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Circa Old Houses

By Cristiana Peña

Circa Old Houses

May is Preservation Month and we’ve partnered with CIRCA Old Houses to celebrate homes with history and the homeowners who keep things fresh! From their sustainable nature to the stories they hold, there’s something special about old homes. For today’s guest blog, we’re turning it over to Cristiana Peña of CIRCA Old Houses as she describes the passion for preservation the CIRCA community shares and how our partnership came together.

Image: Catskill Farmhouse

Meet Cristiana!

Old house lovers are storytellers at heart. Crossing a threshold and knowing that you are picking up where a previous generation left off; that your time as the steward of an old house will be a part of the story the next owners tell -- that’s the incredible appeal of old houses! CIRCA Old Houses was built for us lovers of finely carved moldings, time-worn wide-plank floorboards, exuberantly colored wallpapers, scallop-shaped shingles, and the hundreds of other details that old houses can feature. Whether you’re looking for a move-in-ready Queen Anne preserved to perfection or excited to tackle a long list of projects with a mid-century fixer-upper, you’ll have no shortage of eye candy to choose from at CIRCA.

Image: The Kimble House

The values of historic preservation are at CIRCA’s core -- no surprise there, as both our founder and me, social media manager, received our Master's degrees in Historic Preservation before cutting our teeth as community advocates in New York City’s historic neighborhoods. Preservation celebrates history, champions craftsmanship and, importantly, urges us to be aware of our impact on the world around us. Architect Carl Elefante’s oft-repeated refrain, “The greenest building is the one that already exists,” is a reminder that looking to our existing building stock is essential for a sustainable future.

Image: East Hill Revival

Conscious consumption, an appreciation for well-made goods, responsible stewardship … that sounds a lot like Fireclay Tile, too, which is why CIRCA was so eager to collaborate for #PreservationMonth. Throughout May, we’ve been delighted to showcase owners of historic old houses -- from an 1830s farmhouse to a mid-century marvel -- who’ve invested in their homes and looked to Fireclay Tile for the historically appropriate finishes and forms their projects needed.

Honoring their historic bathroom was no easy task for House of Brinson, but finding the perfect Tile to complement its vintage features sure was. 3x6 Tile in Cyclone with short edge bullnose and 1x6 fingercove details are seamlessly installed above the home’s original 1900’s tile.

Tile Shown: 3x6 in Cyclone // Design + Image: House of Brinson

Each of these features landed on CIRCA’s Instagram TV channel, where we’ve collected dozens upon dozens of video stories from old house lovers across the country (and Canada! And Europe!) as part of our One-Room Journey series.

Image: This Yunky House

Preservation is personal, and that comes across so vividly in the projects featured in our Fireclay Tile collaboration. As Karen Nepacena of Destination Eichler tours us through her 1950s home kitchen, we learn that she and her husband tackled not only the tile install but also poured the concrete island slabs themselves! Take the tour here!

We've never loved geometry more than right here on this kitchen's bright blue Escher-inspired backsplash, giving this updated Eichler home a fresh contemporary twist.

Tile Shown: Small Diamonds in Tiki Blue // Design + Image: Destination Eichler

And when Emily Starr Alfano zooms in close to show the tone and texture of her herringbone-arranged kitchen backsplash, the individuality of each brick tile sent our hearts to the moon! Take the tour here!

Designer Emily Starr Alfano gives her home's 200-year-old roots a farmhouse modern upgrade with a beautifully timeless Brick backsplash.


Brick Shown: Klamath // Design + Image: Emily Starr Alfano


And there’s one more feature video left to share -- Susan Brinson of House of Brinson will take us through her gorgeous Cyclone-tiled bathroom, with beautiful antique fixtures and historically-inspired fabrics, next week!

Honoring their historic bathroom was no easy task for House of Brinson, but finding the perfect Tile to complement its vintage features sure was. 3x6 Tile in Cyclone with short edge bullnose and 1x6 fingercove details are seamlessly installed above the home’s original 1900’s tile.

Tile Shown: 3x6 in Cyclone // Design + Image: House of Brinson


We’ve been so excited to meet new design-savvy friends through our collaboration with Fireclay Tile, and hope that the old house lovers among them have enjoyed catching up with our One-Room Journey series of other people’s homes (old house lovers are all a little voyeuristic at heart!). Head there now to see how our diverse community of old house lovers has interpreted their old houses, how they’re bringing them back to life, and how we’re all finding community along the way.

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