April L. Paffrath
writer and editor
I write about architecture, design, food, travel, science, crafts and more. My articles often focus on great design and people with a passion for what they do. My background in science and design allows me to work on a variety of topics, from cooking to house renovations to nuclear reactions. My experience with pastry and crafts fit in nicely, too.
I’ve written for New Old House, Martha Stewart, Natural Home, Cedar Living and others. I’ve also written two wedding craft books for the hip bride. Below are some of my favorite articles. Take a look.
Editors, please send me a brief email so you can read the clips below in their entirety. I’m also glad to email or FedEx you a clip package.
The Artful Bride a wedding craft book for iconoclastic, hip brides. Read a review.
The Artful Bride: Wedding Invitations, a follow-up to the original.
What’s New
“Cabinet Precision”
Summer 2007
When decades of renovations leave homeowners with a mish-mash of styles, renovating can mean a kind of home archeology—sifting through the layers of recent years and settling on a cohesive design that maximizes modern needs. In one kitchen, starting from scratch means creating a  specific space for everything, with custom crafted cabinets.
“Soothing Colors”
March 2007
A carnival of colors keeps the eye hopping around and the mind buzzing. That’s excellent if you need to be energized, but can be exhausting when you need some space to chill. Choosing new colors can create an oasis of peace in your home.
“Building Greener”
Spring 2007
How do you start building resource-neutral housing with traditional craftsmanship? This profile of Steve Thomas (of “This Old House” fame) and Build Zero, his new environmentally conscious project, includes resources, LEED certification information, and architect Eric Corey Freed’s favorite green building materials.
Recasting the Past
New Old House, Spring 2006
When your fixation is architectural hardware, the world is more fun to touch and enjoy. And luckily, there is someone out there whose obsession with quality hardware has renewed the industry—Rhett Butler of E.R. Butler. Actually, his interest goes well beyond hardware to include the finest quality of crystal, art, architecture, and more. That’s what makes his shop, E.R. Butler, so much fun. Sitting right next to brushed metal knobs that will help recapture the interior detailing of an Adams-era house are bits of jewelry, crystal, and porcelain that reflect the same quality as Butler’s hardware. His shops are part high-end home décor shop, part fine art and sculpture gallery, and just what E.R. Butler customers enjoy. continue reading...
Ablaze with Style
New Old House, Winter 2006
Getting cozy in front of the fireplace is an exquisite yet relaxed joy, often reserved for cool seasons when the fire’s ginger glow is a marked counterpoint to the whistling wind and damp weather. The licking flames seem to mesmerize all those in front of  the fire, and life seems very good, whether your fingers are wrapped around a hot toddy or not. If you are sitting in front of a Chesney’s fireplace, however, your enjoyment goes beyond our primitive desire for heat and respite from the harsh winter. Chimneypieces from London-based Chesney’s are handcrafted in the traditional style from expansive stocks of fine stone. They look exquisite on the hottest summer day, as well as when the thermometer hits teeth-chattering lows. continue reading...
Brittles and Toffees
Martha Stewart Living, December 2001
The holidays are clearly under way when carefully wrapped goodies begin arriving from friends and neighbors. Although homemade cookies are often in the seasonal spotlight, handmade brittles and toffees have long been a Yuletide staple. In Wales, for example, it was once customary for families to stay up all night on Christmas Eve to hang garlands, tell stories, and make toffee.  continue reading...
Papier-Mâché Decorations
Martha Stewart Living, October 2001, cover story
On the evening of October 31, the encroaching darkness is traditionally held at bay by the light of glimmering jack-o’-lanterns. While they illuminate the night’s festivities, they do little to stave off the chill in the autumn air. More often, they enhance the chills that run down our spines.
This year, we’ve assembled a host of glowing forms that blend Halloween’s enduring emblems—grinning “jacks,” black cats, ghastly spectres, grim skulls—with the ethereal qualities of paper lanterns. continue reading...
selected clips
The 21st Century Kitchen
Cedar Living, 2006
The Kitchen is the heart of the home, welcoming everyone with tasty home-cooked food (okay, or take-out.) It’s also the focus of the latest home technologies that make our lives easier, faster, cleaner, tastier and more stylish. Yet, even with high-tech additions, kitchens today have more in common with yesteryear than ever before. Innovative appliances and materials mean that the kitchen is easier to use and more comfortable to spend time in.  continue reading...
The Artful Bride: Wedding Invitations
Quarry Books, 2004
Every couple wants to announce their wedding with style and aplomb. Savvy, stylish brides are looking for ways to add their own style and sophistication to their wedding without relying on tradition-heavy standards. This beautiful guide contains everything a bride needs to personalize her wedding correspondence elegantly-but also simply and inexpensively. It includes more than 20 fashionable and fun-to-make invitation and correspondence ideas.
The Artful Bride: Simple Handmade Wedding Projects
Quarry Books, 2003
Every bride-to-be wants her wedding to be unique and spectacular. Savvy, stylish brides are looking for ways to add their own style and sophistication to their wedding without relying on tradition-heavy standards. This idea-packed guide contains everything you need to personalize a wedding beautifully and elegantly—but also simply and inexpensively. The Artful Bride includes more than 30 fashionable and fun-to-make projects, from novel wedding invitations to cool gifts for the wedding party, and from playful seating cards to a glamorous tiara.
For those of you short on time but high on style, this guide will help you create a wedding that reflects you and your fiance exactly.
Stone House Restoration
New Old House, Spring 2006
A solitary decrepit house in the middle of a valley in Dutchess County, New York, might seem like a textbook example of Romanticism, with the juxtaposition of beautiful hills and a decaying structure. But to one architect, the house seemed salvageable and the perfect historical home for his client.
Stone House, as it is called today, had been empty for years when Chad Floyd of Centerbrook Architects took on the project. "It had a lot of damage from the weather," says Floyd. continue reading...
Making an Entrance
New Old House, Summer 2006
A front door speaks to homeowners in a special way. More than any other architectural element in the house, the door is an active part of the house. People come and go, people touch it, people open it up to let in a breeze and they close it to shut out the world for a while. "It's a point of transition between the public and private space," says Hendricks. "People recognize it as an important way to both greet the public and shelter themselves."  An entryway is an architectural lynchpin, too. "It should be a microcosm of the architecture of the whole building," says Hendricks. continue reading...