Sissy’s House REMODEL before/after

Hi!!!!  It has been a hot minute (as my teenagers would say…they hate it when I use their slang so I try to do it all the time;) ) since I have written a post for Janae.  My kids have grown up so much!  I even have an adult child!!!!

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Probably one of my all-time favorite pictures!

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And this one too!

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One huge event that happened six months ago was my son becoming a missionary for our church!  He is currently serving in the Nashville area, but is starting his Visa for Peru!  Does it ever get easier after saying goodbye to your child????  My heart still aches!

Now with what I have been up to these last couple of years.  Remodeling!!!  When I say remodeling, I mean I am doing the work of remodeling the house.  I can’t tell you how many people have come into the house and assume my husband or others have been doing the work.  Guess what??!!!!  Women can do these things too!!!  Okay, end of rant.  (Helpful hint: Saran Wrap makes a great hair cover while using a paint sprayer :) )

When I saw this room I completely fell in love with this house!!!  So this is the before….

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And after.  I found a killer deal on the wood flooring (pre-pandemic) and paid $2.15 a square foot for hickory hardwood floors.

A different angle of the great room:

If any of you saw my kitchen remodel from my previous house, you know that I love finding deals on my local classifieds.  I have a very tight budget that I have to work with so I try to save money in every way possible.  All furniture, rugs, and the new doors I bought off the classifieds!  The table I got for $250!  It was a very dark stained table with a big burn mark in the middle from a candle.  I sanded the whole thing down and restained it.

Looking into the great room:

The wood casings I made out of alder that I got for $0.99 a linear foot! So this wood-cased opening cost me about $60.

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Before of the living room:

After!  I spent a little under $500 to do the whole wall of bookcases and window seat built-ins.

Once again I found these bookcases on the classifieds. I got all six for $75!

Building the window seats:

A lot of sanding, face-framing, molding, caulking, and painting later….

And from a different angle:

Seeing this makes all of those hundreds of hours and splinters worth it!!

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(Her kitchen remodel post will go up in the next few weeks too!  Have the best day!)

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When it comes to your kids growing up and leaving… does it get any easier?

Any home remodeling projects you have going on?  Any in the past?

Favorite part of where you live?

What is something you are passionate about (other than running:)?

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63 comments

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First of all, amazing! We just bought our dream home but it needs updating. Getting a contractor/materials during the pandemic has been a challenge so we are putting it off.
Secondly, I just sent my baby on a mission and I was doing ok until we decorated our tree -now I cannot stop crying. So no – it does not get easier. But eventually grandkids come and that is the best reward ever.
Favorite thing about Texas – this week it’s going to be 80 and sunny. I haven’t had to break out a winter coat yet ?.
Right now I’m feeling pretty passionate about Hallmark Christmas movies. I don’t want to brag or anything but I even got my husband hooked.

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Oh wow that’s amazing! So much hard work, and also such a good eye for design. And YES women can absolutely do all this stuff, I’ve definitely done repair work around the house and it’s so satisfying to see the end result.

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Holy cow, Sissy, you seriously need your own HGTV show. Truly, you could start your own youtube channel of vlogs so people can follow along, an instagram account, or start your own remodeling company. But I understand if you want this to just be your “fun” time, instead of turning it into a job which may make it morph into an un-fun situation. Either way, you have a remarkable gift, not only in the physical skills required but in the vision and design. This is professional level work.

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Sissy! I am speechless! Your home is so beautiful.

My kids emptied out 2 years ago. I think whether it will be easy or not comes down to self talk. Insert Janae’s running self talk here: I can do hard things and my heart hurts but my eyebrows do not so I will focus on how good my eyebrows feel.

My favorite part about Minnesota is the first snowfall. It’s magical.

I am passionate about reading and now I want to come to Sissy’s house and read by that fireplace!

Thank you for sharing today!

Also, your children and family are beautiful!

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So the only question I have is if your sister is available for hire to remodel part of my house. Airfare and lodging will be provided ;) Her vision for every space is INCREDIBLE!

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Your home is absolutely beautiful! Yes, women can do hard things! Can’t wait to see the kitchen remodel post!

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This is stunning! People would pay you to do their homes for them!

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Janae, if your sister would like a lovely Florida vacation she can come visit me (heh heh, then I I will put her straight to work on my house- I need her!!!) Everything looks incredible, and so impressive that she did it herself. She needs her own show on HGTV!
To answer “Sissy’s” question… I don’t think it ever gets easier. My son is a freshman in college so I’m very familiar with that heartbreak. The consolation is they’re growing into amazing adults! i have to keep reminding myself that’s what I wanted.
Looking forward to the kitchen!

