OHJ December 2019

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Editor's Note: Our Favorites Issue

In this year-end issue, we bring you reader favorites and extra pages filled with beautiful and helpful products. The issue was put together interactively: All year, social-media views, Likes, and comments weighed into what we decided to shoot and ultimately feature. 

The design story takes us back to a kitchen we first published in 1997. It hasn’t changed significantly . . . you might say it’s been retro-dated instead of updated. Now, even the appliances date to before 1930. And, this being the kitchen of wallpaper maven and English Arts & Crafts historian David Berman of Trustworth Studios, stunning wallpapers are on view. Find out how a vintage Glenwood stove (that came with its own cookbook), and a refrigerator from which plastic is banned, have changed his life. 

The restore section also looks up old friends. Editor Mary Ellen Polson revisits contributors to ask what bits of wisdom their projects brought them. “Restoration will take longer and cost more than your highest estimates” is a common refrain, but folks also offer insights on both the necessity and real costs of do-it-yourself work, how to compromise to suit the budget, and making sure the kitchen really functions. Both the kitchen and the bathroom favored by readers look to design standards from the beginning of the 20th century. But they take different turns, as the kitchen in the 1910 house leans toward Colonial Revival design, while the bath for a redesigned 1980s house is in Arts & Crafts mode. 

As we vetted houses to tour, the projects seemed to fall neatly into three discrete categories: do-it-yourself restoration, before-and-after reveals, and replica or salvaged houses. As it happens, the St. Louis house is a transitional Victorian, the Portland redo dates to the bungalow era, and the replica New England house built of salvage and antiques is Colonial. Quite a sweeping survey of American house styles!

~ Patricia Poore, Editorial Director of Old House Journal

Look below to see stories from this issue.

Products of the Week

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Hi-Velocity Systems

Energy Efficient Central Heating, Cooling and Indoor Air Quality Systems for over 35 years. The Hi-Velocity Small Duct System fits where others cannot, removing 30% more moisture from the air than conventional systems, and eliminating hot and cold spots in the home or office.

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Acorn Mfg.

Acorn is the finest and largest manufacturer and distributor of forged iron builders hardware in the United States. Acorn's OverBoards division offers high-quality crafted classic upgrades for radiant baseboards.