In 2003, Nielsen added 1,500 square feet to the back of the house, including a family room on the main floor, a master suite above and an expansion of the lower-level recreation room. She designed the space and finishes, and acted as her own general contractor, but she worked with carpenter Don Webber.The living room was opened up to include the dining room space and create better flow. A handmade rug by Vermont artist and author Susan Sargent serves as a bright visual centerpiece. "I met Susan Sargent and fell in love with her use of vibrant colors, Scandinavian design and creative choices for furnishings," Nielsen says. "It's a heavy influence on how I connect with my environment."