One of the things that makes old houses so attractive is the craftsmanship. Architectural details and the quality of work that went into making older homes is what gives old houses that vintage charm. When we bought our 1907 Craftsman, most of the original detail had been removed or destroyed. The only thing original left was some knob and tube wiring, bead board and hardwood flooring upstairs. This is what the upstairs looked like before…scary.
Normally, I’m an advocate for restoring rather than replacing. However, the hardwood flooring needed lots of patching and had termite damage beyond repair and some genius decided to nail drywall to all the bead board ceilings. For a moment, I considered removing the nails and patching all the holes but ultimately decided that tearing out the bead board was better than getting lead poisoning from scraping and sanding lead paint.
Some of the bead board was still salvageable for reuse, so I requested that we keep it for projects around the house. One day, when checking in on the house progress, we found that the drywall guys had ripped out every bit of bead board and threw it in the DUMPSTER! Desperate to maintain something original, I scaled the side of the dumpster, ready to dive in head first (without any regard to sharp objects) to rescue my precious bead board. To my dismay, it was buried under construction material and everything was soaked from the rainy weather we had that week.
After such disappointment, I turned my attention toward adding character that would have been original to a turn of the century Craftsman home. Some people may like mixing and matching styles, I however prefer consistency. I wouldn't do Craftsman style finishes and then use Victorian trim. That's just my opinion.
Here are some of our replicated Craftsman details…
If you’re an old house junkie like me, I hope this inspires you to create character wherever you are!