Posts Tagged 'porch'

Decorating the early 1900’s home (Part Two – Kitchens, Bathrooms, & Porches)

Here are some highlights from “Domestic Architecture”, written by architect L. Eugene Robinson, published in 1917.  Part One of this post contained excerpts regarding living room and bedroom finishes.  The excerpts below address kitchen, bathroom, and porch finishes:

Kitchen

  • “…cleanliness is of first importance, the treatment of materials should suggest it, and decoration need not be neglected.”
  • “have all surfaces so treated that dust and dirt will show, but will be easy to remove.  Here glazed or glossy finishes, or semi-glazed, …are desirable.”
  • “Plaster may be given a slick, steam-proof varnish or paint, and the wood given an enamel finish.”
  • Wallpapers having a glazed surface are in common use…”
  • “…should be no crevices or angles not easily reached with ordinary cleaning apparatus.”
  • “Severity of design is becoming to the nature of the kitchen.  Simple wainscotings are very serviceable and attractive, and may be counter height, thereby forming a continuous line around the room.”
  • “…counters…should not be treated with paint, varnish or any other material except oil.  However, such working surfaces may be covered with a matting of rubber or oilcloth.”
  • Tile work…is highly serviceable, wainscotings, counters, facings for built-in ranges and floors being the chief parts constructed of this material.”
  • “…main objection to tile floors is their coldness…”
  • “A hardwood floor of oak or maple is best, if tile cannot be afforded. A cheap wood floor may be made very serviceable by laying upon it oilcloth or linoleum.”
  • “Color…should…suggest perfect sanitation.  The best colors are white and blue, but with white or cream may be used green, brown, gray or other color.”
  • Colors may appear in tile borders, linoleum, wallpaper, painted surfaces and in simple hangings.”
  • “…should be bright and pleasant but not cluttered.”
  • “Extra large kitchens…should have more color than small ones.”

Fabulous and fun vintage kitchen photos can be found at http://www.shorpy.com.  For a direct link, click here.

Bathrooms

  • Surface treatments…much the same as those for kitchens. Waterproof materials are practically essential, where water and steam are so prevalent.”

Porch

  • “Porches are really exterior features, and should be treated much the same as other parts of the exterior.”
  • Light-colored paints and stains generally look better than dark.”
  • Masonry should not be painted under any circumstances…”
  • Porch floors of wood should receive several coats of exterior floor paint of neutral color, while the ceilings should be painted white or buff.”
  • “…more than two colors of paint on a frame house should not be used, except perhaps in very limited quantities.”
  • “The main color should cover the body of the house, while the other should serve only as a trim color.  Alternate color effects should never be used.”
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Lake Washington – Before & After

lake-wa-before

Before

Lake-WA-1

After

The idea of a grand front porch addition was inspired by the homeowner’s travels to the South as a possible solution to two problems:  too much sun (which meant blinds closed and view obscured), and not enough room for party guests when entertaining.

The design drew upon the Colonial Revival “vocabulary” of this home and others of the same era.  The extra-deep cover acts as shelter, making it possible to enjoy being outdoors when warm but rainy (which describes a good portion of the year here), while providing shade for the interior living spaces without blocking the view.

Tangletown – Before & After

After

After

Before, with asbestos siding and wrought iron

Before, with asbestos siding and wrought iron

Historic photo from archives

Historic photo from archives

Historic photos of this Craftsman bungalow, originally built in 1924, revealed a design flaw that existed from the beginning.  The steps from the sidewalk were unfortunately aligned with a view of the side porch, rather than an approach to the front door.  Sometime in the 1950’s, the original pillars and railings were almost entirely replaced by wrought iron panels, window sills chopped off, and beveled cedar siding covered with asbestos shingles.  When the homeowner decided it was time to restore some of the home’s original charm, he recognized an opportunity for improvement.  The new stairs borrow the scale and details of the original porch railing and add curb appeal.  The transformation required skilled carpenters to replace rotten siding and barge boards, restore window sills, improve ventilation, and restore the structural stability of the porch roof.