Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why We Went Historic

I've been musing lately about why we made the choices we did during our renovation. First, I love looking at historic photos of bungalows and I wanted to live there. But, also, because of money.

I believed if we went for a style consistent with what might have been found in our house in 1912, give or take 10 years, then it would never change. I am not a purist; I don't need to live in a museum. I was perfectly happy to use modern reproductions of period fixtures. And I don't have to have brand name furniture, as long as it is built to look the same. But I wanted to live that bungalow dream.

I look out at some of the crazy kitchens on Pinterest and wonder what those folks were thinking. Highlighter green may be "hot" for kitchens right now, but in 5 years? I think not. I believe this kitchen is destined for white paint, which is a shame, because that wood is beautiful.

We didn't choose to follow fads, because I believe in the long run, it's expensive. My thinking is we spent a lot of money on the ONE remodel we'll be doing and we'll get to enjoy the results until we decide we're ready to move into senior community quarters.

I'm sure some people will walk into our house and think it looks dated or dark. I think it looks "right," and really that's the important part. Because if I become unhappy with it, then I'll want to remodel. And remodeling is expensive. So, we tried to remodel once and to do it right. Time will only tell if we were successful.

I can only say one thing for sure: I will NEVER paint the woodwork. I'll move first.


  1. Well, I think you can definitely say YOU were successful. However, painted trim is also historic for houses from the twenties, particularly for houses with a colonial revival influence. So I think it depends on the situation.

    I can't claim to have studied other time periods.

    Take a look at that book I gave you. There is lots of painted trim in there along with the unpainted trim.

    I would also NEVER paint original woodwork that was not painted.

    I think in this house the woodwork was always painted. I am glad I've never had to face what I would do in a house whose original unpainted woodwork had been painted. Stripping woodwork is such a huge undertaking and I salute you.

    1. I forgot to add this link


    2. I definitely know that painted woodwork is period, especially in the bedrooms and kitchen. But the bungalow pictures that were most attractive to me were those were stained woodwork. I prefer to see the beautiful wood grains. And since I was able to document that kitchens and bedrooms could be stained rather than painted, I felt comfortable adopting that look.

    3. Yes, and it is historic for a high arts and crafts house, like yours. You did go historic for your style of house.

      But historic and what is beautiful to you are not the same. In your case they match. You chose the right house style for what you love.

      I see a lot of people out there assuming that historic=stained woodwork. It depends on the house style and the time period.

    4. I myself like furniture that is stained and finished. That is where I get my beautiful wood fix. And I like how that furniture looks with my painted rooms. Especially in the kitchen.

  2. I think it's important to go with what you want.

    For me, I like painted woodwork in the kitchen and bedrooms. We are stripping the woodwork in the living areas and that is enough work for me. I don't want to live in a museum either, so I'm going with what looks good to me and what was actually original to the house. I have pictures from the 30s and am going to match them with the stain in the dining/living room.

    I agree with the other comment that historic = stained woodwork isn't always true.

    Also, think of it this way... Paint isn't a permanent thing. We have all proven that. If a person down the road wants stained woodwork, they can strip it :)

  3. I am totally with you for the "do it once" approach. We have too many rooms in our house for us to constantly change things up. That is why we agonize over paint choices and such. Plus, "Ick!" on that highlighter green kitchen. I guess they feel it will help wake them up in the morning. LOL!

  4. I agree. Do it once, right. You may spend a little more up front but you won't grow tired of it. If you want some modern touches, do it with accessories, like pillows, throws, paint on walls and other inexpensive, easy to change decor. I love your house-it looks great!

  5. Your house is beautiful, tasteful and appropriate for the style. I would definitely say you did it right!

  6. hehe, I kind of like those cupboards but agree I would never ever install such a thing because in 5 yrs, more likely 3 months, I would be tired of that "lively" green :o)

    A friend (who was browsing your blog) and I were just discussing how lovely your house is so it's definitely providing us with ideas and inspiration for our own homes!