A HOME FULL OF CHARACTER
Old House Journal|November - December 2021
Smaller homes like this 1920s Dutch Colonial so often get overlooked as worthy of restoration. Owners don’t think they’re special . . . or they add on or remodel until the original is unrecognizable. This owner saw the potential.
PATRICIA POORE
WHEN IS A HOUSE MAGAZINE-READY?” Matthew Corso asked, with hesitation. He’d shared some photos while inquiring about a salvaged mantel. His kitchen was just about done, and we couldn’t help but notice the integrity of the design. Corso has spent the past four years rehabilitating and restoring a 1925 Dutch Colonial Revival house in Westwood, New Jersey. • “It’s coming along as I’d dreamed, and it will be worth it in the end,” he said. “I’ve been working like a dog on the kitchen. The Hoosier cabinet needed painting and adjusting, new linoleum shelf liners needed to be cut from the massive roll I got on FB Marketplace, and I painted the 1946 refrigerator.” • A few months later, he was working on getting the house furnished. Through much of the project, Corso lived with his parents in a town not far away. Motivated by a power outage there, he moved in during the pandemic shutdown. We got a call from him: “Three years, four months, 24 days—and I finally slept here!” He promised the house would be shelf paper-ready by the time of our scheduled photoshoot.

“I FOUND IT CHARMING,” Matthew Corso remembers, “except for the garage and landscaping.” Built during a housing boom in the Twenties, the Dutch Colonial is in an eclectic neighborhood of working-class, Depression-era houses: Colonial Revivals, a few bungalows, and Tudors. Infills tend to be postwar traditional.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM OLD HOUSE JOURNALView All

Holiday Home

Any of these would be a welcome gift for an old-house friend or for an artful home . . . including your own.

2 mins read
Old House Journal
November - December 2021

Simple Craftsman Roots Revived

A “clean but sterile” 1914 kitchen is treated to bungalow-era design.

2 mins read
Old House Journal
November - December 2021

MOVING toward

Changing energy markets and evolving technology make it possible to heat, cool, and ventilate homes of any age with (mostly) clean, all-electric power—and less of it. Heating home water, formerly an energy hog, is turning into an energy sipper, too.

9 mins read
Old House Journal
November - December 2021

The Rescue of Portland's FIREHOUSE 17

IN WHAT BECAME THE PROJECT OF A LIFETIME, THE REHABILITATION OF A 1912 FIREHOUSE IS ADAPTIVE REUSE WITH HEART AND SOUL. DECOMMISSIONED IN 1968, ALLOWED TO DETERIORATE AND LATER REMODELED, THE OLD FIREHOUSE HAD BEEN BUILT DURING THE DAYS OF HORSE-DRAWN ENGINES. THE PROJECT WAS SPEARHEADED BY RESTORAT ION CONSULTANT KARLA PEARLSTEIN, IN PORTLAND, OREGON. SHE NOW CALLS THE FIREHOUSE HOME.

3 mins read
Old House Journal
November - December 2021

Caring for Silverplate

Whether the design is Rococo, Aesthetic, or Art Deco, silverplate is collectible—and needs care.

5 mins read
Old House Journal
November - December 2021

MANTELS in a Holiday Mood

Pretty things from nature are always in style.

3 mins read
Old House Journal
November - December 2021

Diamonds!

An eternal motif for objects around the house.

1 min read
Old House Journal
November - December 2021

A Surprisingly Authentic Bath

The replicated, late-Victorian master bathroom is in an 1892 brick manse in St. Louis, Missouri.

2 mins read
Old House Journal
November - December 2021

A HOME FULL OF CHARACTER

Smaller homes like this 1920s Dutch Colonial so often get overlooked as worthy of restoration. Owners don’t think they’re special . . . or they add on or remodel until the original is unrecognizable. This owner saw the potential.

4 mins read
Old House Journal
November - December 2021

A Furnished Bath

This elegant bathroom has fixture panels fabricated from parts of a Victorian armoire.

2 mins read
Old House Journal
November - December 2021