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Traditional Home Blog

With spring officially sprung, it’s time to deal with the question of landscaping our beloved Haycock Point beach cottage. All of the heavy lifting is essentially done on the house itself, so landscaping should be a breeze, right? Well, a very expensive breeze I found out when I received my first landscaping estimate of $70,000 (including $20,000 for the driveway!)  Not to mention that the... More
When it comes to finalizing the aesthetic details of your home renovation, let it be known that nobody will see the things that you see, even when they are plainly obvious. Contractors and electricians are blind to these aesthetic details, so staying on top of the proceedings is crucial.  Making matters more confusing, town code often dictates that switches and outlets need to be in very... More
Have I told you yet about our carriage doors? Many times now I think, but they deserve mentioning again. They are, in a word, magnificent! Based on the antique carriage doors I found in Maine (described in an earlier post), these are the modern-day version—they actually swing open with a push of a button and their big, bold character makes them the true focal point of the... More
Keeping an Open Mind: Finding the Right Home Within A Home This week I want to talk about locating the perfect places in your home for those special pieces or accessories that are sentimental to you and speak to the heart of your project. The key to your success is keeping an open mind. Powder room wallpaper For our beach cottage, one of these items from the very start was an antique... More
Interior designers, dealers, and the general public from all over the country converge on one tiny rural town of less than 100 permanent residents twice yearly for three weeks in the spring and fall for the renowned Round Top Antiques Weekend. Located between Houston and Austin in the heart of bluebonnet country, the fair attracts more than 2,000 vendors who set up tents of countless... More
No matter the project, no matter the challenge, never underestimate the power of having the right team in place. Our renovation project has been three years in the making, and I am just now learning how much easier things can be with the right people involved.   You might recall that to my complete and utter dismay, we recently had to fire our contractor. Well, I am overjoyed to... More
Hello everyone and welcome back to the recurring issue of town code and making sure all of our renovations are up to snuff! This week we tackle stove ventilation.  Traditionally, stoves feature a hood up top that pulls smoke out of the house from below. When I was designing our kitchen, however, I really wanted a stove with a mirror above it so I could see the water behind me while... More
Well, here we are in week 172(!) of our beach house renovation, with our brand-new, no-contractor status, in the dead of winter. But things could be worse, right? I know—I really shouldn’t tempt fate.  Cold winter days at Haycock The biggest issue we are facing right now is keeping the house warm over the winter in its unfinished state. Although everything has been done that can be... More
Last post we presented a cautionary tale about contractors and this week we’ve got a seemingly logical extension to that. Over the holidays, with all the craziness of the season upon us, John and I made the decision to change contractors. Many factors went into this decision, but honestly it came down to the most fundamental of questions: have we been treated fairly? When the response to that is... More
Renovation is a tricky business with many moving parts and people to match. As in any endeavor, the team you surround yourself with is as important as the materials you use, the choices you make, and the plans you create. In our own renovation project, we are nearly finished with the upstairs master bedroom, which has shingles in front and hangs over the porch. One of the hidden costs I... More