In the midst of the new construction, Wismer and Dufner worked to preserve original details. When Glennwood’s crew uncovered a small section of clapboard beneath the vinyl siding, the designers ordered custom-milled planking to match the original wood. They designed the new two-berth carport to the same specs as the smaller one it replaced. Inside, they restored a built-in cabinet in the dining room and reused some of the doors.
Overall, however, the designers were less concerned with returning the house to its vintage condition than with enhancing its period style. For inspiration, Wismer says, they studied Dutch colonials in New York City – revivals and older originals – and determined that the front entrance needed to be more "important." So workers removed a small arched overhang and replaced it with a square-pillared portico, topped with a railing copied from the original three-season room.
On the main floor, Wismer and Dufner added archways and wainscot paneling where none had ever been. They upgraded the bathrooms with new marble panels, penny-round tiles and period-inspired plumbing fixtures. And in the dining room, which made the cover of national magazine Metropolitan Home, they accentuated the motif with new herringbone oak flooring and new silver metallic wallpaper, gorgeously hand painted by Chinese artisans. For the whole house, they chose windows that could have been installed in 1930, with chunky muntins that complement the thick interior trim.
Throughout the project, the designers were involved in the smallest details, ordering only the best in materials and techniques, says Glennwood’s owner Jeff Collins. He opens a kitchen cupboard, built in a cabinet shop owned by one of his trim carpenters, and points to two strips of wood cut in wave patterns – old-style, adjustable shelf supports, painted blue to match the inside of the cabinets. "It’s that sort of craftsmanship you don’t see today," he says.
SIDEBAR: Resources for "Colonial Revival"
Janet Lively writes and teaches in Traverse City.firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: This article was first published in July 2007 and was updated for the web February 2008.