A Restoration Design Guide


440 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-921335-12-1
DDC 728





Reviewed by James A. Love

J.A. Love is an associate professor of environmental design at the
University of Calgary.


The title of this volume belies its contents. It is actually a re-issue of the 1923 catalogue of the Morgan Woodwork Organization. Included are four dozen home plans ranging in style from Craftsman to Colonial, each including a colour rendered perspective. Eight other colour drawings reveal the interior decor popular at the time. A hundred and fifty pages are devoted to illustrations of doorways, stairways, breakfast nooks, wardrobes, and other interior details accompanied by code numbers referencing woodwork components shown in the last hundred pages of the book. Other items featured are dormers and stained-glass windows. Unfortunately, the excellent illustrations provide almost no dimensions, which would frustrate anyone attempting to reproduce items shown in the book.

The catalogue opens with an essay titled “A Woman’s Thoughts About A Home” which offers advice such as, “There must be plenty of space … for those precious lace-trimmed doilies and attractive centrepieces.” This leads one to consider the problems which a restoration design guide should address, and which this one does not — how to deal with changes in lifestyle, fashion, and technology that have occurred in the past half-century. Few admirers of older homes would wish to inhabit a museum, especially in the case of spaces such as the kitchen and bathroom.

The text is salted with short essays on construction, but these are too general to be of much value or else simply boost Morgan products of the 1920s. The best feature of this book is the many illustrations.



Homes and Interiors of the 1920's, “A Restoration Design Guide,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 17, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/34418.