A Must-Read Home Transformation Story

Remodeled Living Room

Janis Schwartz was sick of how her outdated kitchen and living room looked, and decided to do something about it. It was time for a DIY remodel. She purchased her 1981 brick ranch in 2009. It had little to no updating done to it, but it had a good foundation. Janis started out by deciding what her timeline for the remodel was going to be and chose a five-year plan with completion of a total update (and selling the property) by 2020. Most importantly, she set a firm budget, making it the biggest expense in the house at an estimated $20,000.

As you can see in the header image, Janis took what was once a red brick floor-to-ceiling fireplace flanked by dark wood shelving and transformed the room into an absolutely gorgeous and cozy living space. When Janis and her significant other decided on a design for the new kitchen, including gray kitchen cabinets, they boarded and tiled the fireplace so that the living room scheme would flow nicely with the chosen kitchen design. In case you’re wondering, the fireplace above is gas with glass rock. She’s still working on deciding what type of screen or cover to use over the fireplace. Janis had painted the shelving within the first year of moving in order to lighten the area. Molding was also added to the original mantel to update the look.

Old Kitchen

An Outdated Kitchen is a Lifeless Kitchen

Janis decided that her lifestyle required a stylish and updated kitchen because she needed a nice room where she could cook and spend time with her significant other and daughter. Her daughter is currently away at college, returning on weekends. Her significant other has encouraged her design dreams and has helped her along the way. Together, they did all of the work themselves,with the exception of professional installation of kitchen cabinets and counters.

You can see from the image above that Janis’s old kitchen was outdated and very dim looking. She made a good decision remodeling in order to get a fresh new look. The kitchen had old dark wood cabinets and flooring, and the countertop was far from impressive. Dated appliances can also make an entire kitchen feel old and dreary. Well, Janis has certainly impressed us with all of her hard work. The new kitchen turned out gorgeous.

Remodeled Kitchen

A Remodeled Kitchen is a Vibrant Kitchen

The color scheme in the new kitchen is stylish and modern. Janis used Craft made solid wood cabinets from Lowe’s. The new cabinets have soft close hinges and are designed with pullout drawers. The 6-foot island gives Janis a convenient workspace with lots of storage on each side. We want to point out that the island includes a pullout trash disposal and an electrical wired mixer pullout stand for her Kitchen Aid. These features are conveniently located across from the sink and dishwasher. Let’s not forget the shiny new appliances that were installed to brighten the room.

For the countertops, Janis wanted as close to white marble as she could get without breaking her budget so she chose Hanstone Tranquility quartz, and is very pleased with the look and durability. The tile backsplash has an insert of 1/8 inch mosaic that ties into the fireplace in the family room. Janis replaced the kitchen floor with brand new hardwood flooring. The floor is done in dark mahogany porcelain tile laid to resemble wood. Just gorgeous! Well done, Janis and team.


Janis is extremely proud of the new kitchen and living room remodel. We agree that it’s a spectacular and impressive transformation worth sharing. The best part is that she had fun doing it. Instead of stressing out about the remodeling project, she made a plan, decided on a budget, and took action.

Great job, Janis. Those pictures are proof of a successful and chic remodeling project. Thanks for sharing your story with our readers.

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