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I'm the Interior Designer behind Janelle Steinberg Interior Design. I'm also a wife, mother, social tennis player, candle connoisseur and an avid list maker. I like wine, pearls, rainy days, museums and houses. I craft and bake on the weekends in my college sweatshirt and yoga pants. During the week I balance my toddler's playdates, my businesses and working with my clients throughout the country, (not in said sweatshirt or yoga pants).

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Maison Classique
Maison Classique

{Arch Style}: Storybook, a Romantic Revival

· February 4, 2009

I am quite sure this is the most charming residential architecture style of all time. Its called Storybook...and doesn't it evoke that childhood fantasy of Princesses (I don't know about you- but I think of Snow White in the enchanted forrest) and, possibly, Hansel and Gretel?! I've adored this style as a young person ever since a Storybook style roofline struck me as different (of course, I didn't know it was called Storybook style then!). This style was hot during all the Romantic Revivals in the 1920's, which explains why there are so many of them (well, relatively speaking- its not like there are entire neighborhoods of nothing but this style!) out here in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Just adorable.

This is a house in my grandparent's neighborhood (which is chalk full of revivals of all types- I love their neighborhood!). Its recently received a facelift and of course, I made a note to photograph it when it was completed! I love the roof, which also happens to (typically) be the most defininig element in Storybook architecture. Here is a close up:


How cool and intricate and amazing. This Storybook roof is more detailed than the norm.

I'm not sure if the photo is coming through all that well- but there are metal components in addition to the various size and shapes of the shingles. Just amazing.

Edited on June 14, 2010 to note that Steve Fuller of Storybook Roofs did this work. Isn't it great?! He contacted me after coming across this blog post. Im so glad he did....because now I know who to hire if I ever need his specialty service! He is the go-to "storybook roof man"! Click here to view more of his work on his website.


And, here is a book you may be interested in! I've had this one since design school- what a great addition to your library! I highly recommend it if you love revival style residential architecture (and, if you are here on Maison Classique...I would assume you do!). Book info: "Storybook Style, America's Whimsical Homes of the Twenties" by Arrol Gellner and Douglas Keister, Penguin Books, 2001.

A fun Link to check out if you want to learn more and some designer jargon regarding this style:

Resource for the go-to storybook roof contractor: Steve Fuller of Storybook Roofs


posted by adiew

I've been researching Storybook Style for the design firm I work for--we have a selection of Storybook inspired homes. Anyway--this roof beats all! It makes me dizzy- but its fabulous.
Nice blog- glad to have found it. I'm working on launching a blog and learning all I can right now on

posted by Chintz of Darkness

What unbelievable craftsmanship! Truly a fairy tale come to life. Thanks so much for sharing this book!

posted by Seraph+Splendor

Hi again Janelle,

Hope that there are no rules against a second comment!!! Just had to let you know we finally got our hand on a copy of this book. It is truly fabulous. We are COMPLETELY IN LOVE with the Spadena House (pg 22 & 23). Ever so lovely – thanks again for this post!

posted by {Maison Classique}

S+S- I am so happy you are enjoying this book!!! I love it, too! Funny thing about the Spadena house in Beverly Hills- when it was up for sale, a few buyers wanted to tear it down! The owner ended up selling to a friendly buyer and it has since undergone a renovation. I forget where you are located- but I have seen this house many times in Beverly Hills (no gate). I can get the cross streets for you. Its very charming!

posted by tina saville

Hi Janelle,
I love your website! I was in search of an exterior color for a European style stucco home. I came across your site talking about Jack Arnold homes. Do you have any ideas on exterior color used on many of the Jack Arnold homes? I love the tan's he uses, with the blue board shutters.
Thank you for any help!


Hi Tina-

I am so happy you are enjoying this site! Isn't Jack Arnold great?! I don't know which colors he uses on the exterior of his homes. You can try to match them by using a fan deck and holding it up to your computer! Ha! (I realize colors on the computer don't come out 100% accurate).

Is the home in question more English Euro or French Euro? If you are doing something more stately and chic (like a manor or carriage house), I would go for a very neutral tan. If you are doing something more cottage/rustic or french country- its okay for the tan to be a bit warm and have more orange/yellow in it.

posted by (In)Decorous Taste

That roof is SO interesting. Thanks for sharing this book, it's going on the design book wishlist, for sure.


posted by

Lauren- You will LOVE this book! Its one of my favorites!!!

posted by josephc4

Good day all, I just signed up on this brilliant discussion board and desired to say gday! Have a fabulous day!

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