Some remodeling decisions were driven more by pragmatism than by historical authenticity. In the living room, he made the existing fireplace more prominent by adding a layer of slate to the surround and boxing out the mantel with wood. An extra layer of brick had already been added by previous owners, and Aaron feared he would pull the entire assembly off if he tried to remove it. "Adding the slate makes the fireplace a little grander and in keeping with the proportions of the room," he says. In the adjacent media room, a living area that had been added in the 1940s, he camouflaged the back of the fireplace chimney by fashioning a wall of built-ins surrounding a wall-mounted flat-screen television monitor.
Shown: The living room fireplace got a new slate-tile surround and wood mantel over formerly built-up brick. Light fixtures throughout the house are Craftsman-style reproductions.