Front entryway of this queen anne home after remodel
Photo: Tria Giovan
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Refreshed, Yet Preserved

We joined a gym for its showers, started "borrowing" water from a neighbor's spigot—and learned to pee in a bucket. Gross, yes, but true. Without water, we also had no heat. That meant sleeping in jeans and sweatshirts, and throwing on coats when venturing beyond the bedroom.

While waiting for the water main to be repaired—it would end up taking a couple of months—we made new wiring our priority. Some rooms had no outlets, and the ones that did supplied voltage too weak to run power tools. Luckily, I was able to snake wires through walls, so I didn't have to rip through them. Tedious, but Merle and I were adamant about preserving the plaster wherever possible.

Shown: Merle and Chris stripped and stained the woodwork. Several 1940s magazine covers found in the house became a stairwell gallery.
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