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for sale: Greene & Greene home in Pasadena, $1.875 million

2292086238_d1c61ff38a Last week, reader Russell McLaren dropped us a line with the interesting information: the Greene & Greene designed 1906 Caroline DeForest House, at 530 West California in Pasadena, is for sale. The house includes a number of really stunning features, in addition to some wonderful landscaping, a pretty wisteria-encrusted pergola, and a running brook (which includes a small waterfall and a koi pond)

The Hollywood Reporter, of all publications, recently ran a short article by Denise Abbott on this home, calling it Greene & Greene's "most obscure" property, as it has been owned by the same family for more than 80 years. Originally built for a Manhattan socialite in 1906 for only $8,000 - "roughly eight times the going rate" - it was soon sold to the Tabor family, who have taken good care of it, avoiding the remodel fever that has befallen thousands of other beautiful bungalows over the years. Abbott, who we are quite jealous of, obviously got to spend a bit of time there and writes that the original lighting fixtures are all intact and that the wood finish is pristine and undamaged throughout. Since the article appeared in October 2007, the price seems to have dropped from $2,295,000 to the current asking price of $1,870,000.

Kudos for the current owners for seeing their residency in the home as stewardship, rather than remodeling any of the beautiful design elements, and here's to hoping that its future owners feel the same way about this stunning property.

From one listing:

The Caroline DeForest House, by famed architects Greene and Greene (one of the) least-altered, privately-owned homes of its kind, boasts unpainted woodwork throughout. Incredibly preserved & updated impeccably with the utmost integrity. Designated for the Mills Act = huge annual tax savings. Includes original light fixtures, built-ins, massive fireplaces, Port Orford cedar, Tiffany glass, lush Japanese gardens + app. plans for a pool + an 866 sf basement remodel. A truly stunning & private masterpiece.

Peter Martocchio - a long-time Greene & Greene fan who has become one of the go-to agents for selling homes like this - has set up a website with extensive photographs of this beautiful home. We've taken those photographs and constructed a Flickr set for you where you can see the highest-resolution versions individually or as a slideshow.


for sale: Frank Lloyd Wright retreat, $3.75 million


A beautiful and fully-furnished 1958 Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian home on a  20-acre lakefront lot can be yours for $3,750,000. The price includes all the Wright-designed furnishings, the architect's drawings for three additional cottages that were initially planned to be built on the same site, and a very pretty twenty mostly-wooded acres.

Water comes from a well, electricity from the local municipal grid, and the 2 bed / 2 ba home - more a cottage in the Usonian style - is 1,875 square feet total. The listing includes many photographs of this unique home. With your generous donations, it could be the future home of Hewn & Hammered Publishing, Inc.

kitchen flooring roundup

I recently installed bamboo planks in my newly-remodeled kitchen. Part of me wishes I had done a bit more research - both on the material, which is very soft and was seriously scuffed by the appliance installers (thank you, Home Depot), and because the installer did a poor job of fitting the planks up against each other, many of which are now seriously gapped. That said, it is a very attractive and inexpensive material, and comes in much harder varieties, and the substandard installation is no fault of the material.

  • In this short video, HGTV's Angela Chee gives a run-down of various new materials available for kitchen flooring, touching on varieties of hardwood, tile, bamboo and laminates.
  • An article on the same HGTV Kitchen Design site gives a tutorial on cork floor installation, with a number of photographs; this is something that almost anyone can do themselves. The material is very soft but also inexpensive. One blogger shares her experience.
  • Forbo produces Marmoleum in sheets and click-together tiles of various sizes. This is not an inexpensive product, but it is renewable - or at least the materials it's made from are - and the manufacturing process is relatively eco-friendly; it's also a very long-lived material, and comes in an enormous array of colors. This blogger records their own decision to go with Marmoleum, and how they chose colors from the myriad choices available on the retail market; a group of folks on the Berkeley Parents Network boards chime in with their experiences with the product.

Lighting at Willow Glen

Willowglenretailstore_2 The good folks at Willow Glen have narrowed their focus on the thing they do best - period reproduction lighting. Just like their retail store, their online shop is jam-packed with pretty pieces by Cherry Tree, Tiffany, Quoizel, Mica Lamp Co., Kichler and other manufacturers of attractive, well-made lamps and other lighting fixtures. Their prices are excellent and the staff knowledgeable and always helpful.