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Ummm yes Sissy needs to start a blog to show women how to do this, because we absolutely can!! Love all of it!

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Absolutely gorgeous! Please tell us where you gained your skills. The house we’re in now was subjected to many “good enough” renovations. I’d love to make some major improvements, but I’m so afraid of screwing it up even worse that I’ve only taken on small cosmetic projects.
As far as the kids leaving home, it does get easier. They are moving on to the next phase of life and so are you. It is a HUGE adjustment but it’s amazing to watch them become full functioning adults and be able to interact with them on equal terms instead of parenting them.
Favorite thing about where I live is just about everything. I’m in New England where we have four distinct seasons, but we can go from ocean to mountains in two hours or less without leaving the state. Have a fantastic week!

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How do you do so much?? I have one baby and getting dinner ready feels overwhelming!

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We live in a new house now but our other houses were old. The “fixes” to our first house included painting the kitchen cabinets and installing a drop-in stove into a new cabinet, reroofing the house, and sanding/refinishing the floors. In our second house, we had termites so we had to rebuild the floor of our breakfast nook (they had destroyed the joists and the sill plate), tile the shower/tub, and tile the kitchen backsplash and floor and redo the countertops. Redoing the floor was a big job! You could not tell where the subfloor ended and the joists began because the wood was so destroyed. Hate termites. And mice. But that is another story for another day…

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Wow. That is just incredible. The living room is to die for.

Your sister should become an interior designer!!!!

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This is just stunning. I love these posts, you have a really good eye for style!

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Your sister has mad skills!! I do not remodel but my partner is a cabinet maker so have benefited. He put in new hardwood floors in our place, purchases stuff off marketplace or finds them for free and makes them look beautiful again. His latest is a beautiful wood chest for $30 which he doing work on.

I love to write, and to bake. I love making cakes cookies and really any sort of baked good. I do follow recipes but I always modify them in some way. And with the holidays the baking has started. I am contemplating what to make next!

Happy Monday Janae!

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As a woman that’s in there doing these things as well I feel SEEN by this post! Your house is beautiful. And there is something so satisfying by knowing you did it yourself! Looking forward to the kitchen post!

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I love to hear about other women doing this too! Thanks!

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Would you consider doing a guest post talking about how you learned to remodel/any resources you could share! I would love to see that, and I’m sure many others would too!

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This is honestly amazing. How did she learn how to do all of this? I’d love to be able to take on projects like this on my own (and save money!) but I wouldn’t know where to start.

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So this is the second house that I’ve remodeled. The first house was a major learning curve! My sweet husband taught me a lot. I also look a lot of things up on youtube :)

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Good morning! What a beautiful job your sister has done on her home – just gorgeous. I especially love that she works within a genuine budget – that’s such a reality for most of us. Our home was recently remodeled when we bought it, but there are things we have done/are doing to make it ours, for sure. I am most looking forward to a BIG deck/patio/hot tub project in 2022 that was postponed during the pandemic when anything construction related was astronomical in price.
I love living in the northeast where we have 4 very different seasons. You wouldn’t know that today though – 60 degrees and raining in December :o(
Have a fabulous day and I hope you get to enjoy some sister time!!

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It looks amazing! Bravo!

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Absolutely amazing!!!! And LOVE that she is showing people what women can do!! How’d she learn all her skills?! Side note: I’d be curious how she made her window cushions. I’m figuring she made them! And I agree she should have a vlog! I don’t follow any but I’d follow hers!

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My husband and youtube taught me a lot when we were remodeling our first house. So I did not make the window cushion. I can build everything around it but I don’t know how to sew :)

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Oh my goodness, this is fabulous! Ask your sister if she can give me any tips on refinishing my kitchen cabinets. They are good quality, but a golden oak yuckiness. I would love to figure out how to get them white. Any advice will be wonderful!

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WOW!!! This is incredible! Thanks for the post — I’m so inspired and impressed :)

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OMG, you are so talented! I love how you brightened everything up.

My wife and I love watching Vacation House Rules on HGTV. Have you watched that show? I think you and the decorator lady on that show have similar taste.

I also love your family pics, thank you so much for sharing.

