“I have always loved old houses, and having a brother in construction made this dream of flipping an old home our reality,” said elementary art teacher and homeowner Staci Simons.

In 2018, Staci and her husband Kyle, the associate director of admissions at the University of Sioux Falls, moved their young family from their first house in Sioux Falls to a 1920s fixer upper in Dell Rapids.

Small Town Feel

Staci says that after being a substitute teacher in Sioux Falls, she didn’t want to send her children to school with larger class sizes.

“I like knowing the people I work with and just knowing the town,” said Staci, explaining why she wanted to send her daughters to the elementary school where she currently works.

Originally from Watertown, Staci had no trouble moving to Dell Rapids. But for Kyle, she said, it was a different story.

“It was hard for my husband to move here because it’s so small, and Colorado Springs {where Kyle grew up] is so big,” said Staci. “But he loves living here, just the quietness.”

According to Staci, the location is perfect for daughters Sage, 4, and Rory, 2, who have plenty of space to play in the yard.

The End of an Era

Though the three-bedroom home was originally built closer to downtown, it was moved to its current location in the 1970s and now has about 2,000 square feet.

“We knew we wanted an older home,” explained Staci, “so we feel really lucky that it’s an old house transplanted in a newer neighborhood where the families are younger. It all lined up and felt like the right fit.”

And so they got to work on renovations with the help of Staci’s brother, Jordan Spilde.

Staci says that when they bought the house, the stairs were unreasonably steep, and that was a big negative for the Simonses. With Spilde’s assistance, they were able to redesign the staircase to make it more functional.

They redid the entire kitchen, ripping out a wall dividing the kitchen and dining space to start. 

“I never loved farmhouse [style], and then I realized that—ope—my house is very farmhouse.”


With the wall gone, they had plenty of space to build an island and design the space to fit them and their modern, eclectic style.

“It’s my dream kitchen, and we finally got to do it,” stressed Staci.

Mimicking their mother’s sleek kitchen, Sage and Rory have a play kitchen in the dining room that Spilde built out of an old entertainment center.

“Do you like your kitchen the best?” Staci asked, looking down at Sage and Rory who were hiding by her legs. “Yes,” they nodded shyly.

Artistry in the Accents

Throughout the home, there are many furnishings that Staci and her family members have acquired through gifts, thrifted, DIY’d, or repurposed to fit each space.

From the floral chairs in the living room to the china cabinet in the dining room, Staci has created an environment that integrates many different design styles.

She also has her art featured in a few places, including brush-stroke flowers in her master closet and a wall of hand-painted hash marks in the basement.

One of the family’s newest projects is their front porch. Welcoming guests to the Simons’ home, the spacious porch features twinkle lights, succulents on the stairs, and a sturdy porch swing.

“I built it.” Staci paused before admitting, “Well, it came in all the pieces, and my husband was working. I was like, you know what, I’m not going to wait for him, I’m just gonna do it.”

Once the exterior was completed, Staci was able to convince Kyle that the front and back doors needed to be pink.


1) Search thrift stores, garage sales, and Facebook Marketplace.
2) If you have a handy person in your life or you can do the work yourself, you’ll save a lot of money.
3) Don’t be feel pressured to use traditional colors. Feel free to play with different palettes.

On Hold

After two years of work on the house, the Simonses are taking a break, though Staci says they’re eventually hoping to completely gut the basement.

“We’re actually not going to do any more big projects for a while,” said Staci. “Someday when the girls are older, we’ll have a better idea of what we want the basement to be like.”

But for now, Staci says her family is content in their cozy home on the prairie, nestled happily between the pastel pink doors.

For more information, follow the Simons’ home on Instagram: @prairie_pink.

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