Before & After: A Modern Take on a 100-Year Old Craftsman

by hookedonhouses on October 11, 2012

Back in 2008 I featured this striking gray Craftsman in South Pasadena. That was before gray was a full-on trend and before yellow doors were popping up all over Pinterest. The interiors were unexpected, too, with pale wood floors and white-painted woodwork. Some readers loved it. Other readers, well, didn’t. It became one of my most-read and most-discussed posts ever.

So I was pretty excited to come across an article about it in the L.A. Times that includes some before photos showing how it looked before its trendy renovation:

It looked a lot smaller with those dark and muddy colors, that’s for sure.

Here’s how it looked on the Home Shoot Home website where I found it back in ’08:

Designer Tamara Kaye-Honey (House of Honey) is responsible for updating the 1911 bungalow. She told the L.A. Times that her mission was to update it to better suit a young family:

I wanted the home to feel personal and fresh. It was to have a clean, whimsical and modern aesthetic while allowing the architecture to have a strong presence. The color palette is crisp and playful, with shades of yellow carried throughout the interior and exterior to unify.

Here’s how dark and traditional the interiors were before:

And now:

The fireplace before:

And now:

Everything’s a lot lighter and brighter, that’s for sure. Here’s how the kitchen looked when they started:

And now:

The L.A. Times says, “Purists may flinch, but the Douglas fir was painted a glossy white to open up the space and create the ambience of a summer cottage.”

I sure had a lot of purists flinching after my 2008 post about it. As a newbie blogger, I was amazed by the number of comments that poured in about the house at the time.

If it makes you feel better, in the comments of the article, a woman named Traci (I’m guessing the homeowner) explained:

75% of the painted wood is new to match the small amount of original architectural detail. The original stained Douglas fir wood only existed in the living room, dining room and inglenook (before we reconfigured the spaces) and was in terrible condition and needed some serious fixing.

Don’t get me wrong, I totally get the purists and agree with salvaging historical homes but this was by no means a special craftsman. The house ended up having significantly more craftsman detail once it was renovated.

Visit the L.A. Times article by Lisa Boone for more before and after photos, as well as more details about the reno. Photos by Cliff Norton.

What do you think? Are you loving its trendy fresh look or wishing they had left more of its original character? The exterior makeover is my favorite part. Love those cheerful yellow doors!

You can see more of the house in my original post, including the charming detached-garage-turned-studio that sits behind it (that I wish I could work in!), here:

A Remodeled Craftsman Bungalow: Too White or Just Right?

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Jane October 11, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Definitely lighter but I wish they’d compromised and left more warmer wood tones. There should be a distinct nod to the craftsman style. Besides, white can be high maintenance.

Monica October 12, 2012 at 10:34 am

I agree with Jane on everything. It is too white. The warm tones would have added balance and coziness. I also wish the porch fence would have been left too. If a porch is updated, the fence or wall should stay. Great for outdoor decorating and privacy.

Toni October 11, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I like the brighter interior finishes but not the decorating.
I don’t like the kitschy styling and colors. To my eye, Craftsman and Mid Cent. Mod are competing and they both lose. The kitchen came out nicely though.

Jessica October 11, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Sometimes wood that old looks terrible close up or in real life. If it were my house and the wood was in good shape I’d try to keep as much of it as possible, but it looks great painted white, too. The renovated house looks great.

Wade Watson October 11, 2012 at 8:56 pm

I was just about to let this one go as another nice, but average reno until I saw the corner nook in the kitchen. I’ve always wanted a restaurant-style booth in a house. I suppose they’re basically impractical– but there’s a cozy romanticism about them I love.

bungalowbliss October 11, 2012 at 9:11 pm

You know how I feel. Love the exterior and (to a lesser degree–where’s the farmhouse sink?) the kitchen, but the rest of it breaks my heart. What can I say? I’m a restoration purist. The exterior color palette is cheerful, though!

Nichole@40daysof October 11, 2012 at 9:45 pm

The only thing I don’t care for are the floors. A medium brown would be more in keeping writhe house’s roots and is always classic. A really great house, though.

