Reader Redesign: Putting The Drama In Dramatic Makeover

When you see the pictures in this post, you’ll agree that Meghan and her husband can churn out a huge transformation. But what we also loved about Meghan’s email was the story behind how their before became a stop-you-in-your-tracks after. So if ever you were to not scroll right to the pictures and just read as you go, this might be a good time.

“Like the two of you, my husband and I bought a house that needed work, though in our case we couldn’t reuse much thanks to some frugal prior owners. We decided to gut our kitchen, family room, dining room, and bathroom down to the studs/subfloor when our first child was 12 weeks old.  Oh and we both worked full time AND DIY’ed EVERYTHING because my husband is cheap ambitious. There were a lot of late nights and weekends and our son learned to snooze away to the sound of a nail gun. With a refrigerator in the garage we actually had to go outside in the middle of the night to get a bottle for 2 AM feedings. You’d think we’d have learned our lesson, but have since renovated most of the rest of the house with two additional babies. Three boys in under three years while totally renovating a home DIY style. Do not try this at home. Here are some before shots, orange paneling and all (don’t be jealous):

Notice the back and left side walls.  Now you see them…

…now you don’t:

We also turned all the doors into windows and the window into a door (because why do anything the easy way?) and had to shut down the heat for a week to move the baseboards around a bit. Of course we did this when it was freezing outside so our poor son actually slept all bundled up with mittens. But he didn’t seem to mind.

The cabinets, windows, and sliding door (really almost everything in the room) are from Home Depot, the lighting is Restoration Hardware, one of my two splurges (the other being the Ming Green marble backsplash), the toy boxes under the console table are Ikea end tables, and all the accessories are HomeGoods and Ikea. Thanks for letting me share!” – Meghan

So… is anyone else exhausted just hearing that story? Sometimes we find it hard enough to DIY something with one toddler. So we can’t imagine it with a twelve week old baby. Job well done – Meghan! Thanks so much for sharing. And can you guys believe that’s the same house? Amazing, right? Let’s play the what’s-your-favorite-part game. Sherry loves the thick crown molding while I’m all over those pendant lights.


  1. says

    Favorite? It’s hard, but the first picture that shows the wall gone is my favorite! So it’s a something that’s no longer there….does that count?
    Amazing transformation.

  2. Kathy PH in LH says

    Wow! I never comment on these redesigns (even though I’m WAY impressed by all of them), but this one is really, really good! I love ALL their choices! I think I could move right in without changing a thing … no doubt the rest of the house is just as spectacular! And you’re right, John, that was a VERY ambitious undertaking, given all the contributing factors! Well done, Meghan and hubs!

    • Sheila says

      Funny you should say that… our current house has the dishwasher on the right (opposite our previous house of 10 years) and it took me a long time to get used to it because it felt completely backwards to me!

    • sara says

      Mine is also to the left. I find it easy to get stuff from sink to dishwasher, no problems!

    • says

      My parent’s house the dishwasher was on the right, in my house its on the left, and I actually never realized this until I read this very comment! Haha! So odd how things seems so different to other people others don’t even see. :)

    • Janice says

      My dishwasher’s on the right, my parents’ current house has it on the right, my parents’ new house has it on the right. I had someone tell me one time that where the dishwasher should be placed is based off whether the person using it is right or left handed, but whether that’s accurate or not is something I don’t know.

    • bbruce says

      Most of their cupboards are on the right. Placing the dishwasher on the left here would make it easier to empty the dishwasher.

  3. Ashley B says

    I love those new counters! Great job Meghan & family!!

    btw, I chuckled because at first I thought those old cabinets had googley eyeball knobs like your guys’ old cabinet knobs. hah!

  4. Julie B. says

    Absolutely amazing. It’s looking more and more like we too will be buying a fixer-upper…I love seeing the after, but can’t believe these people DIY-ed and had all those babies!

  5. Rebecca says

    I love that the island cabinets are a different color than the rest of the high cabinets. Makes the island really POP!