Annette Gallagher Weisman, Special to the Times
In Print: Saturday, January 17, 2009

If glass, chrome and steel make you shiver, you’re not alone. Renowned architect and bestselling author Russell Versaci, who for more than 30 years has been designing new houses that look like old houses, thinks modernism in contemporary architecture feels cold. An authority on designing a new house in a traditional manner using authentic materials, he’s the go-to architect for any query about the process, including techniques and quality finishes. His simple farmhouse portfolio houses can be ordered as home kits, like the old Sears bungalows.

Encompassing what he refers to as the Ten Colonial Cradles of Home, Versaci takes us on a fascinating tour of these 10 regions and diverse styles of residences throughout the country.

This crash course in architecture and history includes our Spanish, French, English and Continental heritage. For instance, did you know that the true log cabin was not a homegrown frontier invention but was introduced by the Swedes? With more than 300 old maps, drawings and photographs, Roots of Home shows how architects are creating houses for today’s homeowners who crave the warmth of tradition.