A Once Neglected Home Beautifully Restored in the Midwest

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As much as homes protect people, people, in turn, protect homes. Over time, the elements of nature have a way of transforming an abandoned home into shambles. It takes extra work to bring a neglected house back to life, but the savings and the accomplishment it brings can be worth it. It was completely worth it for Sarah and Kalyn Gibson and their 1920s home.

Sarah, designer and blogger, her husband Kalyn, a financial controller, and their giant schnauzer, Finn, began searching for a home two years ago. The homes they first found were all move-in ready — but at the top of their budget. When the couple toured a 1920s home in Dayton, OH that was in disrepair, they got creative. “It had been neglected and sat empty as a foreclosure for over two years. It was a complete disaster, but we fell in love with its charm and potential,” Sarah says. “It made sense for us financially and we were capable of completing the majority of the construction ourselves, so we pulled the trigger.” Sarah and Kalyn have renovated the entire space beautifully with Sarah’s eye for design and Kalyn’s pursuit of high-quality touches and efficiency.

The process was intense but rewarding. The Gibsons worked on the home together, restored it to its full potential and became truly connected to it. “It was an insane amount of work and took over a year to complete the renovation, but I’m so proud of what we’ve created and more importantly, the fact that we built this space together. Along the journey of transforming our home: we found artifacts in the walls (postcards, toys, documents, etc.), filled six 40-yard dumpsters full of trash and debris, had a fast food Thanksgiving with no heat at a camping table in our makeshift dining room, and discovered what a lot of elbow grease and sleep deprivation would get us,” Sarah says. “We made so many amazing memories during demo, construction, and finally moving in and adding the final details to our home. We definitely can’t envision doing it any other way.” Looking through their tour, it’s almost impossible to remember that this home hasn’t always been loved and cared for. The Gibsons have brought this house back to life and are able to enjoy all of their hard work. –Lauren

Photography by Dana Miller & Sarah Gibson

  1. Chrissy says:

    I am so very surprised nobody asked this before me, but I’m dying to know the paint color on your living room walls. Also, is it the same color on the fireplace? In the process of renovating our new home and I have been searching high and low for that shade.

  2. Megan says:

    Yes me too! What wall color is this? Re-doing our den and I want a bold wall color–this one is perfection!

  3. Rosa says:

    Your home is beautiful, Sarah! I love it even more that it’s been restored. I had a question – I see that you have two of the plants we want in our home – snake and fig – and wanted to know if your dog goes near them. We are curious because we have two cats and our vet told us they are supposed to be toxic to pets. Thanks so much and love your home! ❤️


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