I often wonder how the brick bungalow I call home has shape-shifted throughout its century-long life. I’ve come up with a few theories: A window-walled nook in what’s now the main bedroom may have been a small sunroom at one point, and the current office space adjacent to the living room could have been a parlor decades ago. The electric-yellow paint I uncovered on walls in the main bathroom and kitchen certainly suggests that a previous owner had bold taste (a byproduct of the 1970s, perhaps?). Having this opportunity to ponder past iterations of older homes is one of the reasons I’m so fond of them. Each design quirk has a story.

This Renovation Issue looks inside several recently updated homes, some of which are filled with historic context. “A Grandmother’s House in Observatory Park Gets a Next-Gen Makeover” explains how a homeowner revived the charming Observatory Park house that her grandmother lived in for 30 years, while “A Thoughtful Mix of Decor Tells a Rich Story in This Cheesman Park Home” showcases how a family infused their 1892 Cheesman Park High Victorian Gothic with a meaningful mix of inherited and found objects, including old newspaper pages that were discovered in a soffit during the home’s renovation.

Other projects featured in this issue look toward the future of design. “Tour a Minimalist Home So Efficient, It Sends Energy Back to the Grid” reveals how architect Renée del Gaudio designed an eco-conscious home for her father that is so efficient, it sends energy back to the power grid. (You’ll also find ways to reduce your own home’s impact on the environment.)

I hope this issue provides you with plenty of inspiration for your next home update. Who knows what stories you’ll uncover from the past—or what new ones you’ll create for future generations to find.