Saving a Grand Old House in Texas

Cartwright House Victorian in Texas BEFORE

Take a look at the historic Cartwright House in Terrell, Texas. It was built in 1883 and needed a lot of love (and work) by the time homeowners Tom and Nancy Aldridge bought it. Here’s how it looks now:

Cartwright House Victorian in Texas AFTER

Gorgeous. Nancy told Houzz, “There isn’t a day that goes by without someone stopping to take a photograph of the house. It makes me feel so proud.”

Cartwright House Victorian in Texas AFTER 2

I can see why it attracts so many lookiloos. I’d be braking for it, too!

Cartwright House Victorian in Texas AFTER 1

Here’s a peek inside the 7,000 square-foot home:

Cartwright House Victorian in Texas 2

They bought it with much of the original furniture inside.

Cartwright House Victorian in Texas 3

“We knew the restoration was going to take a lot of work, so we hired an architect, Ron Hobbs, and a contractor, David Mauk,” Nancy says. “They made a presentation to the state, and our plans were approved.”

Cartwright House Victorian in Texas 8

Interior designer Pat Ratcliff to help choose appropriate historical colors for the house. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Cartwright House Victorian in Texas 7

Head over to Houzz to read the article about the Cartwright House by Sarah Greenman and see all the beautiful photos she took of it. Then come back tomorrow to see another inspiring makeover!

gates in front of historic Victorian Cartwright house

P.S. Click here to see more makeovers, including…

Barbie's Pink Victorian Dreamhouse Before

Barbie doesn’t live here any more!

Eric Ross remodel-kitchen before
Designer Eric Ross says this makeover involved more than just simply redecorating a kitchen--it was a complete transformation that involved opening up all the rooms…
TDC Sarah's brown powder room before
For Day Two of "Before & After Week," I've got two bathroom makeovers for you, starting with Sarah's. Her powder room is bigger than most,…

See More


  1. says

    Oh my gosh – this one just about balled me over!! This is AMAZING! The owners SHOULD feel proud – they did a saintly thing by saving this gorgeous old house! It is stupendous inside and out!

  2. DAWN says

    Always happy . . . and relieved to see another ‘grand dame’ of the past restored to even better than before. It’s amazing how these fabulous old homes retain their graciousness and sense of dignity in their often sad states of decline. It’s almost as though they know it is only a matter of time before they are restored to their intended beauty. Thank you for saving her! And I am sure she thanks you as well.

  3. Laura says

    That house is incredible. Love the house, and I’m glad they have restored it, but the interior design is not to my taste.

      • Sherry says

        …and I’m thankful to them for a genuine restoration of this Texas treasure!

  4. Barb Fiester says

    What a magnificent make over! It is just so gorgeous! What a privilege to be able to live in that house (and to be able to afford fixing it up historically)!! Well done!

  5. Cindy_FearlessDIY says

    Truly stunning! Those porches are to die for!

  6. says

    What a magnificent makeover!! Wow! I love seeing people do that (especially when they can afford to do it properly). The inside is beautiful as well, even though that isn’t my usual style. Don’t know what it is but I love that dining room (and I normally don’t like much ‘wood’). I also love seeing the little details that show real people live there. Bravo!

  7. Melinda says

    The owners did a fantastic job with this house. Those porches, that woodwork…swoon!

  8. jacque says

    My heart is going pitty-pat just looking at these photos. It is gorgeous!! Whenever I see and old,abandoned house it makes me so sad. Such a waste.

  9. Jennah says

    Oh Em Gee! I can’t stop looking at this incredible home! By far, my absolute favourite on your blog!

  10. jen says

    this is just so beautiful the owners have done a wonderful job

  11. says

    they did a great job keeping the history of the house…what a gorgeous makeover…so glad no one came and tore it down to make Condos

  12. lynne says

    Gorgeous. But you know what would be great if there was a way to know the purchase price of these homes and then rhe cost of the renovation. I think that would be really intetesting and educational.

  13. says

    What an incredible house! It’s awesome that someone was able to restore it. I live about an hour away from Terrell, so I’ll have to drive by there the next time I’m in the area!

