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What Old House Lovers Really Want for Christmas

  • December 20, 2016
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What Old House Lovers Really Want for Christmas

by Candice Whitlow

Well, we are officially into the holiday season. Weather is cooler, homes are starting to be adorned with lights and garlands, and retail stores are getting busier.
My household typically does it’s shopping at the last minute, but this year we’re actually ahead of the game. Jake and I have been discussing ideas on what to get the other, and while he loves our old house, guitars and amps would be at the top of his list. I on the other hand have asked for some unconventional gifts through the years that are, really, gifts for our house. For example, one year I asked for some drawer pulls for my antique dining room buffet. To some, that would be the equivalent of getting socks for Christmas, but if you’re like me, and you have the perfect buffet that needs the perfect drawer pulls, finding those under your tree on Christmas morning is exciting.
So, with that said, I’ve decided to compile a list of gifts that is sure to please the old house lover in your life.



A Great Reference Book

The Field Guide to American Houses” is a must have if you’re restoring an old house. Jake bought this for me a couple of years ago, and I absolutely love it. It’s a great reference, but it’s also great to flip through and learn interesting facts about the evolution of American architecture. I give it 5 stars.



I cannot tell you how many screw drivers, paint scrapers, pliers, and paint brushes we’ve gone through over the past few years. Some tools have worn out, others have just vanished in the chaos of construction. In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s a portal in my house that holds missing Tupperware lids, mismatched socks, and hand tools.

This is a photo from the Christmas my husband bought me my own tools, AND a ring. Hey, I may enjoy working on my house, but I’m still girly.

A Camera

I know, I know, we live in a world where everyone has a camera phone, but having a good camera to document the restoration process is a must in my opinion.

My newest tool! I have recently found a love for photography, and having a good camera to document the restoration of our house is great!

A Gift Basket with Snacks and a Great Bottle of Wine

Restoration is time consuming. Anytime you can grab a quick bite while working is a huge win. What better gift for that special someone in your life who eat, sleeps and breathes restoration, than something you can actually eat. And that bottle of wine is great for taking the edge off after a busy day of restoration.


Architectural Pieces

Door knobs, window hardware, door bells, and light fixtures are all great for someone in the depths of a home restoration. Many places have local salvage yards, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for there, the internet has an endless supply of antique dealers. Plus there is a great website called that offers a wide variety of awesome reproductions.

A 25 dollar Etsy find transformed into the perfect fixture for our son’s room, which was missing the original light.
As CIRCA’s resident old house restoration expert, Candi has lived her whole life in fixer-uppers. Her love for old houses stems from growing up in Doniphan MO, where there is an old house on every corner and the roots of her family tree run deep. She currently manages her father’s company, BARCO Construction and Design. Candi is on the board of the Doniphan Neighborhood Assistance Program and has worked closely with the City of Doniphan Historic Preservation Commission, documenting the city’s historic downtown buildings. She devotes most of her spare time to restoring her 1920s cottage-style bungalow that she shares with her husband Jake and their two dogs Rowdy and Mac.

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