Welcome to This American House, also known as the Delbert and Grace Meier House, an American System-Built Home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. We’ve been the stewards of the Meier House since November 2013. On this page, in reverse chronological order, you’ll see our progress as we maintain and restore this 100+ year old home. The video above is from footage captured in January 2021. It includes a history of the house as well as a virtual tour that allows you to see the progress we’ve made in our renovation. So, come on in! And then scroll down the page to see how far we’ve come.


American System-Built Home by Frank Lloyd Wright




Want to see some real progress? Look at these photos of the house before it was This American House. The photos below are from March 2014, four months into our adventure with the Meier House. (Scroll down the page to see photos of the house from November 2013 – the month we closed on the house.)

The photos below show the house as it looked when we took possession in November 2013 – along with some notes that we took at the time. We’ve come a long way since then! Both in maintaining the house and everything we’ve learned about it. 


We took possession of our big old Dream house in November 2013. Before we started making it OUR house, I pulled out the camera and snap some shots of the way the house looked when we moved in. So here is the house that will become the Dream house, as-is, along with a few notes on our plans.


This living room. Oh my God. Other than the day I met Mr. Blandings, I have never known love at first sight quite like this. Those doors that lead out the sun porch! That fireplace! The two other walls of beautiful old windows that aren’t pictured here! There’s so much to love about this big old living room that I would go numb naming them all here! Of course, as much as I love it, there are a few things we’re planning to change. While I love painted trim in most homes, we’re going to try to strip the woodwork in the dream house. We also want to tame the color a bit. Our city home started out quite colorful but I eventually went back to white walls. We plan to do the same thing here – although we’re going to concentrate on stripping the trim before we start painting.


My best guess is that the kitchen was updated in the early 1980’s. I don’t hate the kitchen but I definitely don’t love it either. The house would have originally had a gas range but the gas line has been capped off and there’s now an electric range. Eventually we’ll want to reopen the gas line to allow for a gas range but the existing stove is definitely livable. In fact, all of the kitchen appliances are in great shape, even better than the newer appliances in our city apartment. I have some short terms plans for updating the kitchen, as well as long term plans for giving it a complete overhaul. I’ll share more of that in a later post.


This will be the master bedroom. It’s the biggest of the three bedrooms and, like the others, features corner windows that make the room feel big, bright and full of the outdoors. The floors had been covered with carpet for a number of years but the sellers ripped it up to expose the hardwood floors. We love, love, love these floors so I’m very happy that they’re already uncovered and in great condition. As with the living room, we’ll paint this bedroom – and all the other rooms, for that matter – white.


This will be the guest bedroom. It’s in the front of the house and, like the other two bedrooms, features expansive closets that are covered with louvered doors. I don’t love the louvered doors but I don’t hate them either. We’re going to try to make them work in the short term but we’ll eventually replace them at some point. My latest idea is to re-purpose old doors to create new closet doors. Ultimately, we’d like to recreate the built-in wardrobes that would have been in the house but that’s a little pie-in-the-sky at this juncture.

There’s a small bedroom in the back of the house that I didn’t get a shot of during the walk through. Instead, Mr. Blandings snapped this photo while I was writing at the big old desk over the weekend.


When we watched Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House recently, we laughed at Muriel Blandings’ plans for her sewing room. When she said that she wanted a little room where she could sew or sulk on a rainy afternoon, we knew that was exactly what we wanted for this room – our writing room. It’s the small bedroom that overlooks the back yard and the ivy covered garage. Come on, it’s practically begging to be a room where we retire to sew, sulk or blog!


This is definitely the biggest bathroom we’ve ever owned. It’s bigger than any bathroom we’ve rented! We’re planning to rip out the existing vanity and replace it with a new sink and toilet. I was originally thinking about painting the existing floor but we might bite the bullet and replace the flooring completely.


I should probably hate the tile in the shower, but I actually really like it. Not only is it in great shape, the prairie grass inspired pattern is very fitting for the house. The tub is in great shape (although I see a fixture replacement in the near future).


