This Old House Magazine

This Old House magazine published a story about our old fireplace recently…

It’s in their January/February 2013 issue, but I found my copy at Books-A-Million about a month ago, so I’m not sure if it’s still on newsstands. (?)

I absolutely love the illustration on page 76…

…and I’m intrigued by the columned-room divider project on page 57:

…but it’s the ad on page 88 that reminds me to ask you:

Should we be watching this show? I don’t know a thing about it except that I’m seeing that (always-hard-for-me-to-pronounce) title everywhere!


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  1. Nan Parker says

    Hi Layla & Kevin,
    I’ve been one of your ‘quiet fans’ who loves your blog and has purchased Kev’s Photo Lessons as well. So many zillions of times I’ve been so moved by you two and all that you do. Kevin’s original song written for your soon to be adopted little one is incredibly beautiful. It hardly seems appropriate that I’m finally leaving a comment that has to do with Downton Abbey (just pronounce it as “DowntIN Abbey”). This Masterpiece Theatre original series is FABULOUS! My advice is simply: Run, Don’t Walk to get your hands on Seasons 1 and 2. It’s an investment of time, but one that you will fall in love with. The writing, the acting, the music, the location will totally get under your skin (in a good way) ! Let me know what you think when you’re into the series. Love and blessings to you both, my friends. Fondly, Nan

  2. Trisha Grant says

    Yes, Yes, Yes! You should be watching Downton Abbey! It is fabulous and I don’t even watch t.v. that much. Someone mentioned it to me and I had the same response as you. I started watching in season 2 and was hooked!! Go back and get the first few seasons and start watching. BTW…love your blog! Trisha

  3. says

    We bought our grown daughter season one of Downton Abbey for Christmas then watched season two on t.v. It is one of our two new favorite shows ever (Homeland also!). Even my husband enjoys it. Sara, Ohio

  4. Kim A says

    I have only become a Downton Abbey convert since this past fall. I subscribe to Amazon Prime on and was able to watch all of Season 1 and 2 for free on my computer, ipad and just recently iphone. I watched at least 2 to 3 episodes at a time to get caught up. I have recorded all of Season 3 so far on VHS (no I don’t have a DVR) but have not had a chance to watch them. I did not think it would be something I would like, but because I heard such hype about it, I decided to try it and love, love, loved it.

  5. Jacqueline says

    I’ve been watching since the first season and yes it’s enjoyable! It’s basically a soap opera in period costume. The first season has been my favorite, the second season was downright sudsy it was so over the top drama (all it lacked was a damsel tied to the railroad line), and so far I’m enjoying the third season. This isn’t high-brow drama but As the Word Turns with accents, servants, bobed hair and the mores of a bygone era.

  6. says

    YES! Yes to Downton!

    Congrats on the feature! Love that fireplace! :)

    And again, YES to Downtown. Try to get caught up! :)

  7. says

    We were late to the Downton Abbey party too, but we are hooked! We watched all of Season 1 on Netflix in one day and have started the DVD set of Season 2 while DVRing Season 3. It is addictive. If you like period movies, you will love this!

  8. says

    I felt the same way about the show. I finally decided to give in, went to ON DEMAND to start at Season 1, and ALAS, they didn’t go back that far. So I decided the heck with it. Until I saw that I could get every episode for free on my Kindle Fire because I was an Amazon Prime member. Even if you are not a Prime member, you can get a whole season for $9.95.

    I can’t get enough of it. Great writing, terrific acting, and it’s just quite interesting. You won’t regret it.

  9. says

    My husband and I recently started watching Downton Abbey and we are hooked! Congrats on the magazine feature, I have been following your blog for years and absolutely LOVE your decorating style! : )

  10. Kim says

    Absolutely! We just finished watching the second season last night. It’s a really great show! Enjoy.

  11. says

    The new fireplace looks gorgeous. That mantle!

    Downton Abbey is a favorite of ours. The setting, costuming, and characters make for a truly engrossing package. It’s eye candy. It’ll have you thinking in the Queen’s English and lamenting the mannerless masses. Watch out – it’s addictive and unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon in terms of television programming. We’re hoping for at least a few more seasons.

  12. says

    The first season of Downton Abby was good, but my husband and I honestly lost interest. By the time you get caught up that family have been through almost every crisis you can imagine and probably a few more you can’t. It’s probably good if you like to cry over book endings, but I can’t say I really get it. My preferences tend to run towards more narrative and less of a crisis driven plot though.

  13. Dita says

    downton abbey is really addictive! The first season is on netflix streaming and season two netflix dvd, I caught up a month ago sooooo good! The third season is just as great so far!

    I love your fireplace so much that it was the inspiration for doing ours! We also love your kitchen and are currently painting mourning dove on our cabinets! You have amazing taste and skills.

  14. Linda says

    Oh my goodness! Yes, watch the show but you have missed so much that you may be a little lost on the story line. It is the ONE TV program that I stay home for.

