My Dream Home Transformation

***If I put this all into a single blog post, you’d never get the blog to load. This is one of our finest transformations and there is just too much to touch on, and too many photos to do it all in one. So, here it is… The before and after, with links (to come) to each area in detail through additional links.

But first… A little backstory, because I know someone is going to ask WHY we did what we did.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not the desert loving desert rat that most of our AZ residents are. I hate dirt, brown, spiky plants etc. I have spent almost all of the last 16 years in the same home. With the exception of that one year that changed everything. We lived in a small town in Massachusetts for a year and I feel in love with the architecture, the trees, the seasons… it was gorgeous. However, my love for the man I married was more than the love of trees… so we moved back. That was when our little shack of a 1979 stick house turned into what we affectionately refer to as “CapeMesa”.

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The problem with Cape Mesa was that it just wasn’t in the right neighborhood for us. Being a Realtor, I set up a search for homes, and watched the search for years. What I wanted was something with potential… Potential to be something more than what Cape Mesa was, but in a better neighborhood, better school zone… and of course, like every buyer… for a screaming deal. 😉 For a year we watched the sales, but what we had was a large lot, enough rooms, a pool… we just couldn’t find a home with the right start. I wanted a victorian style or colonial home, something in a mature neighborhood with lots of trees and unique homes, grassy yards and kids playing in the roads. I wanted Franklin, MA, in Tempe, AZ.

Whenever a new listing hit my email, I would race through the pictures and inevitably hit delete. This wouldn’t have been any different, because the sonoran look, flat roof, overgrown cactus and the saltillo looking floor tiles where the opposite of what I was looking for, but it fell into my criteria because of size, lot size and no HOA… so I kept thumbing through the hideous pics unit 1 in particular caught my eye.

Listing Photo yard

I saw the trees and decided that I needed to go take a look.  Sure enough, the house was every bit as hideous as in the pics, however, luckily, it wasn’t true saltillo tile (those are a bitch to get up). But there was something so familiar, so comfortable about this house. When I walked out back, and heard the wind through the trees and the birds chirping… I sat there for nearly half an hour just taking it in. I called my husband and let him know that I had just found home. Though getting through negotiations with We Buy Ugly Houses and the multiple other offers was challenging… THIS was MY home!

So, why am I writing this? When we started, I expected to do some face lifting, but I never expected the transformation that it became, much less the incredible following we had on Facebook. Hundreds of facebook followers encouraged us, cheered us on and sat anxiously waiting to see what we did.  As a family, we do this stuff all the time, but this was the first time that had such an audience, it was amazing! 🙂  So for all of our followers, here’s a small sneak peak at our little reno project, The Home That Jones’s Built. More detailed blogging to come… promise.

(Keep in mind, the landscape was not complete at the time of the after pictures… Those will be added later on.)


Front of the home, definitely not the look I was going for. In the words of my sister, “oh, hunny, you are never going to be able to make this look colonial”

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It may not be a colonial, but there is a porch to drink wine and watch the sunsets, and no cacti

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Come on in…


Formal Living Room and Formal Dining Room

Formal Living Room and Formal Dining Room

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4 Living Fire Windows

The family room… one of the things that sold me on this home.

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Except, I don’t like arches….


3 Kitchen 2

Nearly original, the galley kitchen was dark and drab

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And NOONE likes fluorescent lighting like this

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Problem solved…

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4 Living 3

It needed to be opened up… that took some work

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Worth it…


Guest bath

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My office… Not only was the drywall not attached to studs and the linoleum was hell to remove, it also smelled like human urine. That was fun

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Straightened, sealed and ready to rock


One word describes the laundry room and pantry… EWWW!

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Bigger and better now (there is more shelving now too)

8 bedroom 5

Bedroom 1

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Ready for the boy

8 bedroom 3

Bedroom 2

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Ready for the girl

Hall Bath

Hall Bath

7 Hall bath 3

Clean and ready to use

Clean and ready to use

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6 master bed 1

Master Bedroom. Many doors were moved (to say the least)

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And ceilings raised (not just in the sitting area, but also the sagging ceiling in the room)

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(rope lighting wasn’t there yet)

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6 master bed bath 2

Master Shower, and awesome tile, sunken tub

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easily the worst area of the house originally

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But it’s now my favorite space in the house.

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The garden window was taken out to add a large shower

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Perfect for two


It was the 6 Pine trees and 10 Ficus trees, the birds and sound of the wind that made me feel like I was home.


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We still have a way to go on the yard… but for now, I am just enjoying my amazing new home. 🙂

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