Our House

Gran­ite Foursquare.

Arts and Crafts Homes - - CONTENTS - —Elis­a­beth Eick­hoff


OUR FOURSQUARE is in the Cen­tral Gar­dens Na­tional His­toric Dis­trict in Mem­phis, Ten­nessee. My hus­band, Greg Gen­try, and I bought it al­most two years ago, and projects are on­go­ing: We re­moved the re­cent pre­fab Greek-style front porch col­umns, and re­placed them with 6x6 posts, then cus­tom-built trim to match our in­te­rior newel post. We’re plan­ning a de­tached garage with stu­dio space above, much like his­toric out­build­ings in the area. We haven’t changed much in­side, no tear­ing out walls or wood­work. I’ve dec­o­rated in a per­sonal, up­dated take on Arts & Crafts style. The in­te­rior has the nur­tur­ing feel­ing of early 20th-cen­tury rooms. The caramel wall color, ‘Brush Box’ [8325D] from Sher­win–Wil­liams, was al­ready on the walls; I like its Arts & Crafts as­so­ci­a­tions and how it com­ple­ments the painted ivory wood­work. We do use the rooms dif­fer­ently from the orig­i­nal plan. The old for­mal din­ing room is now our me­dia room, sep­a­rated from the front liv­ing room by the orig­i­nal pocket doors. A nar­row back room is used as our din­ing room, next to the kitchen. The kitchen is in its orig­i­nal lo­ca­tion, and a small pow­der room was added in what was part of the hall and a closet. We have a typ­i­cal “half dou­ble” stair­case—steps from the front room and an­other from the kitchen meet at a sin­gle land­ing, and one flight pro­ceeds to

the sec­ond floor.

The back­yard is small but nicely land­scaped with an edged bor­der be­tween the grass and plant­ing beds against the fence. It will soon host the out­build­ing, its de­sign ap­proved by both the city and the Land­marks Com­mit­tee.

Be­fore our own­er­ship, the fourth up­stairs bed­room was sac­ri­ficed to cre­ate a larger master suite with an up­graded sec­ond bath­room. A front bed­room serves as a home of­fice. All the floors are orig­i­nal to the house, but, un­for­tu­nately, will have to be re­placed at some point. They’re oak, but a kind of prim­i­tive “en­gi­neered floor­ing” in use dur­ing WWI when lum­ber was scarce. Af­ter a hun­dred years and sev­eral sand­ings, floors are pa­per thin.

I love Arts & Crafts Homes. My hus­band, how­ever, says it gives me too many ideas of how to spend money on this house. Just kid­ding, he en­joys it, too. This is our dream house in our dream neigh­bor­hood, and we’re de­lighted to share it. a

lther coursquares in the neigh­bor­hood are clinker brick and stucco or wood frame—this one stands out with its im­ported gran­ite on the first floor. The Tu­dor-arch fire­place and man­tel, too, are orig­i­nal.

ABOVE LEFT The din­ing room has a wool rug in a Prairie-in­spired pat­tern, by Surya. LEFT The guest room is fur­nished with Ten­nesseemade items, made in the 1920s and pur­chased at auc­tion by the owner’s mother in the 1950s. BE­LOW The fenced back­yard has...

—the ed­i­tors

SEND US PHOTOS of your house! As dig­i­tal files or prints, send pic­tures of the ex­te­rior or spe­cial details, in­te­ri­ors, be­fore-and-af­ter, or your cur­rent project, along with a para­graph or two. In­struc­tions and ad­dresses can be found on page 8.

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