Last week on social media (July 5-9)

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My post-4th of July week was quite full. I was busy painting commissioned house portraits and promoting my new book. One very exciting event for me was meeting the couple who restored the Grand Rapids Victorian I painted for the cover of my book! They brought the home back to life and made it beautiful again. I’ll have pictures to share soon — before/after images as well as photos inside the home. This house will always hold a special place in my heart and I consider it an honor to have met the couple who restored it!

This Spanish Revival home is located in the Alamo Heights neighborhood in San Antonio, Texas. It was built in 1938, and if you think you’re seeing some Mediterranean influences in the house’s design, you are not mistaken!

In 1718, San Antonio was established by the Spanish as a mission and colonial outpost. Later in its history, the city became a center for cattle ranching and drew large numbers of European immigrants, especially from Germany and Czechoslovakia. When I visited San Antonio for the first time, I was surprised at the diversity of architectural styles. While many homes reflect the city’s Spanish roots, the architecture in San Antonio includes a wide variety of sources, from Georgian and Federal to Greek Revival, Colonial Revival, Tudor and Craftsman. In some cases, you’ll see historic Spanish Revival homes with nods to other styles of architecture. It makes the city so fun to drive in, and check out the lovely homes!

1938 Spanish Revival home in San Antonio, TX.

Buying historic homes can be a gamble when you consider renovation and restoration expenses. It is a labor of love with many challenges along the way. However, the rewards in completing such projects are monumental, not just for the homeowner, but for the community as well. Having created hundreds of paintings of historic homes across the country, I can say that when it comes to saving and renovating old houses it is the homeowner who is often the unsung hero of the story. Many of my clients worked for years to return their homes to their original splendor. I applaud their dedication and perseverance. Without it, this country would have only a fraction of the historic treasures it has today.

The owner of the 1906 Victorian farmhouse seen in this painting purchased it in 1976. The home was in disrepair and had received several “updates”, as shown in the photo. One day, a stranger dropped off an old faded photo showing how the home looked in its heyday. My client set to work, using the photo to return the porch and home to its original appearance, adding landscaping and colorful flower beds to further enhance the home.

This shingle and stone Queen Anne home is located in the Downtown Historic District of Kansas City, Missouri. The lovely and much-loved house was built in 1900.

Kansas City was founded in the 1850s at the confluence of the Missouri and Kaw rivers. With the expansion of the railroads and stockyards, the city grew rapidly in the late 1800s. Kansas City was built on an expansive park and boulevard system inspired by the City Beautiful Movement, an urban planning philosophy that flourished during the 1890s and 1900s. The movement’s purpose was to introduce beautification and monumental grandeur to American cities and it made a lasting impact on Kansas City.

The regal Queen Anne style home was in vogue during Kansas City’s boom and it shows. There are stunning examples of this architectural style throughout the city. Victorian lovers will especially love the Quality Hill neighborhood — I encourage you to visit, if you haven’t seen it in person!

Queen Anne style home in Kansas City, MO.

Hope you had a lovely July 4th… and I also hope that you are able to kick back and enjoy an extra day off today!

I thought it would be apropos to share this image today — these 18th century Federal style homes are on Cornhill Street in Annapolis. They are just a short walk to the famous Maryland State House (the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use). Annapolis was the home of 4 signers of the Declaration of Independence, and the whole area is deeply steeped in American history. I was able to spend quite a bit of time there when I lived in Alexandria, Virginia. It’s one of the most historic, well-preserved cities in the country. A must-visit for American history buffs!

18th century Federal style home in Annapolis, MD.