1219 N. 13th St., Boise; Built in 1939; 2,150 Square Feet; 4 Bed/2 Bath 

.15 Acre


The Firm Real Estate Corporation

Kyle Fabitz, 208-867-0661


MLS #98394575

The exterior of this two-level home is constructed of clinker bricks ranging in color from deep purple-brown to brick red to Dijon-mustard yellow, and their characteristic twists and misshapen look create a rich, organic texture that is inimitable.

In the brick maker's world of straight-edged uniformity, clinker bricks were produced by accident when a wet batch of bricks was placed too close to a kiln's coal fire. The resulting bricks bore distorted shapes that were often discolored from overheating and were sometimes fused into clumps. Brick makers tossed these heavy, misshapen "clinkers" into a discard heap, where they made a distinct clinking sound as they banged into one another.

As a result of the Arts and Crafts philosophy that sought to move arts, design and architecture away from fussy Victorian ornamentation, in the 1920s, these cast-off bricks were seen as a return to the handcrafted and organic building materials used for millennia before the industrial age. Instead of grinding up the clinkers for cement, craftsmen used the distorted bricks to add style to bungalow chimneys, garden walls and porch supports. There are examples of this material on several residences throughout Boise, especially in the historic North End.

This home's magnificently textured exterior was created 70 years ago. It is located three blocks south of the North End's social hub, Hyde Park, where a charmingly laid-back handful of restaurants and shops beckon residents to gather en masse, and locals seem happy to heed that call.

The home's floor plan is single story with a look-out basement. The main level contains the living room, a small formal dining room, the kitchen, two bedrooms and a fully renovated bathroom. In the basement are two more bedrooms, a kitchenette, the family room and a roomy three-quarter bathroom with a walk-in shower lined in white subway tile.

The color scheme downstairs is simply khaki paint on walls and white paint on doors and trim. The palette on the main level is an earthy mix of honey browns and soft blues, except for a vivid splash of yellow in the kitchen bright enough to make anyone kick their two-cups-in-the-morning habit. Hardwood floors cover nearly every room on the main level.

After its completion in 1939, it remained the Neft family home until it was sold in 2005. As a condition of the sale, an intricately detailed brass and crystal chandelier that hangs from the coved dining room ceiling and a brass fireplace poker set remain in the residence. Both pieces are family heirlooms that the first owner felt were meant to stay with the home.

The original brick fireplace still heats the living room. The bathroom on the main level features a repurposed cabinet-type vanity topped by an eye-catching brown vessel sink with a lotus leaf motif in coral and blue glazes.

Outside, a private back yard is enclosed for barbeques and bacchanalia. There is also a one-car garage. The walkway between the garage and the house was created from buried lava rock boulders that were discovered by the current owner when the yard was re-done. The handcrafted bathroom vanity and the reclaimed lava rock walkway reflect the Arts and Crafts sensibilities that likely prompted the creation of this home's textural facade.

Pros: Clinker brick home features elements of handcrafted style.

Cons: One-car garage.

Open House: Saturday and Sunday, April 4-5, 1:30-4 p.m.

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