Looking for your next dream home? Take a look inside some of the most luxurious properties in the world--once homes to the stars and currently listed for sale. Tour a landmark Italianate in New Orleans that was owned by Anne Rice and explore Bruce Willis's breathtaking timber frame estate in Idaho, plus many others. Hey, we can dream, can't we?
By: MIKE LEYDEN, TABITHA SUKHAI, AND KAREN ZIGA, This Old House online
New Orleans, Louisiana
Trulia.com; Inset photo: Michal Manas
Long before Twilight, New Orleans native Anne Rice brought The Vampire Chronicles to the masses. The best-selling author was the owner of a few of the city's landmark Victorian-era homes, including this six-bedroom Italianate-complete with expansive double galleries and an elegant entry-on Saint Charles Avenue. Next, take a look inside.
See the rest of Anne Rice's Italianate mansion here
Photo: Trulia.com; Inset photo: Caroline Bonarde Ucci
One of the many Western estates owned by the Die Hard star, this lakeside Idaho timber frame ranch could be yours for a cool
Blog Posts by This Old House Magazine
Trulia.comRead More »from 7 Celebrity Homes for Sale
A Cure!Read More »from How to Allergy-Proof Your Home This Spring
Most can't wait for winter weather to warm into spring. But, not allergy-sufferers. Allergies affect more than 20 percent of Americans. Medications can help relieve allergy symptoms, but removing irritants from your home is a much more effective way to stop your stuffy nose, headache, itchy eyes, and shortness of breath, according to the Allergy and Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA). Read on for the most effective ways to clear the air. -Sarah Schmidt
See all of our advice on allergy-proofing your home at thisoldhouse.com
Common offenders are dust mites, mold, pollens, and pet dander
1. No Brainer, But: Find Out What You're Allergic to First
Visiting an allergist will help you focus your preventative measures. The most common offenders are dust mites, mold, pollens, and pet dander. "There's no point in making changes at home if you don't address your particular allergies," says Laurie Ross, editor of Allergy and Asthma Today. "Who knows, you might be allergic to cats, and here you are keeping your windows closed."
Spring has sprung! We can't wait for grilling, fire pits, and playing our favorite backyard games! Is your backyard ready dining al fresco? See how creative design and clever repurposing can transform a sliver of the outdoors into a comfortable-and affordable-area for open-air entertaining. -Heather Smith MacisaacRead More »from 5 Thrifty Outdoor Dining Room Ideas
See more outdoor dining room ideas at thisoldhouse.com
Perk Up a Picnic
1. Perk Up a Picnic: Easy Canopy
Drape fabric between four poles sunk in the ground for a DIY sunshade. Use tent pins to anchor lines that run from the pole tops to the lawn.
See how to get this look here!
Carve Out a Courtyard
2. Carve Out a Courtyard: Flagstone Floor
Convert an unused portion of driveway into an inviting patio. Here, stone pavers with living green "mortar" replace a concrete parking pad.
See how to get this look here!
Add Drama to a Simple Deck
3. Add Drama to a Simple Deck: Curtained Alcove
Set the stage for dinner with a sunshade valance and fabric panels that frame a candle wall grid like a window.
See how to get this look here!
Build a Backyard Retreat
4. Build a
Read More »from How to Know What Insulation is Behind Your Walls
Insulation has come a long way. These days you can stuff your walls with everything from recycled blue jeans to soy-based foam to keep temps comfortable year-round. But if you live in an older home with insulation installed before you moved in, understanding what pads your walls is essential to keeping your family safe-especially if your spring to-do list includes cleaning the attic or renovating it. Here's what you need to know about three common old-house insulations. -Natalie Gingerich Mackenzie
Find out what you NEED to know about insulation at thisoldhouse.com
What it is: A lightweight, shiny mineral that resembles mica flakes.
How it works: Vermiculite absorbs water and is fire resistant, giving it myriad uses, from fluffing up garden soil to soundproofing floors. The mineral was popular during much of the 20th century as insulation, thanks in part to its easy application: It could simply be poured by the bagful between ceiling joists.
Read More About Vermiculite at
- This Old House Magazine | At Home – Mon, Mar 12, 2012 10:18 AM EDT
Why add on when you can add under...or over? When these homeowners felt crunched for space in their houses, they rolled up their sleeves and converted underused spaces into ideal ones -The Editors of This Old HouseRead More »from 11 Inspirational Bonus Room Remodels: Attic Suites and Basement Rec Rooms
Attic Becomes A Suite Retreat Upstairs
Sometimes in the search for more living space there's no place to look but up. When Alan Koch bought this 1933 cottage in Portland, Oregon, he knew he'd be finishing the 600-square-foot attic sooner rather than later. And as a work-at-home educational and marketing consultant, Alan hankered for a light, bright office where he could spread out. By tapping the upstairs, he figured he could carve out just such a space, as well as a comfortable master suite, reserving downstairs bedrooms for guests and TV viewing.
