You know you’re detail-oriented when you visit a house 14 times before buying it. Of course, when the structure in question is more than two centuries old, that’s also known as due diligence.
“I was so enamored with the bones of it, and yet also terrified by its benign neglect,” says designer Brittany Bromley of the house, a center hall Colonial built in 1790 on five acres in Bedford, New York. It had long ago lost its luster: Shag carpeting could be found in nearly every room; linoleum in brown, orange, and cream covered the kitchen floor; a bathroom was insulated “solely with newspapers from 1931.” Bromley and her husband, landscape designer Matthew Bromley, even discovered a toilet hooked up to a cistern under the kitchen floor. Still, they were undeterred. “We told each other that it would be