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Old House Journal December 2013

Old-House Journal December 2013

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Editor’s Note
Our redesign has been a hot topic of conversation. Many of you wrote to ask where Remuddling went (it’s still here, just no longer at the end of the magazine), and also to tell us how excited you were about our new Field Tested pages (our latest review is on power screwdrivers). A few folks also said they thought OHJ’s new logo appeared computer-generated. That couldn’t be further from the truth! The logo was hand-drawn, and went through at least four iterations as we tried to get the feel exactly right. To us, it invokes both the “journal” in our name and OHJ’s long history of reader-contributed DIY stories. We appreciate all of your feedback—keep those letters coming. It’s always good to hear from readers!

December is a time when we hunker down in our houses, aiming to keep our toes warm and the projects at bay—nobody wants to realize, via a flood after the first snowfall, that they didn’t clean the gutters well enough in the fall. For me, there’s nothing better this time of year than hanging out by the fire with a cup of hot tea in hand, listening to logs crackle. Do you perform a regular check on your fireplace before lighting it up for the first time? You should. Find maintenance tips and more in this issue.

The two homes we feature in this issue couldn’t be more different. One has changed little over several decades, while the other got a top-to-bottom overhaul—including faux-grained woodwork and plenty of Victorian wallpaper. Both offer up loads of inspiration, insights, and ideas into farmhouse and Gothic Victorian style.

In other news, our new interactive website, Concept Additions, has gone live! You can explore, in 3-D, period approaches to additions—complete with ideas on appropriate products—for six different house styles, from a Greek Revival farmhouse to a Second Empire cottage. It’s a unique approach to home expansion, one you won’t find anywhere else—check it out here.

Demetra Aposporos, Editor-in-Chief of Old House Journal

In This Issue:

10 Fireplace Do’s & Don’ts

Thumbnail image for 10 Fireplace Do’s & Don’ts Follow this advice to keep your fireplace safe and snug all winter long.
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20th-Century Houses in Austin’s Pemberton Heights

Thumbnail image for 20th-Century Houses in Austin’s Pemberton Heights Explore a mélange of 20th-century architecture in this historic neighborhood in the heart of Austin, Texas.
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6 Ideas for Country Wainscots

Thumbnail image for 6 Ideas for Country Wainscots Plain-spoken wainscot treatments create architectural interest for farmhouse walls.
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A Vermont Farmhouse Evolves Over Time

Thumbnail image for A Vermont Farmhouse Evolves Over Time As with many farmhouses, change has come slowly to this home in Vermont.
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Designing a Retro 1940s Kitchen

Thumbnail image for Designing a Retro 1940s Kitchen How to conjure up the 1940s in a kitchen that functions for today.
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Frank Lloyd Wright Sites in Wisconsin

Thumbnail image for Frank Lloyd Wright Sites in Wisconsin Not far from the Victorian neighborhoods of Baraboo, architecture of a more modern era draws visitors: buildings designed by native son Frank Lloyd Wright.
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How To Clean Your Fireplace

Thumbnail image for How To Clean Your Fireplace Whether it's caked with soot buildup, stained, etched, or pitted, your firebox will clean up nicely with one of these 4 methods.
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How To French Polish Furniture

Thumbnail image for How To French Polish Furniture This age-old technique will give your furniture a mirror-like sheen.
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Lengthy Restoration of a Gothic Revival Cottage

Thumbnail image for Lengthy Restoration of a Gothic Revival Cottage A couple of newlyweds take on the restoration of a Victorian cottage. Almost 50 years later, their work is nearly done.
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Make a Fireplace Surround from Salvaged Doors

Thumbnail image for Make a Fireplace Surround from Salvaged Doors Learn how to use old doors to transform a fireplace.
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One-Day Project: Fix a Wobbly Stair Rail

Thumbnail image for One-Day Project: Fix a Wobbly Stair Rail Fix a spindle that's worked itself loose with this easy repair.
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Tested: Power Screwdrivers

Thumbnail image for Tested: Power Screwdrivers We try out 4 power screwdrivers that will make life easier.
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The History of the Fireplace

Thumbnail image for The History of the Fireplace The fireplace is a sparkling focal point in historic homes.
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Weekend Makeover: Install a Wallpaper Frieze

Thumbnail image for Weekend Makeover: Install a Wallpaper Frieze A wallpaper frieze can instantly transform your entryway; we'll tell you how to hang one, even if your ceiling isn't level.
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