The Magazine

Fake It ‘Till You Make It! 9 Ways to Make Your House Look Older Than It Is

By Elizabeth Finkelstein. Photo by smilla4.

When my husband and I set out to buy a house last year (after 10+ years of casually looking), we had just three parameters:
1. We wanted something old.
2. We wanted something old.
3. And finally, we wanted something old.
Fortunately, we live in a very old part of the country, in a town busting at the seams with historical architecture. But our first-time-homebuyer budget didn’t allow for much pickiness just 30 miles from New York City (a.k.a. the most expensive place in the world). And anyway, our definition of “old” was very specific, and not easy to come by. We wanted George-Washington-slept-here old. 1600s old. Gigantic-stone-fireplace old. Stop-dreaming-guys-it’ll-never-happen old.
Well, it didn’t actually happen. We found our dream home in the form of a 1947 cape in the cutest (in my biased opinion) of the Hudson River towns. And on day one, before the boxes were even unpacked, we began our mission to turn it into something that looked really, really old.
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A Blue Ridge Babe: You Should Move to Black Mountain, North Carolina!

By Alix Adams. Photo by Sloan Poe.

Welcome to “You Should Move To…”, in which we travel the country scoping out beautiful, under-the-radar old house towns where big charm can be had for little cost. Have a city, town or neighborhood to recommend? Send it along to!
Black Mountain, North Carolina is the kind of town that has real personality. Warm and welcoming, she’s a community of artists and artisans and all types who have sought out the landscape seeking entertainment or inspiration. The creativity surging around here is palpable and deep-rooted. She’s home to the former Black Mountain College, pretty much a modern art legend production factory in the 1940s and 50s. This town has seen talent. Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Willem de Kooning and more learned and taught at the progressive liberal arts school.
Plus, there are old houses galore to found in this Blue Ridge Babe!
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Spectacular Antique Chandeliers From Every Era

by Rhonda Montague. All photos courtesy of FirstDibs.

We’ve gathered a stunning selection of antique and vintage glass chandeliers from the Victorian Era right through Mid Century Modern to share with you! Click on the corresponding link to take you to the online shop where you can see more photos and find out more information about each vintage piece. Happy shopping!
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Fixer-Upper: A Second-Empire Style Mansion in East Hampton, Connecticut

by Teresa Iafolla. All photos courtesy of Hunter Realty Group

In the cozy, northeastern town of East Hampton, Connecticut sits a beautiful old mansion waiting for a new owner. Homes in this neck of the woods typically cost a small (or not so small) fortune, so for just $299,500 this is a relative steal. The catch? According to the listing, “the property has freeze damage will not qualify for financing.”
This 8-bedroom, Second Empire-style home harkens back to 1872! I can’t get over the breathtaking details – the mansard room, the teeny, ornate dormers jutting out at the top, and the sharp color accents at every turn. It could be the perfect Connecticut bed-and-breakfast, or the elegant showcase of the neighborhood for the proud restorer. Sitting on more than two-and-a-half acres, you have plenty of room for an elaborate garden, or a mini-arboretum.
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Help Save This Gorgeous Old House in Danvers, Massachusetts!

by Rhonda Montague (Photo courtesy of: The Preservation League of Essex County.)

The stately Porter-Bradstreet residence was built by one of the earliest settlers in America, John Porter, who emigrated from England in the early 1600’s. There are fewer than 400 First Period homes (construction dating from 1626-1725) remaining in the entire country. Unfortunately, this precious piece of American architectural history is in imminent danger of being demolished. The following is an email excerpt from The Preservation Society of Essex:

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Fixer-Upper: Delap-Fyffe Farmstead

by Teresa Iafolla

This darling Friday Fixer-Upper comes with over 156 years of history and a great story! Built in 1859, the Delap-Fyffe Farmstead was built as a wedding present from David Delap to his wife, Alli (Can you imagine a better wedding present?). True to the DIY spirit, David cut the wood for the house himself and had it polished off in the nearby town.
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10 Houses Under $50,000: August 2015 Edition

by Teresa Iafolla

From Maine to Missouri, these 10 diamonds-in-the-rough have one thing in common: they have loads of history at bargain prices. Most of these are turn-of-the-century homes with the architectural flourishes I pine for — the sweeping porches, the elegant spindlework, fishscale singles. All just waiting for a good polish and a home rehabber ready to roll up their sleeves.

Any of these catch your eye? If you decide to call one of these finds home, make sure to send us your project photos!

This week’s picks, right this way


by Rhonda Montague (All photos courtesy of: Château de Gudanes.)

Constructed in the mid 1700’s, Château de Gudanes commands attention snuggled up against the soft green hills near the small village of Château-Verdun in the south of France. Few of us can imagine seriously shopping online for an enormous French château needing extensive and expensive renovations, yet, that’s how exactly how Craig and Karina Waters found their magical fairytale love. After just one visit to this faded countryside beauty, the Australian family was passionately convinced this forlorn and forgotten, but once magnificent residence, deserved a new life.

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Fixer-Upper: Lumber Bridge Queen Anne

by Teresa Iafolla

Hidden away in Lumber Bridge, North Carolina, this old-time beauty is just begging to be fixed up! And at only $150,000, it’s the steal you’ve been waiting for.
Those gorgeous Queen Anne touches (look at that porch!) just need a little TLC to really shine. And with 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, and over 2 acres of verdant landscape, you have plenty of room to work your transformation.

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