Blog Posts by This Old House Magazine

  • 6 Delightful Holiday Dining Room Designs You Can DIY

    Steal ideas to create a gorgeous space for gathering friends and family this holiday season.

    1. Festive Farmhouse Dining Room
    Homey Holiday SpreadHomey Holiday Spread
    Vintage furnishings set the stage for a homey holiday spread. Here's how to re-create this welcoming feel using thrifty finds. Don't shy away from hanging wreaths indoors! The ones shown here, hung with extra-wide ribbon on the inside on windows, are also visible from the curb! See what else you need to get this look in Create a Festive Farmhouse Dining Room

    2. Colonial-Style Dining Room
    Colonial StyleColonial Style
    Classic American furnishings and colorful accents create a room that's equally inviting for a holiday feast or an everyday dinner. Thinking outside the box about paint colors really makes this otherwise traditional room pop! Other ideas to steal: Flank wall art with lighting sconces and add an ornate mantel.

    3. Rustic French Dining Room
    Rustic FrenchRustic French
    Warm, handcrafted materials mix with sleek factory-style finds to give this space a taste of the Gallic countryside.

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  • Thanksgiving Host Survival Guide

    Despite your best efforts to prepare, you'll probably encounter a blip or two during your family gathering. Here's how to handle the unexpected __Karen Ziga, thisoldhouse.com

    Happy Thanksgiving!Happy Thanksgiving!

    01_Wine Spills

    Murphy's Law states that the one day a year you use your best linens is the same day someone will knock an entire glass of red wine onto them. And onto the carpet or your favorite blouse. The key to fixing the red-wine-spill problem is speed. Immediately treat the stain. Start by blotting the stain (don't rub!) and pour cold water on it. Then, sprinkle it liberally with salt. For fabrics, it's ideal to sit the stain in a small bowl, then pour boiling water over it and let it soak until the stain is gone. If that doesn't work, steep the stain in diluted white vinegar (1 part vinegar to 2 parts water). See more in this video on removing a red wine stain from our friends at Real Simple.

    For a carpet spill, blot first to remove as much liquid as possible. Then, make a paste of baking soda

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  • Gorgeous Built-In Storage Upgrades that Will Make Holiday Entertaining a Breeze

    Built-ins all-access barBuilt-ins all-access barThe holidays are upon us. For help getting party-ready, we've assembled a portfolio of bars and servers that pack style and utility into the typical untapped spaces in a home.

    SEE ALL: 12 Amazing Built-Ins That Will Make Holiday Entertaining a Breeze at thisoldhouse.com

    All-Access Bar. This wet bar was designed and built as part of a kitchen addition by handy homeowner and frequent entertainer Aaron Cover of San Diego, California. The doorways on either side were once dining room exterior windows, which Aaron enlarged to create easy passage between the new and old spaces. Structural posts determined the length of the bar, which he fitted with small drawers for corkscrews and other cocktail accoutrements; a double-drawer fridge for mixers under the counter on the left; and, for symmetry, a look-alike panel on the right that tilts out to access plumbing for the sink. In the upper cabinets, puck lights illuminate liquor bottles. Aaron's collection of vintage-look signs announces that this

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  • 10 Pumpkin Carvings of Kids’ Cartoon Favorites

    The annual TOH Pumpkin Carving Contest is under way. (Make sure to enter your own carving creation by October 29!) Here are 10 great carvings of much-loved cartoon characters!

    See ALL of the entries so far and enter the 2012 TOH Pumpkin Carving Contest

    1. Sulley of Monsters, Inc.
    Sulley from Monsters, Inc.

    "My theme started out as the monster sully from Monsters Inc. but ended up being just a monster. I used linoleum cutting tools that I bought for $4.99 from Hobby Lobby. The entire outside of the pumpkin is painted with acrylic paint "Cool Blue" and "Christmas Green" both by Apple Barrel bought at Walmart for about $1.35 ea. His ears are one gourd difficultly cut in half with a breadknife and gutted and glued on with hot glue, his hair is made out of an old rope I had laying around the house that I unwound and cut and individually glued onto the top of his head. His eyes are kind of 3D effect and have 2 different layers. shaved off one of those layers and painted it green to better stand out.

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  • How to Carve the Best Pumpkin Ever

    This Old Monster House PumpkinThis Old Monster House Pumpkin
    Here are the expert carvers' tips for every step of the pumpkin-carving process. Follow their advice to create a potentially award-winning pumpkin, and enter our annual Pumpkin-Carving Contest for your chance to win prizes and be featured on This Old House website. -Tabitha Sukhai, This Old House online

    See More: Inspirational Pro Pumpkin Carvings

    Select a PumpkinSelect a Pumpkin
    1. Select It
    Want to go traditional and carve a gourd straight from the patch? Or would you like your creation to last forever by carving a synthetic pumpkin? Whichever one you choose, make sure you consider your design or pattern when selecting a gourd. Get one large enough and in a shape that will accommodate the length and width of whatever design you're going to carve into it. And before you leave the pumpkin patch, Ryan Wickstrand of ZombiePumpkins.com recommends the following: "Make sure it can stand well on its own, and never carry a pumpkin by its stem."