Panama Pottery in Sacramento, CA

Sacramento's Panama Pottery has been producing simple, Arts & Crafts inspired decorative pottery and a huge range of plain old terracotta (in dozens of shapes and sizes) for many generations. My friend Michael Kressner recently visited their shop and took some terrific photographs:

Craftsman Kitchen Remodels VI

Pretty pictures of pretty kitchens, and a disappointment too:

  • The Rowley kitchen remodel, including a nice combination of contemporary fixtures and materials in a decidedly classic Mission / Craftsman home - before & after;
  • a breautiful, refinished built-in in Vancouver; a view of the kitchen itself - modern and a good fit for the rest of the house;
  • an enormous pot-drawer and a very nice bit of custom cabinetry with a very warm, attractive finish on the wood;
  • I've never been a fan of the blindingly-white hospital style kitchen, but this is attractive, especially with the perfect hardware;
  • this Maryland / DC contractor shows off a few attractive kitchens, some of which mix contemporary appliances and lighting with some very pretty wood;
  • here's one that didn't quite work. Purportedly in an historic bungalow in a neighborhood of historic bungalows, the kitchen is certainly Victorian - anti-Arts & Crafts in every way - and mixes a very, very contemporary glass mosaic tile with faux-antique cabinetry that looks like it's been purposely grimed. Not sure what to make of that, but I hope it works with the rest of the house. It's a little scary.

How to Green Your Kitchen

Given that there is a fair amount of overlap in the Hewn & Hammered and Environmentally aware Venn diagram, I present Treehugger's recent Green Guide, "How to Green Your Kitchen":

The eco-friendly kitchen begins with eating green, but it doesn’t end there. Energy-efficient food preparation and cleaning habits, using equipment made from sustainable materials, and dodging toxic chemicals are also important if you want to have a truly healthy kitchen. Fortunately, making the right choices for your well-being is also good for the pocket and the planet. Our straightforward and simple suggestions for preparing earth-friendly meals--from fridge to food to cleanup--will turn you into a greener gourmet in no time. read the whole thing

please help: Gastonia historic district threatened

Residents of Gastonia, North Carolina - a beautiful community just a few miles north of the NC/SC border, just west of Charlotte and not far from Arts & Crafts center Asheville - are very scared that their showcase historic district is in immediate danger of being partially demolished and almost totally homogenized by real estate developers:

I live in a historic home, in a historic district, adjacent to a historic downtown. While many homes and buildings are in disrepair, some to the point of severe deterioration, I have always, and will always feel that they are worth saving. And I need HELP!

Gastonia's City Council has recently voted to demolish 3 city-owned buildings on our Historic Main Street, including a theatre that was built around the turn of the century and an old Woolworth's, even though there were multiple offers to purchase and rehab them. Contrary to what the City Manager, Mayor and Coucilmembers say, there are multiple buildings that have just been renovated, or are about to be.  These buildings are right in the middle of the block, sharing walls with buildings that are currently under rehab!  Our downtown is on the National Register, and yet none of the preservation societies are able to help.  If any one knows of any way to help stop this travesty, please post here!

Here are the links to relevant articles!  Our small paper is doing a great job of reporting this! 1 2 3 4 5

Stu's Woodworks, Washington DC

stu's woodwork - arts and crafts bed

Stu Crick is President of the Washington (DC) Woodworkers' Guild and, from his fathers' woodshop through the restoration and remodeling of several homes, has been a woodworker for most of his life. Today, he builds furniture strongly influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement, with Stickley-esque legs - "four highly-figured solid quarter-sawn pieces," interlocked with a locking-mitre joint. Squared-off spindles on Stu's tables are reminiscent of Prairie school work, and inlaid pegs and splines suggest Greene & Greene's best furniture. Stew describes his own influences:

While there are many influences that effect the creation of my furniture, the principle influence is the wood itself. George Nakashima, in his book The Soul of a Tree, describes how each piece of wood has a specific purpose that it reveals to the woodworker. This is the philosophy that guides me as I build furniture. I search for wood with a unique character and figure that harmonizes with each part of my furniture. I rarely stain or color the wood, instead preferring to hand-rub an oil finish that allows the woods figure to dominate the design.

take a look at a gallery of Stu's work

stuff i like: ceramic mantel clock, $150

000_0789 In addition to many lovely vases & various ceramic lamps, Seattle's Craftsman Studios also sells this very pretty, hand-painted and certainly unique ceramic mantel clock for $150.

Craftsman Studios is the name of ceramicist Dean Hudgin's labor of love. His work is sold directly, as well as through The Antique Lighting Company in Seattle and Oak Park Home & Hardware in Oak Park IL.

click on the image for a super-sized version

for sale: Portland, Oregon bungalow, $750,000

Picture This is an especially attractive bungalow, with exposed rafter ends, interesting architectural detail all over the inside and out, and plenty of other neat features. Built in 1914, this 3,800 square foot, 5 bedroom / 2.5 bath home is spread out over three levels and includes a 2 car garage; the lot looks to be at least partially landscaped and is about double the size of the house.

Andrew Baker at the Oregon Realty Co. has all the details.