Have you ever had a friend or family member coming stay with you, quickly glanced at your guest accommodations, and thought to yourself "UGH! I don't want to force this person I care about to stay in this room!"

After years of having a guest room that was "good enough," a string of planned visits from guests in the upcoming months had me taking stock of our little guest room. This is the same room we gave a light makeover to some seven years ago, but since has been largely unimproved. Well, I recently looked around the room I realized that it may have been close to good, but wasn't what I wanted it to be. Besides not looking how I wanted from a decor perspective, we've been using it to store rugs we've moved from their prior rooms, the central vacuum attachments, and various miscellany that had been misplaced from other locations in our home. It was time for an upgrade.

This all started pretty innocently. Besides the accumulation of junk, the bed and box spring were sitting directly on the floor, where it's been since our last update in 2011. There it sat, still waiting for the bed that Alex will eventually build (but hasn't yet). I had grown sick of the bed on the floor look. When a neighbor gave us a metal bed frame he was planning to throw away, I figured it was a good chance to overcome this single annoyance with our room. 

Having the bed at a normal height made me realize we needed a proper bed skirt. Simple enough, right? And while we're at it, it was spring, so time to swap the heavy comforter for the lighter white matelasse coverlet. Here's how the room looked as we tried to prep it with what we had.

Besides missing a skirt, the problem I ran into is that the white coverlet we put on the bed from Spring to Fall has a large brown stain on it, courtesy Mel and a cat vomit incident last year. Now, I don't know about you, but as a guest staying, well, anywhere, I'd prefer to not have cat vomit stains on my bedding. Beyond the stained bedding, I felt like the red stool and recycled wicker baskets as night stands, both "rescued" from the curb, were far from ideally functional.

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Comments 8

The end of April 2018 marked the 7th birthday of Old Town Home and is a milestone of sorts in our time as bloggers. Seven years! I think Internet years are like double dog years.

Since we're talking dog years, it is very appropriate that our blog is seven (or one in dog years), and the topic of today's blog post just happens to involve one particular dog of ours. Our favorite female canine, Lulu, has been a member of our family for just a little longer than we've been blogging. She'll be celebrating her ninth birthday in a few months, and we've had her as a member of our family for just about seven and a half years.

Lulu has an affinity for climbing trees while chasing squirrels, throwing herself against the door when packages are delivered or a friend comes knocking, and generally guarding our home.

Like a seasoned veteran of the body-guarding business, she's honed her skills over the years. She covertly lurks, often appearing to nap, but her senses are always heightened and she's perpetually ready to spring into action to save the day. Evils such as letter delivery, or another dog barking a block or more away don't have a chance when Lulu is on duty. It doesn't even matter if she's upstairs, she'll make the mad dash down our wood stairs and leap towards the door at full speed!

Unfortunately, for our wood stairs, Lulu's skill as a guard dog has taken its toll. Lulu's nails apparently act as razor sharp talons when she's on the job, and years of her relentless pursuit of ensuring a danger free home have left their mark. Some might say she's neurotic, perhaps a bit over-zealous. Those people would be correct. But we love her nonetheless.

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Comments 11

The last time we tried to install two part crown moulding, I think we almost got a divorce.

Okay, so I may be exaggerating a little, but it wasn't pretty. The first time we tried to install two part crown was in our living room project, and it was ugly. I'm talking ugly on both the initial work on the install, and our frustrated communication with each other.

At one point in the process Wendy got so frustrated with me (which was likely well deserved as I had gotten very frustrated with the crown moulding) that she had to walk away and cool off, lest she end up maiming me with my own nail gun. The problem was that she chose to walk away to take a walk around the yard (and out of ear shot) without realizing I was standing on a ladder and holding the crown in place above my head...with one end already nailed...and my nail gun out of reach. I ended up holding that piece in place for nearly 20 minutes until Wendy returned. Upon her return, I politely asked her to hand me my nail gun before my arms fell asleep.

Though we really love how the crown turned out in the living room, the strife it caused during the process had us a little gun shy when it came to doing the same in our dining room project. Two part crown helps mask wavy plaster walls, and provides a great nailing backer for crown when studs aren't predictable or available, but the difficulty of install when your ceiling and walls are not consistent (because you live in an old house), certainly makes it tricky. But alas, we want to be cohesive on the first floor, so two part crown it is!

One thing is for sure, our dining room project is humming right along! We last gave you an update on our Master of Plaster base coat. The next time we were back at the house we followed the base coat up with a quick finish coat of plaster to complete the room. The finish coat goes on smooth and easy, and is very thin. The best part is that you can work really fast with the finish coat, so the whole room only took a few hours.

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Comments 4

We're making huge progress on our dining room, especially in our plaster restoration efforts!

A little while ago we gave you all an update on the plaster restoration progress on our Foursquare's dining room walls. We'd successfully patched missing sections, rolled on the Plaster Weld bonding agent, and applied the base coat of Structo-Lite plaster with embedded fiberglass screen. In short, we had a solid foundation on which to launch our Master of Plaster restoration process.

We last used Master of Plaster's restoration plaster in our living room renovation project a few years ago, and we loved it back then. Now, a few years later, we are giving it a go again to see if we still feel the same. 

We ordered and had all of the product delivered to our local Old Town Alexandria Ace Hardware. Since they are a commercial location that regularly receives large shipments, this saved us a good amount of money on shipping. The whole pallet came in at about 600 pounds, so we drove down and loaded everything up in the back of our car to get it to our project.

The order was for more product than we'd need for the dining room, as we also plan to use it on the hallway walls later this year. For our dining room space we'd really only need about four buckets of the base coat and less then half of the finish coat.

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Comments 5

What happens when cutting edge technology is at odds with spousal aesthetic approval? Well...you need to get creative!

The more ubiquitous modern home technology becomes, we're seeing two very distinct styles and integration approaches from the manufacturers. 

On one hand, as components shrink and become more low profile, some companies are attempting to make their products essentially disappear, designing them to seamlessly blend with their surroundings. Digital assistant microphones/speakers like the Echo Dot and Google Home Mini jump to mind.

On the other hand, much has been the tendency for cutting edge technology in homes for centuries, these cool modern devices are apparently intended to be put on display (just look at visible heating and plumbing lines in Victorian homes). All too often, the current trend is to embrace the tech in a utility meets modern art hybrid, the design of which is meant to resemble sleek monolithic cubes of digital sculpture on a stage for all to see.

While this might be the look you're going for in a modern loft space, or geometric minimalist environment, this tends to simply look out of place when it comes to trying to integrate it with an older home. It's tough to mix an upscale and comfortable yet antique aesthetic with a sterile glossy white or black plastic cube.

But all of this being said, the solution isn't just to forgo the modern tech in your home. I mean, I'm certain there's almost always a solution that can be found. Take for example the Sonos home theater package, with sound bar and subwoofer.

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Comments 9
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