My Case Against Open Floor Plans

IMG_6781Any house-hunters out there? Mind telling me what kind of home you're looking for? If your goal is a new(ish) house with an open floor plan, you're not alone. According to HGTV's "Property Virgins," everyone wants what you want! Still, I hope you won't overlook the benefits of owning an old, "traditional" house. There's something to be said about walls, rooms, and doors. Read more »

House Tour Part 6: My Bedroom

IMG_5815YOU'VE ALREADY SEEN the recently-restored downstairs rooms of my 187-year-old house. Shall we head upstairs? Here, in Part Six of our house tour, is the "master" bedroom: Read more »

Music Room Restoration, Part 2

IMG_6976I PROMISED to keep you up to date on the restoration-work in the Music Room. This is the 1850 wing of our house that had been built atop a dubious -- and downright dangerous -- foundation. Crumbling stone had caused the floor to sag, resulting in cracked walls and floors. Now, one month and 4,000 pounds of cement later, the room, for the first time in over 100 years, is secure. The dusty details: Read more »

The Entrance Hall, Before & After Papering

IMG_3026AS MOST OF YOU KNOW, we recently redecorated our entrance hall. Would you like to see the before and after pictures? Actually, I can take you way back. Back, in fact, to how the hall looked in December, 2001, when we first visited this house with a real estate agent. Are you holding a stiff drink? Good. You're going to need it: Read more »

Entrance Hall Makeover

IMG_2679JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, my ancient entrance hall is getting a makeover. That is, we're about to apply reproduction 19th-century paper on the room's (19th-century) walls. A look at the paper, and how the walls are being prepared for this decorative treatment: Read more »

House Tour Part 5: The Kitchen

IMG_1003THE KITCHEN FOR THIS 1826 HOUSE was originally located in a separate, 2-story wing. That wing, as I mentioned in Part 4 of our House Tour, was gutted in 1975 by non-preservation-minded owners. These same owners turned the dining room into a kitchen. When we came along in 2002, we restored the dining room to its former glory. And where did we locate the kitchen? Why, behind the door at the end of the long entrance hall. Would you like to see the room? Read more »

House Tour, Part 4: The Dining Room

IMG_4061DID I MENTION that we are only the fifth owners of this old house? It stayed in the same family from 1826 until 1975. And in 1975, new owners gutted the original kitchen wing -- which included a dairy pantry and a butler's pantry -- I still cry about this -- and turned it into rental apartments. Then they assaulted the formal, Greek-Revival dining room by turning it into an eat-in kitchen. I'll show you what we did with the rental apartments in a future tour. Meanwhile, here's a glimpse of the dining room, restored to its intended purpose: Read more »