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27th Annual Bungalow Heaven House Tour

Working in the home design field is an absolute dream come true for me. I love houses.  My husband jokes I have more pictures of houses than people on my phone.  I am delighted by the variety of architectural styles that grace the neighborhoods of our country. Out of the eclectic smorgasbord of great American house styles, there are two that I am drawn to more than any other and they are, as traditional houses go, polar opposites.  On the one hand, the imagination and whimsy of Victorian architecture makes me truly marvel while, on the other, the strong, simple, spare detailing of Craftsman architecture has a calming, grounding effect on me.  

When I was fifteen and poring over each issue of Old House Journal magazine, I had a dream that one day I would live in one of those houses.  I dreamt that I would make it to Pasadena to visit Bungalow Heaven and see one of the most significant enclaves of Craftsman bungalows in the United States. 

Fast-forward twenty-something years to this past weekend when I served as a docent for the 27th Annual Bungalow Heaven House Tour.  My sidekick and fellow docent for the day was my thirteen-year-old son, Ian, who masterfully explained to the crowds what was stored in a California Cooler or how picture rails save plaster and lathe walls from damage.  I was delighted to spend three hours walking hundreds of old house lovers through that 1912 bungalow.  And I certainly could not have been more proud to watch the next generation of my family educate people on the virtues of details like inglenooks and colonnades, board-and-batten wainscoting and boxed-beamed ceilings. 

Ian and Mary Kate Spach serving as docents for the 27th Annual Bungalow Heaven House Tour

(Left: Ian wowing the crowd. Right: Notice the Dard Hunter rose print above my head. Tim actually grew up across the street from Dard Hunter! Too cool!!)

I am equally proud of the work we are doing at Tim Barber House & Home to make a contribution to the American architectural landscape. Many TBH&H houses are inspired by the great architecture of the turn of the last century and feature these same timeless architectural details, especially Hamilton, our signature Craftsman home. All of our house plans, whether they are traditional or contemporary in their style, are designed to be built with quality materials and artful craftsmanship.  After all, I want to be sure that 100 years from now, TBH&H homes will still be standing strong, and hopefully, inspiring thirteen-years olds to sing their praises.