disclosure:  This post was sponsored by Phantom Screens.

Southern Romance House Exterior

A long time ago in a land far away called Alabama (total aside:  don’t you love a story that starts like that) I met one of the most inspiring women on the planet.

And more importantly, I met her house.  You can read all about that here.  It’s been a journey of love and inspiration and joy and courage and now the house is finished (and I may have helped just the tiniest of bits along the way).

This is one of my favorite before and afters of all time.


Please grab coffee or the closest beverage and sit back for the tour.

Southern Romance Front Porch Before

This is what the porch looked like when I first met her.

I’ve copped a squat on those railings.

I’ve walked on those floors of history and stepped up those front steps.

And now?

Front porch after some renovation

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

She looks like this.

The house has been painted and the front door completely reconstructed and the porch refreshed and a porch swing added.

And that front porch light?

I know, right?

(total aside:  I’ve swung on that swing before, too)
Southern Romance House Hallway before

When you walk through the front door this is what it used to look like.

It’s a long central hallway that goes directly through to the back yard.

And now?

Front hall after the makeover

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

It looks like this.

Southern Romance House front hall reveal

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

And this.

Those floors.

That molding over the door which is original to the house.

This is what my hallway wants to look like when it grows up.

Southern Romance Living Room Before

When you walk in, directly to the left is the living room.

The fireplace was amazing (which stayed) and I did love the original light fixture (which also stayed).

And now?

Family room after

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

Fireplace after renovation

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

I’m so glad the original fireplace stayed.

It’s a detail you can’t find any more.

And just to the right in this picture you can see the original sliding pocket doors that lead into the dining room.

Southern Romance House Dining Room Before

That used to look like this.

You can really see the giant over-sized pocket doors here and the glimpse back into the living room.

And now?

Dining room after renovation

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography


photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

Chandelier in the dining room

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

It looks like this.

So many of the original details lovingly restored back to their former glory.

Some of the furniture in the house even came from the original owners.

Southern Romance Kitchen Before

Right through the door in the dining room, you will enter into the kitchen.

This is what it used to look like.

At the risk of stating the obvious…..


This is one of the rooms we helped with just a little.

Because now it looks like this.

The kitchen after the renovation

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

Oven and backsplash after the makeover

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

Window seat after renovation

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

Kitchen island after renovation

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

I cannot tell you how beautiful this room is in person.

It’s my favorite of all the rooms in the house.  And the best part?  I helped to select fabrics for this room and my husband built that kitchen island out of some of the old cabinets from the house.

You can see the DIY for the island here.

Southern Romance House parlor before

Here’s another room I helped with the design for.

This is the front room directly to the right of the front door before any renovations were done.

And now?

Parlor after renovation

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

Parlor after the renovation

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

It looks like this.

The original fireplace stayed and was painted a slightly darker color.

It’s warm and inviting and I love the curtains in the space.

Front hallway- bookcase or not?

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

If you leave the front room and turn down the hallway, you’ll pass this bookcase on the way to the master bedroom.

Or at least you think it’s a bookcase.

Look again. 🙂

Hall bookcase hides laundry unit

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

It opens to reveal the laundry room behind it.

The bookcase is brilliant.

I’m trying to figure out how to install one in the farmhouse.

Southern Romance Before

Down the hallway from the hidden laundry room is the master bedroom and bath.

I helped a little with the space planning and ideas for the master bedroom.

This is the before and now?

Master bedroom after the renovation

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

Master bathroom after

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

Shower in master bathroom after

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

That bathroom.

I saw it from the very first tile and it’s come such a long way.

I love a tile that goes all old school and keeps it real.

Back porch before

And my favorite room in the whole house?

The back porch.

I helped with design layout and fabrics for this room, too.

It started like this.

And now?

Back porch after

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

It looks like this.

The most amazing thing about it are the screens.  They are made by Phantom Screens and they are motorized to give you the choice of open air or with the push of a button, they come down to create a screened-in porch.

Interior of back screened porch after renovation

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

Here’s a view from the inside.

I love the door table and the custom porch swing and the fireplace.

Another view from the back porch after renovation

photo credit:  Revival Arts Photography

Here’s a view of the retractable screens that disappear into the wall.

You can leave the doors open and have the breeze blowing without any bugs.

The whole Southern Romance project was amazing to watch from beginning to end.

You can read all about the house and the team and the transformation and the stories the house has to tell here.

