An Authentic Arts & Crafts Home

By Katie Faulkner | Photography by Nathalie Dupré

 

For Jason and Ngoc Harwood, the renovation of this 1903 NorthShore bungalow was a labor of love like no other.

“We had looked diligently, every day, and when we came across this house, it just had so much character, history, and uniqueness that sold us on it,” Ngoc explains. After finding the perfect home, the Harwoods got to work on renovations to transform it into exactly what their family of four needed. With meticulous attention to detail and stylistic accuracy, Jason spearheaded the redesign. “The details throughout the home are very important,” Jason points out. Most of the subtle design elements throughout the home are accurate, custom replicas of design details made famous by legendary arts and crafts architectural firm, Greene & Green – known as the gold standard of arts and crafts design. After a 10-month remodel, Jason, Ngoc, and their two sons, Baker and Connor, moved into this authentic arts and crafts-style home.

Jason, Ngoc, Baker, and Connor Harwood outside their home

Jason, Ngoc, Baker, and Connor Harwood

Off-white stucco, cobblestone, and uniform arches framing the wrap-around porch all reinforce the bungalow-style exterior, which is over 100 years old. Nestled on a hill with enchanting landscaping, the home beckons guests inside. The foyer, while open to the main living spaces, is distinguished by the home’s iconic fireplace. A prime example of Jason’s attention to detail, the fireplace features a custom brass surround, inspired by Greene & Greene’s cloud lift motif, outlined in handmade green tile. The mantle also highlights a recurring design – small wooden keys adorn the corners of the mantle and the top shelf, and they can also be found repeating in the newel posts of the staircase.

To the right of the foyer is the open living room, where simple, clean lines and a stunning heartpine floor are the first elements to catch the eye. The floor is laid in a diagonal pattern, promoting a natural movement further into the home. The living room features cozy furniture for the family. Family heirlooms are tied into the room’s design. The chest under the television, a nearby rocking chair, and a wooden train set are just a few of the sentimental family pieces.

Overhead, the ambiance of the room is defined by stunning, accurately arts and crafts-style light fixtures. Custom art glass light fixtures from the famous Lundberg Studios were used throughout the home. Each A-line shade is hand-blown to show off delicate fern-like designs while casting warm amber light. The ceiling beams were designed by Jason to have a special scalloped tail where they trail off and come to an end. The shape of the tail mimics a classic arts and crafts design called a cloud lift, which is repeated throughout the home. “I like for things to have meaning. Working to thoughtfully incorporate family pieces, to find these special shades for the lights, and to make sure all the details line up made the home that much more special to us,” Jason shares.

For Ngoc, her heart was set on the details of the kitchen. Open to the living room, the kitchen was remodeled with very specific preferences in mind. “We wanted these rooms to be open to each other, and that was a challenge. But we made it work and made sure the island provided a smooth transition between the rooms. And then, I had always wanted a white kitchen! Jason picked the stained quarter-sawn oak for the island to make sure the color transition from the living room to the kitchen wasn’t too abrupt. Once I saw it in the house, it looked so good I almost caved on my white perimeter cabinets,” Ngoc laughs.

However, she stuck with it and chose white marble countertops and white cabinets around the perimeter as originally planned. The marble is carried up into the subway tile backsplash. The hood over the large cooktop continues the cloud lift design in its custom millwork, as does the end of the island. Meanwhile, the soapstone countertop on the island has a touch of nostalgic romance for Jason and Ngoc.“We were both chemistry majors at UTC, and historically, laboratory countertops were this same unfinished soapstone. So we chose this countertop as a nod to our shared background,” Jason says.

 

“We wanted these rooms to be open to each other, and that was a challenge. But we made it work and made sure the island provided a smooth transition between the rooms.” 
– Ngoc Harwood

On the other side of the foyer, tucked back from the main living space, is the dining room. This room is filled with arts and crafts details. Gorgeous, oversized wainscoting bears the cloud lift design in its trim, as do the hutch and the sideboard. The dining table itself is an heirloom piece, passed down from Jason’s grandparents. The stunning stained glass light fixture over the table has matching sconces on the wall over the sideboard. All three fixtures are inspired by The Gamble House – an iconic craftsman home in California created by Greene & Greene around 1908.

“I think that quality craftsmanship is a big part of a true arts and crafts home. Going the extra mile to make sure all the details were right … kept this renovation true to the style we wanted.” 

– Jason Harwood

 

All of the bedrooms are located upstairs, including the master suite. The master bedroom is a simple and relaxing space. The Harwoods used a family quilt for the foot of their bed. “We call that the ‘hundred-year-old quilt,’” Ngoc laughs. It was handed down by Jason’s family and is actually over 100 years old. Most of the furniture upstairs was refinished by Jason’s grandfather.

The adjoining master bathroom was expanded during the renovation when the ceiling and roofline were raised. With marble floors, countertops, shower tile, and backsplash, as well as marble trim wrap, this bathroom is a luxurious escape for Ngoc and Jason. It also carries on the arts and crafts standards of the rest of the home. With high-quality materials and the smart use of old-timey tile shapes like the honeycomb in the shower, it retains a vintage and elevated aesthetic. A final, fun detail is the small, scrolled brass shelf hung on the wall between each sink. It is one of the original fixtures from The Read House hotel in downtown Chattanooga. The Harwoods bought several and used them in the bathrooms during the renovation.

With all the details perfectly in place and thoughtfully executed, the Harwoods have built a home to love. “I think that quality craftsmanship is a big part of a true arts and crafts home. Going the extra mile to make sure all the details were right – like refinishing the original brass hardware in the home, finding light fixtures that were made for this style home, using real Carrera marble and solid wood cabinets and trim – those are all things that kept this renovation true to the style we wanted,” Jason says. He and Ngoc put in the work to be able to enjoy this home with their sons and extended family for years to come. CS

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