Tag Archives: renovation

The Cowboy Code: Using Heart of Pine to Disprove Father Time

How is it that houses built 100 or even 200 years ago are still standing? Every day, I see things that amaze me.   Instead of today’s framing codes that dictate 16″ on center for roof rafters, I see framing that is sometimes … Continue reading

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When Demo Discovery Can Drive Design

Demolition is almost always interesting. Unfortunately, for clients with old houses, it isn’t always interesting in a good way. In old bungalows and Victorians here in the South, if we tear out a plaster and lath wall, we risk discovering framing … Continue reading

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Infuse Spaces with Warmth Using Salvaged House Parts

Several of my most enjoyable renovation projects were houses that were totally violated:  everything worth anything ripped clean out of them.  In fact, I live in one of those houses now so I’ll talk about this one.  We bought this … Continue reading

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Urban Gardening: Why Dad Had ’Nam Flashbacks in my Front Yard

  My banana tree has far exceeded my expectations of its growth.  On year two of its planting, it hit 20-some feet and produced three massive bunches of green bananas, inedible since our Atlanta growing season is shorter than Costa … Continue reading

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Clawfoot Tubs, Bad Hygiene, and the Sears Catalog for T.P.

I am enamored with my clawfoot tub, which is original to our restored 1911 Craftsman bungalow.  It’s is a deep wellspring of contentment.  I love soaking, with a glass of red vino, on a chilly winter day.  And since I’m … Continue reading

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The Silence of the Lambs Basement of Old Junque

I get a huge kick out of amassing great quantities of old junk.  Not just junk really, but “junque.”  That’s French and that makes it valuable.  I kid, sorta.

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How Little Bug Bodies Give Trim that Warm Historic Look

My favorite old house finish is made from the scraped bits of bug secretions.  And when first harvested, the finish is a tempting amalgam of scraped bark, bug appendages, and sticky-lac resin.  The female lac bug is the one responsible for this … Continue reading

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