We knew custom materials would cost a fortune, so we scoured architectural salvage shops for the back-stair balustrade, baseboards, flooring, and French doors for the new spaces. Armed with every dimension at all times, I found a window frame in one far-flung shop that became the surround for a wooden sunburst in the porch ceiling and the missing stained glass for a window in another.
Our lowest moment came 22 months into the redo, when we were adding tin to the kitchen ceiling and found joists above it sagging half a foot under a 600-pound claw-foot tub. It seemed like we’d never finish.
Shown: The fireplace was restored and refinished, adding a graceful note to a room “back dated” with period-style wallpaper.