Amy Shook and Steve Korn have learned a lot about the Craftsman style since moving into their 1912 Cannon Hill residence four years ago.
Entered into both the Spokane and National Registers of historic houses, their home, officially named the Frank and Maude Tuell House, is a classic example of a bungalow built in the California style.
“To find one in such good shape is pretty amazing. It was pretty much move-in ready,” says Amy. “Except for the orange kitchen, we didn’t have to do any painting. We didn’t have to pull up carpet. And most of these houses have been updated in the past 100 years.”
The first most notable feature is the front door. The original entry, the door is huge and sturdy, with an oak motif of leaves and acorns.
“The neighbors say “It’s the house with the door,” because it’s so wide, ridiculously wide, for this size of house, and it’s solid oak,” says Amy. “For me the front door is the best feature. Every time we come home I say, “Oh, that’s my house!”
Other significant features include the original inglenook fireplace, casement windows, a built-in hutch with leaded glass, cast iron radiators, and the boiler. In the guest room is a built-in dresser. A swinging door separates the kitchen from the dining room. Many of the original light fixtures and hardware remain.
And if something has been updated, Steve and Amy find a way to acquire a copy of the original.
“It’s been fun finding all these companies that do restoration work,” says Amy. She points to their re-issue Stickley furniture gracing the living room. “The furniture in here is very similar to how it would have been set up.”
In what used to be considered the ‘public’ rooms - the living and dining rooms - is a double row of mahogany inlay in the oak floor. In the semi-public guest room there is only one row, and in the private rooms, the kitchen and bedroom, there are maple floors with fir trim. The ceilings are nine feet high throughout, with a box- beam ceiling in the living room.
Although there have been many previous owners, only four or five have stayed for any length of time. Some changes over the years include enclosed bay window areas in place of the sleeping porch off the bedroom, and the mud room and ice box in the kitchen. A one-car garage has been added out back. Trying to discover the dates of these renovations has become quite a hobby.
“Part of the fun is doing the research,” says Steve. “We did a lot of research ourselves when we first moved in. We looked at the archives in City Hall, and traced all the past owners.”
So far Amy and Steve have removed most of the telephone jacks, all of the cable hook ups, and changed the light switches back to their original push button style. They have no TV, computer, or microwave.
Their future plans include replacing the kitchen cabinets with the original style of recessed doors, and stenciling oak leaves and acorns on the living room and dining room walls. They also want to strip the white paint off the living room fireplace down to the original brick. Steve and Amy plan to make the bungalow their permanent home.
“This is our first, and, you might want to mention, last home. We are not moving,” says Amy.
It’s fortunate the house has so charmed her, as Steve bought it sight unseen by Amy.
“I was out here first,” says Steve. “She was finishing up her work back in Chicago. When I found this house I told her, ‘Here’s the Web site, you can look at it,’ and then I bought it. So she had not seen it. Basically, I got her at the airport and brought her to the front door and we came in and that’s the first time she saw the house.”