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.

The Three Bears Go Back In Time for the Right Color Grout

Authors: Alex

Stop me if you've heard this story. The Three Bears jump into a time machine and waste a whole weekend in search of the grout color that was juuuuuuusssssstttt right...

No? Not familiar with this little DIY fairy tale? Well then, let me fill you in.

The selection of a grout color for a large bathroom is easy...said no one...ever. That's...

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IKEA Butcher Block Counters 2 Years Later - What Do We Think?

Authors: Alex

We get quite a few questions here on Old Town Home, but one of our blog's most frequently asked questions is:

"So, now that you've had your IKEA butcher block counters for a while now, what do you think?"

Whether its being asked by someone considering IKEA butcher block (or a butcher block counter of any type) that would like our take...

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A Clogged Poop Chute and a Cracked Stack

Authors: Alex

I'll tell you one thing. Yesterday was a day!

Really, it was a day and a half at least. The whole day was packed full of effort and we got nothing of substance done on the bathroom. That being said, all of our efforts were actually plumbing related necessity items that bumped our regularly scheduled program of grouting.

The roots of...

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At the End of Our Floor Tiling Ropes

Authors: Alex

My mom loves to tell a story about how "detail oriented" I was as a small child. I think I was about six years old and was apparently creating some sort of improvised 3D construction paper house using a pen, scissors, and scotch tape. She fondly remembers that I wanted the house to be brick, so I grabbed some red construction paper...

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A Local Cast Iron Stair Disaster

Authors: Alex

Why would a beautiful set of cast iron stairs bring me sadness? Well, let me tell you.

If there's one thing I love about so many of the historic homes and shops around Old Town it's their antique cast iron front stairs.

I love these types stairs so much so that we, along with our neighbors, went to great lengths to replace the 1950s...

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Tile Laying Tips from Baboon Ear and Pookie the Thinset Slinger

Authors: Alex

There are several distinct phases when it comes to tiling a room.

You've got your tile selection process.

You've got your tile layout decisions.

You've got your tile laying.

And you've got your tile grouting.

I feel like Bubba talking shrimp with Forrest Gump. That's...that about it.

Read Full Post...

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Unscheduled Weekend Work is Nothing to be Ashamed of

Authors: Alex

Have you ever entered a weekend with the idea that you'd definitely be completing a certain project or goal, only to take on something completely different? At the conclusion of the weekend you look back with a certain sense of disappointment for not having your anticipated completed work to show for the time, but you have something...

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To Paint or Not To Paint (the Salvaged Floor Panelling in Our Bathroom Closet)

Authors: Alex

Wendy and I have been hard at work on our bathroom and we have a little bit of progress we'd like to share with you.

A significant project like our bathroom can be broken in many smaller projects. Actually, it almost must be broken into smaller parts, or we'd pretty much lose out mind while working on it.

From the overall shell of the...

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A Marble Hexagon Layout Decision and Tactics for Install

Authors: Alex

Thank you for the overwhelming response last week on our point versus flat marble flooring layout debate. 

We had an overwhelming response to our simple A or B question. And though the responses ranged from thought provoking, to those based on opinion and personal experience, to the layout most likely to make your butt look wider,...

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US vs Germany World Cup Fever with Brasil Jersey Patches

Authors: Alex

Today is the day for soccer/futbol/football or whatever you like to call it. Yes, today is the day the United States Men's National Team takes on Germany for a chance to advance to the knockout round in the World Cup, and the whole country is all a buzz!

I can't even think about renovation and home DIY today, or last night for that...

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