Marc October 11, 2012 at 9:46 pm

I loved everything about it. Exterior. Interior. Color scheme. Decorating. I could take my clothes and just move in. Perfect IMHO.

Chris Howard October 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Ugh! I’ve got nothing against sparkling white modern interiors, but please don’t do it to a charming historic home. I see no reason to strip a lovely Craftsman of all of it’s period details and hose it down in white to make it “lighter and brighter”. If you like lighter and brighter buy a modern home. Leave the historic patina’d woodwork and admittedly dark interiors to those of us that love them.

Terry October 11, 2012 at 10:34 pm

I couldn’t have said it better. If you can’t respect a classic, don’t buy it!

nassi October 11, 2012 at 10:42 pm

i agree and i prefer an old classic look over it being modernized. doesn’t even look historic anymore. too bad.

Jane October 12, 2012 at 3:56 am

Agree wholeheartedly. There are some homes which benefit from a serious update but not this one. Craftsman style may appear dark to some but I find them charming.

Juliana October 12, 2012 at 11:34 am

Well said, and just what I felt, too. BTW, the front door with sidelights is indeed original Craftsman. What makes this style of architecure distinct is a sort of Zen quality, which the natural, organic elements provide. Check out gamblehouse dot org for more details on southern California Craftsman.

Oh, this poor house was butchered. Which is why I’ll never buy a Craftsman. I love white interiors too much. I couldn’t bring myself to paint over all that glorious wood, and rip out the unique historic features. It’s criminal!

Destiny October 11, 2012 at 9:51 pm

I’m sweet on this one. Not full blown in love, but sweet on…

nassi October 11, 2012 at 10:40 pm

i like the old one better with it’s muddy colors. the original tells more of a story from the past than having it modernized with bright colors. the old craftsman style gives off a heavier look than a bright new look.

House Crazy Sarah October 11, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Yep, the poor craftsman had a full-on exreme makeover. Sure it’s nice, but it’s all trendy fad stuff that will change in a year or two.

I feel sad that so much of the home’s original character was wiped clean and sanitized.

Yeah it’s nice… but…….

Marilyn October 12, 2012 at 6:47 am

I feel the same its a Cracker Barrel Version of its self! I think they could have tried to stay period and gone with the brighter colors of that era…I wonder why People want to buy historical Houses and then change them. Build one and make it new and white on the inside!

Deb January 5, 2013 at 10:33 pm

….but…it’s no longer a craftsman. What a shame. I agree it’s sad to see the character of this home sacrificed to current trends. Colors and design elements would be great in a traditional Greek Revival ….but not in this one.

Dean October 11, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Oy Vey…Overall, I don’t like much of this re-do. I actually like the original exterior. What they did to the woodwork in the living room and the dining room is an abomination, but I do like the look of the fireplace. The one room that I really do like is the kitchen with the breakfast nook. That is definitely an improvement on the 80s reno and looks spectacular.

nassi October 11, 2012 at 10:49 pm

i see the neighbors old home next to it is painted as well. there goes history unappreciated.

lexi October 11, 2012 at 10:51 pm

I’m a purist, I’m not afraid to admit it. The outside is great and cute, but I wish they had “updated” the inside by using bright colors and accents and leaving the original woodwork alone except, obviously, refinishing it. I don’t know the people who live there, but it feels like people who hate craftsman style moved into a house and tried to wash away all the craftsman styling. I also really hate all white spaces, I’m renting one right now and combating the white with a teal sofa.

Sherr October 11, 2012 at 11:16 pm

I like the exterior color, but that’s about it. I’m completely for preserving historic integrity where it’s possible, and this is so jarringly different, I just don’t care for it.

lindsay October 11, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Oh no no no nooooo. I mean, it’s lovely but look at what they lost…

Rebecca@MidcenturyModernRemodel October 11, 2012 at 11:47 pm

I have NEVER seen a craftsman done modern. This is just too cool. I like the house paint color and the yellow door. I am not flinching.

Rebecca@MidcenturyModernRemodel October 11, 2012 at 11:48 pm

Julia, I hadn’t read the other comments and jumped straight down to write mine cause I loved it so much. You just never know.

