Inside the family home of DIY enthusiast Kiley Gauthier.
Kiley Gauthier can’t resist a good home improvement project. It’s a temptation deeply rooted in her childhood, dating back to age 10, when her grandfather started bringing her along to renovate rental properties.
“I still remember working in hot houses with no air conditioning; pulling up carpet, tacks and nails so he could refurnish the hardwood floors,” she said. “We would be pulling up linoleum and mowing yards that hadn’t been mowed in weeks. He always found some way for you to work hard and earn money.”
What began as a way for Gauthier to get some money also gave her invaluable hands-on, do-it-yourself experiences. Today, when inspiration strikes, she’ll take on any task, large or small, to make her surroundings more useable and beautiful.
“Over Memorial Day weekend, while other people were having fun at the lake, I was on a 20-foot ladder, staining a pergola, and painting and putting together this giant daybed porch swing,” Gauthier said. “I am always doing something. It’s just my nature.”
After fully renovating their three previous homes, Kiley and Stephen Gauthier began building their dream home in Nichols Hills in January 2020. The Gauthiers decided to build after living in homes that didn’t have the best layout for their family. They didn’t need a great room or large formal living room; rather, they yearned for cozy spaces — a banquette just o the kitchen, and a built-in nook nestled underneath a large window upstairs (now two favorite areas in the home). The house was move-in ready a little more than one year later, in February 2021 … but with Kiley Gauthier leading designs, the place may never be fully finished.
“I think Stephen thought I would stop with all of the projects if we built some- thing from the ground up, but that didn’t really happen,” she said, adding that her husband jokes about her obsession with HGTV, design magazines and Pinterest.
Most recently, she has had the master bedroom draped with fabric samples while she considers reupholstery options. Leaning heavily on design advice from her creative friend Beth Jansen, Gauthier has filled her home with inviting rooms that blend modern and cottage designs.
The Gauthiers also knew they didn’t want an expansive backyard when planning their new home.
“We wanted something more energy-efficient, with an acceptable square footage plan,” she said, “and we wanted a really awesome outdoor living space that we could use 75 percent of the year.”
This goal was achieved by incorporating a gas replace, infared heaters and a drop-down screen into the outdoor living room design. The room is walled on three sides with the automatic screen on the fourth wall, providing protection from the outdoor elements.
A small pool, surrounded by turf and pavers, provides a beautiful view year- round, along with Gauthier’s intentional planting of evergreens. The raised planter beds and charming greenhouse remind Gauthier of her upbringing, which instilled a love of gardening in addition to home design.
“My grandfather had a farm and an acreage. I would work in his gardens and pick tomatoes,” she said.
The Gauthier family will open their backyard and home on Oct. 23 for the Oklahoma County Medical Society Alliance Kitchen Tour, an annual fundraiser in the Nichols Hills area; see ocmsalliance.org for details. In preparation for the tour, Gauthier has several projects in mind — but nothing she can’t tackle herself.