Updating Your Old House?
Contact us for authentic period design, preservation, restoration, renovation and remodeling services.
We specialize in updating period homes while preserving the feel, style and craftsmanship of the historic era. Seamlessly incorporate a modern kitchen, bath or addition into your period home.
Heritage House Styles
Coordinating Architecture and Interior Design
You probably bought your house, at least in part, because you like its architectural style. It fits the way you live and it's in a neighborhood of houses similar to yours that make up a special place.
How to update your home with all the modern conveniences and still keep its historic character is one of the questions we are asked frequently.
People are keenly aware that a contemporary chrome and glass kitchen does not go well with a 19th century Victorian home, but what does? Victorians did not actually have kitchens like we have today, so how doyou make a fully functional modern kitchen look like it could have been a part of a Victorian home?
You can, of course, redesign your home in any style you want. But most people prefer design continuity by ensuring that the interior of their home fits its exterior architecture, even if the fit is only a very loose one.
Here are some general guidelines for fitting your interior to your exterior. When we say "general" we really mean it. Within each of these style classes is a great deal of variation and a lot of blending of architectural styles in one house. But we want to give you a general idea. Once we look at your house, we can offer more specific suggestions.
We are not going to examine every architectural style. Some house styles very common in other parts of the country are barely represented in our area. Cotswold, Tidewater and Saltbox styles, for example, are rare in Nebraska, if, in fact, they exist at all. Others are more than well represented: Folk Victorian, Craftsman, Prairie, and Four-Square styles abound. These articles concentrate on the architecture common to Nebraska. If you are from elsewhere, we're sorry you don't live the Good Life of Nebraska.
The Colonial Styles: Georgian and Federal Architecture
Among the most long-lived styles of American building, the Georgian style, named for Georgian Kings of England, was intended to reflect Renaissance ideals made popular by Sir Christopher Wren. It was a simplification of earlier, more ornate Baroque styles.
Typically rectangular and symmetrical, two rooms deep and two stories high (Four over Four) with one or more chimneys extending through the roof or at either end. Brick or clapboard with the rarer shingle siding are the usual exterior finishes… (Continues)
The Victorian Styles: Queen Anne, Italianate, Gothic Revival and Eastlake
These styles are typical of post-Civil War 19th century American housing. The trend in the latter part of the century was toward more ornate homes, show casing the increasing wealth produced by the American Industrial Revolution.
The relatively plain gothic revival style was the first departure from the rectangular footprints of the 18th century. Its irregular shape, arched windows and steeply pitched roof, elaborate vergeboard trim along roof edges, high dormers, the use of lancet windows and other Gothic details heralded an break from the less elaborate architectural styles of the earlier period… (Continues)
Go to: Victorian Architecture | Victorian Interiors | The Victorian Kitchen | The Victorian Bath | Master Articles List
Arts and Crafts Styles: Craftsman, Prairie and Four-Square
The rebellion against the Victorian excess began in England as the Arts and Crafts movement; not an architectural rebellion, but a deep moral rejection of the dehumanizing effects of the early Industrial Age and its mass production processes. Largely inspired by the writings of John Ruskin, an influential moralist and social critic of the time, the movement failed in its main aim — the Industrial Revolution did not go away, or even slow down.
Crossing the Atlantic to America about 1880, the movement finally died out about 1910, but not before spawning a stunning revolution in architecture and design: the Prairie, and Craftsman styles of architecture and interior design that dominated the early 20th century in the Midwest. Since this period corresponded to when most prewar Nebraska homes were built, the Arts and Crafts home styles are widely represented in our older urban neighborhoods"… (Continues)
Postwar Styles: Cape Cod, Colonial and Ranch
The end of the Second World War brought a sea change to American housing. Prior to the war most Americans were urban-dwelling renters. By the end of the postwar era in the mid-1960s, most Americans were suburban-dwelling landowners. From a nation of tenants to a nation of homeowners in just two decades. There has been nothing like it before — and probably never will be anything like it again".
The demand for housing had been growing for years. The Great Depression of the 1930s depressed, among other things, home building. Houses were built, but not nearly enough of them. In 1940 rents reached an all-time high and prompted the very first national rent controls. Then came the World War. All of the materials needed to build housing went to war with our armed forces and built barracks, airfields and officer's clubs from Burma to Murmansk. By 1945 housing demand had been outstripping supply for over 15 years"… (Continues)