A wall of windows maximizes natural light and the view.Now you need to brace yourself. The previous owners were DIY-ers in the 1970s. That about says it all, but I will press on with the details. There was wall-to-wall carpet everywhere, and I do mean everywhere: bathrooms and kitchen included. The ceilings laughed at mere popcorn, aspiring to stalactites. Are you sitting? Because I'm just getting started. Faux beams? You betcha! Cedar shakes? A wall of them! Fake brick? Two walls! Paneling? Eight rooms and seven styles! Volcanic-looking rock? Going all the way up the stairs! I knew it was a nightmare, but I saw all the possibilities. I knew we could sand ceilings and paint paneling and rip out the carpet as well as the faux everything. And we did. We went room by room, adding windows and replacing, retexturing and repainting walls, floors and ceilings — from the day we took possession until days before it burned down. But all this was mere cosmetics; there was more.We met our house on a rainy day so, not surprisingly, it was dark inside. The entry led into the dining room, which was the center of the house. To the north was a doorway to a hall that led to a bathroom and bedrooms. On the east wall was a door to another bedroom. To the south was a large archway that opened to the kitchen and the rest of the house. On the other side of the west wall were the mudroom and the garage. That there were no windows did not register for me as a problem; neither did the house's deep eaves nor the fact that it faced north and sat in a valley surrounded by woods.