OHJ May 2017

OHJ May 2017

Editor's Letter: Bungalow More Modern

Excitement buzzed at the Arts & Crafts show in Asheville this year . . . not just because it was the 30th anniversary of the conference held at the splendid, Roycroft-furnished 1913 Grove Park Inn. The event was, as always, an immersion in beauty; the people are gracious and appreciative. But this crowd felt reinvigorated. I came home exhausted from so many conversations!

At the Antiques Show, high prices and avid buying proved to me that interest is as strong as ever. Wide corridors and rooms fi lled with the work of contemporary craftspeople show that the revival remains in full swing. Attendees’ nametags are marked with the number of shows attended. It has always surprised me how many say 7 or 10 or 25 years. This year I saw plenty of tags marked 1 or 2 years: younger people, new house buyers or builders, are joining the club. I got leads on no fewer than four projects, recently completed, to photograph for publication. I visited a lovely development with rules assuring good design and inclusion of traditional details.

A minor trend: buying mid-century houses that have good bones and the right location to make them over in an Arts & Crafts idiom, historical or contemporary. At the show, I ran into four erstwhile restorers of period homes who are doing this right now. They were careful enough to avoid fi ne Modern examples for a redo. Rather, they are giving new life to undistinguished postwar housing. One makeover, in fact, involves a 1980s bare-bones Colonial that has good structural integrity, despite a plain clambox interior.

Then again, I know at least two die-hard Victorian lovers, proud restorers of multiple grande dames, who have downsized into Midcentury Modern houses—in order to restore them to MCM glory! As the 20th century recedes into memory, it becomes The Past, to be preserved or interpreted. Enjoy this issue devoted to more recent history. 

~Patricia Poore, Editorial Director of Old House Journal

Look below to see stories from this issue.