in Britain in the late 1800’s. Explaining that architecture isn’t simple, she answers this question by encouraging us to “Think outside the chicken” -by reading her book & viewing the images, we will just come to KNOW. It worked for me & whenever I feel wobbly, I come back to this book to get straightened out.

Going Native
A full description of the original bangala & the modifications made by the Europeans.

Getting Away From It All
The Industrial Revolution in Britain brought nostalgia for an idealized agrarian past.

The Seeds of Change
The Arts & Crafts Movement sprouts from the reverence for nature & ideas about design, & social & political reform.


We learn about William Morris, the father of the Arts & Crafts Movement. There is a lovely quote about Morris which describes his many artistic passions & ends with, ..”& then he’ll do I don’t know what, but every minute will be alive.”

In my world, there is no greater compliment.

Pages of beautiful photos bring the copy to life as you learn to “Think outside the chicken” & begin to understand the soul of the bungalow.

Art for Art’s Sake
Aesthetic-Movement-plate-shown-in-Bungalow-the Ultimate-Arts-&-Crafts-HomeIn this section Jane describes the Aesthetic Movement, which paralleled the A & C Movement, had the same roots & the same folks involved, but lacked the political & social philosophies of the latter.

I must admit to a great attraction to this design style. I see so much of the Arts & Crafts philosophy in the Aesthetic Movement & I really like their take on it. I especially like how its contrast of intricate small patterns inspired by nature complements the chunkier, more simple design of Arts & Crafts sharing the same inspiration.

In the Hare House, my Aesthic collection adorned the dining room plate rails. In Tampa, I re-created the original divider shelves to display them.

The Bohemian Life
Jane is still in England, writing about the bungalows at the seaside that have acquired a bohemian reputation, representing a more simple life.
She stresses the fact that most of the Arts & Crafts houses were not bungalows, but looked to medieval designs for inspiration. It took Stickley to bring Arts& Crafts to America for it to assume it’s, uh, American form.


The Centennial Exhibition, held in 1876 spurred motivation for developing art & architecture that display American pride, though many bungalows clearly show European & Asian influence & you will see many images of this.

Global Inspiration, Indigenous Style
With the log cabin as inspiration, the bungalow was often more rustic. Jane continues on to describe the American flavor &unique local features found in bungalows across the country- with more of Linda’s lush photos.


Ah! California, where the bungalow reached its full potential. She visits Northern & Southern California & it is here where we see my house in Eagle Rock.

The Ideal Home
Here she writes more about plan books & other publications as well as kit houses. The building boom of the 20’s was spurred by the street car, then the automobile.

Freedom of Assembly
More pre-cut buildings from a greater number of companies continued the bungalow boom. I must stress again that the images tell much of the story! You are seriously missing out by not having this book! Clinker bricks, limestone columns green-stained shingles & granite piers, Oh my!!!!!!!

Icon & Irony
More amazing photos & a look at how the A & C Revival has outlasted the original Movement. Hey, I’m glad that Stickley is getting the admoration & recognition that he did not receive in his later years. And while it’s on my mind, let me suggest that you watch this incredible documentary Gustav Stickley: American Craftsman. 


Bedroom-pictured-Bungalow-the Ultimate-Arts-&-Crafts-HomeThis is the longest chapter of BUNGALOW: The Ultimate Arts & Crafts Home & I don’t want to wear you out, so I’ll cover it in one section.

The porch, part of the Arts & Crafts ideal of the melding of nature with the indoors. The entry welcomes guests to enter & sit before the hearth. We see some beautiful fireplaces here of tile & of brick in various patterns. She goes to on talk about dining rooms showing an abundance of beautiful built-ins & rich wainscoting, including mine, the Hare House, on page 202. I had received the Roseville candleholders as a gift from the president of my neighborhood association who had fought valiantly with me against Walgreens. Being a bunny maniac, I paired it with the faux Roseville bunny vase which contains the most beautiful flower arrangement that I had ever done. In the heat of getting ready for the shoot, I had neglected to put water in the vase & the flowers barely made it through the day!

