Before I go further, I should give credit where it’s very much due: to my mom and stepdad Peter, whose shared lust for beautiful things and obsession with estate sales have been the source of endless material, not to mention a tremendous amount of fun and bonding for the three of us. Their home is testament to their audacious quest for beauty, with so many gorgeous pieces that started out as $20 basement castoffs. And though everyone marvels at all the delightful things in their Cape Cod house, basking in the glory of the end result, few have seen the countless hours spent hauling, cleaning, polishing, repairing, sewing, sanding, staining, varnishing, painting, and rewiring. The chemicals, power tools, face masks, rubber gloves, steel wool, drop cloths, bandaids and blood–it’s an insane amount of work. They have taught me well.