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Wow, I am actually blown away. I sometimes get a little wary about hearing about people’s remodel projects because I’ve seen so many cheap flips, but your sister has incredible taste and nothing in these photos looks cheap at all, even though she scored great deals. I love how the style is more classic than trendy (therefore more timeless), but that it still feels fresh. She needs to open her own design firm!!

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I have no words for how amazing these transformations are. Your sister is a true craftswoman. So very impressive! The rooms look so inviting and cozy. I always wanted a window seat when I was growing up and that photo is exactly what I wanted my life to be like as a kid. :)

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I am BLOWN away by the incredibly beautiful transformation. Both rooms are perfect. And I love that your sister did the work herself – what a great model for her daughters…and sons!!! I cannot wait to see the kitchen. How did she learn to use all of the tools?

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Seriously beautiful!! You did such a great job! And I love that YOU did it! Mad skills Sissy! I could really use some tips. Have you recovered wingback style chairs? I have a few that I want to re-do. And we desperately need new dinning room chairs, so I will be checking the classifieds after Christmas! Great tip!
And oh my goodness…. Your beautiful family ❤️. I swear your girls were just Brooke and Skye’s age a week ago!
I want you to know that saying goodbye is never fun or easy, but it does get easier. My oldest son, almost 21 and a junior in college, has been away for 2 years (minus 7 months during the pandemic). That final hug at the airport is tough, but hearing and seeing the incredible, mature, and happy adult he is becoming is so worth it!! Hang in there ❤️
Thanks for sharing the results of your hard work!

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Ok, WOW!!! I find this all extremely impressive! I absolutely love HGTV and find so many projects inspiring on those shows but personally wouldn’t know where to start with such huge projects especially with little ones at home! Also, I love hgtv but often families have $50,000+ “budgets” which doesn’t seem like a true budget to me. I love how you’ve used authentic materials that are actually affordable and created absolutely stunning spaces!! Very smart with everything. I’m in complete awe! Please start a blog or Instagram account and share your tips and insights!!!! Please!!!???

Also, your children have grown so much and seem to be accomplishing wonderful things! Congratulations mama you have done an amazing job on all fronts!

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Ok, I’ve seen your other remodels on here and they’re all so beautiful but this one is SO IMPRESSIVE. Seriously, I’m in awe. That great room….and the book shelves! Can I hire you to come do my house?! I want some built-in bookshelves so bad!

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WOW!! These all look so amazing! I love how everything she did makes such an impact, but nothing seems too hard to do yourself. It’s very inspiring!! In my last house I did a lot of projects as well but mostly just painting/tiling. Next house I get I will definitely try out more wood projects and scour the classified:)

Side note- how is one of those girls in the picture Curly?!? I remember her back in your earlier blog posts and I can’t believe she’s basically an adult now. HOW!!

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Absolutely stunning!!!!!! Your family is beautiful!

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Ok, this is amazing!!! Is that “Curly” who is taller than you now? You have such a beautiful family, and I find all this so inspiring. I despise remodeling, but love the “after” when we have done it in the past :) Thank you for sharing!

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You are amazing and inspiring!!!! I’d love to tackle my own house but am too overwhelmed. How long would you say it took to do your living room in terms of elapsed time? Did you Google stuff for ideas or how tos?

Also your family is beautiful!

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Beautiful! Sissy has serious talent! Please come to my house and show me the ways!!!! :)

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Your family guest posts are always really wonderful, we are lucky that your family shares their wonderful adventures with us.

WOMAN POWER!!!!!

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One other question! How did she make the brick a nice, brighter shade? Thanks!

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So I actually didn’t even touch the brick. By removing the dark wall paneling and curtains it brightened up the whole room including the bricks :)

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Gorgeous remodeling but also when did Curly grow so tall!?!? My son lives in Salt Lake and I live on the East Coast, I always get a lump in my throat on the way to the airport after our time together has ended. We remodeled our house in 2016 doing most of it ourselves but last year I repainted almost every room since we didn’t go anywhere because of Covid.

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Wow!! It’s absolutely beautiful. You must feel so proud to have done all of this yourself (and possible need a nap :) )

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I could rant with you about how people think the men do all the work. Not at all true!! Your remodels look beautiful!

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Holy mackerel, that’s amazing! I love the choices on the paint and the brilliant method of adding window seats. What paint was used in the living room for walls and trim, if you don’t mind telling?

Also, I would love following you on insta or a blog for tips on how to do all this while raising kiddos. ? Just saying….

