Turning his attention to other parts of the house, Aaron worked to instill a new Craftsman sensibility by restoring and re-creating original details. One of the tasks that he had been confident about when he first saw the house, however, turned into something of a nightmare. After rebuilding the half-wall bookcases between the living room and the foyer, all the columns, and the sections of wainscoting that had been damaged, he set about refinishing them. "But every stain I applied made the wood look like tiger-striped plywood," he recalls. "Even after sanding, an orange color came out, no matter what I did." In the end, he painted the half-wall dividers and wainscoting off-white, which he realized would help marry the new and old wood and give the house a more modern feeling. When he found that the box beams also didn't take stain well, he painted them dark charcoal.
Shown: Limestone tile lines the master-bath walls and shower. The homeowner installed all the tile himself and made the vanity, medicine cabinets, and concrete counters.