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Tina and James designed the American walnut shelves in the home office, which doubles as a media room. The office/family room combination was planned so that homework, television watching, game playing, and the couple's work could be done at the same time. "But this kind of togetherness takes some work to figure out," Tina says.

Despite the mistakes, Tina says there's very little she would change about the experience. "As a designer, it was the ultimate project." And in the end, "it turned out to be what we'd always imagined," she says.

They also didn't anticipate that their DIY dream home would require something of its owners that the surrounding Colonials don't: "One has to be very, very neat." James says. "We love our house, but it's not easy to do modern."
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