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Downsizing Empty-Nesters Get the English Cottage of Their Dreams

WHEN interior designer Jean Stoffer and her husband became empty-nesters, they realized it was time to downsize. The couple had raised four children in an 1891 Victorian home in the Chicago area, a 4,500 square-foot, six-bedroom affair, crammed with fussiness typical of the style: “Lots of heavy millwork, complicated crown molding and ornate trim around the windows and doors,” said Ms. Stoffer, all made possible by the Victorian era’s wood-turning machinery.

The next chapter in their domestic life is a smaller house in Grand…

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