Before the Fixer Upper: Our Prior French Country Home

I have been organizing the studio
here at the fixer upper, and it has been
necessary to let go of more belongings
which don’t fit in this smaller home.

My rustic French farnhouse dining area with harvest table and Belgian linen upholstered chairs - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio white piano and Louis chair
Hello Lovely Studio
My serene rustic French farmhouse breakfast dining area with harvest table made from reclaimed wood - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio
My Home: The Swing in My Studio

Letting go endures as an important theme
for me, and today I have been thinking
about the prior home we designed and let go.

Hello Lovely Studio white French doors to dining room
Hello Lovely Studio
French Nordic white dining room. Hello Lovely Studio.
My French Nordic dining room. Hello Lovely Studio.

It was charming and elegant
with pretty architectural elements and so much peace.

Hello Lovely Studio white piano, French chair, and swing in studio
Hello Lovely Studio

It shone with abundant natural light,
making for great photos with no editing required.

I miss walking 8-10 miles daily with my sister here.

Hello Lovely Studio white piano and French chair with tissue pouf
Hello Lovely Studio

I miss kind neighbors who tolerated lots of
cars parked by teen fixtures at our place.

I even kind of miss the two years of emo band
practice in the basement almost every day after school.

Kind of.

Hello Lovely Studio Belgian linen living room with abstract paintings by Michele
Hello Lovely Studio

Letting go has been healthy, though not easy.

Hello Lovely Studio Belgian linen Copenhagen chair in living room
Hello Lovely Studio

I am so grateful to my family, all of whom made
sacrifices with the move.

Belgian linen chairs in living room Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio
Tolkien quote

I like the idea of a house becoming a cure.
I like the idea of letting go of a house as a cure more.

It certainly wasn’t a perfect house.
But it was where the boys became men.
Where I became a writer.
Where Bella Luna was in her prime.

Michele and Bella of Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio

Still struggling some days to let her go.

Stenciled mirror and galvanized bucket in gravel
Hello Lovely Studio

Our tale is enfolding,
It is a love story, not without drama,
with a more imperfect house.

And you and I both know how much
lovely exists in the imperfect!

Tolix chair, galvanized bucket, hydrangea, and wellies Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio

I look forward to sharing more progress on the
cottage makeover and new art I am creating
soon and feel so grateful
to have you here.

Peace to you right where you are.


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  1. September 19, 2016 / 4:57 pm

    Michele, this post calls could be one penned by me. It almost captures my own experience-—minus the walks with the Sis that I don’t have—-but I do know the pangs of letting go experience so well. And the reminiscing about a previous home that contained so many rich memories of two boys growing up…so many parties and wonderful memories of family holidays and bustling Life. Teenage mischief. (Oh boy did we have that) And the most precious memory of our beloved, family dog—our sweet, soulful Sierra in full bloom during those years, growing up with our boys. Oh how I still ache for that dog. Sigh. Yes, life is always evolving and we keep growing and learning how to let go don’t we? It’s such a process and I’ve appreciated the kinship we’ve shared these last years, experiencing so many similar growing pains across the miles…this post reminds me that I’m so happy to call you my friend.

    • September 20, 2016 / 1:57 am

      your words and soul are so beautiful, friend. what comfort to be joined. xox

    • September 20, 2016 / 1:57 am

      thanks so much. peace.

  2. September 20, 2016 / 12:58 am

    I am just perfectly content having read your words. Anxiously waiting to see your art. Art that comes from a soul such as yours is sure to be priceless Michele. A big hug coming your way…..

    • September 20, 2016 / 1:58 am

      i'll take that hug and kiss your cheeks twice like the French. xox

  3. September 27, 2016 / 5:53 pm

    Beautiful post Michele. Thanks for the reminder. Robin

    • September 29, 2016 / 1:29 am

      thanks for reading, robin. xox

  4. Amy
    June 23, 2020 / 11:05 am

    OMGoodness, such loveliness in every sense! Lovely home, lovely art, lovely words, lovely sentiment, lovely inspiration, lovely heart! (And precious dog💕) I thoroughly enjoyed every morsel of this post. Your blog is perfectly titled, because everything about it…every word and image…says hello lovely to any heart that reads and enjoys it! Thanks for sharing your gifts & talents & life with us, Michele! And I would love to own a piece (or two or more!) of your art one day!

    • Michele
      June 23, 2020 / 12:07 pm

      Thank you, Amy. I would be honored to have you become a collector of my art. You can always email me [email protected] photos of places where you think you’d like an abstract seascape painting or quote panel or ? , and we can brainstorm. xox

      • Amy
        June 23, 2020 / 2:57 pm

        Thanks so much, Michele. We have spent quite a bit lately on necessities for the house, so it might be a little while before I could purchase one, but I’m definitely very interested. I will contact you once we get closer to where we are able to do that! Thanks so much! I love all the art I saw in your AZ home.

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