Esther, you are an inspiration to us all.  I cannot tell you how incredible to watch someone follow their heart and dream their dream in the face of almost (at times) overwhelming obstacles.

Sweet tea has nothing on you. 🙂

Southern Romance House Exterior

And now, in super fun news.

Phantom Screens is hosting a sweepstakes right now.

They make those incredible screens that disappear and pull out from your door and disappear again.

You can enter here to win a door screen of your own.

Here’s to Phantom Screens and the house of dreams. 🙂

phantom screens logo

disclosure:  I was compensated by Phantom Screens for this post.

All opinions are my own.

Please see my disclosure page for more information.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Do you think they would mind if I moved in? Okay, I guess they would but do you think they would notice if I moved in anyway?!

  2. Image for Jan Jan

    My kind of house, large rooms galore. Although the hidden laundry room is a really cool idea, I know how often I go in and out of mine and that bookcase door would not be the most efficient...but it looks incredible. Would also like to know what kind of money was involved...and to have it to do this kind of reno with! Gorgeous home, everything about it is 'my style'. Thanks for sharing it! Much inspiration.

  3. Image for Barbara Barbara

    Absolutely stunning- every room! I really love the master bedroom, color, high ceiling and I can just see and feel a nice breeze coming in those windows blowing the sheer curtains:) Great job!

  4. Image for Rebecca Rebecca

    Loved the tour. I think the next house for you to work on is mine, only 65 year old ranch so it may not be your vintage. Thank you so much for the inspiration!!! Every detail was beautifully done!!!

  5. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    This transformation brought me to tears...really. To take a house that was so mistreated and see its beauty under all the decay is inspiring. The hard work and loving attention to detail is so evident here. I love this post. Thanks for sharing. :)

  6. Image for Debbie Debbie

    WOW! Such an amazing place. This is the kind of home that dreams are made of. Great job on your part. Want to help me with my home? Love your blog. You are such a doll and a wonderful inspiration. You never cease to bring a smile to my morning or a tear to my eye. Love ya, girl!

  7. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    Oh wait...a question...what was that secret closet used for and how does it get opened and closed without the things on the bookcase flying off? Just wondering. :)

  8. Image for Michelle Michelle

    This house is amazing!!! I love the transit window above the door, the high ceilings, the lovely use of neutrals, the BIG front porch with the swing, the fact that they kept the fireplaces, the original furnishings, the ginormous glass front shower, the floor to ceiling kitchen cabinets plus the island made from the original cabinets...omg, I'm so in love. My dream (besides having moved back to Colorado) is to find an old house like this, invite The Property Brothers, Chip and Joanna Gaines and YOU to help me renovate and decorate.

  9. Image for Tish Tish

    Absolutely amazing!!! Makes me feel so good on the inside - going back:) Love the whole house and atmosphere it brings:)

  10. Image for Patricia Patricia

    Oh my gracious i could just feel the breeze and see all the curtains gentle flutter when you opened the door on that remodel. Just beautiful.

  11. Image for Carrie Carrie

    The tile work in the master shower? Perfection. I don't remember ever seeing something like that before~ it reminds me of old wooden floors with a beautiful inlay of wood border...but done in an elegant, timeless, and classic tile shower! Brilliant.

  12. Image for Taste of France Taste of France

    This is the best kind of renovation, because it's really a renewal, not some kind of extreme plastic surgery. It preserves the charm and bones of the original while modernizing in a sensitive, timeless style. And that bookcase/secret laundry room is brilliant. I love that style of American house, too. The big porch, the proportions, the windows. Comfortable but not so big as to be a McMansion.

  13. Image for Emily Emily

    We have many of these beautiful old homes in Alabama - this one is lovely. I hope your Canadian friend loves our mountains, beaches, sultry summers, sweet tea, southern hospitality, and, most of all, our winters (that being from Canada, she will hardly notice or acknowledge as even being winter).

  14. Image for Kris Kris

    Just ... wow. Honestly, I would have turned around and left when I saw the original kitchen. But now? Simply stunning. I bet you had a blast helping your friend out.

  15. Image for Terri Terri

    Gorgeous and breathtaking are an "Under-Statement" !!!! Perfection !!!! I am drooling over the baseboards, the floors, and even the handles on those windows.. (sighhhhhh ! ) The window behind the lamp with the red shade... Seriously?????? Now... swing... front porch.. good book and a glass of sweet iced tea!!!!!!!!!! YEP..... ( How amazing Karianne ; that you actually worked in this house ... YOU had a part in making it what it is today !!! )

  16. Image for Patty Patty

    OMG I am drooling as I type this. I love the back to back fireplaces in the living room and dining room, I love the floors, I love the porch, I love the kitchen, I LOVE EVERYTHING. She has more guts than I will ever have. If you and your sailor ever need another project, come and visit me and my sailor anytime.

