ethical home sales: the hunger house
Limbert finds on Craigslist: August 2008

house detectives & a beautiful Craftsman kitchen nook

20080816__diy5_gallery An article by Holly Hayes in last week's San Jose Mercury News caught my eye, mostly for the photo of the very pretty period breakfast nook (photo by David M. Barreda):

"The stuff you find out about houses — and the people who lived in them — is just fascinating," Tucker says. She has mined the Internet for old maps and phone directories and even tracked down relatives of a former resident to gather clues about what the place looked like before several "improvements" were made.

Tucker calls the process "backdating," finding the home's true self, if you will.

The latest project involves the back door and a cute little breakfast nook — a feature they were nearly certain was once there. Indeed, they were right. When they found the great-niece of longtime owner May Duignan, she recalled snacking on tea and cookies there.

Tucker says the nook — a built-in that sat under two windows on the back wall of the kitchen — was removed when a former owner turned a service porch into a second bathroom and rerouted the back door through the kitchen.

The new back door was a problem for both historical and practical reasons.

"The French doors that had been installed in the kitchen were just not correct to the period of the house," Tucker says of the circa 1922 bungalow. "Plus, they let in too much light and heat in the summer and too much cold in the winter."

Out they went, and in their place is a single window and a wide back door, both which still allow views to the back garden.

Losing the French doors also cleared the way for the construction of the new breakfast nook, which Tucker and Zappe designed. Paul Davis, who Tucker describes as a "wizard with wood," built it. Davis, who is now studying architecture in San Diego, is the skilled handyman responsible for carrying out the couple's ambitious projects.

check out the full article

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