Catherine October 12, 2012 at 12:34 am

Well I love it and I love house design in general but, come on, who cares really? It is all just fun isn’t it? In the end it is just a house and living in a home is about changing with the times and making it feel more you in the age you live in, not worrying about respecting everybody else’s design aesthetic. Otherwise we would all just end up living in museum pieces. Don’t worry, be happy people!

Marc October 12, 2012 at 9:31 am

Absolutely. Much ado about nothing. I love re-purposing existing structures. If it was on the historic register, then its should be preserved. Not? It’s ready to rock on to a new life.

Kim October 12, 2012 at 1:17 am

I do not like the interior at all. It’s too cold and doesn’t match the exterior. It’s too bad because this could have been a charming Craftsman house.

Rebecca C. October 12, 2012 at 1:45 am

I just wish they would have bought a mid-century instead. To take a house that someone built to have that beautiful wood (and yes, Douglas fir is beautiful not painted) displayed, I just don’t think that’s right. I do know that they own the house and wanted a clean update. That’s fine.

It’s the fact that not only did they destroy the character of the home, they totally made it into a modern house. It’s no longer a Craftsman or a Bungalow.

If they attempt to sell this house, it will be difficult to say the least. I wish people would think harder when they buy an older house. Build one of your own on a lot that doesn’t have a house on it if you want something modern. Southern California has lost too many of its historic houses.

Shannon October 12, 2012 at 2:35 am

Exactly what Rebecca C. said.

As I’ve said before, it’s not about disliking someone’s design aesthetic, it’s about preservation of that which is irreplaceable. I don’t really care what they did to the kitchen as that was already de-Craftsmanized but painting over the wood in the living room should be criminal. “So sorry you tried to paint in here, now you have to live in a van down by the river. And eat government cheese.”

Sometimes an up to the minute trend happens to speak to your heart, and when you decorate with that people can see your creativity and personality shine through. But mostly trendy just looks…empty. No soul. This house now looks like an HGTV set. Here’s your cheese.

Jane October 12, 2012 at 4:02 am

Here’s an analogy I felt instinctively: I collect old books and magazines which adnittedly may look dark or far different thsn those made today but they have the charm of age and history. They reflect the times.

So do Craftsman home.

If someone tore off a cover of one of my beloved magazines and replaced or recolored the contents to “update” them, I’d be so sad. Nothing wrong with reprints or modern editions. But leave the original in authentic condition ( restoration is an exception).

Debbie October 12, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Oh my goodness Jane, your analogy is PERFECT!! I love Historic Preservation and get so aggrevated when people modernize these old “pieces of art” as I call these old historic homes. They should build a new home to look like an old home, and then modernize it all they want! Leave our history and “pieces of art” alone except to restore them to their original beauty. :-)

Linda @ MyCraftyHomeLife October 12, 2012 at 5:55 am

I really like it. I find it fresh and inviting. Best of all, it is personalized for the homeowner…what every home should be.

Cindy October 12, 2012 at 6:16 am

Interesting to read the comments on this one! While I love to see crisp whites paired with color, I found myself feeling a bit sad looking at the reno pics. The charm and character of this house seemed to be lost in favor of an update without much personality – it seemed more trendy than anything.

I really wanted to see more of the wood, maybe refinished and restored, but not obliterated. There has to be a way to update and lighten without completely painting over every single thing…isn’t there?

Janet October 12, 2012 at 7:05 am

I am typically a purist, especially when it comes to Craftsman, but this is ridiculously well done. Oh my, it’s beautiful, I don’t think there is anything I don’t like about it.

RIP little Craftsman, you will live on with beautiful younger skin. ;)

LettersHead October 12, 2012 at 7:13 am

The “after” is beautiful but in my mind does not justify the sacrifice of the original interiors. I grew up in a 1910 craftsman that my mother updated by painting the wood in some areas (to my father’s horror) and the current owners recently restored everything and it is a masterpiece that is nonetheless modern. (I would send you photos but it’s not my house to share…) There are millions – millions!! – of homes out there that beg to be gutted and reimagined. This was not one of them.

