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.

Celebrating Our 5th Year of Blogging with Five DIY Lessons

Authors: Alex

I couldn't believe it when I looked at the calendar last week. I noticed that our blog was about to turn five years old!

A few days later Facebook's "On This Day" feature did what it does best and led me on a nice walk down memory lane by showing me the post where we asked our friends to "like" our blog's new Facebook Page so that we'd...

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Outdoor Dining: Set Up for the Season

Authors: Wendy

There are few things more satisfying then combining a design decision with a great deal!

Back in late March I excitedly shared our plans for a large outdoor entertaining area on our home's side porch along with the dining table we purchased on a trip out to Lucketts. 

I was beyond excited that we were able to find a table to meet...

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Reviving Work on our Custom Master Bathroom Cabinets

Authors: Alex

Do you remember way back when we were renovating our master bathroom? 

And do you remember when we finished it? No? Yeah, neither do we, because it's still not finished, no matter how great we think it looks in some photos. We have blog posts on our master bathroom going back to March, 2012!!!

If you've been hanging around this...

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Our Little Bathroom and Its Latest Before and After

Authors: Alex

It's been months in the making and we finally have a functional and (nearly) complete first floor bathroom!

This little bathroom that started out completely covered in floral wallpaper with a floral border, with baseboard radiators, cracked and scratched tile, missing a mirror, and with an off center pedestal sink...

...has been...

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The New Trend in DIY: Downcycling Fine Furniture into Pallets

Authors: Alex

We're all likely familiar with the tried and true DIY trend of upcycling, but have you heard about downcycling?

How many times have we seen someone using pallet wood for their feature wall or coffee table? The idea is simple, but the statement in decor is impactful. You take something distressed and often seen as a castoff, typically...

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Finishing the Bathroom Floor and Focusing on the Trim

Authors: Alex

Seeing a project come together is one of the most gratifying aspects of DIY renovation.

We've been working on trying to improve our little first floor bathroom for a while now, and it finally feels like we're starting to get to the home stretch. I can't begin to tell you how excited we are at this point now that we can see it slowly...

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Gearing Up for a Summer of Outdoor Dining

Authors: Wendy

There's just something that feels quintessentially "summer" about outdoor porch dining. 

Even back as far as when we were looking at second homes, the idea of having a large space for outdoor dining was really appealing to us. And when I first laid eyes on our home, I was immediately struck by the very large side porch and how...

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Cleaning Up and Refinishing an Antique Heart Pine Floor

Authors: Alex

Last week we gave you a rundown of our progress in bringing our first floor bathroom's antique heart pine flooring back to life.

It had been hidden beneath poorly installed tile for many years, so we knew there'd be some repair necessary. The end result was a floor that needed to be heavily repaired with new heart pine, some serious...

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Bringing a Damaged Heart Pine Floor Back from the Brink

Authors: Alex

Antique heart pine is amazingly resilient, but restoring it has long been intimidating to me.

Over the last several months we got to see our house's heart pine floors go through a true transformation when they were refinished, but they were largely in good shape already.

But today I want to share a little about the process of uncovering...

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Creating a Cozy Guest Room with Mostly Second Hand Furnishings

Authors: Wendy

It's easy for me to get overwhelmed with how many projects we have in the new house. 

Forget about the daydreams of future renovations, I'm just thinking about completing the projects we've already started. Most days that alone is enough to make me want to scream obscenities or curl up in a fetal position. We've done it before,...

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