Mendel glazed his brickwork with a translucent coat of mortar, a technique he calls "snotting" (and "difficult"). In other rooms, hand-tinted plaster gives the walls and ceilings their faux-aged look. Credit for that goes to British-born Robin Berthet, who dips into natural and synthetic pigments, including ochre unearthed in Roussillon, France, and hand-trowels his plaster over blueboard. "We're not big fans of drywall," says Bobby. "It's not very charming to live with, if you are sensitive, which we are. And plaster is for the long run."
Shown: The steam shower in the master bath makes smart use of a sloped-ceiling space with a built-in bench underneath it.