Laurel @ SoPo Cottage October 12, 2012 at 7:14 am

I LOVE this house! I lived in an original Arts & Crafts home for years. Thankfully, someone had already painted the woodwork before I moved in – so the neighbors wouldn’t make me feel guilty for doing it! True Arts & Crafts homes are VERY dark….I would have gone crazy trying to live such a dark home. And you could still appreciate all the great architectural details, even after they were painted.

Laurel @ SoPo Cottage

BungalowBILL October 12, 2012 at 7:15 am

There are ways to modernize without painting over woodwork that has survived 100 years. When you own a historic home you become a steward for its future. This designer has now condemned the future owners to always paint what should have been pure or months of work taking the paint off, all for a fleeting fad of being “bold”.

Paint anything that’s already been painted, but leave wood that’s survived 100 years alone, even if you’re a designer that moves on to the next project and forgets about what damage you’ve caused. What’s next? Painting a Nakashima table to highlight its form and make it “fresh”?

Debbie October 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Bravo BungalowBILL! Well said! Like I said in my reply to Jane, these beautiful homes are “pieces of art”, as is a Nakashima table, and should by beautifully preserved. :-)

Tracey October 12, 2012 at 7:17 am

At least they didn’t remove all the woodwork, they just painted it. I’ve seen a few renos of “historic” houses where the owners replace detailed wooden columns and heavy baseboard/crown moulding with sheetrock boxes and stock trim. Too much white for me though, I definitely would not have painted every surface the same color, especially with the light floors – personal preference.

Jeanne October 12, 2012 at 7:19 am

I live in a Craftsman and spent years stripping wood that was painted, it can be done, and to their credit, they left most of the original wood and just painted over it. The furnishings look a bit dated already (then again, I’m not sure many of us have the budget to stay current at all times!). I would not have done what they did, the light color floors are awful.

One thing I noticed about the exterior is that they took out the front walk to the street, it now only leads to the driveway. I suspect the neighborhood is old enough that there are still sidewalks….that is also part of the historic fabric of the home…acknowledging its place…so I guess the neighbors walk up the driveway to visit on the porch?

I do like the bench on the porch, it’s fabulous.

Jeanne October 12, 2012 at 7:21 am

okay, i just noticed I missed the homeowners comment about the original wood, so maybe they needed to paint it over.

Nathan October 12, 2012 at 7:25 am

I think the outside is great, love the color and how it looks now, even the kitchen is nice if it weren’t in a craftsman style home. Overall I think this re-muddling is a failure to the house itself. Don’t get me wrong they did a great job of the renovation if it weren’t in that house, maybe a more contemporary space.

Mary Ellen October 12, 2012 at 7:30 am

I think it looks contrived and teeny-boppish now.

Joan October 12, 2012 at 9:35 am

I read through most of the comments and yours says it best! Some of the rooms look like a day-car center -

Laura October 12, 2012 at 7:32 am

I don’t like this at all. Okay, the original needed some undoing, but I actually liked the exterior colors much better. I’m not a fan of the dark gray siding and bright yellow door – very cold and way too modern. Could have lived with the painted interior woodwork, but not in bright white. Maybe a warm cream color. I don’t like the old or the new fireplace. But the worst thing is those floors – ugh! That color is awful and looks like cheap plastic laminate.

Cathie October 12, 2012 at 7:58 am

They should be shot. No one should be allowed to do that to a craftsman house. Gio buy a track home if you want a modern home. This is just sickening…

Alexandra October 23, 2012 at 11:41 pm

They should be shot? Because their taste is different from yours? Your attitude is far more sickening than their home decoration.

Amanda February 1, 2013 at 10:55 pm

Seriously? Why would you even say that about someone’s decor of their house? Jeepers. Thats friggin awful. Over paint. Honestly.

