After visiting Waco, Texas and the famous Magnolia Market, I have reflected on my own “fixer upper” experiences. Through the years, my husband and I have taken on a few real estate remodeling challenges.
As a child, I remember my parents fixing up two houses. My grandparents did the same. I guess when you don’t have a lot of money to buy your dream home, you make lemonade out of lemons, so to speak. It takes a vision for what it can become. I have learned that this is the fun of home ownership.
In 1983, we owned our first home in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. It was a townhouse. I will call our first home “the blue barn house”. It had all the space that we needed for a starter home. There were three levels. Three tiny bedrooms and a bath were on the top floor. A kitchen, half-bath and living room were on the main floor. There was a walk-out basement on the lowest level. What was interesting and sold us was that the basement walked out to a fenced garden space with raised beds and a small barn-like storage building. We had the end unit next to a playground so had more gardening space along the side of the house. I ended up planting flowers in the back yard and vegetables along the side yard. Our laundry area was downstairs along with another half bath. The area was heated by a wood stove which made the space very cozy.
In the kitchen, the previous owners had put up some nice tile as a back splash along with real barn board along one wall. The style then was country so this lended itself well to the decorating trend of the time. All we needed to do was a little painting and decorating to make the house feel like home. We ended up painting the orange basement walls yellow. We had to live with the brown shag carpeting throughout the house. I made some cute rust colored curtains with ducks in the design in the kitchen to match my duck theme throughout the house. I stenciled a flower design along the ceiling of the bedroom walls and a rocking horse border in the baby’s room when I became pregnant with my daughter.