Remodeled second floor bathroom of the Miller Pelaez home
Photo: James Carrière
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Hands-On Approach

When she wasn't struggling with misfit hinges and tilework, finding better spots for the skylights, commissioning a kitchen island, or devising a cool new palette for the exterior, Jenna was bird-dogging Hom's crew, raising eyebrows and compelling one of his Chinese carpenters to nearly quit—something to do with the placement of cabinet hardware. Also, not everyone shared her taste for salvaged goods. After producing a well-worn front door,­ complete with mail slot, and asking that it be hung on sliding rails in front of the new master bath, she says she had to override a head-wagging chorus of "Cheap. No good."

Then there was her prized pair of peeling corbels, which she envisioned nesting in the new opening between the dining room and kitchen. First she took them to a Victorian-millwork place, asking that it add rounded bottoms. Then, to match the old sections, "I gobbed on this crackling product and blow-dried it," she says. "William's guys were like, 'What are you doing?'"

But who could complain about a homeowner who invested so much of her own time, sweat, and ideas? Teamwork smoothed the redo's rough edges, and six months later the family was able to move back in.

Shown: On the second floor, the homeowners merged the existing baths and added a vanity mirror framed in barn wood.

Faucet, Grohe; medicine cabinet and pendant, Restoration Hardware; sconces, Circa Lighting
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