Carolyn October 12, 2012 at 8:18 am

I side with the purists. A blond and white Craftsman just makes me shudder. Granted, a true Craftsman interior is going to be dark, but it can also be interpreted as warm and cozy and enveloping. I think the original mustard/orange wall color could have been lightened up and not quite so garish and still be in an arts & crafts palette. I’m fine with the white kitchen. There are ways of restoring woodwork, but it does take time and patience. I don’t think the house in the before pics was in original condition, obviously, and at least the homeowners kept and repeated the Craftsman era mouldings, and I agree the original fireplace wasn’t very special. But we’ve all been horrified by 50’s or 70’s transformations of historic houses that updated them with the times. In another decade or two this modern color scheme will seem the same way. I wish that those who want an all white palette would stick to houses that don’t have original stained woodwork. It’s like buying a house on a lot with beautiful old trees and cutting them all down (this happened once in a neighborhood I lived in). There are plenty of houses without trees if you’re afraid of them.

Kristy Swain October 12, 2012 at 8:22 am

I adore the new look. So fresh and updated.

Christina from Dallas October 12, 2012 at 8:25 am

I think it looks lovely. I love white trim and light colors. If you own the house, you have a right to paint it how you want. Restoring to original is nice but sometimes you just want to change it up.

The Glamorous Housewife October 12, 2012 at 8:39 am

I LOVE it! The colors of the exterior are perfection and I have no problem with them painting everything white. I think they achieved their goal of updating the home and still keeping the integrity of the style.

Thanks doll,
The Glamorous Housewife

Elvira October 12, 2012 at 8:47 am

I like the new look in the house. I’m very much for respecting original features but as the owner said, there was very little original left and needed to be replaced with new materials anyway, so why not take a bold new vision?

I love the Craftman style, but find the interiors dark with all that natural or stained wood. I don’t mind lightening the mood up a bit with white paint that gives a certain freshness to it all.

The white hanging lantern in the porch really stands out against the dark grey wall. Delightful detail, just like the the yellow doors.

Lauren October 12, 2012 at 8:55 am

While I’m not a fan of the homeowner’s style of decorating, I like it overall. I’m also wondering if those who commented actually read the post. The homeowner stated that 75% of the woodwork was new. I get the feeling that the original house wasn’t some craftsman masterpiece. In fact, she said that it has more craftsman details since it’s been renovated. It’s hard to get a realistic picture with a couple grainy before photos. Give the homeowners a break. It’s their house to do with what they please. Not everyone likes dark wood. And painted or not, it’s still wood.

Carla Freund October 12, 2012 at 9:06 am

Very Cute Redo! The only think I would have done different is a darker richer wood flooring. Contrast can go a long way and it would have made the remainder of the house really pop.

Margaret October 12, 2012 at 9:16 am

I love the new version. Who wants to live in the dark?

I don’t love the furnishings. Too kitschy.

What happened to the walkway?

Joan October 12, 2012 at 9:41 am

Agree with someone’s comment below – the floors look like bargain plastic laminate. Really dreadful.

The exterior colors are OK…but the house looks like it’s in a subdivision of old house reproductions, the kind where all the model homes have names like “The Victorian,” “The Gothic,”” “The Farmhouse.”

Laura October 12, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Agree. With those colors and the giant house numbers, it looks kind of cartoonish.

Alie B October 12, 2012 at 10:34 am

Wow! You have nearly incited a riot here, Julia! :) I really enjoy what’s been done with the outside. There is a difference between classic and just old. To me, the original exterior was screaming “Someone notice me…over here!” It was just old and dull. Now it pops!

The interior, on the other hand, is a travesty. I hate the all-white trend, with the exception of modern homes. As so many others have pointed out, why oh why did the homeowners buy an old house if they wanted everything new?

I am happy that it wasn’t a complete gut. The woodwork still exists. Perhaps if the walls had been painted a brighter or warmer shade, the painted woodwork wouldn’t be so offensive.

Maddie October 12, 2012 at 11:36 am

I am not a purist, but this is just sad. Why have a craftsmen if you are going to gut the soul out of this house? I live in a craftsmen that was added on to in the 50s and had some remodeling in the 70s and we have worked so hard to restore some of what was torn out. We have a house that works for a modern family, with light filled rooms (yes some of the original wood is painted), but it still is a craftsmen and has been featured on local home tours.

Nita October 12, 2012 at 11:36 am

Too light and modern for me. Needed warmer colors for sure.

Cindy October 12, 2012 at 11:40 am

I like the reno for the most part. I’m not always a purist when it comes to the wood – sometimes there is just far far too much of it.