While the chimney to the fireplace in the living room has been blocked with insulation, the wood burning stove in the basement is in working condition. Or, well, it’s supposed to work anyway. We weren’t very successful in building a fire in it but I suspect that had more to do with user error than anything else. The seller told us that originally there was a drop ceiling in here. They removed it to expose the beams. Again, we’re happy they did something that we would have done anyway. I’d like to find a way to disguise wires but otherwise we like the bareness of the basement.



  • Reply Jim and Sandy Schellorn 01/02/2014 at 1:15 am

    Thanks so much for the open house invite! We had a really good time and hopefully can get together in the future as well.
    Sandy and Jim

  • Reply Deb (Stella) Evanson 01/13/2014 at 3:25 pm

    Welcomed our new neighbors (minus one) Sunday afternoon. I am terribly sorry I interrupted Jason’s painting frenzy!!! So good to know that I have met someone who will be helping me with updates to my home as well. You do remember saying that, don’t you Jason??????

    • Reply Deb (Stella) Evanson 01/13/2014 at 3:29 pm

      Darn computer!!!! I meant to say, I am looking forward to many nights around the firepit with the two of you!!!

  • Reply Edward V Insull 01/22/2014 at 5:41 pm

    HI M and J This blog is GREAT I love it show more pictures of what you and J have done.

  • Reply Megan McJunkin 02/16/2014 at 10:25 am

    Brilliant! Congratulations on your beautiful home. I’m grateful you see the charm in those bathroom tiles; at least the color is subtle enough to have potential, which I’m sure you will maximize. Can’t wait to see you progress with this inspirational canvas.

  • Reply John Clouse 03/14/2014 at 11:27 pm

    I’m so glad you are in your dream house. I had the good fortune to visit it several years back and can attest to it being in need of work. But the bones are strong. Good Luck in your endeavors.
    Good, too, that you’ve discovered the Wright Chat. Much help can be obtained there. There is a fellow in Iowa who has likewise restored his Wright house who might have a lot of advice for you, if you want it. He goes by the Chat name of peterm. He own the Lamberson House in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Welcome to the Wonderful World of Wright!

  • Reply Audrey Peterson 03/27/2014 at 1:03 pm

    This is sooooooo cool!!!!!

  • Reply Ted Lawrence 03/27/2014 at 3:08 pm

    Thanks for the photos. While we’re not in a FLW house, we’re in a 1909 Prairie influenced house in Oak Park (that means we get to drive by a lot of FLW houses with great regularity!) . We’ve been in our house for 24 years and are just getting to the end of our “we should change that” list of things to do. We’ll be watching for future postings

  • Reply kc 10/14/2014 at 9:21 pm

    Hi, still looking for a Mr. Blandings congrats to you both. I hope you don’t take this wrong, you should do what you want with the house…..I grew up at a time when everyone lived in a ranch house and the only way colors deviated from white was to off-white, that people would give many different off-names….rose is still a rose. I’ve gone from a diff color in each room to ok some varying levels of continuity…..and while I really like the colors in your house everyone should repaint when moving just to make it yours……but why do you feel you want everything white? There are many possibilities. I also like wood… a degree… much to me seems…..old….not vintage but old. The white trim looks airy and has continuity. So what are your thoughts on these choices? Is it a Wright thing. I’m new to decorating and when I hear something that sounds blah it usually turns out to be great and I get all turned around on a new trend. Your blog is really interesting. Lemme know, and don’t mean to be torch your ideas, just really curious!

  • Reply Duane Haaland 04/02/2020 at 1:01 am

    It has been fun to run across your house. I’m an avid Wright fan. And have visited many of his creations throughout the West. Yours is definitely in his early period. I was fortunate to visit a Usonian that was brought to Marin County. Wonderful experience. Anyway I hope you are still enjoying the experience. The furniture in the Liv room is perfect.


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