Previous month:
September 2005
Next month:
November 2005

Mission Revival in the News

A few recent articles elsewhere on Mission renovations, restorations and remodels.

Minneapolis Prairie Kitchen Remodel

Image03400Home Portfolio, a great online ideabook for prospective remodelers, recently reprinted a short article from Traditional Home magazine on a particularly succesful Prairie-style kitchen remodel. Skip and Michelle Liepke's 1915 Minneapolis bungalow was, upon their 1991 movein, outfitted with an authentic but not tremendously usable period kitchen, complete "with harvest gold applicanes." The update addresses flow and use issues and enunciates the period feel of the home. Minneapolis architect Joe Metzler designed and built the all new and very attractive room; additional photographs are available on his site. 

More Craigslist Finds

We search Craigslist so you don't have to:

  • Stickley Bros. bench with pillows: $850 (Davis CA)
  • trestle table: $100 (Fair Oaks CA)
  • antique oak umbrella stand: $300 (Danville CA)
  • L&JG Stickley dining table & chairs, + Fulper bowl & runner: $3500 (San Francisco CA)
  • Stickley Bros. rocker: $750 (Gilroy CA)
  • 1915 oak writing table/desk: $400 (Burlingame CA)
  • oak library table, needs refinishing: $225 (Los Gatos CA)
  • unknown maker, unique design A&C dining table, c. 1912: $3500 obo (Belmont MA)
  • A&C paneled rocker with original leather: $250 (Boston MA)
  • Stickley Bros. writing desk: $900 (Chicago IL)
  • Prairie style stained glass lamp by Karl Barry: $1950 (Chicago IL)
  • A&C stained glass chandelier: $90 (Chicago IL)
  • salvaged previously-builtin A&C cabinets (4): $100-$150 each (Chicago IL)
  • unknown maker, unique design oak library desk: $635 (Seattle WA)
  • 1899 Roycroft book, signed by Elbert Hubbard: $100 (Seattle WA)
  • A&C oak library table: $160 (Seattle WA)
  • pair of Gustav Stickley spindle cube chairs: $5000 (Portland OR)
  • A&C oak smokers' stand: $125 (Portland OR)
  • English A&C childs' rocker: $80 (Portland OR)
  • Stickley file cabinet, looks new: $999 (Santa Monica CA)
  • new-looking Morris rocker: $950 (Santa Monica CA)
  • slat-backed Gustav Stickley rocker: $800 (Venice CA)
  • another slat-backed A&C rocker: 450 (Santa Monica CA)

book review: Textiles of the Arts & Crafts Movement

BookiconLinda Parry, Textiles of the Arts & Crafts Movement, new edition, Thames and Hudson, 2005.

Parry, a Deputy Keeper at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, completed the original version of this book to commemorate the centenary of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, the organization that from its founding in1888 to 1916 provided the primary British venue for showcasing the range of the new decorative art - furniture, rugs, metalwork, textiles - that so influenced the fashion, furnishings and architecture of the era. The Society not only gave us the term - "arts and crafts" - that has come to encapsulate the movement, it provided respectability to an alternative art and design form built upon craft, modest studio and workshop production, and sympathetic retailers, an art form that enjoyed broad public success then, and now, in  revival for the past 30 years.

Parry's focus on textiles shown in the Exhibition Society shows limits her survey of course, not only by geography (the exhibitors were all British), but by period. While she provides an introductory chapter on arts and crafts principles and reviews the work of early practitioners including William Morris, the major contribution of the book, and what gives it its uniqueness, is the detailed and comprehensive description of the exhibited textiles in terms of design, materials, production, technology, and sales. Parry’s thesis, so far as there is one, is that the exhibitions, by giving extensive space and attention to textiles, provided a new legitimacy for the medium, moving it, along with the other decorative arts, toward greater parity with painting and sculpture.

This book, one of a recent spate of specialized volumes on textiles, is  probably more for the specialist than the general interested reader. While the text is on the clunky side, the book’s extensive color illustrations of rugs, wallpapers, woven and printed fabrics, lace, and clothing are wonderful. Parry also provides a useful directory of textile designers, craftsmen, manufacturers and retailers.

Craftsman Home Registry

Along with the redesign to be implemented within the next few months, I'm thinking about creating a interactive registry of Craftsman homes across the US. People would be able to add their name and address (or simply city, since I'm sure folks won't want more personal information floating around out there) and upload pictures if they'd like. Does this sound interesting or useful? I think I could integrate it with Google Maps to show locations of homes around the country (general city locations, not actual street addresses), and Flickr so that folks could upload pictures of their homes. Is there a need or want for something like this?

Craftsman Kitchen Remodels IV


pictured: a remodeled kitchen by Small Carpenters at Large in Atlanta.

While this is not strictly a "house blog," and more a "houses blog" - I'm not so interested in detailing my own endless attempts to both restore and update my 1920s Mission Revival bungalow here in Sacramento - I am going to bring it a little closer to my own experiences with this post and a number of related articles to follow over the next several months.

We have finally decided to remodel & restore our kitchen. The hardwood breakfast nook, relocated in the 1980s, will return; roof beams and oak cabinets will reappear; butcher block and stone countertops will be reinstalled, and period lighting - from our good friends at Rejuvenation Hardware - will illuminate the room. During the seemingly endless planning process, I've looked at other remodels in historic (and some new) homes, mostly in the Craftsman and Mission styles. Here, for your perusal, are some of my favorites - the best I've seen on the Internet - which I hope you will find interesting and possibly useful in your own projects.


The Victoria & Albert Museum's traveling Arts & Crafts show opened at its first American venue last week when the show was unveiled at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. It's getting a huge volume of excellent press, including some stories that go beyond show review to giving a decent - and sometimes even extensive - background on the movement itself.

This, of course, is the second major A&C show to tour recently; the first, LACMA's show, just closed a four-month run at Wisconsin's Milwaukee Art Museum, particularly apt given both Los Angeles and Milwaukee's large number of classic Craftsman bungalows. LACMA's own A&C collection, which comprises the vast majority of that traveling show, is viewable online. That show will open at the Cleveland Museum of Art on October 16, 2005 and run through January 8, 2006.

The V&A show, now in Indianapolis, runs through January 22. Tickets are $15 for adults, with discounts for students, seniors and members. Reservations are recommended.

Glendale Cottages Threatened

Mission7Alan Leib is trying to save a small enclave of 17 homes near the intersection of Glendale Avenue and Mission Road in Glendale, California. The "Missionary Colony," as it was called, was built to house missionaries and their families while while on furlough from overseas assignments. It is one of the few completely intact 1920s neighborhoods in this town, which has embraced development over restoration for the last 50 years.

The small homes, an eclectic mix of Craftsman, Mission and Tudor styles, are for the most part in excellent  shape, but the enlargement of a nearby healthcare complex threatens the structures. Leib says that homes similar to the 17 still-standing missionary cottages frequently sell for close to $400,000, but Glendale property regulations require the owner to apply for historical structure status, so it looks like these may soon be razed.