I prefer the outside redo over the original. Except the yellow door. I abhor yellow – I’ve never met a yellow that really grabs me. I’d have picked a different color for the door but that’s my personal taste.

Dina October 12, 2012 at 11:56 am

Personally, I think if people want a modern house they should just buy a modern house. I really dislike taking a well done classic and then trying to hammer and saw it into something it’s not. It always looks wrong, at least to me. This is also true of people who buy a mid-century modern and then add gingerbread and bay windows to try and turn it into a Victorian cottage. Cut it out people!

Jane George October 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm

How to Destroy an Arts & Crafts House 101.

KATHYSUE October 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I love the architecture and all the built-ins of a Craftsman home but I never liked the dark woods so this home is refreshing to me, love it!! I am not a purist!!!

Ali October 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm

You know, I’m not one of those ‘must not touch the wood’/historic purist people, and I don’t like the interiors either. I can understand wanting to lighten the look, but I think you could have done that by keeping the light floors (which could always be given darker stain by the next owner), refinishing the wood trim, and painting the walls a lighter color. That would have been Craftsman with a twist, i.e. making it modern without losing all of the original charm. This looks like a brand new house trying to be a Craftsman…I just don’t get it.

The outside I like fine…it’s an improvement over the before, but I think a modern variation on a typical Craftsman color scheme would have worked better.

Jackie Toye October 12, 2012 at 6:53 pm

I loooooove this house. Gorgeous!!

judy fink October 12, 2012 at 10:08 pm

well, there’s no going back now, shame on painting the wood.. and the fireplace , what a travesty…. should have bought a ranch and left the craftsman alone.

Brian October 13, 2012 at 4:21 am

I think the painted woodwork is too much, stripping back and then perhaps lime watching would be what I would prefer to see.

Patti October 13, 2012 at 9:55 am

I like the before and after. I LOVE a craftsman home, and when I go to the Frank Lloyd Wright room at the MET I feel right at home in all that wood, but I don’t see why people think the wood can’t be painted, and why isn’t it a craftsman anymore if the wood is painted? It’s quite possible that the people who buy the house after this family will strip the paint back to the wood, I’ve seen it done on a number of craftsman homes. So saying that it is ruined is a little dramatic.

After living in Oregon for 4 years, I appreciate a house filled with light. My own home is filled with white trim…MDF…but it’s white and it makes me feel happy.

The fireplace before didn’t look craftsman at all, or the kitchen, so the afters are a major improvement. The floors I could live without though. But if they love them, who cares.

Anyway, I hope they don’t care what anyone else thinks of their house. The best advice I ever received was when planning my wedding, It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, as long as you love it.

Kelly Delong October 13, 2012 at 11:38 am

The interior looks like any other house nowadays, white upon white upon white. I hate to say it but it’s boring to me. The unpainted wood before at least made it look homey, now it’s just cold.

At the same time, it doesn’t look like they took out anything original, just painted it. And what they did update had already replaced whatever original was there anyway, so it isn’t like they took a museum house and mangled it. I’m willing to bet one day someone is going to come along and strip the wood. So Julia, if you’re around in another 20, 30, 40 years, maybe you can do a before, after, and after post. :)

Maggie M October 13, 2012 at 11:47 am

That hatchet job is in defiance of the Historic Preservation Act principles. It is an ego trip by a deranged interior decorator. Emulation should be strongly discouraged.

dinorah October 13, 2012 at 5:27 pm

I love the craftsman style details, but I don’t like the dark wood. I think it looks beautiful as it is now.

Susan October 13, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I personally love the updateing they’ve done to this home. We have to keep in mind the house is for living in, it’s not a museum. I think they’ve been respectful of the house’s heritage, but brought it into the present. I myself own and live in a 100 year old craftsman. The entrance, living room and dining room have lots of interesting woodwork, all oak and it’s never been painted. I have left it as it is, mainly because I don’t have the nerve to paint all that beautiful oak. However, in the rest of the house previous owners painted all the woodwork, so I felt at liberty to keep it painted and love the way the colors of the walls pop against the off white woodwork.

