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.

Searching High and Low for Antique Hotel Room Numbers

Authors: Alex

We need your help identifying where we can find some antique architectural details!

That's right, I've searched high and low for these buggers and can't come up with a viable source thus far. "What am I looking for?" You might ask. Antique brass nail backed numbers for hotel room doors, of course! Let me fill you in.

One of the most...

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Plaster Restoration Part 3: Master of Plaster Finish Coat with No Sanding!

Authors: Alex

Traditional plasterers achieve perfectly flat and smooth walls with nothing more than a trowel...no sanding required.

Yes, you heard me, no sanding at all!

For years I've used what was readily available to achieve the "plaster" look. At this point I've probably applied close to 300 gallons of joint compound to give our walls the...

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Completing our Completely Custom Small Budget Vanity

Authors: Alex

Do you remember our dingy, floral on floral on floral covered first floor bathroom?

You know, the one that we started stripping wallpaper in the first weekend we owned the house in 2014, and then kept starting and restarting projects in until it ended up looking like this?

After all we've done in this tiny little room to resolve the...

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Where the Sidewalk Ends

Authors: Wendy

There's just something I love about a white picket fence and brick garden walkway.

When we were looking at houses two summers ago, there were many things that attracted us to the home we ultimately ended up buying. The location on the water was number one for me, but we also loved the age and history of the home, the big wraparound...

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Plaster Restoration Next Steps Part 2: Master of Plaster's Beautiful Lime Base Coat

Authors: Alex

Lime based plaster is sort of the holy grail of plaster restoration, so why is it so hard to find a suitable plaster product? Apparently you just need to know where to look.

Last week we shared part 1 of our two part post on our plaster repair project. It involved using Structo-Lite as the base coat to even out irregularities around...

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Plaster Restoration Next Steps Part 1: Base Coat with StructoLite

Authors: Alex

Back in January we shared the first steps we were taking to properly restore our original plaster walls. Today we have part one (of a two part) update on our progress.

In true Alex form, this project has stretched on and on, taking far longer than any reasonable project timeline should. I spent the lull between activity doing what I...

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House for Sale: All Inhabitants Convey

Authors: Wendy

Today my most legit phobia in life came into play begging the question, does anyone want to buy a beautiful historic waterfront home on over an acre of land? What's driven me to this point? There's just one GIANT slithering detail!

Our home has a lovely fenced in courtyard with a perfect spot for relaxing around the fire pit.

And the...

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Decor Advice for an HGTV Magazine Sweepstakes Winner

Authors: Wendy

It seems 2016 is flying by in the blink of an eye. And while I haven't been writing many decor posts, that doesn't mean I haven't been working on some exciting decor projects. 

While 2016 may have started out on a bit of a low, there have been a lot of things I've really enjoyed doing. Today I want to fill you in on both my rough...

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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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