The couple had found their period piece while downsizing from a home nearby, where they raised two kids and took in two dogs and a cat. "A menagerie!" says Erin, whose infectious enthusiasm for character-filled homes shines through in phone conversations that are so entertaining, it's hard to hang up. "Some people are foodies," she says. "I'm a housie, with a sweet tooth for a turn-of-the-century Craftsman."
Not that their redo was all fun and great finds. Back when the bungalow went up, on the iffy outskirts of a town conceived as one part Venice, Italy, and one part Coney Island, Brooklyn, it was more poor-man than Craftsman. Having to replace the brick foundation with more-earthquake-resistant concrete, Moeschler says philosophically, meant shelling out "$30,000, and you don't see anything." The stairs squeaked like caged mice—come to think of it, they still do—and tree roots were buckling the floor in the sunroom, a gabled space that had started out as the front porch.
Visitors enter through the sunroom, where they are greeted by reclaimed tile from France, spruced-up rattan hand-me-downs, and a weathered chandelier found on eBay.Throw pillows: Home Goods