By Beth Fedor, Realtor®

While most of the homes on SBCO’s SaddleBrooke 2018 Renovated Home Tour employed professional contractors and substantial home improvement budgets, Dick and Cheri Allen’s home was an exception. Since purchasing their Montana floorplan home in 2009, the Allens have, on their own, completed a number of renovation projects to overcome the dated nature of the home’s interior and improve the overall flow of living spaces. 

An oil painting artist and interior designer, Cheri has put her color sense to work, transforming the formerly Victorian floral wallpapered and compartmentalized living area into a bright cheerful open space to showcase what she designates a “Mediterranean-Hacienda” style. 

Doing most of the work themselves, the Allens removed an existing media wall that separated the family room from the dining room, hiring a drywaller and an electrician to professionally finish the job. To cover the bare floor remaining from the wall removal and replace the living space’s unwanted wall-to-wall carpeting, the Allens repurposed a friend’s discarded wood flooring, adding a tile border to effectively transition the home’s existing tile to the “new” flooring.

Spanning the back of the home, the now open great room has at its heart a massive wood bar with a generous L-shaped counter that provides an inviting social gathering space. Another DIY project, Cheri and Dick spent weeks on their back patio applying numerous coats of stain to produce a warm rich finish on the unfinished pine pieces. The Allens now relax and entertain in an open space that offers the opportunity to be doing different things while still feeling connected.

The room’s window treatments showcase Cheri’s love for architectural details and her ingenuity for creating a sumptuous look with a minimal budget. Devised by Cheri and executed with the help of a woodworker friend, both sets of sliders and the room’s central window are crowned with arched window mouldings accented with keystones that Cheri routed herself and flanked by drapery panels she made from a lavish crewel embroidered fabric purchased at a deep discount on Ebay. 

Other home improvements include Cheri’s “tiled” art studio floor, cleverly achieved with some automotive pinstriping and concrete stain applied by squirt bottle, a faux-painted master bedroom wall with metallic veining that extends from a painting into the wall backdrop. A master bathroom vanity makeover was affordably achieved by painting the existing oak cabinets an antique black and adding applique ornamentation and framed mirrors to replace the former plate glass mirror. 

The Allens’ creative energy didn’t stop with the home’s interior. In the backyard, tour attendees admired the result of Dick and Cheri’s labor to create undulating paver-lined pathways amidst the greenery of artificial turf that Dick installed as their dogs’ play space, shaded by lush palms and an assortment of colorful trees, including Mesquite, Olive, Acacia and Mastic Pastiche.

Cheri has funneled her high-energy creative nature into her own home-based design business and delights in helping SaddleBrooke residents breathe new life and beauty into their spaces with everything from a basic color consultation to full-scale kitchen and bath remodels. Over the past decade, the Allens have demonstrated how dramatically a home’s indoor and outdoor spaces can be transformed inexpensively with the help of an artist’s eye, a penchant for repurposing cast-offs and a lot of DIY initiative. 

This article features one of seven homes from the 2018 SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) Remodeled Home Tour to help fund SBCO's programs that greatly benefit youngsters in nearby communities. The remodeled homes are presented in no particular order. Tickets for the 2019 Remodeled Home Tour go on sale on Monday, March 4th, 9am-3pm in the SBCO office, Suite L in the Minit Mart Plaza. (Only 300 tickets will be sold and they tend to sell quickly.)  Tickets cost $15 per person or $25 for two people and are limited to SaddleBrooke and SaddleBrooke Ranch residents only.  If you would like to serve as a docent in one of the 2019 tour homes, please email Perry Shapiro at