restored ornate cast-brass front door hardware
Photo: Jason Varney
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Looking After Details

Once Dad realized that I had my heart set on a renovation, he jumped right in. From the start we made a good team. He’s really meticulous, always trying to make things perfect. And what I lacked in attention to ­detail I made up for in enthusiasm. I was basically up for doing and trying anything that would help get my new home ready, no matter how dirty I got. After gutting most of the house, we moved slowly toward restoring the exterior and several priority rooms first. We attacked one task at a time, figuring that if we thought too hard about the big picture we’d never get started.

Mom came by regularly, taking on such daunting duties as stripping the five thick layers of paint from the mahogany doors. And anytime Dad lost his tools—a surprisingly regular occurrence for someone so into details—it was usually Mom who tracked them down.

Shown: The ornate cast-brass lockset was restored by a local company, which fixed the lock, replaced a missing knob, and polished it.
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