That audacious act turned out to be just one of many during an ambitious redo that stretched to nearly nine years, long enough for both the house and its new owners to change. Today, no longer first-time homeowners who thought, as Laurel puts it, "everything was easy and possible," the couple have gained two kids and a keen understanding of how design decisions affect family dynamics. "When we first moved in, the notion of having no gathering space didn't seem problematic," Laurel says. "As the family grew, we realized we didn't need more space, just more 'together' space."
And more places to put the expanded household's stuff.
Shown: The house's former dairy barn, now a guesthouse, served as the family's living quarters during the reno.