Historic Hotels

old house journal

A look at some of the country's most well-known historic hotels--and their unique architecture and decor.

Owners Hall Cannon and Miles Refo revived Sir Heaton Rhodes’ “Daffodil Day” tradition of inviting the public to view the lodge and grounds during peak blooming season.

Historic Retreats: New Zealand's Otahuna Lodge

Architecturally speaking, there’s not much that can compete with the majestic natural beauty of New Zealand’s South Island. But Otahuna Lodge, a seven-room luxury hotel set amidst the rocky hills south of Christchurch, is a prime contender.

man on ladder

The Right Ladder

One of the oldest tools ever invented, a ladder is an old-house essential. To be safe, choose one that suits the job and is sturdy enough.

The new kitchen is in a big old room that was, improbably, long used as a garage. It’s 21' square and includes a fireplace, now restored. “We made the fireplace part of the kitchen, creating a sitting area with a couple of wing chairs,” Larry Stanley says. The old floorboards had been irreparably stained and damaged, so the floors are new. Salvaged sections of old flooring have new life as the built-in cabinet in a corner next to the fireplace. The room is  simply furnished with mid-19th-century cabinets inspired by Shaker design. “We chose cherry for the cabinets because it would age to the same color as the beautiful old beams, which are chestnut treated with tung oil,” Larry explains. Natural granite countertops with a soft, honed finish complete the look.

A Cherished 1774 Colonial Restored

The large center-hall Georgian was built as an inn. After removing 1940s accretions and reconfiguring rooms for residential use, the current owners decorated it in fine Colonial Revival tradition.

Products of the Week



The Envi is a super efficient wall-mounted electric panel heater that looks sleek in any setting and is an ideal heating alternative for any DIY renovation or historic home restoration.


Bridger Steel

Architecturally accurate metal roofing and siding; available in a wide range of colors including prints and vintage inspired patinas; LEED certification is available on some products.