I am looking for a bit of style guidance. We just bought a 1,400 sq ft Dutch Colonial built circa 1900. I am curious what was the likely decor of the house when it was originally constructed. I understand it is Colonial Revival, but it is hardly large enough to pull off a colonial interior. Would a more Arts and Crafts style be out of character for a New England home? And does anyone have any thoughts as to what would have been it's original aesthetic? 


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Hi Elizabeth,

I recently had the same question, so I started to dig around on the internet for images. Best logic I could think of was to find a catalog from that time period and just read it from cover to cover. I own a 1925 bungalow, so I started looking at wards, spiegel and sears catalogs from archive.org. 

I just spent some time digging, and I found the 1899-1900 Sears & Roebucks consumers guide (AKA mail order catalog) and found that the furniture is, as I suspected, still fairly ornate and victorian. 


Starting on page 1022, and up to roughly 1060, you'll see all of the furniture options.

This is interesting for my own research, as I had not gone that far back to look at styles. Previous to this, I had looked at all major catalogs from 1916 until 1928. At l least around 1916, colonial/colonial revival had taken hold as pretty much a de-facto style in interior design and furniture. In so many Chicago bungalows (where I live) the 'bungalow buffet' or sideboard so many people have built into their home is actually a colonial piece of furniture .

Love the pic you posted. Is that the original wall paper in the entrance of the home? The staircase newel is beautiful and i love the woodwork details. From the rest of the pic, I bet you have some awesome woodwork waiting to be seen under that white paint. 

Thanks so much for the catalog resource. I can say that I think my kitchen would greatly benefit from the Handy Kitchen table on page 1030. This also explains a bit why the dining room table that was gifted to us has holes to be on casters. That seemed odd to me, but the pictures show several of the tables being on wheels. I was also gifted a table that is almost a duplicate of the No 95553 on the upper left of page 1034. It looks like we're on our way to some level of period accuracy! 

I am sure the wallpaper isn't original, but it is in good shape and has a good "feel" so I think we will be leaving that alone for the foreseeable future. It was thinking of trying to pull some of the green from the paper to paint the living room and some of the red for the dining room with wainscoting under the existing chair rail. My husband started stripping paint of some of the windows, so hopefully we can restore them all the wood like in the hall and kitchen. 

Thanks again!


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