This time we are back in our hometown of Claremont, with a large 1914 Craftsman home. This home is 2700 square feet with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. It is on a beautiful tree lined street right in the Claremont village.
We love Craftsman homes and this beauty has all of those features and more. The large front porch with natural rock, the original wide wooden door, the dining room built-ins with pagoda cutouts on the cabinet doors, the wood paneling, the grand fireplace, and the pocket doors between the living room and dining rooms – all we could say was WOW!
The main living areas needed cleaning and brightening and the large fireplace needed something special to make it stand out in this beautiful home. The fireplace is the first thing that you see when you enter. Batchelder tile was very common on fireplaces of that era, but our fireplace didn’t have any special tile. Ernest Batchelder was an artist and teacher who lived in southern California in the early 20th century. He created art tiles and was a leader in the American Arts and Crafts Movement. His tiles became hugely popular and by the 1920s could be found in homes throughout the country.
Pasadena Craftsman Tile currently has the blessing of the Batchelder family to make authentic reproductions of his tiles. We hired them to make special tiles for our fireplace, a tree pattern in a beautiful green/blue color surrounded by tiles in the same hues. The cost was $4500, and worth every penny!
The original hardwood floors were in great condition and only needed sanding and stain to bring them back to life.
The kitchen had been remodeled in the 1960s and needed an update and a style more in keeping with the style of the home. Tina wanted the kitchen to be bright and light, so she decided on white cabinets for the uppers and a sage green for the lowers. Also we had that amazing pagoda cut-out design on the dining room cabinet doors, and Tina wanted to carry that design into the kitchen. A template was made from an original door and a machinist used the template to cut out the doors. The result was truly original. The finishing touches were the soapstone countertop and handmade wavy tile backsplash.
The floor plan included two bedrooms and two bathrooms downstairs, and one bedroom and bath upstairs. In order to make a true master downstairs we opened the wall between a bedroom and bathroom. This bathroom had a built-in that we decided to keep, and we installed the vanity in the center of the built-in. The original clawfoot tub was still there. We restored the tub by cleaning it, painting the outside black, and applying a wax pigment patina on the feet. We did a marble tile floor in a basketweave pattern and the same wavy handmade tile from the kitchen for the wainscot. The final result was beautiful!
We were so fortunate to have original pictures of the home, and the exterior of the home still had the original cedar shingles. We were hoping to power wash them and keep them in their original condition. However, the force of the water was making gouges in the soft wood. We had to paint the shingles instead, and chose an olive green for the shingles, blue on the windows, and brown trim. It gave the home a very natural look, which is the Craftsman way.
The original wide front door had a lot of cracks in it. We stripped it and installed a brand new sheet of oak on the face. Once it was stained you couldn’t tell that it had been repaired. It was good as new!
New landscape added the finishing touch. This home was returned to it’s stately elegance and will be a lovely home for at least another hundred years.
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