Keeping Your Old Home Beautiful


This Old House named the College Hill neighborhood as a one of the Midwest’s best neighborhoods for 2013. The neighborhood is just north of the Washburn University campus and was originally established as a residential and boarding area for faculty and students. Topeka has several historic neighborhoods with lovely homes that were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Having an older home such as the homes in College Hill, Elmhurst, Potwin, and Holliday Park, requires continuous upkeep. Repairing and remodeling, new trends in interior design or conversely, the wish to restore a home to its original look, requires money, time and information. We can’t help you with time or money, but we can help you find the information you need. We have many books and DVDs, but we have another invaluable resource—magazines. Capture-American-Home-Pallate-217x140Not just current magazines, but magazines that were contemporary with the building of Topeka’s old neighborhoods. These magazines are invaluable to those wanting to restore an older home or create a retro look in a new home.

Magazines such as The Delineator and Woman’s Home Companion are a portal to the past. If you are looking for stencil patterns and color palettes, or appropriate furniture styles, or window treatments for your older home, the following magazines might be the answer to your needs:

The American Home, 1929-1954, and 1970-1978. This magazine focused on home architecture, interior design, and landscaping.Capture-American-Home-Lighting-114x140

Better Homes and Gardens, 1924-current. This publication is a popular source for interior design and landscaping ideas.

The Delineator, 1902-1937. Primarily a woman’s fashion and craft magazine, The Delineator also had many articles on home décor.
Good Housekeeping, 1909-current. Founded in 1885, Good Housekeeping has focused on all aspects of home and family.

Capture-stencils-110x140Capture-stencils-2-106x140House Beautiful, 1913-1932, 1938, 1951-current. House Beautiful is the oldest, still-published magazine devoted to interior design.

If you are interested in these or any of the other wonderful magazines in our collection, go to the reference desk and we will be happy to pull them for you.

Mark your calendar: June 10, 2014, the Library will have a program on maintaining and remodeling old homes. More information will be forthcoming, so watch the Library News for updates.

All images from TSCPL magazine collection:
House Beautiful (featured image). February, 1913
American Home (window blinds and house plans). May, 1929.
Good Housekeeping (color in your home). June, 1927.
American Home (lighting advertisement). May, 1929.
House Beautiful (stencils for the nursery). May, 1920.

One thought on “Keeping Your Old Home Beautiful

  1. Thank you for the Older home program- hope you will do more. Topeka has lots of older homes not just in the neighboorhoods mentioned and it is a real challange to maintain them with the incomes most Topekans have. .

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