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My name is Carrol Krause. I’ve been a homes journalist since 2003, writing a weekly newspaper column that focuses on local houses, gardens, craftspeople and architects. ( I’m very interested in historic preservation, green building, and clever retrofits that extend the life and usability of structures. I don’t find luxury finishes particularly appealing as an end in themselves, but I am interested in unique and individual living environments that let us obtain a glimpse of the personality of the owners.

I’m also an avid reader, tending more toward non-fiction in general and preferring classic literature. Biographies in particular fascinate me, along with journals. I enjoy Pepys’ diaries, but Boswell is my favorite. I’ve kept a daily journal for nearly forty years. When nothing memorable or exciting happens to write about on a given day, I try to write instead about a thought I’ve had, or an emotion.

So this blog will be mostly about houses and books, but also things and thoughts. Feel free to contact me at lorrac58 [at] gmail [dot] com.

Just out of curiosity, I invite viewers to describe their feelings about houses and/or books below. What first made you look at houses in a new or different way? What is or was your favorite book, and why?

  1. My own interest in houses, from an achitectural viewpoint, was when I was 11 and I read the book “Sinbad and me” by Kin Platt. Besides being a mystery book it was full of discussions and comments about architecture. After that I was hooked into seeing those terms as they applied to the buildings I passed everyday.

  2. I remember being pretty young when I started to appreciate the history of houses, and I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that houses practically die when neglected. For me, the older the home is, the better. I love houses whose walls could tell stories if asked. When my husband and I were house shopping a few years ago before we bought our place (a 1950s ranch), I told him that I did not want a “new” home. To me, they feel too impersonal and cookie-cutter.

    • I completely agree! In my weekly newspaper column I tend to stay away from new houses unless they are “green” or in some way unusual. Older homes are the ones that have accumulated life-stories that can be shared with readers.

  3. Carrol – your blog is inspiring and I wanted to share with you our new book, which I think you’ll enjoy: Coming Home: The Southern Vernacular House.

    Thanks for your efforts in sharing beautiful photos and efforts to keep our history alive. A favorite quote of mine from Goethe is “Tradition is the tending of the flame, not the worship of the ashes”. Thank you for tending the flame!

  4. As far back as I can remember, houses and architecture have captivated me. Growing up, one of my favorite tv shows was This Old House. I must have been the only kid who knew who Bob Villa was! It always fascinated me to watch the homes be restored and to listen to the historys.

    That love of old homes and design remains. A few years ago I was pursuing an Interior Design degree and did a project focused on the Arts and Craft style and was told by the instructor that it is out of style, not forward design. How could he say such a thing! On a recent trip to Buffalo I visited the Frank Lloyd Wright Darwin House. It is the epitome of forward design.

    Thank you for the question. Very thought provoking.

  5. Good design, I believe, runs both forward and backward in that it never truly goes out of style. Thank you for visiting the blog and commenting, Inkledpink!

  6. John Arthos permalink

    Carroll, I wanted to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed and been instructed by your wonderful blog. I just moved to Bloomington and I sensed some of the things you write about, but your intimate knowledge, study, observations and careful reflections are invaluable. I especially enjoy and learn from the history of houses entries. Thanks for doing this good work. John

  7. Lee permalink

    My first awareness of houses came from TV and movie homes–the Addams Family’s Gothic mansion; Dick Van Dyke’s Mid-Century ranch, Tara in Gone with the Wind. The house I most wanted to live in was my Barbie Dream House, which I received for Christmas in 1963. Forty years later, when we bought our Bloomington house in Maxwell Manors, I was living the “Dream”.

    • Yes, I loved the Addams Family’s house too! All those TV shows with their imaginary interiors….remember all those various TV-sitcom apartments that featured one or two steps down from the entry to the living room area? I’ve never run across one like this in real life. — Thanks for reading and following, Lee! You’ve got the coolest Barbie-house in Bloomington! 🙂

  8. Heather Reynolds permalink

    I can’t choose a favorite book, there are too many, and so wonderful in different ways. Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac With Other Essays on Conservation from Round River is definitely a favorite, for its humility, grace, perception, and ability to bring the reader into communion with nature. Mixing houses and books – Sarah Susanka’s “Not So Big House” books delightfully teach, through fine writing and beautiful images, that a house can be designed or remodeled to support the human inhabitant’s daily life by enhancing functionality and beauty. It may seem silly, but I’d always felt like I had to adapt to the house/take what I got, whereas Susanka’s books have a special ability to inspire a sense of agency in the reader about what they want from a house and how they can get it. Also, a brilliant case is made for function and quality of materials and furnishings over size.

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