Working with designer Kevin Fischer, he expanded the attic space by 100 square feet with a gabled dormer and, serving as his own general contractor, hired out HVAC and roof work while tackling demo and finish details himself.
Organizing your laundry room.Read More »from 8 Tips for Remodeling Your Laundry Room
The laundry room has finally come into its own as a bright and organized cleanup command center, whether in a tidy corner of the basement or a nook next to the kitchen. For help updating yours, check out our expert advice on everything from energy-wise machines and thrifty flooring options to the best labor-saving layout and how to safeguard the house from a potential flood or fire. -Laura Fisher Kaiser
See all our expert advice on renovating you laundry room at ThisOldHouse.com
Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn
Where to Put It
For lots of us, the basement is just fine. But many homeowners who can spare the space and expense prefer to have the laundry closer to bedrooms or the kitchen. Here's what to factor in before making a move.
On an upper floor
Pros: Proximity to where dirty clothes are shed lessens schlepping distance with hampers. Can tap into existing plumbing lines if in or near a bathroom.
Cons: Noise and vibration require extra insulation and a motion-arresting pad. Leaks can damage first-floor
- This Old House Magazine | At Home – Fri, Mar 2, 2012 9:18 PM EST
For many homeowners, a complete overhaul is out of reach. That doesn't mean you can't refresh your space with small upgrades. Here are Step-by-Step instructions for TOH's most popular quick and easy kitchen projects. Tackle one or more of them this weekend. -Tabitha SukhaiRead More »from Quick & Easy Kitchen Upgrades to Refresh Any Space
Paint Kitchen Cabinets
Your cavelike kitchen feels that way because the dark cabinets have sucked all the light out of the room. But a brighter makeover doesn't necessarily mean replacing those gloomy boxes with all-new cabinets. As long as the frames and doors are structurally sound, you can clean them up and brush on some new paint-and within a weekend take that kitchen from dreary to sunny. As This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers shows on the following pages, all you need is some strong cleaner, sandpaper, a paintbrush, and a little elbow grease. What you don't need is a whole lot of money, as the transformation will cost you a fraction of even the cheapest new cabinets. Get full step-by-step instructions, a shopping
Cottage kitchens are are simply charming with an emphasis on functionality. They're built for comfort with features that help you through your routine and bring life to the hub of your home. Whether you're just refreshing your cottage kitchen or looking to add a dash of old-house charm to a new space, these TOH-featured rooms are sure to inspire.Read More »from Our Top 7 Favorite Cottage Kitchens
See all of our favorite cottage kitchens at thisoldhouse.com
Old Feel, New Height
1. Old Feel, New Height
The O'Learys set about turning a first-floor one-story former bedroom wing into an expansive new kitchen, bumping up the room's roof to double height for a soaring ceiling, which is lined with tongue-and-groove boards resembling 19th-century planks. New oak beams act as structural cross-ties. Clerestory windows flood the kitchen with light.
The center island is topped with the old chestnut boards salvaged from the living room floor. Early-20th-century finishes include flat-panel cabinet doors and bin-pull hardware.
MORE: Read This Before You Remodel a
- This Old House Magazine | At Home – Mon, Feb 27, 2012 11:21 AM EST
The Artist-Inspired Products at Overstock
Feeling inspired by The Artist, the silent film that won big at the Oscars last night? Show it with your decor. Our friends at Overstock share tasteful, affordable ways to pay homage to the wonderful film (starring Best Actor winner Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo) with a little bit of 1920s flair. -Tabitha Sukhai
First, check out this vintage decorative movie projector makes a great collectible and display item.
This Burma mirror features an intricate floral pattern. The piece is then finished with an antique copper enhancing the mirror's timeless, traditional style. Burma Antique Oval Mirror; $103.49
A mirrored finish and two drawers highlight this Dalton accent table. This table also features faux crystal knobs. Mirrored Accent Table, $194.39
Another gorgeous tabletop accent that looks like something out of AcademyRead More »from Affordable Home Décor Inspired by Oscar's Favorite Movie, the Artist
It's time for another healthy dose of the wildest houses in the world! Take a tour of a castle made entirely of trash, a replica of the house from the classic television show The Munsters, and a couple of architectural wonders that take us below the earth's surface. If you'd like to experience some of these strange structures yourself, a few of them are available for sale or rental. So if cottages and Capes bore you, you may find the house of your wildest dreams here. -Karen Ziga and Tabitha Sukhai, This Old House onlineRead More »from Tour the World's Wildest Houses
See all these wildest houses on thisoldhouse.com
Cold War Era Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Silo
Saranac, New York
To the naked eye, this is just a house with killer Adirondack views. But hidden below the surface is a 176-foot-deep missile silo, measuring 52 feet in diameter. In other words: a massive bomb shelter built to withstand a 200-pound-per-square-inch blast.
Certainly not an ordinary mountain getaway, the silo was constructed by the United States Air