Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Dining Room

The dining room has a built-in oak sideboard and accommodates a table with seating for eight. There is also a window seat and leaded glass casement windows. The original hardware on the sideboard is brass. It has has never been refinished.
The mission-style dining room table comes from Nichols and Stone, the oldest furniture manufacturer in the U.S. By the way, it has plenty of room for all of my linens. The art on the wall is Nigerian.

The rug is from Pakistan. According to Shahin, who sold us the rug several years ago, there are no longer Persian rugs because the people who made them left Iran and moved to such Places as Pakistan and Turkey. This is a hand-made wool rug.

A view of the dining room from the parlor. Notice that the entry way into the dining room is open. This is typical of mission-style homes, which often have a spacious, expansive feel. There are no pocket doors. It is possible that at some point the door way was draped, as it often was in Victorian houses. Door curtains are called "portieres." They were often made of silk velvet and were dark colors, such as green.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Fireplace

This is the fireplace in the living room. The mantle has a definite arts and crafts feel. So do the tiles. I've seen pictures of fireplaces just like this in books and magazines about arts and crafts homes.

Somebody at The Arts & Crafts Society Forum said that the tile surrounding the fireplaces looks like Grueby tile. The backs of the tiles are not visible, so I can't see if there is a stamp. Here is a closeup of the tile.

If these are Grueby tiles, then I suspect the tiles in the master bath are also Grueby.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Onslaught of the Painted Ladies

It seems to me that the Victorian is the archetypal classic house. I have looked for cross stitch patterns of houses, and they are all Victorians. No Tudors, or craftsman, no bungalows, although there are some of those thatched British country houses. Everyone seems to cater to the Victorian.

There are houses in town that are painted like Victorians but they are not Victorians. Little arts and crafts bungalows are painted in pink and turquoise. There is one magnificent house, style unknown, that has been painted a strange yellow and green. I don't know what these people are thinking when they paint their houses like painted ladies. Perhaps they know so little about their houses that they can't appreciate them for what they are.

Even the doll houses are Victorians. When I was a kid, I had a wonderful modern doll house, big enough for a Barbie. It was made of wood and had one story. The access was from the top. It had modern furniture too -- modern as in 1960s. I had the best doll house!

I have thought about designing a cross stitch picture of my house. I actually started one but realized that I needed to make it bigger. I have also thought about asking one of the cross stitch designers to make a pattern of my house for me to stitch. A Craftsman-Tudor cross stitch pattern. I wonder if anyone else would buy it.

Maybe it's because Victorians are cute.

Here's an example of a cross stitch pattern called "Bless This House" by Mike Vickery. Certainly nothing like my house!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Hint: Finding Your Wisconsin House's Architect

The process of trying to discover this house's architect led me to the Architectural Archives in Milwaukee. The archives are run by Thomas and Gaby Eschweiler, phone (414) 286-3897. All they need is the address of the house. Additional information I tried to offer was not helpful to them. They found nothing on my house initially, but then I remembered that the house originally had a different address. I am hopeful that now they will find something.

The Neoclassical Bowl Ceiling Lamp

We were told by the descendants of the original owners that the house was once filled with Tiffany lights. These lights are long gone, and in their place are "modern" lights, i.e. lights of the modern era. For example, there is a recessed light with a dimmer in the dining room. Few of the original lights remain. This is one of them. This light is in the foyer. I have figured out, from the research I was able to do on the web, that this is a neoclassical bowl light. The one problem is that I am unable to find anything else like it. Although it has the bowl (which I am told is milk glass?), the metalwork (copper?) is heavier and more mission in feel than the other neoclassical bowl lights I have seen. This is another mystery to solve.

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Foyer

The first time I walked across the threshhold into the foyer of this house, I knew I had to have it. I was sold at that very moment. I didn't care how much it cost. I knew this was my dream house. The foyer is that magnificent.

The real estate agent referred to this front room as "the library." It was an odd name, because there are but two bookcases. I decided it was the "stair hall." My in-laws own a house on Portland Place in St. Louis's Central West End, and the large room at the center of the house is the stair hall. But during the house tour, our front room was designated the foyer, a description that seems to better define the room.This is a view of the room looking toward the vestibule. The entire room is quarter-sawn oak. There are picture rails. The wallpaper, put up by the previous owners, is a poor imitation of an Arts and Crafts wallpaper border and will be changed in the future. The art on the wall is a signed and numbered print from Zimbabwe. It is a postcolonial depiction of Victoria Falls. The picture is framed with mahogany taken from old railway cars. The vase is Rosenthal, decorated with ginko leaves. The antique table features a keyhole design. There are Arts and Crafts era linens on the tables.This is the view as I first saw it. The room had been empty, and as you can see, we have furnished it rather sparingly. The batiks on the wall are from Kenya. The small stool is an octagonal table much like those Stickley used to make. We do not know how old it is. This final picture shows the window seat. The casement windows are leaded glass. The hand-painted pillows are from Zimbabwe, and there is a Pakistani rug on the floor. Our rugs come from Shahin Oriental Rugs in Appleton. (Go to that website and drooool!)

I also have pictures of the hardware but I will save them for a later time when I talk specifically about hardware.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Entering the House: The Vestibule

The vestibule is between the inner and outer front doors of the house. It is all windows and doors, some slatted cupboards that were added later, tile floors -- and lots of plants. It is almost a greenhouse. Plants thrive there.

I had surgery on my arm at the beginning of last year, and the plants that had thrived for years died from lack of care. Rather than scrounge up plants on my own, I contact Ron at Memorial Florist about designing the area instead. Ron introduced me to Dave, who took over the project, and brought his own character to it. Dave collects antique pots which he gets from thrift stores and garage sales (I guess people don't know what they've got!). He says he has about 70 himself, but he went out and collected more for my project. He also brought in hearty plants that can survive several days without being watered. The results are magnificent, don't you think?

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Front of House -- Facing the Street

This is a picture of the front of the house, taken during the house tour. This side of the house definitely has a Craftsman feel. Note the horizontal roof. The front door has mission-style hardware. A side view of the house is in the first post (below). The part of the house that faces the street is relatively narrow. The side of the house is long.