Reimagining The Craftsman Home
From the Desk of Dale and Stephanye Peek
Editor’s Note: We are so excited to be sharing a glimpse into the wonderful world of home renovation via our friends, and long time National Arts & Crafts Conference attendees, Dale and Stephanye Peek. They’re in the midst of an exciting Craftsman remodel and we’ll periodically be sharing highlights of their project here! To be officially in the loop, sign up for their newsletter and stay tuned for a special feature or two along the way here at ArtsAndCraftsCollector.com!
We’re Dale and Stephanye Peek. We moved to 637 Polk in 1980. Our sons, Jonathan and Joshua were born in 1985 and 1990 and grew up in here. Stephanye recently retired from teaching PE in Cobb County schools. We love our neighborhood, Applewood, and we love our home which is within walking distance from the Marietta Square. That’s why we’re renovating it – we’re committed to staying in our wonderful Marietta neighborhood, just with a fresh new look to the house.
After living here for 35 years, we chose to not just renovate our home, but to re-imagine it in the Craftsman style associated with the early 20th century. Dale is an architect, and he is known for his Craftsman-inspired designs of contemporary homes. Because the house is structurally similar to Craftsman homes, he was inspired to renovate our home in his specialty style.
As we re-imagine our home, we have named it The Pond House. This name was inspired by the cattail stained glass window that has been designed for us, as well as the name of one of our favorite restaurants down near Bainbridge, Georgia where Stephanye grew up. There will be cattail-inspired elements throughout the property in addition to the stained glass window, including cattail-like designs in the railings, and a water feature that will be part of the back yard’s landscape architecture.
In the year 2000, Dale was the Architect for a well known developer/builder in West Cobb/Paulding when the owner decided to sell the company to a much larger developer. Dale had to make a choice between being absorbed into the big corporate builder world, or find something else to do.
At the same time an opportunity arose to provide home design services for a new homebuilder who had a vision to construct an entire subdivision of ‘Craftsman’ houses. Well . . . 15 years ago the ‘Craftsman Revival’ movement was just getting underway, and most of us in the south didn’t even know what the word meant yet. Never being one that enjoyed the large corporate world, Dale decided to take a risk and start up his own firm – initially just to supply design services for this one builder.
Little did any of us know that a huge movement was just beginning and that fledgling Peek Design Group would be on the leading edge of ‘Craftsman’ design in the south. Dale set off immediately to study this style of architecture – prominent during what is more correctly known as the ‘Arts and Crafts’ period, and began to create homes of traditional ‘Craftsman’ Exterior detailing but with floor plans that were more in line with the current design trends of today.
The ‘Craftsman’ subdivision was a great success due in great part to the unique streetscape that these unique houses created. Before long, other opportunities for design work arose and Peek Design Group became closely associated with the ‘Craftsman Revival’ in the Atlanta area and beyond.
So when we had the idea to renovate our personal home, the love that we have developed for this unique style certainly played a major role. First of all, our home is only one of 2 or 3 in the entire Applewood development that have ‘traditional bones’ – basically a 2-story box with a strong symmetrical front porch. This structure is the basis for one of the most commonly recognized forms of ‘Craftsman’ homes – known as the ‘Four Square’.
All of the other house plans that the builder(s) put up in Applewood are of the 1970’s contemporary diagonal cedar siding variety – which were a much more popular style when we bought our house in 1980. Secondly, it is just a hop/skip/jump from our home to authentic Bungalows built during that period on Stewart, Maple, and other streets as you travel from our house toward the square. And it is conceivable that one could have occupied our very lot on Polk Street 100 years ago.
Thirdly, we are enamored by not only the ‘Craftsman’ style itself, but also the groundswell movement which created it.
We hope this renovation inspires people to re-imagine their own homes. We’ll be keeping you posted on our progress, and we’d love to hear from you if you have questions or if you’ve got feedback on our project.
Check out 637polk.com for an in-depth look into their home renovation process and many more photos. And stay tuned here as we continue to share highlights of this exciting project!