fatz fixer upper


i thought it might be fun to share some of the many screenshot images i have collected since we started house hunting for a fixer upper. i don’t so much pin images in pinterest as i do take screen shots so that i have them in my photo library. same goes for instagram. my follows are about 30% friends and family and 70% bloggers and interior designers… ok, bake in about 3% embarrassing follows including pop culture celebrities and former bachelor and bachelorette cast members… fine, 5%.

if you want to find a few new accounts that post nothing but stunning images, i recommend the following:

housebeautiful, homepolish, houseofjadeinteriors, studiomcgee, mydomaine, caitlinwilsondesign, dominomag, beckiowens, amberinteriors, smpliving, em_henderson, homegirlcollection

its funny to see how consistent and predictable my taste is. essentially: black & white, wood & brass, blue cabinets, green furniture, shiplap, hexagon tile, plaid, and kilim rugs.

you might expected to see all of the above in the fatzfixerupper #spoileralert

exterior… baby steps

i’m sure it was a beautiful house in it’s day. i really do hate to knock it so much because, in 35 years, chances are all of my design choices will be passe and laughable. but really… its a super ugly house.

so we immediately removed the diamond grids from the front “quad” window (they mercifully snapped right off) and replaced the swirly, gingerbread house trim with flat stock.

i’d say its a pretty good step in the right direction.

out of necessity, some windows and the roof will be replaced in the near term.. i’m dying to replace that storm door, lose all the shutters and paint the garage doors.

i’m also dreaming up a plan to break-up the slanty roof line with a portico – maybe a simpler version of this(?) :

Ranch to Rustic traditional-exterior


or in our case #demomonthandahalffeelslikeforever

within a few days of closing on the fixer upper, mike had taken all the interior walls and upper cabinets in the kitchen/dining/living room down and we sold the old appliances on craigslist. then our contractor told us to stop with the demo before the house collapsed, so we stopped and left it to the professionals…

after what felt like 3 centuries the new lvl beam arrived and they were able to finally take down the ceiling joists and vault the ceiling.

some HVAC action …

and somewhere in this timeframe we found out the whole basement and kitchen was covered with asbestos tile. that was fun (abatement process pictured below).

slow and steady. less scary photos to come…

fatz fixer upper

i’m usually too tired to generate words after the kids are down and tonight is no exception… but i have to start somewhere…



you may be thinking a number of things but you should be polite and keep your thoughts to yourself.

when we started house hunting it was exactly like the hgtv shows: “for a house in this neighborhood with everything you are looking for, you can either spend 12 million dollars or buy a fixer upper”.  deep down i really wanted to go the fixer upper route, but the fact of the matter is that it was really the only way to go in this town (unless you can throw down a million dollar mortgage) (no). this beauty was one of the first houses we checked out. we thought it was way over-priced. it was on a busy road, amazingly dated, and wait until you see the back yard. YET, it was a convenient location and i immediately saw the potential.

first and foremost we were looking for a house with walls that could come down (check). a vault-able ceiling would be nice (check). and there had to be storage options and a space for the kids (check, check). i basically ruled out colonials (boring). at one point my realtor was like “i knew steph wouldn’t like this house, its not weird enough”.

one of the biggest reasons we had the courage to buy this house was because of this blogger. if you are familiar with dana of house*tweaking, as many of you may be, you will see how i am copying just about her every move. not really, but sort of. she is good… quality over quantity, simplicity, efficiency, family togetherness, financial freedom… sign me up.




very long story short. we bought it, enlisted a contractor, packed up our 3,000ish square foot house and started renovating our very own, real life, fixer upper.

here are the official befores. i promise this house will be unrecognizable when we are done with it…



all the walls that separate the kitchen, living, and dining room will come down and the ceiling will be vaulted.



this little “sunroom” was finished by the previous owner and will be our cozy tv room.





the master bedroom. not much of a closet. we will improvise.


dane’s room!


bay’s room


the play/everything room (lower level).



oh yeah baby. belly-up at the fatz’s. bring your wide-collar shirts, pet rocks, and sex pistols cassettes…



you can’t make this stuff up


more recently! :


much more to comeIMG_7397