A Tale of Two Views

The two images below are instructive.

In both images I was standing in the same place. In the top image I am looking south, and north in the second image.

The top image is how the Cross House looked when I purchased it. It had been painted in a blue-ish gray.

The second image shows the house in June, 2014. After some effort, the original colors were confirmed, applied, and that is what you see.

What surprised me was how, by going back to the Default Intention (the original colors), the substantial limestone foundation (a highly prominent aspect of the house) looked, well, better. And the stained-glass windows also suddenly looked better. The oak front doors suddenly looked better, too.

So, I kept circling from south to north to south to north and so on, and was amazed. As such, my advice to anybody owning an old house is: press Default. You will not regret it.


The front porch, looking south, March 2014.

The front porch, looking south, March 2014.


The front porch, looking north, June 2014. The ceiling is not yet repainted (it will be a pale olive).

The front porch, looking north, June 2014. It is hard to believe that it is the same house. The ceiling is not yet repainted (it will be a pale olive).


  1. Michael Murphy on December 30, 2014 at 3:02 am

    Exceptional. That stained glass transom over the oak entry doors. Oh. My. Gosh. Ross I am 54 and I don’t see WHERE you’re getting your energy. Forge on dude!

  2. Paul on December 27, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Beautiful work. It kills me when I see an old home whose porch has been torn off. NICE JOB

  3. Deborah on January 7, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    It’s absolutely beautiful!

    I watched something on YouTube about this house and your work. And found my way to your blog 🙂

    Oh how I’m enjoying the journey with you, although not as tired I’m sure as you are! I used to love to drive by old homes and wonder what they looked like on the inside. And then along came HGTV and I was able to actually see what I’ve always longed to see. And now to see a home so old and being brought back to life.

    Your writing shows your love and passion for this old home and I am enjoying reading it.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Ross on January 7, 2017 at 4:11 pm

      It is so very nice to meet you, Deborah! Thank you!

  4. Francesca Gove Orr on January 26, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    BRAVO!!! She is heart rendingly beautiful!
    I am so greatful to have found your blog having just purchased a hundred and sixteen year old house myself, and get this, we are only the third family to ever own her! Aside from the kitchen, the previous owners only ever replaced what broke, leaving my home in an almost unprecedented intact state. I have been searching high and low for inspiration to stay on track with my restoration. Your blog is a godsend!

    • Ross on January 26, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      Pictures! Pictures! I wanna see pictures of your house! Is there a real estate listing still active?

  5. Carol on January 29, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    I watch a video of you and your house on You Tube which led me here. I just want to say, I think you are doing a wonderful job. Keep up the good work and God bless.

    • Ross on January 29, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      Thank you, Carol!

  6. Pam Savage on June 22, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    I love this beautiful house and I completely understand your “insanity”. You are doing a wonderful job and I look forward to following your progress.

  7. Diana Lodge on April 8, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    As much as I LOVE all things blue the green is amazingly beautiful!!

  8. Nicole on December 11, 2021 at 10:21 am

    The effect of the paint on the foundation is incredible, and to my eye is completely due to the cool vs warm tones of the grey/blue and olive green respectively. The green picks up the buttery undertones of the limestone, and they work beautifully together.

    I’m so pleased to have stumbled onto this blog (thanks, Reddit!) and can’t wait to see the finished product.

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