We decided to take time away from our custom-home-building business, where we both manage projects, to make the remodel our full-time job. We meticulously drew up floor plans and spec sheets, keeping energy efficiency in mind as a top priority. That meant adding sprayed urethane insulation, radiant heat, double-pane windows, and low-flow toilets. On the first floor we also decided to add a portico entry and a powder room and to open the kitchen to the dining and living rooms. That last decision wasn't historically correct, but it fit our lifestyle and allowed us to use the original parlor chimney chase to add a centrally located fireplace.
Shown: A handsome fireplace warms up the living room. The mahogany mantel and ceramic tile surround were based on features found in neighboring houses and handcrafted by local artisans. The folding rocker traveled by covered wagon to Nebraska with Debbie's great-grandmother.