  15. says

    Oh! I love TOH magazine. My parents have a subscription, and I eagerly scoop it up when they are finished reading it. Congrats on the feature! I can’t wait to check it out when I get back to visit with them in a couple weeks.

  16. Victoria says

    How wonderful for you and Kevin to be featured in This Old House! Can’t wait to go get a copy. And hey, I need that columned room divider built in my house!

    Are you kidding me? You aren’t watching Downtown Abbey? A HUGE YES! Watch it. But you might want to catch up with who everyone is and what’s been going on by viewing the first two seasons. The British know how to do these series!

  17. Victoria says

    Oops!!! I meant “Downton” Abbey. Ha! It’s even difficult to type too!

  18. Itsa says

    If you don’t want to pay for seasons 1 and 2…check your local library. I bet they have the cds.

  19. says

    Congrats to ya on the TOH magazine feature! That’s awesome :)
    About Downton Abbey, my mom and my niece were watching way before me and kept telling me to watch. I was like, “yeah, yeah, good can it be?” So, I decided one night, around 8 pm, to watch a few shows of season 1 on Netflix. I wound up staying up until 2 am to watch the whole season. It is THAT GOOD! Watch and you will not be disappointed.

  20. Michelle says

    Congrats on being featured in TOH. How exciting. I have my issue but haven’t gotten around looking at it. This will give me the incentive to read my magazine subscriptions.

    Yes,Yes ans Yes to Downton Abbey. I had no clue what it was all about but my friends kept posting how good it was. I pulled an all nighter last weekend and watched the first season. I’m hooked and now I have my husband hooked.

  21. Jean S. says

    What?!!! Not a Downton Abbey fan? You have to watch it. Although Season 3 will end Feb 17. Watch from the beginning – it’s fabulous!

  22. Barbara O'Neil says

    Hi Layla……As a loyal follower of Downton Abbey, I would highly recommend your watching this series, HOWEVER, I would strongly suggest that you rent the series from the beginning so you can go through all the ups and downs and twists in the storyline.
    I promise you, you will not regret it!

  23. brileyB says

    Yes! You should watch Downton Abbey! What great social changes England and the US were going through in the early 20th century!
    Plus a few love affairs and a few one liner zingers delivered by Maggie Smith make it great tv.

  24. Stacey says

    Do you love awesome decor? Do you love amazing costumes? Dashing men? Maggie, Freaking Awesome Smith? Soapy but awesome plots? This show is like champagne and chocolate! I say emphatically, YES!!!

  25. Cindy says

    Down-ton as we southerners call it, is a nighttime soap opera. I have watched it last season; my husband & I really got hooked. Then, I read on-line some sad info about what the writers would do for the character Edith. I don’t know if this is still the plan, but the review said they plan to write Edith as a lesbian this season. Because of the liberal agenda of the writers and our own spiritual convictions to biblical Scripture, we are no longer watching the show.

  26. katie says

    i love downton abbey. But if you are least bit narrow-minded like some of the commentators here, I’d skip it.
    It’s a show, its entertainment, its reality for some…for all other spiritual guidance read the Holy Book!

  27. Tonja Giles says

    Oh Layla! Yes, yes, YES!!!! You absolutely should be watching this wonderful series. You can watch Seasons 1 & 2 online to catch up. Be warned though…it’s thoroughly addicting and absorbing.

  28. Claudia says

    Yes, yes, yes!! We had an unusual Christmas this year after having family all come home in early December for a new baby’s arrival. That resulted in family not being able to get together again on Christmas Day — a depressing prospect. A friend had mentioned “Downton” to us and so we decided to give it a try (thanks to Amazon). After seeing Episode 1 of Season 1 we were “hooked” and watched the entire First Season in one long sitting. We had a relaxing, cozy, enjoyable Christmas Day after all.

    Good luck with your adoption! We have two little grandchildren from China and two more coming, hopefully, late summer or fall.

  29. Sherri says

    I thought everyone was crazy for being crazy over this show, but I was so wrong. I caught up on season 1 and 2 over a long weekend, and I’m hooked!!! I love it and realize I was born in the wrong era!!!!
    The way its shot is beautiful, the outfits are beautiful, the homes are beautiful, the writing is beautiful, and Maggie Smith is a hoot!!! (bet you thought I was going to say “beautiful”, which she is!!!).
    I’ve totally been sucked in and hope it never stops!!!

  30. ashlee c says

    gasp! that cover photo on the magazine! the yellow kitchen cupboards! i swoon over beautiful painted kitchen cabinets nearly every day but i’m terrified to make the actual plunge myself. maybe someday! i’ll add it to my bucket list.


  31. says

    I was late to the Downton game and asked for season 1 and 2 for Christmas. Luckily, my husband has enjoyed them, too. I love the characters! I think it depends if you like period drama. Are you suckers for Jane Austen and the like? If you watch, you’ll have to share how you like it…