She has a couple chunky sections on kitchens & baths, though her Kitchens & Bathrooms book cover the subject more fully. The section on bedrooms has a full-page spread of my bedroom on page 238, despite Jane’s grousing about the room’s Victorianess. The man who built my house, the Reverend Alfred Hare was known as a church leader who would leave each congregation with a fully paid mortgage for their building, so I couldn’t really see him as a man who would fork out good money to replace a perfectly good brass bed. (And Jane herself was a great fan of the backstory.)

In the photo you can see my collection of embroidered cat pillows, (with my little Bukhai whose sweet story you can read here, snoozing on the soft comfie bed) my grandmother’s picture on the wall, my mother & uncle’s pictures on the dresser & my grandmother’s confection tin in which she kept her clean hankies. And the hankies were in there too!

After I moved to Florida, a new friend, whom I had met at an event I had produced for Jane, was getting the tour of my Tampa bungalow. When we entered my bedroom she became very confused saying, “It’s déjà vu. I have been in this room before. It’s déjà vu!” I feared that we were going to need to bring out the smelling salts! It took me a moment to realize that she had seen the original room in the book which she had purchased at the event. Being a kitty fan, she had loved  & remembered the cat pillows.


Here’s where Jane & I shared a soul. And, I guess it’s why I want you to read her books. So, read ‘em, & also head on over to the section on my blog, PRESERVATION GROUPS. It is a work in progress & you are so-o-o welcome to let me know about others to add.

Jane’s rallying cry was, “DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!” & as a staunch preservationist, I stand with her on this.


This chapter is Jane’s Random Musings.
Q. What did the Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor?
A. “Make me one with everything.”


The Big Book, AKA, BUNGALOW: The Ultimate Arts & Crafts Home, is my favorite of Jane’s because it contains images of the house I lovingly restored & left behind in California after my crushing defeat in my fight to save a neighborhood building. We spent the day shooting which was fun & exhausting & I waited with great anticipation for the book to be published so I could see my house as well as the other houses in the neighborhood which Jane & Linda had shot several months earlier- dodging the Halloween decorations that adorned many facades. I was pleased to see my house so well represented & amused by some of the accompanying copy.

The exterior of my house is pictured on page 107, with another from my neighborhood. The Arts & Crafts clubhouse of the Woman’s Club to which I belonged is on page 100. The sisters of the man who built my house raised the money to erect the clubhouse by performing the skits & songs that they wrote. 100 years later I had the privilege of walking in a fashion show to raise money to restore & preserve that same building.

My sunroom is pictured on page 161 with a Moroccan table which was recently pitched after out attempt to rid it of termites. (I live in Florida now! If you have any clue as to how I might be able to get another one of these, Please let me know.) My living room is on page 181. I sold the couch & matching chair when we left Eagle Rock because it was painfully uncomfortable. We had to take it apart to get it out the door & there was a dead, fossilized rat in it. That wasn’t in any of the books!

To buy this book, you’re going to have to search for it in the various on-line booksellers. KITCHENS is available in Kindle but the rest can require some sleuthing. My fingers are crossed that the rest will be Kindled soon.






& last but surely not least

Morris flowerLINOLEUM


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by Janet Lea Haddock CID #4333
Instructional Specialist of Interior Design
Anne Arundel Community College

Arts-&-Crafts-House-OaklandThese two words are tossed around today by Realtors, consumers, builders & designers. We say them… “I love arts and crafts furniture”, we ask for them… “I want to buy an Arts & Crafts bungalow”, but are those two words understood? Do those requests come from a place of knowledge or from a think tank somewhere deciding that Arts & Crafts i.e., Craftsman was going to be a new historic-based trend to sell merchandise and home design. Is the term “Arts & Crafts” a style, a movement, or something else?

To be a loyalist to this movement when browsing the aisles of big box stores can be challenging. The undisciplined explosion of furnishings for the home was born from the industrial revolution. It brought garish results with a lack of proportion & overly embellished decorative details. Mass production was now possible so furniture, carpet & drapery, formerly only affordable to the wealthy, was now within reach of the common man.


