Victorian Update: After

Who: Ronald T.
Where: Saxtons River, Vt.

First the wallpaper was removed. Then the ceiling and walls had to be washed four times. During this process, the center ceiling medallion crumbled into pieces. Painstakingly, I put it back together one piece at a time, then painted it with six shades of gold. My wife Nancy and I drove the original rug down to N.J. and had it delicately cleaned for $500. We replaced the cords on the original window sash weights and, finally, hung curtains that would brighten the room instead of hide it. Now the room is inviting. A portrait of the house's builder, John Alexander, seems to hang proudly on the wall to welcome his guests.

Who did the work: I did most of the work myself.
Cost: About $5,000 to $10,000
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