My Home Renovation: Hello Lovely Fixer Upper {week 6}

We stayed busy this week despite feeling burned out

and VERY OLD…for the love of peanut butter M&Ms,

get your fix for a fixer upper while still in your 30s!

I began packing/moving our belongings once again, and

moving (TWICE!) at almost50 is not at all the same as moving at 35!

the before

Two huge projects this week:

(1) The main bath is done!

Not too many pretty or blogworthy shots,
but those will come in time when the decor is completed.
Just a few weeks back…

and now…

Kind of like a cloud at this point

Project #2
involves the wall between the dining room and kitchen.

Above is how it looked before.

We wanted to see what it would feel like
opened up so we knocked it down.


Now seems like a good time to clue you in on our process.
It might be a stretch to say we are creating art
with this cottage makeover, but Warhol’s advice
here is applicable and comforting…

This is how that wall looks now.

See, after we demolished the drywall,

we discovered a main support

and had to abandon plans to lose it entirely.

It was a disappointing surprise.

But we decided widening the opening as much as we could
and adding interest with the vintage French doors we found
was a fine option we wouldn’t have otherwise considered.

The kitchen was looking like the above…

But the demo finally began in week 6!
Sayonara, old breakfast bar!

Here are a few more snaps of our progress:

Also wanted to share a glimpse of our family:
our eldest has his own place, our youngest
will be living with us in the cottage as he finishes
up college, and the fur baby is 13.5 now!

I would love to incorporate this Whitman
quote somewhere in the new place as
it speaks to my present sensibilities.

Thanks for following our journey and cheering us on!

CRAZYCOOL midlifers with sledgehammers

Have you ever taken on a fixer upper?
Would you do it again?

We’d love to hear your wisdom!

Please come join me
in this DIY adventure by
clicking here for all my fixer upper update posts!
(And thanks for subscribing here so you don’t miss an episode.)

Coming soon:




  1. August 13, 2015 / 12:58 pm

    Well, everything looks amazing that you've done so far! I love the bathroom, so clean and elegant but not overdone. I'm 47 and I think I could handle somewhat of a fixer up but not a full blown one. When I was in high school we moved into a 1918 California bungalow that was a major fixer upper, only my parents couldn't afford to fix it up until we'd all moved out. They loved every minute of it though, it was their passion and to this day, they still love working on it. For me, I definitely couldn't do it as a lifestyle like some people do but I could manage some small remodels. Looking forward to seeing more of your progress! Oh, and you are a knock out!

    • August 13, 2015 / 7:59 pm

      that cali bungalow sounds awesome! i am with you — not as a lifestyle, but for an adventure for now, we'll take it! thanks, victoria.

  2. August 13, 2015 / 2:06 pm

    Its looking good…your hard work is paying off. I would love to take on a fixer upper, but I would have to hire a contractor to do the work! My poor old body couldn't do it!

    • August 13, 2015 / 8:00 pm

      hiring a contractor? sounds D R E A M Y. thx, julie!

  3. August 13, 2015 / 3:25 pm

    Great progress Michele! Moving is a huge job and then taking on a reno is another big job. Being tired from accomplishments is a good tired, it will keep you young. Moving for me at 64 was a huge challenge and at times I really thought it would pull me under, but it didn't. One more move to go and then we settle in. I know you are looking forward to your settling in part and it will be here before you know it and you will have put your touches on every part of this house and it will become HOME!!!

    • August 13, 2015 / 8:01 pm

      you know the drill for sure! and you are right. it's an opportunity to see what we're made of–esp after going soft! thanks, mama kathysue!

  4. August 13, 2015 / 8:42 pm

    You are so inspiring……I love the progress so far, you need your own HGTV show! Love seeing this as a family affair:)

    • August 17, 2015 / 10:20 pm

      as soon as hgtv begins casting for bleach-brain meltdown mamas, i will be a shoe-in! thx, tina!

  5. August 14, 2015 / 12:45 am

    Oh Michele, its really coming along, I am so hopful that your going to love your home and its going to love you right back 🙂

    I see such beautful progress and some that you yourself was even iffy on.
    just cannot wait to see the finished home and your sons space in his cottage…when he moves out perhaps I can move in? wish I were kidding but i'm NOT!! what a beauitful peaceful life you will make for yourself.

    Michele, I hope to see a new You Tube from you dancing about your home entertainig us with all the beauty and some that this home inspires from you so much more then your home you just sold. I also see you turning the cottage into your own personal studio when your son leaves home where you will paint your amazing SEASCAPES 🙂 and what ever else your heart desire.

    see you soon


    • August 17, 2015 / 10:22 pm

      oh how i would treasure a visit from you, dore! i have a space i'm working on for a studio and have big plans for creating art in this place. thanks for the votes of confidence. i danced up a storm over the weekend and will try to get brave enough to post something new! xox

  6. August 14, 2015 / 2:10 am

    You are making great progress, Michele! Good job! I know how exhausting something like this can be. It was difficult enough just designing and overseeing the addition of our new screened in porch and front porch renovation during the past 4 weeks! lol But everything you are doing is resulting in such a beautifully inspired, welcoming, one of a kind home. Keep on goin', girlie! You will be sitting back with a glass of wine and sighing with contentment before you know it! 🙂

    xoxo laurie

    • August 17, 2015 / 10:24 pm

      ya know i'm not sure why i was so happy that the whole place was a blank slate needing attention as it would have been a blessing to just have a couple rooms to tackle! time will tell!

  7. August 14, 2015 / 3:01 pm

    I think you have done great and made huge process!! I love how bright and light it is! I just finished mine, took 15 months with lots of help~!! You are making amazing progress! Have a great weekend!! xo Leslie

    • August 17, 2015 / 10:25 pm

      coming from you, that is encouraging to hear, leslie. hopefully all these headaches will end in joy. 🙂

  8. August 14, 2015 / 3:34 pm

    You are making remarkable progress and it's going to turn out beautifully and will grace you and your family. I laughed when you said you're getting too old for this renovation work! I'm older than you and I sure relate our recent renovation and updates have left me exhausted!
    Enjoy your weekend,

    • August 17, 2015 / 10:27 pm

      we truly ARE too old to be taking this thing on. popping alleve like a u know what. thanks, vera.

  9. August 25, 2015 / 7:42 pm

    Ohhhh, ok, now i see more of what's going on. I love the idea of the french doors… Yay for the bathroom being done! Where are ya'll living while all this is going on? … and your family is just so freakin adorable…


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