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Old-House Interiors May/June 2010

Old-House Interiors May/June 2010

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Editor’s Note
Dare I admit that I am about to buy a Pottery Barn sofa? Not an antique settee, nor a licensed reproduction, nothing imported from England or Morocco. No, it’s Pottery Barn, and although not Texas-sized, it’s big and squishy. The new sofa will replace the old one in the TV room—the couch that raised the kids, eighty-seven inches of imposing leather with a tough, kilim-covered seat cushion in burnt orange and brown that absorbed every spill without comment. The couch has been a trampoline, a wrestling pit for boy and dog, a high dive (don’t ask), and a bed for boys who pass out with tummies full of Cheetos. That old sofa was selected because it would stand up to abuse, and it did. But I also bought it for its presence, because its high sides and low seat, its rusty leather and its exotic upholstery made it look like a piece from another era, or at least another country. (Actually, it was by Drexel Heritage.)

For a long time I held the notion that eventually this house would look all-old, with interiors that seemed to have survived from 1904 (albeit with a 1915 stove, a 1998 refrigerator, and the occasional storm window). I was persuaded, I suppose, by all the houses I have toured or published, wherein subscribers to OHJ and OHI have successfully created a period piece (albeit with electricity, discreet with push-button switches). Turning up my nose at anachronism, I thought that’s what I wanted, too, and I am sure it is the right way to treat an old house.

I didn’t quite accomplish the goal, at least as defined by those with the calling. My kitchen is pretty convincing, appliances notwithstanding; the building’s envelope and walls inside could all be original (though of course they are not). But I have chrome, not nickel, in one bathroom, acrylic-clad posters in a kid’s room, and, soon, a Pottery Barn sofa. Could a pink flamingo be next?

Patricia Poore, Editor of Old-House Interiors

In This Issue:

A Ravishing Victorian Home

Thumbnail image for A Ravishing Victorian Home Never has the interior of this Queen Anne looked so good, from its wallpapers to textiles.
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Expert Advice: Low VOC Paint

Thumbnail image for Expert Advice: Low VOC Paint What is it that makes one kind of paint environmentally friendly? And how do the new standards affect performance?
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Fifties Rock ‘n’ Roll Retro Kitchen

Thumbnail image for Fifties Rock ‘n’ Roll Retro Kitchen A rock star’s personal collection of retro furnishings jump-started the decoration of some 1950s vacation cabins.
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Juxtaposition at the Edsel Ford House

Thumbnail image for Juxtaposition at the Edsel Ford House Old English and Streamline Moderne décor coexist under the same roof at the home of automaker Edsel Ford.
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Mystic, Connecticut: Historic Coastal Village

Thumbnail image for Mystic, Connecticut: Historic Coastal Village Things to do and see in Mystic, Connecticut.
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Ornamenting the Roof

Thumbnail image for Ornamenting the Roof Add a decorative touch to your roof with finials and filigree, weathervanes, chimney pots, and fancy shapes.
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Preservation in Progress

Thumbnail image for Preservation in Progress For every museum-like historic house, there are hundreds that might be described as preservation in progress—like this one, which dates to 1740, 1810, and 1990.
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Re-creating a 1912 Garden

Thumbnail image for Re-creating a 1912 Garden In New York, a 1912 garden of intimate scale is an attainable model for English-derived gardens with Arts & Crafts influence.
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