Spring 2016 Cover Image

(5/16) This image comes from the February 1907 Ladies Home Journal and was created by Mary Stokes.

So smitten with Mrs. Stokes' painting, LHJ editors wrote: "It is a long time since we have had a cover so strikingly decorative in effect as the quaint forest scene shown on this month's issue. The painting is by Mrs. Adrian Stokes, a native of Graz, Austria, who married a prominent English artist. It illustrates the scene in Grimm's fairy tale, The Enchanted Fawn where the little brother and sister, fleeing from their cruel step-mother, have reached the third brook in the forest, and the brother, unable to restrain his thirst any longer, has just taken a drink of the bewitched water and turned into a fawn. 'The little sister wept bitterly,' runs the story, 'over her poor bewitched brother, and the little fawn also wept, and kept close to her side. At last the maiden said: 'Do not cry any more, dear little fawn; I will never leave you.' Doubtless many of our readers with be pleased to have a special copy of the picture. We have therefore had a number of sheets printed in poster style, with the printed matter, title and all, left on, exactly as it appears on the cover, but without any advertisements on the back. One of these sheets will be mailed, with the postage prepaid, to anyone who sends ten cents to us."

Focus on National Plan Service

(11/15) The origins of National Plan Service are a little murky. There are more than a dozen plan books in our collection but apart from their moniker and possibly a copyright date there isn't any information about the company itself. Like many of the plan book companies, NPS arranged the publication of various plan collections to lumber suppliers and building contractors.

Updated Bibliography

(7/15) The list of books referenced on Antique Home Style has been updated. Not all the books have been published, but more content will be added as time allows. I've included links to reprints of various books where they exist. I also want to create a database so you can access them by region, date, or publisher, but haven't had time to do that yet. More ...

On The Hunt for C.L. Bowes

(6/15) In serious competition with William A. Radford Architectural Company, Charles Lane Bowes published a huge number of house plans. His first book was American Modern Homes published in 1918. See some of the plans here.

While we're on the subject of Radford, we also recently acquired a copy of Guaranteed Building Plans with Interior Views and Details, which the Radford Architectural Company published in 1915. The first image that caught our attention was the plan for the "auto enthusiast." You've probably noticed those houses built on a small hill or knoll with the garage under the house similar to this bungalow plan.

Home Builders Blue Book

(2/12/2015) Too much water under the bridge since our last plan book was posted. We are working to correct this deficiency and hope the following will whet your appetite for new plans.

The newest plans come from the 1925 Home Builders' Blue Book by the William A. Radford company, one of the largest and most prolific plan publishers of that decade.

In the News

(2/2015) If you want to get a little design inspiration for your kitchen, check out Kitchens That'll Never Go Out of Style at Apartment Therapy. We're fans because there is so much creative thinking going on at AT, especially for small spaces like little old houses. We like the mix of modern within a vintage framework and of course we agree that the closer you stay to the original kitchen design and materials, the more staying power the kitchen design will have over time. Nothing says 1970 like avocado green and burnt orange or 2005 like cherry cabinets and stainless steel appliances. Of course, you could just skip and go straight to our kitchen sources for inspiration too.

(2/11/2014) Over the years I've enjoyed reading articles on "new" old houses. Given the number of readers on AHS who have taken the time to inquire about building a home based on one of the plans published here, there seems to be a very healthy interest in creating a home based on vintage designs but with modern amenities. In some ways, it can be the best of both worlds. Here's a recent article from the Wall Street Journalyou might find interesting.

Interested in more vintage house plans?

See dozens more at Bungalow Home Style with its focus on just bungalows. Is modern your style? Check out the plans at Mid Century Home Style.

Maybe you just want small ... new or old. Reducing your footprint and minimizing your lifestyle can have far reaching benefits. Small House Living is about living better with less.

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"The study of history requires investigation, imagination, empathy, and respect. Reverence just doesn't enter into it." ~ Jill Lepore