Settling into an (almost) century-old home over the past year has taught me a few things: 1. Never underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint (or a bold wallpaper). 2. When in doubt, call a professional. 3. All things in due time—or, in other words, it’s OK to have a backlog of “someday” renovation projects. And 4. Don’t forget to take “before” photos.

All of these lessons—and many more—play out in this issue devoted to home renovations, in which we invite you inside (and outside) nine recently revamped Denver and Boulder homes, and provide tips and takeaways from local design pros to help you navigate your next home-upgrade project.

But let’s not sugarcoat it: Transforming any part of a home requires a lot of stamina, decisiveness, flexibility, and good humor. The following stories not only cover the polished, inspirational results of successful home remodels, but also acknowledge the speed bumps and stress encountered along the way. You’ll meet couple who found the perfect home but lost it to another bidder, a family who stalled on adding personality to their plain-Jane home for four whole years, and a designer who was challenged with making an awkward floor plan functional for a growing family without tearing down any walls.

Wherever you may be in your own renovation process, I hope this issue provides inspiration, ideas, and encouragement to keep learning from the hurdles thrown your way. Happy renovating!