Happy New Year!

2015 was pretty stellar. Sometimes I think that we don’t get as much done as we want to, and I’ve finally come to view that as okay, and not as a giant disappointment. Goodness – we’ve done so much, but I’m already eager for what 2016 holds in store, and how many ways I can set up unrealistic timelines that won’t be met.

You probably noticed that the blog has a new look. I’ve been wanting to change it up for a bit, and there’s still some tweaking to do, so bear with me as it might change a little more over the coming weeks…. I wasn’t happy with the picture displays, so I decided a new look was in order for 2016.

This “Look Back” post is more for me than anything, so I know that yes, even though the house is still VASTLY unfinished – we got some great things accomplished!

2015: A Quick Look Back

We finished up the Butler’s Pantry by adding the antiqued mirror display, stained glass, new drapery, and some antique furniture that we restored.


I was fortunate enough to be asked to write for CircaOldHouses.com not once, but twice!

How to Buy a House You Can’t Afford

Restoring a House in 12 Simple Steps


We re-built and revived an old hutch, and paired it with a cart we already owned.


We met the Beidlers, who took us on a phenomenal journey of learning about the history and love of our home.


And because of the, we now are in possession of old pictures of our house. Priceless.

Historic Martin Place 8

We started the front bedroom restoration, and I designed my first piece of furniture! (The Wardrobe Columns).

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And then, Doug made the plans to make my drawings come to life! SO CLOSE to being finished!

DSC_0508Our dream to restore lighting for other people became a reality, as we started rescuing piece on commission for Madison Street Salvage to benefit Franklin Heritage!


And, we worked very hard – but haven’t completed – the restoration of the front bedroom.DSC_0316

Truly, one of the best things about the blog is that it has created this amazing timeline, which really does allow us to look back and feel really great about what we’re able to accomplish. What started as a way to connect with family and friends, and discover other weekend-preservationists, has really become such an amazing gift of documentation that we could have never imagined.

So, 2016? What have you got for us?

Probably a lot of deadlines that won’t be met. Truth.

One : Finish the Front Bedroom. Soon. Please, soon.

Two : Continue Our Love Affair with Historic Lighting, and create a formal side-business on that front!

Three : Restore a Bathroom!!!!!!!

Really, there aren’t enough exclamation marks for this. In the end, this house will have 5 bathrooms in it. We have 4 now, and when we get to the second floor reconfiguration in a decade, you’ll understand and agree that adding another bath will just make the floorplan work (it’s hard to explain, but trust me – it’s needed). Bathroom design is my absolute favorite (see Here and Here and Here!). And to have only partial bathrooms that work, and not a single one that is remotely period appropriate…. my level of excitement is high. We’re going to begin with the first floor bath, which currently looks like this :

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The plan is to figure out why the ceiling is only 8′ tall, change the floorplan a little, ADD A CLAWFOOT TUB, tile, and add a period sink that we found at a flea market. I couldn’t be more excited.

Plumbing sneak peak!

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Four : Diagnose the Parlor. I’ve started using the term “Diagnose” when it comes to lighting and projects. It’s much easier than saying, “Let’s make a list of everything that’s wrong and what we need to do.” I don’t think we’ll make much headway on the parlor with a bathroom on the horizon. But there is a lot of water damage in there, so we hope to open things up and see where we’re at, so 2017 can be the year of the parlor.


Five : Diagnose the First Floor Hardwoods. Again, water damage took its toll here. And the floor is a veeeeery old veneer, so we’re not sure how it’s going to shake out. Stay tuned. We want to save everything, if it’s possible.

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Six : Continue to Learn. I’ve spent a lot of time this year learning about how Victorian homes function – not so that I can re-create the house to feel like a museum, but rather, so I can understand why and how rooms functioned, and how that translates to today. Some of it is BEYOND fascinating, and I hope to keep learning and start sharing those nuggets of knowledge with all of you. Because the history of the house is important to me, and hopefully it’ll be fun for you, as well.

So, Happy New Year! I hope you’re looking forward to a new year of discoveries and challenges like we are!


  1. You and Doug are heroes to me!

    And I would kill for that marble-topped bathroom sink!!!!

    Happy New Year, you crazy kids!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. As you are to me!!!! I’m super excited about the sink, too. I have no supports for it, so I think I’m going to use antique ornate cast iron brackets…. thoughts?

      Happy New Year, Ross!

  2. I’m amazed by everything you have managed to accomplish this year and look forward to reading more in 2016. I’m really keen to see how the bedroom cupboard turns out.

    I discovered your blog this year and have really enjoyed it – uncovering the history of the house with the Beidlers visit was just incredible.

    (And I’m totally stealing “diagnose”).

    1. Steal away! I’m so glad you’re reading along, and I’m also excited about how the cupboard turns out. It looks greta in my mind, but reality isn’t always the same! Happy New Year!!!!

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