Sharyn, on the other hand, required a little convincing. She'd been drawn to the house because it was on a desirable lot on a desirable street in Easton, Connecticut, easy distance from Jim's job at a marketing and communications firm. She also appreciated its sturdy construction, which Jim ascribes to the quality of the wood and craftsmanship when it was built. "It needed a lot of work, but everything was in great shape,” he recalls, without irony.
Shown: The living room fireplace has new brushed-nickel sconces and a hassle-free gas-burning insert.