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Traditional Home Blog

If you’ve been keeping score at home, you might remember that it was the authentic pair of antique carriage doors that I found in Maine that inspired the design of our house. You might also remember that when I went to purchase said doors only one pair remained—leaving us with the conundrum of finding replacement doors to match our already-in-progress design. Awaiting the real carriage... More
When it came time to construct railings for the porch, we ran into some difficulties, as is wont to happen in these renovation endeavors. This time the issue had to do with finding the proper method to install the railings without creating a permanent obstruction of our beloved ocean view in the process.   The first option we considered was Greek columns with shingle bases to keep the... More
I will start this week off by admitting that practicality is not always my first area of concern in a renovation project. And in the specific case of renovating bathrooms, this has proved especially problematic. We found many beautiful fixtures, sinks and commodes from Kohler, but the hard part was finding the proper placement for each component. My a-ha moment of clarity came after a... More
This week’s post is about the multiple changes and adaptations that must be made during a renovation project. Unfortunately, some of these happen way past the point of comfort. Even with great plans on paper, once on site, some of your plans might not work out according to the initial design. These types of revisions are generally costly and usually disappointing to some degree. However, we made... More
One of the most challenging aspects of undergoing a renovation project is dealing with the restrictions and rigors of adhering to town code. For the uninitiated: every town has its own individual set of rules for how one can build or renovate an existing structure, so it’s very important to get familiar with the town code (and hopefully the town council) from the onset of any local project.... More
Last week I had a meeting with our project manager Jeff Thomas to go over the details of our ever changing lighting plan, and something occurred to me in a flash: We are so lucky to be surrounded by such natural beauty! It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day plans and details of our renovation, but it’s so important to take the time to remember to be grateful for our actual surroundings.... More
The best part about having a beach cottage is­—no surprise here—the stunning ocean view. Throughout every step of our renovation project, we have consistently looked for the best possible ways to maximize that breathtaking view. When it came to the kitchen, and specifically the layout of the range, we realized that instead of a traditional backsplash we could use a mirror and—voila!—beautiful... More
Last week we tackled the logistics and heartache of replacing the original hardwood floors as part of our ongoing beach cottage renovation project. This week we’re on to doors. This house has a LOT of doors. Let’s break it down: there are the glass doors leading out to the porch, carriage doors on the garage, the front door, and all of the inside doors. Guess what? They almost all need... More
This week’s renovation dilemma involves the beautiful, original wood floors throughout our early 1900s cottage. Sounds scary, right? We don’t like where this is headed either. You might recall that our beach house was built in two phases – the original, way back in 1901, and then an addition in the 1970s. At first we thought lifting it would be a breeze since the footprint is so manageable,... More
A new obstacle presented itself this week in the form of bureaucracy––specifically Connecticut Light & Power. Every house must have a meter box that gauges how much electricity is used from month to month. For our house we have two choices: a smaller meter box with above-ground cables that start at an electrical pole across the street and attach to a rod sitting on our roof, or a larger meter... More