    If you dread seeing your hard work turn to mush-even with good care, a

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  • Period-Style Home Products to Suit Any Budget

    This Old HouseThis Old House
    Sure, there's something to be said for splurging on marble mosaic tile or a handblown sconce shade. But nailing a vintage look doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. To prove the point, we turned to our favorite big-box retailers, online megastores, and renovators' catalogs for low-cost look-alikes of pricey reproduction fixtures and finishes. The result? The wallet-friendly finds here and on the following pages, from a pedestal sink full of period charm to prefab wainscoting that delivers a paneled look in no time. -Danielle Blundell, This Old House magazine

    SEE ALL 13 classic home details that won't break the bank at thisoldhouse.com


    Victorian-Style Pedestal Sink

    by Barclay Products

    With its 18½-inch-wide basin and integral backsplash, this vitreous china pedestal is a perfect fit for the smallest of baths.

    About $160, vandykes.com


    Cottage-Style Onion Lantern

    by Glomar

    Seeded glass and a weathered-bronze finish make this fixture a natural for the walls

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  • Stop Procrastinating! 5 Quick DIY Fixes You Can Tackle in No Time Flat

    The know-how you need to finally make that nagging fix. Let's start with a couple of easy plumbing repairs.

    thisoldhouse.comthisoldhouse.com
    1. Leaky or Runny Toilets
    If you're going to make your own leaky or runny toilet repairs, you're going to have to learn the anatomy of the thing. For example, it's worth knowing that a refill tube replaces water in bowl after flush. If a toilet runs intermittently, check that the tube's end is above water level in the tank. Identify more parts in How to Fix a Leaky or Runny Toilet.







    thisoldhouse.comthisoldhouse.com2. Dripping Kitchen Faucet
    "Most people will ignore a dripping faucet out of fear or ignorance," says TOH plumbing expert Richard Trethewey. If they deal with it at all, it's usually by cranking the handle so hard they risk tearing a rubber washer or cracking something and making the leak worse. If your kitchen faucet is a single-handled one like the one shown here, Richard will show you how to stop the drip in just 4 easy steps.

    Got a different kind of faucet? See How to Repair a

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  • What You Should Be Doing in Your Yard This Fall for a Vibrant Landscape Come Spring

    See TOH landscape contractor Roger Cook on the new season of This Old House, starting October 4thSee TOH landscape contractor Roger Cook on the new season of This Old House, starting October 4th"I don't know why people don't do more yard work in September," says This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook. "Fall is the absolute best time to get things done, and it gives you a head start on spring." For most of the country, autumn's moderate temperatures and plentiful rainfall offer the year's best gardening conditions. What's more, many plants are in a phase of intense root growth, which makes fall a great time to plant, transplant, and feed them. So when the first hint of cool air sweeps through your yard - from late August to early October, depending on your latitude and altitude-here's what you can do to dress up your landscape and lay the groundwork for a lush lawn and beautiful flower beds come spring.

    MORE: Get Ready for Fall Planting

    Lawns. "To grow a lawn that greens up naturally each spring and that resists drought and disease, you need to foster a strong root system," says Roger. This requires annual maintenance - best done in the fall when weeds aren't likely to

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  • This Old House is Giving Away $460,974 (and 11 Cents) Worth of Stuff. And We Wanted to Make Sure You Knew

    Enter daily until August 31Enter daily until August 31
    If you haven't already heard, we've launched our BIGGEST prize pool ever in the history of the Great TOH Giveaway. In 2010 we gave away $31,149 worth of amazing home-improvement must-haves and luxury remodeling goods, then in 2011 we got the grand total up to $178,000. As we've touted on the August 2012 cover of the magazine, our giveaway sponsors have outdone themselves, providing nearly half a million dollars worth of prizes to help YOU turn the the house you have into the home of your dreams! Here are some of the amazing prizes that you can enter daily ('til August 31) for a chance to win, PLUS the related how-to content you'll need if you take home the prize(s)! See contest rules.

    DaVinci Roofscapes' Bellaforte Shake Polymer Roofing Tiles
    DaVinci RoofscapesDaVinci Roofscapes
    Two (2) winners will each receive $25,000 worth of handsome new roofing. (Yeah, you read that correctly. $25,000).

    RELATED: TOH Roofing Feature Package

    Simonton Vinyl Replacement Windows and Patio Doors
    Simonton WindowsSimonton Windows

    Three (3)

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  • Quick and Easy Upgrades: Create an Entrancing Entryway

    Turn the house you have into the home of your dreams by handling one small area at a time! We already talked about adding architectural interest to staircases inside your home. Since the weather's still nice (and in preparation for holiday guests to come later in the year), let's head outside. TOH continues the "Quick and Easy Upgrades" series with our best, low-cost entry ideas. -Tabitha Sukhai, thisoldhouse.com

    Upgrade Front-Door Hardware

    Upgrade front-door hardwareUpgrade front-door hardware

    If a complete entry overhaul (new door, porch upgrade, and so on) is out of your reach, shop for bargains at the home center to make your front door pop. Check out Personalize Your Front Door With Paint for some color inspiration to take you beyond the basic black. Then, swap a plain doorknob for a handsome, one-piece handle, tubular lock set, and handsome escutcheon. Consider a shapely new knocker and gleaming kick plate, too. See our full Step-by-Step project, How to Upgrade Front-Door Hardware for instructions to get it all done in about an

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