Since when is an empty nest really empty? Cast an eye around one and you are likely to hear stories about how all those interesting things came to be there, from the dresser handed down by Great-Grandma Susan to the painting the homeowners purchased in Paris, back when they couldn’t rub two IRAs together. These nests aren’t empty—they are crammed with souvenirs.
Now what if you present the same couple with a second nest, one they can renovate and furnish from scratch? Then you get a fresh idea of what matters, because people who have tried out different settings over time have a pretty sharp sense of what will make them happy. For Mike and Nancy Friend, who live most of the time in a big-city condo, the chance to remake a truly empty second nest was also a chance to enjoy a house with a little history, kitting it out with finishes and furnishings that would cue memories of a time when life was slower and sweeter.
Shown: A new twin- gabled porch gives the modest house a balanced, well-composed air.
Door and windows: