Two and half years ago, painter Jen French and husband Rob, an IT consultant, decided to move from Providence, Rhode Island to Billings, Montana to be closer to Jen’s family. Jen’s Dad, a retired engineer, was looking for a challenging project so he offered to renovate a fixer-upper. After months of searching online, Jen found this midcentury home located just under the rims – the sandstone cliffs that run along the north side of the city – and bought it without ever seeing it in person. It had previously been used as a nursing home and was badly in need of renovation but it had an interesting layout, great location and huge windows, and even more importantly, Jen’s Dad was up to the task. He did most of the renovation work himself, gutting and replacing three entire bathrooms, the kitchen, removing popcorn ceilings, replacing windows and doors and making general repairs in every room. While he was in Montana working hard on the house, Jen was designing and ordering all the supplies from Rhode Island. She only made one quick visit to choose flooring and paint (and help strip wallpaper!). Jen says that it’s a much nicer house than they could have ever afforded without all that sweat equity from her Dad. And just one year ago, after the two years of renovations, Jen, Rob, the couple’s 7-year-old twins, Hank and Dexter, and Shorty the dog, all moved to their new home in Montana. -Amy
Image above: “We took out a dividing wall between the dining room and kitchen to open up the space and make room for the island,” Jen says. “I love to work in the kitchen while the boys sit here.”
Image above: “I came up with our our dining room table when the boys were babies and we wanted an indestructible surface. It’s made out of two antique table bases given to us by a friend, and a Formica counter ordered from Home Depot. Rob bought me the iron hanging light from eBay before we were married. This is the third home that we’ve hung it in. We added a sliding door leading out to the patio to the right of the table. It completely lightened up the dining room and kitchen.”
See more of this Montana home after the jump!