handsome this old tv house arlington italianate house project
Photo: Anthony Tieuli
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Arlington Italianate House: Before

The discovery fit right into the couple's overall approach for the renovation of their 2,100-square-foot home. "We really wanted to create a more open and brighter feel while preserving the period character of the house," says Heather. The Fauldses, who have two children, are adding a master suite above a single-story bumpout at the back; a mudroom, a half bath, and a larger kitchen on the first floor; and finished space in the basement. In the process, though, they're committed to preserving the historical features of the 141-year-old house, such as the corbeled cornice outside and the original stairs and balustrade inside.

Nowhere is that dedication more evident than in their decision to invest unbudgeted time and money in restoring the ornamental plaster. "We're a bit puzzled that anyone would ever cover up these ceilings to begin with," says Malcolm. Someone had used 2√ó4s and drywall to lower the ceiling height from 10 feet to 8 feet, probably, says Tom, to make heating the rooms easier.

Shown: The front of the 1872 Italianate will get a new front door, porch railing, and second-story window.
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