The Eastlake

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Building Styles, Eastlake, Historic Preservation

Charles Locke Eastlake (1836-1906) was a British-born furniture designer and architect and among the most influential figures in architecture and design in the last half of the 19th century.  Although his early designs were shaped by William Morris’s use of floral and medieval motifs, Eastlake later developed his own, distinctive style which emphasized angular detailing […]

Oil Primer Recipes and the Ask a Painter Facebook Livecast with Nick Slavic of Nick Slavic Painting and Restoration.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Historic Preservation, paint

I just had the great pleasure of being the first interview on Nick Slavic’s Ask A Painter  Facebook Livecast program where we talked for two full hours about historic paints, varnishes, finishes and historic preservation and gave a quick look at The Landing in Shakopee, MN.   Nick hosts his live program each week on Facebook and gives […]

Window Making Demonstration in Rockford, MN on June 14, 2017.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Historic Windows, History, Joinery, Maintenance, Millwork

On Wednesday, June 14th at 6:00 PM I will be giving a demonstration on 19th century window making and restoring historic windows for the Rockford Area Historical Society. The event will be held at the historic Ames-Florida-Stork house, an 1860s Greek Revival house in Rockford, MN. I will use use authentic 1850s tools and techniques […]

Making a 19th Century Door: Or, Why do Modern Replacement Doors Look so Strange on 19th Century Homes

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Doors, Historic Preservation, History, Joinery, Millwork

There are many differences between woodworking in today’s machine age and the 19th century. Contemporary carpenters and furniture makers rely on drawings, dimensions, and precise measurements to help them plan and build things. Before the Industrial Revolution, however, things were very different.  19th century house joiners certainly did rely on pattern books, but these books […]

Window Sash Repair: Part One

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Historic Preservation, Historic Windows, Joinery, Maintenance, Millwork, paint

Although most of my work with Historic Design Consulting consists of consulting with owners of historic buildings, I occasionally so some restoration/conservation work myself.  As people have become interested in retaining historic windows I find myself working on window sash fairly often.  This Spring I have been restoring some sash from an 1881 railroad depot from […]

Wall Plaster in a 19th Century Log Cabin

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Historic Plaster, Historic Preservation, Log cabins and structures

When we think about the American frontier, images of isolation, privation and often labor can come to mind.  Life on the frontier certainly was difficult and dangerous.  A homesteader’s first year was often a frantic race to establish his family before winter snow began to fall.  The first job was to cut timber to clear land for planting […]

Michigan House Detective

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Building Research, Building Styles, Greek Revival, History

A recent book by Fred Peterson titled Homes in the Heartland describes the evolution of the balloon-frame farmhouse in the upper Midwest.  Peterson notes one characteristic of many, first generation farmhouses: an eclectic nature where they were built in stages with several additions. When settlers arrived in the Midwest one of their first priorities was building shelter.  This […]

Historic Paint Colors for the Victorian or Arts and Crafts Era Home: Part Two

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in paint

In a previous post I described my process for selecting historic paint colors for 19th and early 20th century homes and businesses.  Rather than relying on the historic color collections from modern paint manufacturers such as Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams, I use my own collection of period color swatches and advertising for Victorian and Arts and Crafts […]