Arts-&-Crafts-desk-for-a-bungalowToday we celebrate those individuals who said, “no thank you” & gave birth to the Arts & Crafts movement. It was really a restoration, a return to “master craftsmanship” in furniture construction which led to home construction & design. It was a rejection to theatrical excessiveness. The mission was “truth to materials.” It embraced exposed joinery, natural finishes, simple lines while combining materials like metal & wood. Appreciating the beauty of those materials in a far simpler format that could be affordable to the masses was the intent. The term “mission furniture” is about the mission of truth to materials, but often mistaken for furnishings used in religious facilities known as missions, especially prevalent in California. Now how does this tie into “the Bungalow”?


Craftsman-magazineCharacteristics. Simple design, sparse decoration, and natural materials—these were the essential components of the Bungalow style.

Materials. The materials used for the bungalow’s exterior usually suggested warmth & informality. …

That description is taken directly from the Wentworth Studio, a firm of architects and builders, specializing in restoring historic properties.

The concept of bungalows started with structures that were created in India for a British officer’s home (1890). They were not necessarily small houses in the beginning (circa. 1890), but grew (or shrank) to be a one-story home, typically a smaller square footage with deep overhangs. The late 1800s & the turn of the century, having no significant HVAC & limited use of electricity, used the overhangs in the roofing as a means of interior comfort management for seasonal weather. Meanwhile Sears Roebuck & Co. had begun to send catalogs directly to consumers. Home plans for bungalows appeared in 1908 for the first time…


So what are we learning from this information? When renovating a bungalow…seek out authentic sources for the finish details like hardware, tile, light fixtures, etc. Truth to materials means to appreciate & use the materials as they were meant to be seen. Walls were painted, woodwork was stained. Brick was chosen for its color, not colorized once in place. The deep overhangs limited sunlight from entering the rooms so warm colors were painted on the walls. Wood darkens over time as it ages. When we see an Arts & Crafts bungalow today, perhaps the dark wood originally wasn’t as dark…light colored simple drapery hung at the windows. Built-ins provided an efficient use of space with glass doors, often leaded glass, giving both storage & beauty.

Gustav Stickley is celebrated & attached to this movement & justifiably so, but he isn’t the only Craftsman tied into the Arts & Crafts movement. History includes the Aesthetic movement within it bringing William Morris, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Greene & Greene architects & early Frank Lloyd Wright in the credits. Art Nouveau, French based was happening simultaneously & its influence is apparent in many bungalows. All bungalows are not of a singular style because of those influences. They also embraced Victorian & Spanish influences, especially in the West & Southwest where weather conditions were friendly to stucco exteriors & large expanses of glass. The common threads are the physical size, predominantly single-story living, front porches where people enjoyed socializing with passersby & the charm they exhude. Dining rooms were large, living rooms & bedrooms…not so large. Closets…well, let’s not go there.

Dragonfly-Arts-&-Crafts-bungalow-tileAs we walk down the aisles of Home Depot, Lowes or Menards…wherever your shopping options are as you repair & improve your bungalow, a person can find stock tile that can be laid in patterns to complement that era. Perhaps a splurge of 3-5 pieces of vintage tile to complete an authentic visual could be in the budget. Linoleum, which you can read about here, is authentic to this era & is considered one of the earliest sustainable material finishes for flooring. Choose your pattern carefully.

Resist the urge to paint the woodwork, but should it be your only option (or sometimes the best option) study the charts in your local paint supplier & read my articles about era appropriate colors. Patience in making the right choice is a virtue & celebrated by your fellow Arts & Crafts lovers. Avoid synthetic materials. They did not exist during this time. One can still have modern convenience without man made finishes. Insert your personal style through your accessories & art as furnishings are easily removable & do not compromise the space.

The bungalow was a great option for the young family in its day. It provided all the basic necessities a growing family needed in an atmosphere of charm & quality craftsmanship. As technology soars at the speed of light, maybe this is our way of pulling back & slowing down a bit…we want to sit on our porches & talk to our neighbors again…for some, it may be their first time.





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