Quinn and Colette Siner had big plans for their south Dundee home when they bought it 10 years ago.
Not just on the renovating side, either. They wanted a full house.
That, apparently, was the easy part. They now have six kids, ranging from 2 to 10.
“I wanted five and he wanted six,” says Colette, whose mother was one of 14. “We didn’t know it was going to be so fast.”
Milestones in the lives of those two daughters and four sons mark renovations. Xavier, for example, had just turned 1 when they redid their kitchen, added a main-floor powder room and gave the main floor a refresh. He’s now 9.
Having a big family has prompted many of their projects, including the transformation of the second and third floors.
They turned the top floor into a bedroom for the older boys and renovated two rooms on the second floor for the girls. They now have a suite with a powder room and dressing room for themselves.
“We were pregnant with No. 6 and running out of room,” Colette says.
The eight of them shared two bedrooms while construction was done by Brent Hamon and Nate McDaniel of McDaniel-Wallquist, who have supervised all of the upgrades in their house.
The third floor had been unusable, blocked off into three small rooms with a non-functioning bathroom. They opened up the ceiling, exposing some of the beams, added lots of built-ins, cupboards and drawers and laundry space.
“Each boy has their own area, even though we opened it up and made it more bright and cheery than it originally was,” Colette says. “They each have a niche with a window seat, built-in shelving and a night light.”
And of course, mom and dad needed an oasis — and break — from all the madness of a big family. By stealing a few feet from other rooms they were able to expand their bathroom. Their closet has five windows, so they added a big bench to enjoy some peace.
Quinn says it feels like it’s almost a hotel getaway.
“It turned out really beautiful,” Colette says.
Colette, an engineer like her husband, provides all the finishing touches. She painted a mural in the youngest boy’s room, added a hand-striped pattern in the second floor hallway and did a design on the walls of the entry that everyone agrees looks like wallpaper. Mission accomplished, Colette says.
Adding that personal touch is the sweet part of their projects, hence the name @sugaredliving for her Instagram handle.
Things take longer, because she usually only has a few hours at night when the kids are in bed. But she often involves them, too. The girls painted the inside of the drawers on desks that she just redid for them.
She enjoys having a creative outlet so much that she’s started helping with renovations for friends and family.
Work at home isn’t complete, however. Colette says they’re done having kids but not with home renovation. They have another big one coming up when they turn a sun porch into a family room.
“It’s like the never-ending project,” she says, “but we like it that way.”