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Seattle_Bungalow_1921

The gables’ timber and stucco treatment was discovered beneath vertical-board siding painted white. Part of the porch was enclosed in the 1930s, creating the sunroom on the
right.

“I still remember how captivated I was,” says Steve Walsh about his visit to the Roycroft Inn, in East Aurora, New York, when he was in graduate school. He remembers the simplicity, the use of wood and stone, the metal strapwork and oak trim lit by glowing lanterns. “I knew that someday I would have a home furnished like this,” says Steve.

seattle bungalow 1921

The open living room has a contemporary feel, its simple woodwork enhanced by a Limbert settee #570, a Limbert Morris chair #527 to the right of the fireplace, and an L. & J.G. Stickley paddle-arm Morris chair #412 to the left. The hammered copper and frosted-glass wall sconces are Gustav Stickley.

A few decades later, Steve was in Seattle to see his brother. He noticed that picturesque bungalows are prevalent in many of the city’s older neighborhoods. It didn’t take long for him to decide to move to Seattle, where he bought a 1921 bungalow on a steep lot overlooking Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains. He appreciated the deeply bracketed eaves and a wide, covered front porch running the length of the house.

Inside, the living and dining rooms are open with wide archways, a space perfect for entertaining. Box-beam ceilings retain their period appeal. Living space is all on one level, a plus for later retirement years.

bungalow dining room

The dining room centers on a Limbert extension table #409 and Stickley Bros. ‘Quaint’ double-stretcher chairs. In the sunporch beyond, a Lifetime trestle table holds a Benedict hammered copper lamp; stained glass “Canyon de Chelly” panel is by Veronica Bennett, the homeowner’s sister.

When Steve bought the house, problems were evident. The porch piers had loose bricks and were tilting. The bathtub in the single bathroom had leaked for so long that water had seeped into the exterior wall and created significant rot. The original double-hung windows remained, but they’d been painted shut and many were missing their sash cords. A web of old knob-and-tube wiring crisscrossed the attic, and nowhere was there insulation. Most distressing, the previous owners had painted everything, including the fir woodwork, in a palette of French and baby blues—to “freshen the house” for sale.

vintage periodicals arts & crafts

The owner pored over vintage periodicals and books, then combed antiques fairs. Rooms are filled with copper and brass, glowing lamps, woodblock prints.

Woodwork is celebrated in Arts & Crafts homes, and Steve knew the importance of getting it right. Thus he started with the messiest job, ridding the woodwork of blue paint. For refinishing, he chose a warm stain with red tones for the fir, remembering the gleaming paneling and trim at the Roycroft Inn.

Roycroft American Beauty vases

A collection of Roycroft American Beauty vases sits on a Limbert library table #145 in the living room.

Steve chose earthy, nature-inspired paint colors inside, most from Sherwin-Williams’ Arts & Crafts palette: Ruskin Room Green, Studio Blue Green, Hubbard Squash, and of course Roycroft Copper Red. For inspiration, Steve pored over vintage periodicals and books, including Roycroft founder Elbert Hubbard’s magazine The Fra. He combed antiques fairs and shows. The rooms filled with hand-hammered copper and brass lamps with glowing Handel and Quezal shades, elegant Roycroft copper candlesticks, bowls and vases, and serene woodblock prints, by artists from William Seltzer Rice (1873–1963) to today’s Yoshiko Yamamoto. A collection of ca. 1900 orotone (gold-tone photography) views of local Mt. Rainier anchors a wall in the living room.

With Roycroft interiors in mind, Steve chose a Morris chair by Limbert, which he put next to the fireplace with a Handel floor lamp to read by. He balanced the room with a Limbert settee and an L. & J.G. Stickley paddle-arm Morris chair. Linen curtain panels and table runners by Dianne Ayres absorb sound and soften the rooms, adding to the Arts & Crafts ambiance.

seattle bungalow kitchen

Remodeled by previous owners, the kitchen was simple and functional. Steve Walsh did little but replace glaring can lights with ca. 1900 pendants made of hammered iron, brass, and slag glass, and paint the walls Roycroft Copper Red.

More recently, Steve Walsh redid the exterior colors. The bungalow had been painted white, which rendered it nondescript. A tax assessor’s 1931 photograph showed the original treatment of gable pediments—which turned out to be there still, under the siding, and was restored.

Steve Walsh Seattle bungalow

Homeowner Steve Walsh on the porch of his 1921 Seattle bungalow.

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