  17. Image for judith judith

    How nice that you got to be a part of this, Karianne! And your husband is very talented (but probably not as much as you are). Would you or the homeowner possibly be willing to share the source of the cabinets, specifically the cabinet fronts? They are perfect for the house. In addition, I love the little shelf over the range and am wondering: does the "cabinet" over the range actually hide a vent fan? If so, do you know what fan they used? Maybe I just invented the idea myself, but I like it! Anyway, good job as usual, and thanks for sharing all of this. I look forward to reading anything you have to say.

  18. Image for Toni Toni

    What a journey. Thank you so much for revealing these beautiful, meaningful photos of a great house and its wonderful parts.

  19. Image for Terri Oostendorp Terri Oostendorp

    Wow. Just incredibly beautiful and gracious. You and your team and Esther are a force to be reckoned with! Love that master bath, that kitchen I covet intensely, and those porches with the screens are lovely! I'm in awe of a company that is so forward thinking! I didn't even know there were such ideas for porches so thanks Karianne for showing us how it's done!

  20. Image for Jennifer Williams Jennifer Williams

    Okay, this is THE MOST AMAZING house transformation I have ever seen! And the home is exactly my style! {sigh}

  21. Image for EDD EDD

    What a wonderful restoration and update. I love seeing upper kitchen cabinets with craftsmanship and artistry to them. Such a welcome change from all tile and no uppers.

  22. Image for Lanita Anderson Lanita Anderson

    Oh my goodness....what a transformation! The rooms were absolutely breathtaking!! Thanks for sharing.....makes me want to look for a fixer upper! Blessings to you.....

  23. Image for Sue Sue

    It had me at the front door. Absolutely beautiful,everything is to perfection. Going to be looking at this for weeks. Thank you Karianne for this wonderful post.

  24. Image for Cris Cris

    Wow! Wow! Wow! Karianne, would you be able to tell us some of the paint colors on walls, trim, etc? I'm going through my house changing paint colors and I just painted my open living room/kitchen/entry hall area Benjamin Moore's Edgecomb Gray after far too many sample pots of paint to get what I wanted. After renovating a lake cottage in upstate New York the last four years (a second home) and always changing my homes through the decades, I have a sample paint pot collection that is embarrassing. Getting whites and grays right is so difficult due to the subtle undertones. Thanks so much!

  25. Image for Susan Susan

    I cried all the way through this tour...I am just soooooo happy for that old house...soooooo happy that some wonderful people gave her the chance she needed to shine while allowing her to stay true to herself...it's just beyond beautiful! The changes are incredible...she was looking so drab and sad and oh m'gosh that poor kitchen...now she is soooooo proud and radiant...filled with light and colour and life! Thank you sooooooo very much for sharing the inspirational story of this glorious old home and for taking us with you and Esther from the very beginning...this is the happiest ending EVER! This house is Cinderella...you did good, KariAnne...and so did twinkling eyes! :)

  26. Image for Pam K Pam K

    Amazing transformation! Those screens would be great. Can't tell you how many flies make it into our home because I am trying to catch a breeze.

  27. Image for laura laura

    This is an amazing transformation KariAnne! Love it! So enjoyed our "convo" last week! My head is still spinning! laura

  28. Image for Rebecca Turner Rebecca Turner

    What a beautiful transformation! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing, KariAnne! This house embodies my wish list for a dream house. It's white, it has a large front porch gallery, (with Carribean style wooden railings-a fave!) a porch swing, and a back porch large enough for a dinner party. The house is a little larger and grander than the one that I grew up in, but otherwise, it echoes it in style. Can I just say that I pine for the sound of wood floors, and the gleam of beveled French doors, and crystal doorknobs in the morning? I guess I should just be thankful that I got to enjoy a portion of my life in a house with character, huh?! Still, I can't help but feel misty. I am so thankful that there are people (with means) who appreciate architecture, character and history, and are willing to save a few gems.

  29. Image for Karen Karen

    Absolutely Amazing! I love everything about this! So charming and great job highlighting the timeless character and great details! Do you mind sharing the paint colors? Sending lots of Love from Alabama!

