Old Town Home

Old Town Home is a blog dedicated to chronicling the successes and failures of an Historic Old Town Alexandria couple as they live in the charming historic district while attempting to completely renovate and appropriately restore an 1880s Victorian row house...almost entirely on their own.

Let's Start with Something Big - Load Bearing Walls

Authors: Alex

Several months ago we closed on a very picturesque and historic house on the water.

This home is a second home for us, and our grand plan is to use it as a vacation/weekend retreat where we will be able to spend time with friends, family, and each other away from the very fast paced and close proximity lifestyle to which we've come...

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The Ballard Designs Outlet: An Outlet for Creativity

Authors: Wendy

You know how little kids are overcome with joy and excitement at the thought of visiting Mickey Mouse and friends at the Magic Kingdom?

I've read that kids feel this urge to visit and joy when they enter due to a tremendous need to be immersed in the things they love that makes them feel creative. I'm sure the massive Disney...

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Searching for a Surveillance Alternative to Dropcam

Authors: Alex

If you've asked anyone for their opinion on a good video monitoring solution recently, the almost automatic answer seems to be "Get a Dropcam, they're great!"

But the question I've long had is simple, "Is the Dropcam really all it's cracked up to be, or should we look elsewhere for a more effective, flexible, and economical solution?"

W...

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Llamas and Drill Bits and New Tools, Oh My!

Authors: Alex

We hope your holiday and New Year was a relaxing and non-strenuous one, spent with family, friends, and way too much food.

Wendy and I spent time with our parents and Christmas with Wendy's very large extended family, and with good friends for a low key New Years. But before we headed out of Alexandria, we noticed a little holiday...

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Walnut and Goat Cheese Stuffed Endives

Authors: Wendy

Is anyone else in complete denial that tomorrow is the last day of 2014? I can't believe how fast this year has flown by, and in true fashion, I've been so focused on Christmas that I roll into new year's eve feeling generally unprepared and burned out. Even though hosting another party or cooking an extravagant meal is the furthest...

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Wendy's Christmas Clawfoot Miracle

Authors: Alex

Over the past few years Wendy has asked Santa for just one simple thing, yet each year it seems to be the one thing he's failed to bring.

Her wish, though not a pony, Frozen soundtrack, or power tool that's new, would ultimately require a lot of effort and proved to be much harder to do.

While many people may wish for extravagant...

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Going ROG with Cleaning on Our Clawfoot Restoration

Authors: Alex

There's little "good information" out there regarding the rehabilitation of a salvaged clawfoot or other cast iron porcelain enamel tub.

Whether it's a tip that is immediately contradicted by another, or simply a complete lack of real photos or high detail before and afters, finding information on how to proceed with this step of our...

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My Dryer, My Nemesis

Authors: Alex

The history of the world is shaped by the rivalries of great nemeses.

The Hatfields had the McCoys, Aaron Burr had Alexander Hamilton, Ali had Frazier, Nikolai Volkoff had Hulk Hogan, England had George Washington, President Taft had a bathtub, Grumpy Cat has fun, and even Narcissus had Nemesis herself.

A great nemesis can frustrate,...

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Reader Reward: The Cordless Rockwell Oscillating Tool that Rocks

Authors: Alex

As many of you may know, I'm a bit of a tool junkie. Whether I'm researching, using, or wishing I had a particular tool, I've become tool obsessed over the last few years.

I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but at some point my Christmas list experienced a metamorphosis of magnificent proportions.

While I once wished and hoped...

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Decking the Halls, the Walls, and So Much More

Authors: Wendy

Today marks the start of the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend here in Old Town Alexandria. It's my favorite weekend of the year, and is the perfect festive kick off to our holiday season. The town is abuzz, homes are adorned with their holiday finest, and the chill in the air hints of fun, family, and much cheer throughout the...

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