The second test of the couple's redo mettle came when they tackled the barn, turning it into a finished guesthouse. After that, a fallow period followed—for the house anyway—while they concentrated on adding two kids. Then they asked the architects back to tackle the tricky rest.
Their wish list reflected years of living with stop-and-go traffic patterns and a light deficit. "The old kitchen was shut up," says Tim, "with no windows facing east to the meadows, where the sun comes up." There was no space near the kitchen for the kids to hang out before dinner and no place to drop their backpacks. The family's goal was a brighter and more open and fluid layout and a resolution of two conflicting demands common in many of today's households: a warm desire for togetherness and a desperate need for clutter control. In Vermont, where each season yields a fresh crop of sporting gear and outerwear, how do you keep an open plan from turning into an open field of mittens, hats, and ski poles?
Shown: Custom built-ins cater to kids obsessed with baseball, parents who collect running shoes, and four seasons' worth of outerwear.