The Thermostat Age

The Thermostat Age

We live in an age of spectacular technology today. We’ve invented creative solutions to countless problems that used to plague humanity. Today you can solve most anything with a simple query from you smart phone. The information age truly has changed our society. But I want to talk about an age just before the one we are living in now. An age that changed the way we built (and consumed!) housing in America. It changed almost everything about how [...] Read on →

The Bungalow: America’s Home

Bungalow

Ever since it burst on the scene the bungalow has been an immensely popular style of architecture. You won’t find it listed in many books on architecture though because it is not a true architectural style like the Colonial Revival, Queen Anne Victorian, or its most closely related cousin the American Craftsman. The bungalow is a simple everyman’s house. Nothing too grand or big. No ornate gingerbread trim with extravagant 10-color paint schemes. Of all the historic home styles [...] Read on →

Period in Pink – Preserving America’s Pink Bathrooms

Pink Bathroom

The pink bathroom. Depending on who you ask they are either hideous or treasured. More often than not I run into people whose first response is to see it as a wretched hold over from a very confused period of American decor. From its rise during the Art Deco period of the 1930’s to its demise in the 1960’s the pink bathroom (and its other pastel colored brethren) were the height of design. They were a fun and colorful [...] Read on →

Where to Find Vintage Hardware

Copyright: kiya / 123RF Stock Photo

Vintage hardware is awesome. I could probably try to find more creative ways to say that, but I figured simpler is better. The bottom line is that vintage hardware, whether it is actually vintage or a well made replica, is a solidly constructed, beautiful piece of an old house. Vintage hardware has weight and significance to it. Cheap replicas, and run of the mill hardware today feel cheap and weak and they are. Many are made from plastic [...] Read on →

How To: Remove Paint From Hardware

How to remove paint from hardware

Old hardware is just like everything else in an old house, covered with decades of paint. Antique hardware can be some very attractive and beautifully crafted pieces of art that is well worth restoring. To restore that hardware you don’t want to just start scraping the paint off with an old screw driver. You’ll gouge the metal and spend hours trying to remove all the paint. To remove paint from hardware next time try boiling it off. Take [...] Read on →

6 Awesome Historic Floor Tile Patterns

Tile is possibly the biggest design element of any bathroom. And if you are working on a vintage bath it’s important to use historic floor tile patterns that fit your home. If your bathroom was “remudeled” in the past it can be hard to find a floor tile that will fit your home’s age and style. Most of these floor tile patterns were popular from the early 1900s until WWII and will fit nicely with any old house [...] Read on →

My New eBook is Now Available!

Living in the Past Book

Today is a big day at The Craftsman Blog! For the past year and a half, I have been toiling to write my first full-length book about historic homes. Today that book goes from idea to reality! I’m doing a HUGE one week only sale for all my readers and their friends. If you have even a passing interest in saving thousands of dollars and learning all about your old house at the same time, you should definitely [...] Read on →

Quality or Quantity (Which Does Your Home Have?)

Image credit: greggr / 123RF Stock Photo

I grew up in Texas so I like everything big. Big sky, big acreage, big pickup trucks and big steaks. There’s something about a 36 oz steak called the “widow maker” that appeals to me. Maybe it’s the challenge. Maybe it’s just the idea of seeing a steak that size. Whatever it is I’m intrigued. Just because I appreciate the Texas mentality of ‘bigger is better’  doesn’t mean I’m a fan of all things big. America has taken [...] Read on →

Transforming an Old Garage Into a Tiny House (Part 3)

cozy kitchenette

For the last couple weeks I have been sharing the nuts and bolts of how we turned a 1920s detached garage into a tiny house, a tiny guest house to be exact. Today, I want to share all the detail work we did to really make the house fit that vintage 1920s feel we were going for. After all, what’s the point of having a 1929 Bungalow if your tiny guest house looks like something off the shelf [...] Read on →

What is an Old House?

Image credit: gatordawg / 123RF Stock Photo

The bumper sticker on my truck reads, “Please Recycle. Buy an Old House.” It’s not often a company can fit its mission statement on a bumper sticker. A beverage napkin maybe, but we boiled it down to bumper sticker length. Honestly, there is a bit more to our company’s mission, but the real reason I formed my company was to save as many old houses as I could before they are all gone. Too many people today look [...] Read on →

Review of Handmade Walls {22 inspiring ideas on bringing your walls to life}

handmade_walls_sneak_peek

I’m seriously excited to share a new book with you today! Today is the official launch of Handmade Walls: 22 Inspiring Ideas on Bringing Your Walls to Life. It is a fantastic new book by my friends Jamin & Ashley Mills over at The Handmade Home. These two are some of the most creative (not to mention good natured) people I know. I have followed their blog for years to get great ideas on decorating with a salvage and shabby-chic [...] Read on →

Reclaimed Wood Farm Table Project

Finished Reclaimed wood farm table

I’ve got a fun reclaimed wood project for you today that we recently made for a local winery. They wanted a rustic, natural wood feel for their tasting room that was soon to open near downtown Orlando. You can check out the winery at www.quantumleapwinery.com So, here’s what we did . . .

Tips for Historic Homeowners {#4 Study Your Neighbor’s Houses}

Historic Home Tips

Your home wasn’t built all by its lonesome. It has friends all around the neighborhood, built at the same time by the same people using some of the same techniques and materials. Just like you can learn a lot about someone by asking their friends, your house is no different. Maybe your historic house has been terribly remuddled somewhere along the line. To find out how it originally was your best bet is neighbors and their homes. You [...] Read on →

Tips for Historic Homeowners {#2 Respect Your Home’s Vintage}

Historic Home Tips

Whether you home is Victorian or Craftsman, Greek or Colonial, plain or elaborate you should respect Its vintage. It is what it is and trying to change it will only lead to trouble. There’s something incredibly jarring about one type of home masquerading as another. Your home has a vintage that is completely unique unto itself and that vintage should be respected. Mixing genres and decades not only destroys your historic home’s intrinsic value but also its financial [...] Read on →