Renovations are rarely simple, especially when the house is over one-hundred years old. Built in the late 1800s, years of neglect left the two-story home a disaster. Strands of ivy clung to the bricks and wove their way across window ledges. Rhododendron grew wild, untrimmed for over a decade. But I saw the beauty and vowed to bring the house back to life.The inside reeked of urine and cigarette smoke. Sofas and chairs filled the living room. Everywhere I looked there were piles of clothing and old newspapers.It took a year of back-breaking work to accomplish my goal. A blend of new and vintage furnishings completed the job. I looked around the rooms and knew I was home.