The interior was painted throughout using Benjamin Moore's
Aura line, a product low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that cause the dizzying paint smell. "Even though the paint costs a little more, it's better for you, for the painters, and for the environment," Michele says. "And the performance is better." The original yellow pine flooring downstairs was patched and sanded, then topped with an oil sealer and paste wax. Oil finishes can be easily spot-repaired without being sanded off, extending the life of the floor and thus cutting back on future waste.