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Renovation DIY and old-house restoration, traditional styles, period kitchens, historical decorating, period gardens, from colonial and Victorian through Arts & Crafts and Mid-century Modern: all from Old-House Journal magazine and special-interest titles Old-House Interiors, New Old House, and Early Homes.

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restoring wood gingerbread on porch

Restoring Wood Elements in Old Houses

Restoring architectural elements damaged over time requires ingenuity and labor but it isn’t necessarily difficult. Two recent projects—one pro, one DIY—show how perseverance brings wood ornamentation beautifully back to useful life.

House Tours

Italian Villa

Elegance & Whimsy for an Italian Villa

The charming house in Greene County, New York, has been faithfully restored: foundation and structure, exterior elements, and the trim inside. The new kitchen, still in the expected place at the back of the house, is now a family gathering space. Upstairs, a twin bedroom is a trip to fantasyland. Creativity and warmth run throughout.
old house garage

Garage & Outbuilding Styles for Old Houses

A well-designed garage does more than stable automobiles. It may by its placement create a private courtyard. It can block noise or a neighbor, or add balance if it’s part of the house. Today’s garages are also storage units and potting sheds; they may accommodate a home office or guest suite. Because a garage is new construction requiring everything from permits to utilities, it’s worth taking time to design one that works now and for the future—say, when electric-vehicle charging stations are a common requirement.

Repairs & How To

restoring wood gingerbread on porch

Restoring Wood Elements in Old Houses

Restoring architectural elements damaged over time requires ingenuity and labor but it isn’t necessarily difficult. Two recent projects—one pro, one DIY—show how perseverance brings wood ornamentation beautifully back to useful life.
repairing casement windows

Restoring Casement Windows

Lately, casement windows have been on my mind. No surprise: my 1913 Adirondack-style cottage has a dozen wood casements—and they all need work. Unlike double-hung sash windows that move up and down, casement windows swing outward, inward, or occasionally upward, turning on hinges attached to one edge of the frame.

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