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Don’t Envy, Be Inspired

A Note from the Editor:

At one point, in Arts & Crafts Homes, I ran a short questionnaire asking what readers liked about or wanted from the magazine. The modest response was gratifying; there was little criticism or controversy. (Good for my ego but ending the possibility of entertaining our readers with turgid letters.) Amidst the compliments, though, I did pick out a thread that I’ll have to address. The mild complaint was delivered as a whine, as admonishment, as a question, once with anger. It goes: “Too many of your projects are from the super-wealthy.” Or “what about those of us fixing up modest bungalows by ourselves—isn’t diy where you started?” And “please include articles about how to live an arts and crafts lifestyle on a normal, or even low, income.”

Indulge me as I first protest. (1) I couldn’t afford most of the houses we publish, either, but I love looking at them—for pure enjoyment, to appreciate the work of good builders and artisans, and for ideas. (2) We do so include modest projects—now and then. (3) Just as archival photos show us what really was, Perfect Ten houses show us what’s possible. You don’t necessarily want to copy either model. Paint colors, room arrangements, wall and window treatments, and the display of collections can be emulated, even if your furniture, fabric, or vases cost less than those of the rich and decorated.

Subscribe to Arts & Crafts Homes, or pick up an issue at your favorite bookstore or newsstand. Order back issues through the Old-House Bookstore or call (800) 850-7279.

But, now, I concede, a larger issue looms. Arts &Crafts stresses simplicity, natural and hand-made items, a rejection of rigid “style.” Of all the approaches to home-making, Arts &Crafts should be the one open to all. It does not require hired experts. As I wrote in the very first issue, Arts & Crafts appeals to everybody; it’s the preference of little boys, back-to-the-landers, craftspeople and artists, cuddlers and philosophers. So we’ll redouble our efforts to find and include down-to-earth examples. (Please don’t be shy about sending me your photos for consideration.)

Patricia Poore,Editor
10 Harbor Rd., Gloucester, MA 01930

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