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.
Spring Cleaning: The Straight and Narrow
- Published on Tuesday, 16 April 2013
Before we delve into today's post, I want to mention something that is surely weighing on a lot of people's minds. After the horrible events in Boston that occurred yesterday, we'd like to extend our heartfelt sympathy and thoughts to the the marathon runners and spectators, especially those that were injured. We'd also like to...
Lighting the Fire: Topiary Hair Cuts, New Flowers, and a Mad Dash
- Published on Monday, 15 April 2013
What's one way to pull yourself out of a house project funk? Plan a party! Nothing gets our motivation more supercharged than the notion that we have droves of guests arriving to our home in a short amount of time. After all, the last time we worked our way (albeit frantically) through a project checklist was when we were counting...
Repointing Part 3: Practice Makes Perfect, or at Least Better
- Published on Friday, 12 April 2013
Repointing is easy! Yes, that's right, easy peasy!
I know, I said it was an exercise in futility, doubted the beauty of our initial attempts, and potentially even swore under my breath a few times when I was somewhat frustrated during my initial batch of mortar, but I think I've got the hang of it. The secret seems to be in using the...
Peak Bloom: A Different Cherry Blossom Experience
- Published on Thursday, 11 April 2013
This is what Peak Bloom looks like!
How beautiful it is!
Almost each and every year of the 12 springs we've lived in DC, I am completely floored by the wonders that are the Cherry Blossom blooms in and around the DC metro area.
I try to make time every year to venture down around the tidal basin, along the National Mall, and...
Clawfoot Tub: Sidelined by Color Choices
- Published on Wednesday, 10 April 2013
I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. As much as I adore perusing endless photos of perfectly designed and staged spaces, it’s also a cruel reminder of the work that’s left to do in our home. My “Bathrooms We’re Drooling Over” board in particular delivers the stinging blow, reminding me that I...
Toolbox Tuesday: Spicing Up My Boring Bits
- Published on Tuesday, 09 April 2013
I've heard the subject of today's Toolbox Tuesday post referred to as paddle bits, hole bits, flat bits, spade bits, speed bits, wing bits, and even boring bits, but that last one can't possibly be referring to the level of interest these drill bits should generate. Regardless of what you want to call them, the drill bits im talking...
An Historic Masonry Repointing Attempt with Less than Beautiful Results
- Published on Monday, 08 April 2013
Last week we filled you in on a little project we decided to undertake involving the repointing of the interior exposed brick on one of our chimneys. The mortar of the chimney has long since seen its best days, leaving much of the old limestone and sand mortar crumbling and at a point of deterioration.
Last week's post covered the pains...
Open Housing: Row House with a Train Tunnel View
- Published on Friday, 05 April 2013
While our last two Open Housing posts dealt with two very large and expensive homes in the Rosemont area, you don't have to worry about us, we're not straying too far from our roots. We're still venturing through the homes available in the friendly and familiar confines of Old Town. One house, in particular, really stood out to use as...
Going Bananas for Maple Banana Yogurt
- Published on Thursday, 04 April 2013
Full disclosure: Not only doesn't this post qualify as "cooking," but I'd hardly even classify it as a recipe. Yet this astonishingly simple assembly of ingredients combines simple foods into a breakfast staple that's truly divine.
Since my move from sugary breakfast cereals into adulthood I've invested a tremendous amount...
Historic Masonry Repointing and Proper Mortar Selection
- Published on Wednesday, 03 April 2013
In 1781, when speaking about the condition of homes in Virginia, Thomas Jefferson said,
"The inhabitants of Europe, who dwell chiefly in houses of stone or brick, are surely as healthy as those of Virginia. These houses have the advantage too of being warmer in winter and cooler in summer than those of wood; of being cheaper in...