Old House Living: Redecorating the Library

In my latest bit of old-house news, we're redecorating the library. This upstairs room -- it was previously a bedroom -- had become a catch-all for newspapers, magazines, CDs, antiquated VHS tapes, and too many books for our existing bookcases. Read more »

My Case Against Open Floor Plans

Any 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

YOU'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

I 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

AS 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

JUST 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

THE 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 »