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Traditional Home Blog

I think that everybody dreams about having an idyllic porch in the country, where the main activities are relaxing, drinking coffee, reading the paper, and enjoying family and friends in the sunshine. Our beach cottage renovation project presented me with a unique opportunity to create such a place in my home away from the hustle and bustle of New York City life. We knew from the outset that... More
At this point, I can genuinely say that I feel great about our progress on the exterior of the house—it’s really coming together nicely. That said, I was recently looking back at my inspiration book from the beginning of the renovation four years ago, and it’s full of shingle houses with blue trim. Apparently, I had forgotten just how much I like blue trim because it has yet to make an... More
This week’s blog is a bit of a cautionary tale, but as usual there is always something to learn. We’d finally gotten to the kitchen in our beach cottage renovation project, and with that came many choices—not the least of which was finalizing the cabinetry. Our original plans for the kitchen included a simple cabinet design—nothing too fancy. But when it came time to sign off on the work, our... More
This week we are going to talk about hidden costs, those unexpected expenses that sneak up out of nowhere—and sneak up they do! It’s fairly typical in renovation for a project to go over budget, in fact, the rule of thumb is that a you can pretty much assume that your costs will double and so will your budgeted time for completion.  In our case, I think we’ve actually tripled the amount of... More
Now that it’s May, I think (I hope!) we can officially say goodbye to the snow, and with that comes a great big hello to our next project—landscaping! I am super excited and also a bit stressed out about the landscaping for our cottage.  The property sits primarily on rock, but there are pockets of grassy areas where we can plant—but what should we plant? The driveway is currently a... More
This week’s adventure in home renovation involves temperature regulation systems, aka, “when the HVAC goes in, you know you’re making progress!” The old furnace was located in the middle of the house amidst a row of walk-in closets. We decided the best place for the new HVAC system would be upstairs in the attic to create some extra room downstairs.  The new HVAC replaces the old... More
After holding my breath all winter, wondering quietly to myself if the rooms would take shape the way I’d envisioned once we actually got back inside, I’m pleased to report that the tiles, floor, and walls in the upstairs bathroom are coming together quite nicely. I am truly beside myself with excitement! I never thought I could be so excited to see a bathroom taking shape, but that is exactly... More
Now that the winter is finally yielding to spring, and we are able to get back inside the house to continue work, it’s become painfully obvious that this accomplishment brings a host of challenges with it as well. There are details upon more details to contend with—specifically the details of interior decorating. As exciting as it may be to envision the house complete, the road to completion is a... More
Up until now I’ve mostly discussed the big projects of home renovation—things like doors, appliances, and light fixtures—but I’d be remiss if I didn’t warn you that there are also a million little things that creep up when you least expect it— the details, ladies and gentlemen, the details. These seemingly harmless components are many and they are easy to overlook if you aren’t paying attention... More
As we prepare to move in to our beach cottage this summer (yes, it’s finally happening!), we’ve begun to focus our attention on the interior of the house—and this week, specifically on the interior doors. Have you ever stopped to think about just how many doors there are in your house? Well, I have now, and in this case, there are quite a few!  During the course of the renovation, all... More