We love architectural salvage! But sometimes making something old fit in something new can be a challenge. 

Over the years we've worked to install various old architectural salvage items in our home. From transom windows to doors and hinges to locks, using old materials in your renovation not only adds character you just can't get from new products, it can also make a renovation look appropriate in an old home, like it's always been that way. 

For example, our entry hall before and after, with reproduction mouldings, a salvaged leaded glass transom with antique hardware, and minor reconfiguration.

Before and After of our entry hallway with salvaged leaded glass transom


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Though we have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, we unfortunately spent the day rather heartbroken. 

We were excited to spend Thanksgiving evening with good friends and neighbors, looking forward to having a few days off, and had big plans to tackle a few renovation projects. Instead, we began the Thanksgiving day bidding an unexpected and heartbreaking farewell to our beloved four legged family member, Mel. 

Mel was a cherished member of our family for the last 16 1/2 of his 17 years. His rugged Scottish (Fold) good looks, expressive personality, grumpy expressions from his little round face, and ability to win over pretty much everyone he came in contact with has been the constant in our adult lives.

I was a mere 22 years old when Mel came into our lives, given to us by Alex's mom when her chihuahua and other cats decided Mel wasn't a welcome member of her household. 


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It's no secret that I love to make cupcakes and truly enjoy the chance to try my hand at new flavors and combinations. 

With Alex celebrating a "big" birthday this month, I knew I wanted to make a flavor I had never tried before. Every year I ask him to come up with a new flavor combo that will make his birthday just that much better, and each year I hope to be able to top the peanut butter and jelly cupcakes that have held the crown as reigning champion in Alex's "best birthday cake of all time" category.

After a lot of flavor idea deliberation and back and forth between the two of us over the last several weeks, I had a lightbulb moment. One of the flavors of our wedding cake was lemon cake with a delicious raspberry filling and decadent vanilla buttercream. Alex loved this cake immensely (he even devoured the top layer after it had been frozen for a year), so I used this inspiration as a jumping off point but wanted to put a twist on it to incorporate blackberries, one of his favorite fruits. So I set out to whip up a delicious lemon cupcake with blackberry buttercream for Alex's birthday celebration.

The thing I like about this recipe is that it has a manageable number of ingredients, isn't difficult to make, and the somewhat tart, dense cake is nicely complemented by the sweet buttercream frosting.

In addition to trying a new recipe, I ordered cupcake wrappers for the first time. Because I was throwing Alex a big party to celebrate his special day, I thought the occasion called for a bit more pizazz. I found these cute polka dot patterned wrappers on Amazon that dressed up the look for the occasion for little effort and little money.


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Would you agree with the statement, “Proper lighting is one of the most often overlooked yet critical tools in a well done project”?

Whether we’re talking about the ability to actually see what you’re working on, safely use power tools, or spot imperfections before it’s too late, good lighting is more than critical, it’s essential.

Over the last several weeks I’ve been testing out some of Milwaukee’s newest offerings in their personal lighting line. This series of battery powered headlamps, flashlights and an extremely versatile personal floodlight were a highlight of their new tool unveiling event earlier this year. And ever since I laid eyes on them I was eager to give them a try as I suspected they’d all be real winners.

Now that I’ve had some serious hands-on time with these new products, I can confirm that many of these lighting options should be a “must add” to quite a few people’s holiday shopping lists this year. So if you’re looking for that perfect gift to round out your tool obsessed family member’s stocking, the TL;DR of this post is simple. Everything we've been using have been pretty fantastic, I really like all of them, and I think they are completely worth buying!


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We're very excited to report real and discernible progress on our window restoration project.

Long at last! Yes, it's true! Can you believe it?

This project that we've been planning for and talking about taking on for a dozen years is finally underway. Not only is it in progress, the progress we're making is real and honest to goodness progress. I know we're not often known for this kind of news, but it's happening and it feels so good! Especially because the sash started out looking like this.

Today I want to fill you all in on part one of what will ultimately be a three part post on our sash restoration. I know it may be a little detailed (and boring) for some, but I hope it gives people looking to restore their windows an approach that may work for their purposes.

Also, it wouldn't be an “Old Town Home” project without interruptions from several other unexpected projects, like the need to completely pause to repaint and re-decorate the dining room, or another pause to strip and hang an antique door that's been in our basement for 8 years (because why not?). It's DIY ADD at its finest.


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Comments 7

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