“Bradley House”


In November 1901, Will Bradley began an eight-part series for the Ladies’ Home Journal with designs for a “Bradley House.”  Bradley had no formal art education, much less architectural training, but the publication’s editor, Edward W. Bok, believed that Bradley could deliver designs for a $1,000 house that were inspiring and original. The individual installments comprised a “Breakfast-Room,” “Library,” “Dining-Room,” “Nursery,” “Reception or Living Room and the Hall,” “Boudoir,” “Chamber,” and “Exterior” with landscape gardening ideas. Each part featured a large illustration of the completed room, a floor plan, and Bradley’s original furniture ideas, along with a written description. The text for the introductory installment emphasizes the purpose of the series: “It is not his hope that any one will build a house completely as he designs it; he hopes rather to influence through individual suggestions – through pieces of furniture, draperies, fireplace accessories, wallpaper designs, all of which can be independently followed and detached from his entire scheme.”  In 1905, Bradley produced three more single-installment ideas for $1,000, $1,500, and $2,600 houses. His final article for the Ladies’ Home Journal came in 1908, with “The Low-Priced House in the Country. A Quaint Little House with a Pergola for $3000.”