About Allison – a recap


Hi!  And welcome!!!  Thanks so much for taking time to explore my blog about our 1964 mid-century modern home just outside of downtown Saint Paul.  We purchased this house in the fall of 2012, and began work January 2013.  I started blogging about our renovation shortly after…

So!  Here I am on the “about” page four years later.  I posted fairly consistently for about 16 months as we were slogging through the bigger parts of the project, interior and exterior.  Please feel free to explore the archives – lots of good stuff happened!  And when things slowed down, my posts stopped.  That means the blog has been in limbo for nearly 3 years.  Ahhhhh!!!!

My last post was in May 2014, as we were preparing the house for our daughter’s HS graduation party.  Even though we had a sump pump failure and our air conditioner went out (literally on the day of her party), the party turned out better than we had imagined…  We got to celebrate our wonderful daughter, as well as share our mostly renovated new home with so many family and friends for the first time.  Yay!

I have been literally thinking about wrapping up my blog for nearly three years now,  with one final humdinger of a Before & After post.  Not gonna do it!  Instead, I have recently become motivated to blog-on.  Since May 2014, we have continued work on the house, plus I renovated another property (on a much smaller scale), and started selling my paintings.  So much more to post about!  Some of it may be a little off-topic, but if you don’t mind, let’s get into it.

Below is my original 2013 intro about who I am with 2017 updates:

I live with my husband and four three kids (one’s away at college) just outside of Saint Paul, Minnesota.  I studied French and education, but ended up in a whirlwind of marriage and kids soon after graduating, so never did teach. I later studied interior design and had a variety of part-time jobs when the kids were younger, but raising our brood has sucked up nearly all of my time and energy in more recent years.  That sounds a bit dramatic, as I do have the luxury of exploring hobbies and whatnot, but I just can’t seem to make the leap into the workforce.  (so, I bought and renovated a house and sold it in 2015.  And last year, I became a selling artist.**)

I grew up in a rural area near Duluth, in northern Minnesota, where I learned to appreciate the outdoors and the natural world.  Some of my best memories with my sister and brother are about experiences such as raising ducks, chickens and turkeys, and about other outdoor chores like loading wood into our basement to feed our furnace.  We lived over-looking a river, across from a large field.  There were no neighbors in sight.  I appreciated the gift of space and quiet.

Our first 17 years as parents, we had been raising our kids “in the city”.  It’s a great place, and we had enjoyed all of the conveniences of an urban location.  But!  It was time for a change, a bit of a challenge, and for this move, we needed to leave our comfort zone.  Our new home, This Mod House, is situated in a happy medium location of not city, not country, and not quite suburban.  Plus, it’s only a 10-15 minute drive to our old neighborhood (so we can get our “city fix” whenever necessary).

We have a nicely sized lot (1.5 acres), and border a nature preserve.  There are neighbors in view, but our yard feels private from them and the road.   We are so excited to have some property to “tend”.  (Ha!  The excitement has died down just a bit.)  One of the best days in recent (those first) months was spent outside clearing dead wood from along our new driveway and burning it in a massive bonfire!  Ah!  The freedom!

I guess I would describe my mid-life self as someone who is trying to figure things out.   I have been putting off personal goals for a long time now, and I am feeling motivated and inspired to find the part of me that is independent of my mothering, homemaking.  Thankfully, I am becoming less afraid of making mistakes. (Lost count.)

So the search for myself is on!  I want to explore and see where my creative self might take me; it may be the key to living my best life.  It’s one of the reasons I started this blog.  Renovating a house is scary enough.  (If I had only known!)  Writing about the experience is definitely a new challenge.  What if our house project turns into a debacle?  (That happened.)  What if I stink at writing about it?  (Debatable… but practice is good.) No matter the outcome, I hope I will still be proud that I tried.  (Yes!)  It’s about the journey, right?

**If you want to take a look at some of my paintings, please check out my art website:  www.allisonjohanson.com



  1. I just found your blog searching for other people who were renovating their homes. The picture of your Ikea truck ‘situation’ really caught my attention, so I’m going to have a good read through your blog tonight 🙂

    1. Thanks so much! Just checked out your blog, and will follow your posts. Love that it is so easy to share our house project happenings….You Londoners have such great style!

    1. Hi Kristin,

      So kind of you to read, follow, and comment on my blog! I appreciate the affirmation that life is about change. Our house project has been quite the struggle, but I know its challenges have and will continue to inspire me.

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