What defines an old home?

Beyond the obvious stat of "so many years old," what combination of parts and pieces are characteristic of an old home?

What elements must exist in an old home's DNA that allows us to classify it as an "old home?" It's certainly more than the mortar between its bricks and nails within its walls.

And most importantly, if these things that define an old home are lost over time, is the home's age also lost over that period, no matter how old the house may actually be?


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Comments 14

Few things bring a project to a screeching halt like that of "new process" intimidation. But that's just the thing about DIY, you're constantly learning and trying out new processes, so this unfortunately comes with the territory.

The paranoia over royally screwing up a DIY project can be almost paralyzing. This is especially true when you obsess over the results of your efforts the way we tend to obsess.

In our last post we gave you a rundown of our WarmlyYours radiant heat mat install, but we stopped short of the final step of pouring the self leveling cement, or SLC.

This layer of liquid stone encases the mesh and heating wire like Jabba the Hutt encased Han Solo in carbonite. 

But there's no Princess Leia disguised as a bounty hunter there to save us if it all goes wrong. (Though I do sort of see a Wookie in Lulu, and Ewok in Mel.)


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Comments 8

We have a somewhat major bathroom progress update for you, and it involves some serious steps forward on the floor and how hot it will be.

Quite some time ago we mentioned the debate we'd been having about our master bathroom's radiant floor heat. It wasn't a debate about whether we'd install in-floor heating or not, but rather a debate about what kind/brand to install. Today I'm happy to report that not only is that debate finished, but we're actually in the mid stages of install. I know! Can you believe it? Me either!

But let's take a step back for a moment so I can fill you in on the whos and whats of this phase of our ultra marathon bathroom renovation.

As much as I would love to put in hydronic radiant with PEX, our lack of a boiler and accompanying mixing valves, expansion tank, flow check valves, outdoor reset, and every other thing we'd need for water driven radiant heat made that dream slightly cost prohibitive for our bathroom. However, recent technology improvements and a number of companies specializing in electric in-floor radiant heat, especially those geared toward the DIYer, mean that our toes have the possibility of wintertime comfort on our typically cold stone bathroom floor without the need for a budget breaking boiler and all else that entails.


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Comments 9

Our master bathroom renovation seems to be the project that just won't end. Days have turned into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years. As far as I'm concerned, a relaxing and hot bubble bath in our salvaged claw foot tub is a faint light so far off in the distant end of the DIY tunnel we're in that it might as well be an unreachable star. While it's overwhelming (and a bit depressing) to think about how much work we still have ahead of us, I'm thrilled to report that we've started moving into some of the "fun" stages of the project, for example, paint selection.

Much to Alex's dismay, I often jump ahead (he likes to say "out of order") to the fun stuff in order to keep myself excited and energized about a project. My quest for curtain fabric some six months ago was just that. After settling on the "imitation crewel" Ladbroke Peacock fabric and scoring a great sale online (only $18.00 per yard), I've been occasionally pulling it out of the bag to admire it and dream about things like paint colors, accessories, and art we'll ultimately place in the space. 

I've had a pretty clean design plan all along for this space, knowing I wanted a shade of gray on the top half of the walls to pick up on a color from the fabric. This will be offset by a subtle antique white on the lower half (the same custom color we've used on the trim throughout our home), with pops of turquoise accessories.

Alex and I went back and forth, and after poring over probably fifty paint chips, I narrowed it down to two options: Benjamin Moore's Smoke Embers and San Antonio Gray.


There have been countless times when I've jumped ahead, skipping past the important step of sampling paint on the walls of the space. That's why our family room was once painted in a shade that resembled melted mint chocolate chip ice cream in the evening...


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Comments 24

Did you get it last week? Were you one of the likely hundreds of thousands of households that received a hulking hunk of paper and ink? Of course I'm talking about the epically substantial Restoration Hardware catalog meant to convince you all that the Internet is merely a phase and direct mail is far from dead. You know, the several volume catalog filled with mass produced and attractively styled furniture and oversized home accessories that has made everyone go squee, have a swoon, get all excitedish...ness...ly, and all that other crap?

The multi volume assault on our home decor senses was no doubt meant to thrust us into a frantic fit of perusal ultimately resulting in an "I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT THAT COUCH THAT CAN FIT 40 PEOPLE!!!!" moment. 

The ironic thing about the above photo is that it's from the "Small Spaces" volume of their collection. As someone who lives in a relatively small space, I think their definition of "petite" might be a little bit off. It's like saying a large French fry container is small in comparison to a Super Size. That "Small Spaces" couch is still too large to reasonably fit in any room in our house.

But that can't be all this catalog...err...source books are meant for. An item this substantial should have much loftier goals, but what? The answer to this question is the result of the journey we've been on.


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Comments 32
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