The good news is that we had the energy to tackle the house. My husband Justin and I took the main floor down to the studs to create an open-concept living/dining room and introduced a brand-new kitchen, fireplace, flooring, windows and handrails.
Always on the lookout for a great sale, we were regulars at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and on Craigslist. We also knew a lick of paint could bring most things back to life for little money. We splurged, too (well, I splurged -- Justin just looked the other way). You can't beat beautiful marble countertops and tile, stylish bathroom fixtures and gutsy windows and doors.
Family room I can't be too fussy about our house. If my kids want to jump on the sofa, I say go ahead. A house should be lived in, especially by children.