Eager to give the room a true period look, they camouflaged present-day trappings, such as the trash compactor, microwave, and dishwasher, behind false cabinet fronts.
And where there are kids, there are cookie crumbs, so Eric rigged up his own spin on central vac, using a $40 shop vac and some ingenuity. After hanging the canister from the basement ceiling, he threaded the hose up through the floor and into a bottom drawer in the island that faces the dining area. A drawer front flips down to reveal the hose and wand, and a switch built into the cabinets turns it on. Now the kids take turns vacuuming as part of post-dinner cleanup.