fixer upper fanatic

Two weeks ago, in the depths of a long weekend filled with nothing except feeling really sick, and moving between the couch, bed and the bathroom, I decided to buy a season of Fixer Upper on iTunes to watch while feeling miserable. Somewhat unexpectedly, I got sucked right in and became a total fanatic. Even Martin (mostly) enjoys watching with me.

Now, after having binge-watched Season 4 and most of Season 3, this PNW mountain girl is oddly ready to leave Switzerland for Waco, Texas, and establish a new country home we can call our own. Of course, it helps that Waco is so much more reasonably-priced than here. (I mean, we could find what we wanted and redo it for less than $300k while that would get us barely a normal down payment on a similar property here.) I’m also always drawn to the idea of a smaller, college town that’s not too big but still has some personality, and I love that it is along a river.

So, while I keep dreaming, considering what we could actually do in Waco besides enjoy our house, and developing our application (we would be compelling applicants internationally relocating, right?), I thought it would be fun to some of my favorite Fixer Upper homes and rooms from seasons 3 and 4 so far.

season 4 // the giraffe house
Once the stone facade was updated, this house really became such a cutie. My favorite features were the cement fireplace, antique curved mirrored pantry doors in the kitchen, floating shelving in the  bedroom, and the attic office space (which looks like a super cozy place to work or read).

season 4 // little shack on the prairie
This transformation was extreme, but what I loved most was the suspended open shelving in the kitchen, the waterfall cement countertop and island, and the beautiful back porch dining space. I desperately wish my terrace looked as beautiful and useable as this space.

season 3 // the chip 2.0 house
I love the look of this house, especially once the entry was re-done and the brick painted. My favorite features were the entry with the updated stair railing and kitchen cabinet colors and island. My least favorite feature: the rock selected for the fireplace.

season 4 // the straight eighties house
This house is one of my favorite overall transformations, from the updated curb appeal with new windows, painted brick, and wood accents. Inside, my favorite features are the fireplace, antique doors on the built-in, and the kitchen. Double kitchen islands seem to be trending recently, but they really work here and I’m a big fan of the gray subway tile, vent, and neutral styling.

season 3 // the nuthouse
This is probably my favorite overall transformation. I really love the kitchen, from the island and bar seating, to the white cupboards (some with glass display space), the overall color palette, and the dining area. The upstairs library shelving wasn’t featured on the show’s reveal tour, but is so perfect.

a few more favorite features from seasons 3 and 4
Here are a few more favorite fireplaces, kitchens, and a bathroom from seasons 3 and 4.

I love both the kitchen and bathroom from the carriage house. In kitchen, I would maybe only change the island or lower cabinetry to a different color to set it off a bit. In the bathroom, I loved the custom wood vanity bases, although realistically we would need slightly deeper drawers for all my stuff. At the school house, I love the mirrored pantry and more modern island and countertops, as well as the bold paint color. In the baby blue house, I really liked the use of light wood cabinets. Finally, the modernized stucco and painted brick fireplaces call my name. I love that almost all these old Waco homes have at least one fireplace.

overall thoughts
In general, Joanna Gaines’ design-style is a little more country than I typically gravitate to, but I really love that most of her homes end up with an open floor plan, beautifully redone fireplaces, spacious kitchens, and updated master suites (obviously all things that aren’t really available to me here). I can totally see my slightly more modern, Scandinavian style fitting right in to a fixer upper. And, I appreciate that you can really see her style translate into her clients’ wishes as well.

Watching all these diverse transformations has also helped me solidify my must-have favorites list for a future home:

  • A fireplace, gas or otherwise, possibly stucco, cement, or painted brick.
  • In the kitchen, natural wood (or island) mixed with painted cabinets, and possibly a pantry with antique doors and mirrored glass.
  • A slightly formal entry space. I love open floor plans, but I’m not so fond of just walking through the front door directly into a great big room where you can see the whole kitchen, dining, and living space.
  • A library/office space with lots of open shelving.
  • An outdoor, covered dining and lounge space that can also be used when it’s raining.

Have you watched Fixer Upper? What do you think?

(All photos via Magnolia.)


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