Giving Family Gets Sweet Upgrade | Season 4

Written by Jenny Marrs on . Posted in .

I can’t say enough good things about the McGhee family. They are one of the most generous, joyful and fun families we’ve ever met. Stacey is a barista at a coffee shop and is practically a local celebrity. He’s known for his big smile and positive, encouraging words. He’s very well-known and loved. His wife, Karen, is equally kind and warm. They have two beautiful boys: a 19-year-old and 10-year-old. 

The McGhees had been saving up for a home remodel for years when they found out that Stacey’s father had cancer. They took their remodel savings and used it to update his parents’ kitchen instead. After years of saving up again, now it was finally their turn to have their own home remodeled. Dave and I were so excited when they asked us to remodel their home because we wanted to do something great for this wonderful family.

The McGhees have owned this house for 17 years and had not upgraded it at all so they were ready to make some dramatic changes. Because they clearly enjoy life and are such a fun family, we knew their house had to match that. We wanted to design a house for them that would be equally fun and full of life. 



The good news is the brick on the McGhee’s house was already a nice color and didn’t need to be painted, but Karen and Stacey did think the exterior was a bit boring, so we opted to add some architectural interest by adding board and batten over a portion of the front of the house. This, alone, made the house stand out from others on the street. We also added new porch lights, landscaping, a fabulous antique front door found by Karen, and hand-made shutters stained to match the front door. 



Exterior Lights | Kichler

Flag | Allegiance Flag Supply

Landscaping | Ground Effects Landscaping

Board and Batten Color | Benjamin Moore White Dove  

Living Room


When we first walked inside, we noticed it was a bit dark because the living room has no windows, so we wanted to bring in some natural light by choosing a front door with glass. The door Karen had previously found at an antique store was perfect!  Another way we were able to brighten up the space was by removing the dark wood flooring and replacing it with a much lighter shade of wood flooring which we also carried throughout the house. We updated the fireplace by switching out the dated mantle for a larger one with a more natural wood color. Matt welded a new iron fire box, and we placed some lava stone balls in it for a modern touch to the traditional space. 

We also added a focal point wall to the living room, which I think totally transforms this area. The raised paneling disguises the door we added. Plus, the muted blush color adds a modern-meets-vintage feel to the room. This is a relatively inexpensive way to make a dramatic change. Another low-cost, high-impact change is the arch over the bookcase. This used to be a basic bookcase that was wedged in next to the fireplace, but Dave cut a wooden arch and placed it right over the existing bookcase. It immediately updated the shelves. Now, the modern bookcase can beautifully display Stacey’s awesome coffee mug collection. 



Furniture | Howse

Living Room Fan | Kichler

Wood Flooring | LL Flooring

HVAC | Paschal

HVAC | Trane

Feature Wall Color | Farrow and Ball Peignoir

Wall Color | Benjamin Moore White Dove



We had a pretty good space to work with once we moved the garage entrance and shifted the washer and dryer over. The laundry appliances were sticking out in the kitchen and taking up valuable space. We were able to stack the machines and push them further back so that they were just OFF the kitchen instead of IN the kitchen. From there, we were able to take out the peninsula and convert it into a U shape with an island in the middle. Matt made a historic feeling wooden island that brings warmth to the white quartz countertops and nicely compliments the deep green cabinets. This kitchen is warm and welcoming and will function so much better for the McGees.

We also updated the dining nook with off the kitchen to serve as a beautiful and larger space for their family dinners.



Furniture | Howse

Cabinets | American Woodmark / Waypoint Living Spaces

Countertops| Gunn Granite

Kitchen Faucet | Gerber

Island Pendants | Eurofase

Dining Light Fixture | Eurofase

Runner Rug | Turkish Trunk

Ice Cream Bar

What did you all think of the ice cream bar? I’m so happy we were able to make that happen for the McGhees. This little spot in the house was underutilized but now, we can say it’s the happiest nook in the house!


Ice Cream Maker | Vevor

Rug | Turkish Trunk

Main Suite


The goal here was to create an updated, serene, peaceful retreat. To do that, we kept it simple and chose soothing colors for this space. By squaring off the recessed ceiling, we were able to instantly modernize the room. Another major change was the closet expansion. Moving the bedroom door over to another wall, gave us the room to extend the closet all the way across and provide a large walk-in closet. 

One thing that you didn’t get to really see on the show was the painting in the master bedroom. Stacey told us later that this was his favorite surprise in the remodel. He had mentioned in the beginning that his father had been diagnosed with cancer and that the family had traveled to see him during their summer break. One of the McGhee boys painted a picture of the mountain view from the drive. I had the original painting stretched on canvas and framed. Then, we hung it in the master bedroom. Stacey’s father, by the way, was originally diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer, but today, he is miraculously completely cancer free!  

In the bathroom, we changed around the layout within the original footprint – including adding a separate room and door between the toilet and the rest of the bathroom – which Stacey was really excited about! I chose a fairly modern (and fun) terrazzo tile for the shower, plus new flooring and a new double-sink vanity.  



Bedroom Furniture | Howse

Bedroom Fan | Kichler

Bath Terrazzo Tile | Lowe’s

Shower Wall Tile | Lowe’s

Bath Plumbing Fixtures | Gerber

Bathroom Sink | Gerber

Bathroom Sconce | Eurofase

Shower Head | Gerber

Hand Shower | Gerber

Shower Glass | Glass Doctor

Bathroom Hardware | Amazon

Vanity Countertop | Verona Marble

Lumbar Pillow | Turkish Trunk

Outdoor Patio

The McGhees have a huge backyard so we chose to create a cozy patio by installing a wooden slat wall that would also provide shade and privacy. Since they like to eat outside as a family often, we wanted to provide them with a full outdoor kitchen and ample space for sitting. The outdoor kitchen has a beverage refrigerator and a large built-in grill. I can already see Stacey cooking up delicious meals out there with Karen and the boys enjoying fresh air and family time together.


Outdoor Kitchen | RTA Outdoor Living

Outdoor Appliances | Coyote Outdoor