Discovering Our Home’s Origins

Hey everyone! I discovered some more interesting facts about our new home. Power’s granddaughter (Edyth Scott Powers), as it turns out, was in contact with the woman that we bought the house from – we’ll refer to her as crazy pants or CP from now on (more on her in later posts). CP gave us a letter from Edyth, and enclosed were eight old black and white photos.

CaptureWe hoped that we would be able to get some clues as to the original look of the house; unfortunately most of the photos were too small to see much. The front of the house was also heavily covered with ivy, as you can see, adding to the challenge. This photo does reveal, however, that the two big urns planted with agaves were original and, if you look closely, you can see the shape of the tile roof, which we know was made of tin because it still exists in one small area in the back of the house.

That’s all I discovered so far, keep reading for the latest updates and if there’s an interior design concept that you’re curious about don’t hesitate to contact me!

Eight Ways to Make a Kitchen Stand Out


1. Use open shelving in place of upper cabinets

This is a great option for smaller spaces, especially if you have china or fiesta ware you would like an excuse to show off! The exclusion of cabinets creates the illusion of more space while decreasing dark spaces and shadows that can make small rooms feel even smaller. I designed around a narrow kitchen for one of my clients using cabinets with clear doors, which works well too!



2. Use at least two wood finishes.

This is the simplest way to add texture to your kitchen and maintain a classic yet warm and rustic feel. This is especially true when combining these textures in the context of a clean and contemporary room.





3. Make it a galley kitchen.

Take this opportunity to think outside the box! Or in this instance outside the confines of your square footage. Use the walls to craft an exquisite way to store your treasured wine selection or install hooks to show off copper pans and cookery.





4. Leave out the hardware.

If your not in to exposing your treasured kitchen paraphernalia with open plans, try taking it to the next extreme! Remove handles and other hardware for the ultimate chic and minimal look.





5. Build in an eating area.

Everyone knows that the kitchen is the place to hang out! If your living by yourself or with a small family, consider nixing the concept of a dinning room and go for cozy in the kitchen!






6. Use furniture in place of an island.

If you’re living in a small space, or if it feels that way what with all the people constantly coming in and out of your home, make sure you are using your surface space wisely! Instead of an island, shake things up with a functional piece of furniture that can double as a space to eat off of with storage to boot!




7. Use concrete counter tops.

Utilitarian, minimal, warehouse-like loft spaces are in! Don’t live in a space that resembles a loft in anyway? Incorporate concrete countertops as a simple solution to acquire that hip urban vibe.





8. In corporate a skylight!

And of course, if its architecturally feasable, utilize as much natural light as you can. Put a spotlight on your hard work with a skylight.





Be sure to get in touch with me and share your kitchen make over concepts!



Antique cabinets, modern appliances:








Parisian apartment of Gilles and Boissie:








kitchen love the contrast of the wood against the black, and what a great wine rack:









Modern | ombiaiinterijeri:

















desire to inspire:








| P | Kitchen with concret counters + backsplash:








Love the off form concrete and the retractable skylight over the kitchen island. Cemetaries scare me, but this house which is situated on one, makes it look beautiful. Elliott House – North London, by Eldridge-Smerin Architects.:












American Craftsman Style Architecture

Our new home is often though of as a Craftsman. Given the architecture’s current popularity I thought I would take a moment to discuss how tumblr_nq5y68tQlF1ruw5mdo3_1280the Craftsman style came about. For any of you interested in an art history lesson, the American Craftsman style came out of a movement happening oversees in the late 19th century; the Arts and Crafts movement. Founded by the textile designer/writer/socialist William Morris in 1860, the movement rose from the ashes of Victorian ornate and embellished concepts. Morris felt that the industrial revolution was diminishing good design and craftsmanship as well as middle class jobs and that a return to the principles of clean, minimal, ethical and natural aesthetics was necessary.

The movement took hold in the US around 1900 when furniture maker Gustav Stickley published his magazine, “The Craftsman”. The magazine was in print for 15 years, and the style remained popular until the 1930’s. The American version of Craftsman style focused less on the social movement and more on fine quality design and construction.

While there is a certain understated aesthetic that goes along with it, what really distinguishes craftsman architecture are the thoughtful details and meticulous craftsmanship. For this reason I’m elated to own one and to have the privilege of restoring it to its former glory.


Our New Home! A Story of Restoration & Historical Intrigue

Jeremy's craftsmanHere it is! My husband and I own our first home together. Built in 1910 and technically prairie style (but not unlike the many craftsman houses in the area) it was designed by engineer J. Clyde Power serving as his family’s main residence for 25 years. With 4,000 square feet of well-crafted, grandiose, turn of the last century architecture it is in remarkably good condition for it’s age and Dennis and I are excited to restore it to its original glory. Its going to be quit the adventure getting it there, the kitchen and bathrooms consist of what those of us in preservation generally refer to as “inappropriate alterations” and the exterior is a whole another story…. We know that the roof was changed from metal tiles to asphalt shingles, a garland trim was removed from all but one small area in the back, and stucco was slathered over almost everything, but other additions and details remain a mystery.

We are looking forward to digging up more information about the history of the house and taking on as many restorative projects as possible. I’m Jeremy Irvine, an interior designer currently taking on my own home in addition to my client’s homes. Follow my blog for updates on my home’s historical past and the various restorative projects we embark on.