John Beranek & Karen Park
Beranek had done some fixing up of the 100-year-old home before they met. Together they planned a "green" addition and remodeling that took more than a year to complete but made the building so energy efficient that it is a candidate for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification-which would be a first in the state for a home remodeling project. Remodeling is famously stressful, but the newlyweds managed fine-partly because they were able to move into Park's apartment while the work was done.
It helped, too, that they had similar tastes in decorating. They knocked down walls to make the small house seem larger and created a modern, open kitchen. They kept the snow-white exterior but set it off with a brilliant blue front door that looks as if it jumped out of a child's picture book.
Sitting in their new living room, Park and Beranek laugh a lot, even when describing the difficulties they faced combining their well-established households. "We each had a complete set of dishes, silver," Park says. "It wasn't like junky stuff you have in college," Beranek puts in.
They also had different approaches to resolving the duplication. "I'm a throw-away-er," Park explains. "And John's more of a memorabilia keeper." But both were mature enough to know that the name of the game was compromise. Out went Karen's glasses and most of John's furniture. Dishes were combined.