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Beautiful work!! I’m currently stripping & refinishing my grandmother’s old coffee tables. I could use all of your tips & tricks from refinishing your dining room table!

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Amazing job! I thought that was Janae in the plastic wrap photo! What color paint did you use for all of the walls/ceilings?

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I love it when people think I look like Janae! The wall color is Sherwin-Williams Greek Villa. I love that it is not a stark white and has some warmth to it. The ceilings are bright white.

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I was hoping someone would ask that question! It’s a beautiful color and a beautiful remodel.

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Beautful. I remember when you all were kids and came to our home in Torrance CA. for the occasional holiday . I regret never making it out to Utah back in the day. Boy, our family’s home could sure use remoldeling. We still have lots of family history stuff around back to 1878 . . . and beyond. It was so good to see and talk with your father when he came for my Mothers funeral in 2019, and your brother Dean Gregory as well. Peace be with you.

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It’s so good to hear from you! I remerber Aunt Shirley’s house very well and your amazing piano skills!

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AH-MAZING. Seriously, amazing! I love, love HGTV, but tend to think it is overloaded with shows that are a repeat of one another. Your show, however, is one I would definitely watch! We went through a huge remodel recently, and my husband did many things himself. You inspire me to roll up sleeves and pitch in for our next project. Well done!!

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As amazing as that is (and it is AMAZING) .. I’m even more blown away that you can keep your sanity while living in a construction zone. My parents built their own home when I was 14 or so and I still remember how that felt. It’s a beautiful end result!

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Sissy !! You did an amazing job !!! It’s beautiful. It’s gorgeous. It’s stunning. I love it all. And that table, oh that table ! I have the ability to do that type of stuff, it’s the patience I lack. I envy you. Very talented gal.

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Ahhhh I love Hungry Runner Sister posts!!! And what a job she did on her reno! More please!!!

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That’s amazing!! My husband gets seriously nervous anytime I make any change to our house. My Mom is giving us a chair as I am updating our “play room” (kids are 11 and 14 and the 11 year old does still play but not to that extent). I have started prepping him that the chair is coming in a few weeks, ha!! I recently built my youngest a bed frame for a nook in her room. It was big enough for a mattress but I just couldn’t find the right frame to fit and I wanted a certain height so I built it. It stressed him out so much and he said no more home repairs, now he loves it, her room has so much space. I can not imagine if I tried to tackle what you have done. Your so awesome!!

The repairs we have had to make to our home have not been fun. Former owners thought they could do everything themselves, including excavating the front yard to deal with the sewer system… We had to repair it and it was so bizarre that our plumbers were texting pictures to coworkers. They had duct tape connecting pipes. So every time we have an issue we tell the plumbers to think about the oddest scenario every and go with that first. I

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I love these remodel posts from your sister! Sissy, you have such amazing taste and I’m so impressed with how you are able to do such amazing work yourself and on a budget. You rock!

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WOW, this is just incredible. It must be so satisfying knowing how much sweat went into this and being able to enjoy it every day. You clearly inherited your parents ingenuity and artistry. What i love the most is that you looked at the before rooms and could see a beautiful vision. I looked at the pictures and thought – yuck, helpless. What a special gift!

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The before and afters are so dramatic!!! I can’t believe the difference! How did your sister learn to do this?

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Bah I’ve tried to comment on this 2 times! Anyways, I’m so impressed with all your work! How long did this take you to do? Especially considering you are living in the home with kids of all ages! We updated our bathroom (our ONLY bathroom) and it ended up being completely gutted! It took WAY longer than we had anticipated. My dad did all the work and ended up being our 3rd roommate for a few months! I also loved how you got many of the materials 2nd hand! It’s not only budget friendly, but also environmentally friendly, reusing things that might have been otherwise thrown away! For our next house, I think we’ll want to move into a mostly move in ready home! Remodels are fun but so exhausting.

I live in Denver, so I’m a fan of the weather and mountains! I am not a fan of humidity! Although we are planning to move back to St Louis since that’s where both the families live, but I’m not excited for the humidity in the summer or the cold grey weather in the winter.

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What an amazing remodel!! It is absolutely beautiful. And I love that Sissy did it herself! Yes, women CAN build things!

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This is amazing! I’d love to know how you began remodeling and how you get your ideas. I would love to do the same for our house but am so overwhelmed with what I don’t know that I wouldn’t know where to start.

Thank you for sharing!

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Love what is transformed into! Beautiful!

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