  30. Image for Melissa Leach Melissa Leach

    I cannot add anything more to what others have already shared about this magnificent remodel. I am breathless and speechless.

  31. Image for Toni Toni

    Absolutely stunning!! Though I am without words to describe the gorgeous "after" photo's, it won't stop me from just saying "WOW" over and over again! That kitchen is an absolute dream! If you ever want a visitor, call me!! You're living in my dream home! Congratulations!

  32. Image for Dian Felkins Dian Felkins

    Love the dining room hanging light. Can you share the brand and where it can be purchased? Thank you Dian

  33. Image for Marian@CMShawStudios Marian@CMShawStudios

    You sneaky weasel! That is far too much fun a project to help with! I do love a great transformation. What an amazing project to be a part of. But ...how's your word count? Did you add moments from the reno to your book? Maybe talk about how the project changed you? Working on my sister's house changed me in so many ways. I am still discovering things that shaped me, now that I'm a month farther into the future. Yay house! Yay screens! Yay you! The Other Marian

  34. Image for Cindy Jones Cindy Jones

    The whole team has made the house come alive! I need those Phantom Screens in my dining room with the French doors. Sometimes the bugs just fly right in and plan their attack while you're eating. The bookcase door is so cool. Don't we all wish we had a place for one.

  35. Image for Mindy Mindy

    This has to be one of the best transformations ever! It is fantastic - truly. The kitchen is my favorite with the porches coming in a strong second. And that secret bookcase door - genius. Thank you so much for a peek inside this beauty Karianne!

  36. Image for Leslie Leslie

    Absolutely the BEST! Loved so many things about this house...the porches, kitchen, center hallway, and of course those screens are amazing. Thank you for the wonderful inspiration, friend. Gorgeous!

  37. Image for Debrashoppeno5 Debrashoppeno5

    What a beautiful transformation. I love the idea of the bookcase that turns into the laundry room but the whole house is just fabulous. There are so many wonderful ideas. And Phantom Screens are the best. I know because I have one on my front door.

  38. Image for Linda Linda

    Thanks so much for posting this. I began following her videos a long time ago...probably via a link you shared with us...and then lost track of her. I loved every episode and hope so much it would end up on HGTV! So how divine to see the house completed and know Esther can't part with it. (I wouldn't be able to either after all of the love poured into the project.) It is absolutely stunning. Have a great weekend! Fall is in the air here with cooler temps. I may dig out fall decorations...after I mow the yard! lol

  39. Image for Anne Porter Anne Porter

    Love restorations that build on original "house parts".... Keeping old features and improving others saves the essence and history of the home. I am wondering about the cost , though. Well done, and thanks for sharing!

  40. Image for Sandy Sandy

    THis is one of the most gorgeous transformations I've seen in a long time! The house looks so much larger inside especially in the after photos! The colors and decor are perfect! This is the type of home I've dreamt of owning my whole life. BRavo to the homeowners and the whole team involved in the renovations!

  41. Image for Samantha Samantha

    Absolutely amazing transformation. So beautiful and charming. I love all the details that were kept with the home from the past, it's modern but has so much history in it. You did an amazing job.

  42. Image for Vicki Vicki

    So beautiful! I love Alabama homes- I love my home state! Thank you for sharing. I would love to know the color of the master bedroom and bath. And, I want that shower!!!

  43. Image for jan metz jan metz

    Must be Eufalla Al. An entire town of beautiful old homes, from huge southern plantation to bungalow. Love what you and she did.

  44. Image for Mary W Ferguson Mary W Ferguson

    WOW - I love the house! It is truly a labor of love and you can see that all through the home. Many thanks for taking us along on this beautiful home tour. Mary

  45. Image for Mari Mari

    Wow!!!! May you enjoy this beautiful space for as long as it continues to bring you joy. It's stunning and I'm so inspired. I hope to someday enjoy a home as such and your share has confirmed its possible thank you! Xo

  46. Image for Suzanne Suzanne

    In a word. Wow! I went to this site and started watching the videos. I have no idea how emotional I would become. From the uneasy relationship with her contractor (I grew up in the south and still live in Tennessee, why can Southern men be so condescending?) to her tears when she returned to the house after the walls had come down. I have been a mess watching them. But in a good way. These are excellent videos and I'll be checking out her blog too. Thanks for this post! And before anyone gets upset about the southern men comment. I know folks from everywhere can be condescending, but southern men excell at it. I should know. I've married two of them. Although not the same time. ??

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