Man rehabs home to find Arts and Crafts roots

Clare Howard

When Mike Ryon found a 1920 stucco and brick Dutch Colonial home, he was able to look beyond the powder blue paint and carpeting to see the Arts and Crafts bones of the structure.

He bought the home in 2002 and started renovations.

"Everyone who has lived here has taken care of the house," Ryon said.

He started stripping woodwork. Even the fireplace had been painted. The mantel is now a rich chestnut, and the fireplace surround is Arts and Crafts-style tiles that could be handcrafted Batchelder or Rookwood tiles. The firebox is a Gothic arch.

Wall-to-wall carpeting was removed, and the oak floors were refinished.

Ryon installed a plate rack in the dining room and found marks on the plaster walls indicating a plate rack had originally been in the same spot.

A previous owner had upgraded all electric wiring in the home and added a second air conditioning unit.

Most of Ryon's furniture is Mission style. The home's original French doors separating the living room from the sun room are Mission style.

He has purchased oriental rugs from Pakobel Rugs on the Internet and at local antique shops and shows.

"If you buy what you are attracted to, it will all come together," he said.

Ryon immediately recognized the easy traffic flow when he first toured the house. Guests enter a small front foyer and walk into a large front hallway between the living room and dining room. Stairs to the second floor start in the front hallway.

"I moved here from a 900-square-foot house," Ryon said. "This is 2,800 square feet and can easily accommodate 30 to 40 people comfortably."

Ryon had recessed lighting installed in the kitchen and bought a large antique kitchen cabinet 7 1/2 feet tall by 6 1/2 feet long that is similar to one original to the home. Lighting above the cabinets illuminates some of his pottery collection. A sun-filled breakfast room is connected to the kitchen.

The home's 1920s stucco required repair work when Ryon bought the house. When he had a pergola installed in the backyard, he used textured paint on the columns to complement the stucco on the house.

He priced stone for the patio under the pergola and ultimately went with concrete air conditioner pads that look like oversized stones.

Near the small back porch is the original ice door dating back to the era when ice was delivered to homes in the neighborhood.

"There are so many treasures in the old neighborhoods ... . Very simple little houses can be gems. Everyday I see something new and great in this neighborhood," Ryon said.

Journal Star writer Clare Howard can be reached at choward@pjstar.com.