What we did: Renovated a circa 1780 carriage house, then the 1820 main house, back-to-back.
Remodeling cost: $400,000
Time frame: Nine years and counting
Where we saved: Scoured eBay, Craigslist, salvage yards, and contractor supply houses for low-cost castoffs that suited our new-old, vintage-modern style.
Where we splurged: Carrara marble countertops in the bathroom and kitchen, where they are 5 inches deeper than standard to accommodate the beams.