Jan October 14, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Actually the original door with the sidelights was spot on for a CA bungalow. The new door is predictable. The rest of the house, what a shame!!!

rjohnson October 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I have a 1912 Craftsman home in a neighborhood very close to this one. My neighborhood is full of Craftsman homes. To state that the “before” exterior paint colors and the front door sidelights are wrong for the home’s period is just factually incorrect. Our home and most of the other Crafstman homes in our neighborhood have sidelight windows.

I think the kitchen “after” was done well in this home. But honestly, the fireplace redo is an abomination plucked from the 1980s. I can see that the fireplace already had a prior bad renovation but now it’s so very much worse.

I know what it’s like to live in a dark house. Our living room shoulder-height wainscoting is a dark walnut, almost black. And it’s in bad shape after 100 years of abuse. But our only thought is to repair, sand, and re-stain.

hookedonhouses October 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Interesting that that door was original. It didn’t look right to me with the window in the center of it. Apparently I was wrong about that–I stand corrected! I’ll remove it. I didn’t mean to imply that the exterior colors and sidelights weren’t period, though–just that the door itself looked non-Craftsman like to me. There are houses in my newer neighborhood that have similar ones, so that’s what it looked like to me.

Connie@Connie Nikiforoff Designs October 15, 2012 at 9:34 am

While I’m a sucker for white woodwork and white kitchens, in this case I would have left the darker wood and lightened up the paint colors if they wanted an overall lighter look.

Craftsman style wasn’t just about the obvious style that was built into the homes. The colors used in the rooms were also a very big statement about the style. Therefore in this case, if the family who had this “redo” done for this home wanted a more open/lighter home, they might have been better off looking for a different home altogether.

Bottom line: While the new look is certainly gorgeous in its light/bright look, in this case maybe “leaving well enough alone” should have been the approach for this very iconic Craftsman.

Shannon October 16, 2012 at 10:11 am

I love the painted woodwork but I wish they would have left the floors darker.

Scott Sidler October 16, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Overall I like th design, but it breaks my heart anytime some paints over such beautiful original woodwork. The warmth of that wood incorporated with the white and other colors would be a such a beautiful contrast. Now it’s just gone. What a shame.

Allison October 17, 2012 at 3:11 am

All these comments crack me up! If you make enough money to buy a Craftsman in South Pasadena you do whatvevah the heck you want with it. PERIOD. Besides the kitchen booth and the exterior colors, I’m thinking that this house will be neutral enough to re-sell really well. (And those things can be changed quite easily.) As far as the decorating goes, that stuff is not staying for the next owner so who cares? (They obviously have an eclectic style and appreciate art.) And speaking as someone with a young family, I think their floor plan modifications make a lot of sense. More open feel, light and bright and with all the charm of a bungalow. It looks like a fantastic house to raise kids in!

apsutter October 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Craftsmans are one of my favorite types of home and I usually hate when people mess with them but I like this makeover. The exterior looks amazing now. Such bold colors and the porch looks so inviting. I would add a little bit more color to the inside but, overall, I think this was a really nice re-model.

Sharon October 23, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Having spent over a year stripping paint from woodwork in a 1912 Craftsman, I consider this a tragedy!

Lilly Hastings October 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Not impressed at all with these so-called “improvements.” It is a damn shame to see a traditional Craftsman home desecrated for a lighter, modern, airy look. If you want a modern airy look don’t destroy something perfect. You people are as bad as the fools in the 70’s who lived in Victorian homes and painted everything. I am dismayed, and I think I need some Alka-Seltzer now. :P

Scottie December 31, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I tend to like the “before” pictures better. Exterior is very pretty.

Javan May 4, 2013 at 8:49 pm

The home is a perfect example of HGTV brainwashing. The original architectual charms have been remuddled to fit the mold of the HGTV “buy modern” propaganda. The redesign is solely based on it’s short term artificial resale value. You do not deserve this home and I hope the next buyers will restore it back to it’s original state.