  14. Dan Nickerson says

    There is nothing more amazing than seeing an old home brought back to life. The craftsmanship alone is a gift and so greatful when it is shared for new generations to see what beauty and attention used to be given to a family home. Great work and a job well done to all involved!
    Dan Nickerson NYCID

  15. John says

    I hate it when brick is painted over, now it looks washed-out.
    The interior looks great.
    I am glad someone invested the time and money to save this architectural gem.

    • carrie says

      It looks like the exterior is siding, not brick. It’s a beautiful house.

  16. says

    Drop. Dead. Gorgeous.

    This house reminds me so much of the house I grew up in (in Fairfield, TX). Except our house was much smaller! 😉 I did have two questions- first, what happened to the second tree on the lawn? I always picture southern houses with double-tree lawns; ours in TX had magnolias. The article mentioned that some of the trees were cut down and used for the woodwork of the house, was it one of them?

    I would love to see a picture of the kitchen but couldn’t find one! I love that Tom and Nancy wanted to use a more classic look around the house, it would be interesting to see how the modern-built kitchen blends into the house.

    Thanks for sharing, Julia, Tom and Nancy!

  17. Beverly says

    I love people who bring old houses back to life! Truely amazing!

  18. says

    Wow!!! Truly an act of love to bring that one back to its glory. Can you imagine how much trim there was to paint on it????? Fantastic job! Thanks for finding and sharing it Julia!

  19. says

    I hope this doesn’t post twice…computer going crazy here. That house is absolutely amazing, and congrats to the owners for reviving it! The amount of trim alone that has to be painted is tremendous! Thanks for finding and sharing it Julia.

  20. Autumn says

    There are no words to describe this beautiful home! It looks like it could be a house from “Gone With The Wind”. Many thanks to the owners for having a contractor and interior designer do the needed work to make and keep the house looking to “period”. Beautiful home.

  21. Tracie says

    Wow! What an incredible refurbishment! I wish I had the time, money, and vision to buy such a home and complete such a transformation! I love the interior, too. The kitchen wouldn’t be my first instinct, but it works so well and fits so much better that a modern or “white/stainless” style.

    I love the before and after weeks….thanks, Julia!

  22. Historic Home Lover says

    After much searching (like off and on over 20 years!) for an historic home in our area, we had to give up our search because if the house was redone (especially all the plumbing, heating and electrical) it was way out of our price range. Or if nothing, or very little had been done, we didn’t have the funds to do what was needed…even with the help of an historic preservation entity :-(

    This house is GORGEOUS! It is what I still dream fondly about….{sigh}. I salute those who have the foresight (and $$$$$$$$) to save and restore these wonderful homes.

  23. says

    What a beautiful home! I’m so happy to see someone restored it. I see homes like this one in some small Texas towns when we go on road trips and always hope that someone saves them.

  24. The Country Girl says

    Love it! That entrance hall floor is too wonderful!

  25. Kim says

    What an incredible historic mansion! I think this would make a nice bed and breakfast. Maybe if it’s bought, the new homeowners will turn it into one.

  26. Dina says

    It’s so nice to see a restoration done with class and taste. Thank you.

  27. says

    The character and detail of this house is absolutely amazing. I currently live in the Charlotte North Carolina area. There is a city outside that is near by called Concord. On my way from church 1 day I noticed an entire block of historic homes near downtown Concord, but nothing like this. The restoration that was done to this particular house is simply amazing. The amount of money it cost to save houses and upgrade them in this condition can be very costly in some states, but well worth the effort. Amazing. Great House!

  28. says

    What’s so awesome about this is that this home is recycled. No filling of landfills and much less building materials to make such a fine home. Yes, it’s gorgeous.

  29. Alyssa says

    This is AMAZING!!!!!Love how they stayed true to the house :) some overdue it when restoring and this is just beautiful. I wouldn’t mind living there !!! lol!!

  30. says

    I’ve never seen a home like this. The sheer numbers of porches alone sets this one apart from any other. I can see why it’s in the National Register of Historic Places. I think the dishes visible in the kitchen cabinetry is perfect for the room.