Architect and builder David Borenstein delights in form as a painter and sculptor and in function as a licensed plumber and electrician. "I'm a serious fan of the well-built, and it's a help to have the expertise in how the essentials work and fit together," he says. Borenstein's also a fan of unusual challenges: He just got done turning a crumbling 1820 summer kitchen into a farmhouse library. "As we started doing the demolition, we found lots of handwritten notes from the original builders. We preserved that while bringing the space up to code with radiant heat, insulating, and building up from outside so as not to cover the history. Oh, and they hung one of my paintings."
Also delightful: redoing a house he built 15 years ago after $200,000 worth of flood damage. "The wood and sheetrock were wrecked, but the boilers and radiant heat system held up really well."