"On they walked and walked, till suddenly they came upon a strange cottage in the middle of a glade. "This is chocolate!" gasped Hansel as he broke a lump of plaster from the wall. "And this is icing!" exclaimed Gretel, putting another piece of wall in her mouth. Starving but delighted, the children began to eat pieces of candy broken off the cottage. "Isn't this delicious?" said Gretel, with her mouth full. She had never tasted anything so nice."
~Hansel and Gretelhttp://theliterarylink.com/gretel.html
1) Exaggeratedly plastic and often cartoonish interpretation of medieval forms
2) Use of artificial means to suggest great age
3) The indefinable quality known as "whimsy"
These homes aimed to elicit an emotional rather than rational response and adjectives like picturesque, charming, cute and quaint come to mind when viewing them.
Here are a few notable examples of storybook style homes...
The Spadena House, also known as the Witch's House, was designed by Harry Oliver in 1921. According to the book, Storybook Style: America's Whimsical Homes of the 1920s, this home's entire design is a cleverly wrought caricature of dilapidated antiquity. Image source: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/fOtgZSaiSEiHf6y4NYMlHw
Architect-builder Carr Jones designed this Oakland, California fairy tale home. Image source: http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t307/xmojorisinx/IMG_5261.jpg
Even the surrounding landscaping of Jones' storybook residence is filled with whimsy. Image source: http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t307/xmojorisinx/IMG_5261.jpg
This eight-unit apartment building a few steps from the University of California at Berkeley, called Normandy Village, is the realization of William R. Yelland's dream of building a unique residence for students and teachers patterned on villages he had seen in Northern France. Image source: http://berkeleyheritage.com/berkeley_landmarks/thornburg.html