Shari D. May 13, 2013 at 8:56 pm

I don’t get why someone would buy a nice Craftsman Bungalow, with all its inherent detail, layout and character with the intention of stripping it of all it’s character and charm. Craftsman Bungalows were built that way to BE that way. There are other styles of homes available that would take on this sort of renovation/redo/reconstruction much better, and perhaps not even need that much work. Mid Century Mods come to mind, regular ranch houses take this sort of decor like a duck to water, and probably wouldn’t need to be gutted and redone to accomplish it.
When I first started looking through the photos, I had a hard time figuring out which one was supposed to be the improved version! I had to go back twice on the first shots of the before and after exterior to make sure they weren’t transposed. That living room alteration actually made me physically lean backwards in my chair. The first three “new and improved” shots scream “Mid Century Modern” right out of the gate. And it’s been cut off from the sidewalk that surely runs along the street, essentially increasing it’s isolation from the original design and from visitors walking by. Granted, the kitchen had already been remuddled beyond any Craftsman identity but since it had to be redone anyway, a clean, light bungalow ambiance would have been just as easy to accomplish, and much more fun! It may not have been a “special Craftsman” in some folks’ eyes, but ALL Craftsmans are precious to many of us!
There’s a comment in the write up that said it has much more Craftsman detail SINCE the remodeling was done than before, and I don’t see it or get how that could be so, when so much of it was thrown out the door. HGTV strikes again, and this time, it did this home no favors. It is not a Craftsman Bungalow anymore – it’s just a house.
Granted, if you buy it, it’s yours to do with as you please. And when all is said and done, it’s your money, and you live in it. However, when pictures of it are posted and published, especially when altering significantly something of an historic design nature in an area where this particular design aesthetic was BORN, you have to expect the purists to speak up. Those who love those homes as they were/are with appropriate maintenance rather than gutting and redoing with no respect to the nature of the beast are going to say so. Once something becomes “public domain” no matter for how long, opinions are going to be expressed.
It’s not that hard, if you’re going to paint something, to lighten it up by doing 15 minutes research online and finding out what the original historically appropriate palette of colors was for the time, and then using them, or even slightly lighter shades, to maintain the original charm and character of the home, and still have an updated, livable home. I have sites bookmarked that give that exact sort of information, and it didn’t take me more than a few minutes to track them down. Not all Craftsman or Arts and Crafts bungalows are dark, dingy tombs. They have the possibilities of being bright and cheerful, with tons of light coming through the original windows, some of stained or colored glass, and beautiful tiles and wainscoting on the fireplaces and walls. It can be done without turning one century totally on its head into another that has no relation to its historic roots.
The owners of this home have done with it as they wished, and they like it. That is their prerogative, and I surely wouldn’t want someone to come into my house and tell me I did it all wrong. Fortunately, I don’t have a home with any historic character that I can actually DO wrong to – at this point, anything I do to it, outside of trying to turn it into a bad copy of a 1900’s Victorian, would be a vast improvement! I would give a leg to own a beautiful bungalow of ANY vintage, and would treasure it and guard it with my life, not allowing anything to come inside that I did not consider beautiful, suitable and did not serve a useful, comfortable purpose. I would still own my house – it would not own me.

Lynn June 3, 2013 at 12:39 pm

THIS IS AN ABOMINATION!!!!! Buying a Craftsman and not paying homage to the philosophy behind the style is disgraceful. It’s a tragedy for our country that so few people understand and value the design ideas of the past. There’s a way to update, yet respect the original style. This web page makes me want to cry.

Edith June 24, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Okay, so the house was nothing special before… but it doesn’t “feel” like anything special now. (Except the kitchen which is magazine-worthy.) The pale colours are sickeningly drab.

Richard June 24, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I never liked Craftsman houses. As a child I had aunts that had different craftsman houses in different cities and I disliked both houses, they were so dark and gloomy inside. There is a famous hotel near me on the beach built with craftsman architecture, Shutters in Santa Monica. The luxurious lobby has magnificent woodwork, aIl of it painted white when it was built and it is beautiful. I like it because it’s not dark and gloomy. I like the white woodwork in the house shown above but I do not like the decorating.

Liz June 26, 2013 at 5:28 pm

I hope that the period lighting fixtures were saved and used by someone who appreciated them. Sure seems that a mid century modern house would have made more sense for these homeowners.

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