I’ll never forget the sinking feeling I had when I first walked into the “Redeemed Reno”. Nate & Jennifer Simmons had approached me about overseeing the renovations on a home they just purchased outside Fort Worth. They told me it was in bad shape, but I had no idea. What I found upon that first walk through was a sad excuse of a home full of vagabonds and drug use. Broken windows were boarded up, there was no power, no water, no heat, no air. It had become a refuge of sorts for the local drug ring and there was no doubt that the house had suffered much like it’s residents. A trash can fire was burned in the living room and had left soot over all the walls and ceilings. Boxes, clothes, and trash made it hard to even see what we were getting ourselves into. The above-ground pool had been used as a bath tub by multiple people and it stunk and the whole thing moved me to tears.
The home itself was a great structure, despite it’s abandonment and lack of care. It was going to fall into foreclosure, but my clients had divinely stumbled upon it just in time. It was a long process for them to get to the closing table, but it happened and work could begin.
I’ll never forget when Mrs. Simmons described this home as a metaphor for her life! She told me about her own struggle with drug abuse back in her teenage years and early twenties. She herself was an addict and her life was in ruins. She turned to God and her husband and has been sober for over 10 years. This home was especially sentimental to her because she knew that lifestyle. If you watch our video you can catch her describe the renovation in these beautiful words, “It’s just like God to take a mess and make it totally beautiful. This house was a picture of that.”
“It’s just like God to take a mess and make it totally beautiful. This house was a picture of that.” – Jennifer Simmons, Homeowner
I was beyond honored to come on board and help with the design process and serve as somewhat of a GC for various subs throughout the process. The first thing on the to-do list was clean up. I was happy to help this sweet couple get started and so were a lot of other people. Neighbors, church members, even complete strangers rallied to help clean the lot. I think the whole town was pleased and eager to see this property turned around. We rented a dumpster and it was filled and returned four times to remove all of the debris and items left behind.
The house sits on some acreage so there was clean up to be done on the land too. We found needles, syringes, pots that were defecated in, empty cigarette cartons, broken glass and much more. This was an extremely important part in the clean up process because the new homeowners have three small children and we didn’t want a single, dangerous remnant left behind.
During those first couple of weeks, some homeless men would stop by the house. They didn’t know it had sold and was now under construction and they were looking for their old hangout. I was amazed to see the homeowners and our contractor give these folks a ride into town, buy them a meal, a place to stay and get cleaned up for the night, and PRAY with them. These beautiful people even gave work to one of the homeless gentleman that kept coming around. I trust that he was moved by the hearts of my friends.
The house was prayed over too. Those icky, dark feelings were to be met with worship music playing 24/7 on an old boom box and the faith of a family that knew this home was going to be theirs. The sadness left quickly and we all started to see the blank slate.
Jennifer & Nate wanted a modern farmhouse style home. They asked for a painted white brick exterior and for a fresh, clean look throughout. They have 3 boys under 6 so they also wanted durability. They also wanted to use their existing furniture for the décor, so I kept that in mind during the design process.
My selections were as follows:
For the floors- Woodhurst Amber Wood Plank Porcelain Tile
Interior Paint- Sherwin Williams Oyster White
Exterior Paint- Sherwin Williams Alabaster, Trim: Behr Beluga
Cabinetry- Sherwin Williams Dover White
Trim- Benjamin Moore Simply White
White Subway Tile in both showers
Guest Bath Inset- Festival White & Black Hexagon II Porcelain Mosaic
Guest Bath Vanity Paint- Benjamin Moore Windsor Green
All bathroom hardware- Delta Windmere Collection
Kitchen Backsplash- Carrara White Herringbone Marble Mosaic
Hallway Lights- Kichler Barrington Black & Wood Tone Seeded Flush Mount
Kitchen Pendants- Creative Co-Op Pendant Lights
Quartz Countertop- Daltile One Quartz Kodiak
Dining Room Chandelier- Park Hill Trellis Chandelier
Master Bath Accent Tile- Carrara Marble Bianco Carrara Hexagon Polished Marble Mosaic
Master Vanity- Allen + Roth Kennilton Gray Oak Double Sink
Master Floor Tile- Venatto II Porcelain Tile
Dining Table- Ashley Furniture, client owned
Buffet- Weirs Furniture
Place Settings- Target
Kitchen Table- Ashley Furniture, client owned
Barstools- World Market
Living Room Rug- Loloi
Coffee Table, TV Console, Floor Lamp- World Market
Master Bed, Nightstands, Rug- Weirs Furniture
Boys Beds- Amazon
Dresser, Shelves- client owned
The whole project, start to finish took 4 months with the demo, flooring and finish out taking the longest. We stood amazed at what was accomplished and looking at these pictures sure does bring back memories. I can’t believe how far this project came along and we didn’t even spruce up the landscaping!
I know there are seasons in our lives where we can feel like an abandoned house. Perhaps you feel this way right now? Sometimes we let ourselves go to our own destructive choices and habits. Usually there is always a deep sense of pain or loss at the bottom. I truly believe God delights in redemption. He wants to restore, to bring back 140% of all that is lost in our lives. He does this through divine appointments, but I believe even more than that, divine connections. It is people who help save us. I pray that we might always have a yielded heart to God to be used to help others.
Give a ride, buy a meal, PRAY for someone. Edify someone! Encourage each other, lend a helping hand. Say that crazy thing that you don’t know why, but you feel you aught to say it. I’ve been frustrated many times and downright angry at God before. But He has always been faithful to send me a human being to walk along side me for awhile.
God rebuilt and redeemed this house, but He used people to do it. Nate & Jennifer Simmons, Zebulon Collins, Juan Zambrano, John Simmons, neighbors, church members, strangers, and me. Thank you to all the people who helped restore this property. What a gift to be the hands and feet of a good God. Blessings, friends!