A Note from the Editor:
I’m trying to remember which house style was symbolic of health and happiness, back when I was growing up. I think it was the Dutch Colonial. No matter whether the house was ancient, post-Victorian, or newly minted, nothing said “American family home” like a gambrel roof.
I’m remembering the movies, too. Art Deco meant glamour and sex; if the scene was a Colonial Revival living room with ruffled slipcovers, a marriage proposal was in the air. People got stabbed in Victorian houses. Really cool young families lived in ranches.
Back in those days, some of my relatives would “take a bungalow” at the Jersey Shore in August. They certainly didn’t have Stickley in mind; a bungalow was a small, unheated house. (The word was fitting enough. The first Anglo bungalows, exotic imports from the far reaches of the Empire—India—were built in English beach resorts.)
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Then came the Arts & Crafts Revival. So-named bungalows of the period were snatched up to be restored and decorated with Craftsman sensibility. The work of Greene & Greene in Pasadena was rediscovered and copied nationwide. No question that the symbol of hearth and home today is The Bungalow, now with a capital B. For the past decade, television dramas and sitcoms have taken place amidst oak wainscots and mica lamps. But it’s the latest Toy Story movie that sealed the deal.
Rent it, if you haven’t seen it, and if you overlooked the details of Bonnie’s house at the movie’s end, look again. (You might have missed it if you were snuffling and wiping your eyes, as I was. What a great movie about childhood!) The house is all porch and rafter tails, bungalow piers and flowerpots, even house-number tiles in an Arts & Crafts font. Freshly mown grass and a picket fence . . . with animation, you can make life perfect.
Patricia Poore, Editor
10 Harbor Rd., Gloucester, MA 01930
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