Before & After: Old Home Love

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Though they’re usually busy finishing houses for people other than themselves, Candis and Andy Meredith of Old Home Love have managed to carve out some time over the past two years to work on their own 1859 prairie house in American Fork, UT. The couple’s passion for “saving and renovating old homes” is documented in the television show that follows their impressive restorations of historic properties. With a big, beautiful family of six young boys, one baby girl, and two cats, the couple finds local structures from the 1800s in total disarray, and brings them up to contemporary living standards for modern dwellers.

When the Merediths found it, their own home was slated for demolition. Growing up nearby, Candis had always dreamed about living there, but “it had not been loved since before I was born,” she says. The previous owner was ready to tear it down when the demolition crew bumped up the pricetag because of the sturdy adobe walls. He listed it, and Candis went into contract within an hour. She knew this would be her family’s house, and that they were the ones who needed to save it. For its day, especially in Utah, it was a mansion and very special place — considering that almost everything there in the mid-1800s was not much more than log cabins. The home had been through many years of neglect, was piled high with garbage and other unmentionables, and was condemned. There were literal demons drawn on the walls, plaster falling apart everywhere, a roof that had been leaking for years, all broken windows, ivy growing on the inside, and a single outlet to power the whole home — with extension cords running everywhere. It was a miracle that it was still left standing. But underneath the mess remained the original floors and moldings, and the rare, original kitchen cabinets. The family did a full renovation before they moved in and completely restored what could be saved. They added new electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and roofing. They wanted the house to feel fresh, bright, and open, but still historic and cozy. They almost always paint their interiors all-white inside and reintroduce historic light fixtures (a chandelier in every room, in addition to several modern can lights, gives excellent results). With seven kids, they make sure nothing is too precious to get dirty or broken. The house is meant to be lived in, not to be a museum.

The pair is thankful that their home still exists and will continue to exist because they saved it. It was built well and was made to last, but with neglect, its beauty was hidden and almost lost. Candis and Andy are also happy to share their passion for saving old houses with the world. They hope to inspire others to love, save, take care of, and restore old homes, too. They currently have 13 historic homes that are either being renovated or rented out to loving families. The work has attracted television viewers and online followers alike, with a TV show and tons of Instagram followers learning from their every move. Check out two hours of Old Home Love Sunday, December 6th on DIY Network for more of the Merediths’ stunning approach to livable restoration. —Annie

Photography by Cami McIntosh

  1. This is stunning. What a beautiful transformation. I love things like this so much. I could look at homes like this FOREVER.

  2. Poshnessary says:

    The transformation is amazing !! <3

    xoxo

  3. Meg S says:

    Yeah I binged on the full first house season of this new show. SO OBSESSD.

  4. Lynn Raye says:

    Oh Wow. This is amazing!!

  5. Ann says:

    One of my favorite before and afters. Such a unique style, just stunning.

  6. I love the slight femme feel to the place without being girly. I love the beautiful sofa and the color of the parlor and the exterior.

  7. mishel says:

    So incredibly gorgeous….though, I wonder if the white mid-century electric fireplace in the “living room trash before” picture was thrown out, too? I have the same one in orange (with an extension neck, though) + just love it. Just curious! Again, an amazing home!

  8. Karrie says:

    Wow! I give them lots of credit for taking on this project! I bet their neighbors are so thankful to look at this home now… It’s beautiful and the transformation is amazing. Renovating really old homes is for passionate people…Nice work Merediths! I’m glad there are people like you restoring these old beauties!

  9. The tapestry headboard in the bedroom is genius!

  10. Crystal says:

    Wow, I’ve followed you for a while and this post really struck me.

  11. gabriella says:

    I love this kitchen! Doesn’t get much better than a chandelier over an island.

    g.

  12. Kirstin says:

    I’d love to know what paint colors they used. The exterior especially is so striking. I’m in love!

  13. Vanessa says:

    Well, I bet during a HOT Utah summer, they’ll be asking themselves whether or not they meant to paint it black. But still it looks great like that and there are always those cold Utah winters. I like so much of this, very pretty.

  14. Kimmie says:

    This home is extraordinary lovely. I love that they stayed true to the homes Victorian roots. Do you know where they found their velvety looking microfiber couch?

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