4 DIY Renovator Secrets: What’s in My Toolbox?

“I ADORE THAT DECOR BLOG Hello Lovely WITH ALL THOSE FABULOUS IDEAS FOR POWER TOOLS AND GORGEOUS DUST BUSTERS TO PIN!!” exclaimed no blog reader ever…Yeah, so maybe a blue Tiffany box springs to mind faster than a tool box when you imagine what inspires your resident fairy in pointe shoes. Still. Home improvement tools make all the lovely possible at our fixer upper.

during installation of stikwood statement wall in master bedroom of Hello Lovely Studio fixer upper

(Affiliate links are bound to crop up and using them helps me earn a few pennies.)

French inspired courtyard by Hello Lovely Studio
I spy some outdoor decor projects on the horizon…(Photo: Hello Lovely Studio)

Did someone say tool box? How about a new one that looks old…oui?

I’m happily partnering with Wayfair today as DIY bloggers around the web share their renovators’ essentials, and lest ye feel terrified that tools and shoptalk will deaden your lovely souls…fear not, lovely brethren…thou shall be anointed also with the sweet balm of before and after pics of the fixer upper…yes?

Let’s explore what lovely may come when renovator essentials are put to good use, whether your poison is a power saw, paint roller, or something pink and pretty.

Pink and pretty? Hmmmm. I approve.

What’s in my toolbox?

1. The usual suspects.

In my own toolbox, you’ll find: a handsome vintage hammer with amazing patina worthy of a devoted blog post, finishing nails, paint color decks, trowels, paint brushes, tape measures, and a big ol’ bottle of Tylenol.

The heavy lifting and most demo is executed by my better half, whose imagination was ignited by this fixer upper with potential we began tackling in 2015.

Exterior of Hello Lovely Studio fixer upper
Hello Lovely Studio’s Fixer Upper

2. A secret weapon.

My HP Elitebook is an essential renovation resource for inspiration, DIY tutorials, and shopping for materials. Light as a feather, this is a skinnyminny super machine upon which I rely.

HP Elitebook
HP Elitebook

3. A housekeeping crew.

With a whole house DIY renovation, there has been more clean up on aisle three than I can say. Dude. I’m truly exhausted from all the mess and can’t live without my Dyson and wet/dry vac.

12 Gallon Wet/Dry Mini Vacuum
Wet Dry Vac: FIND HERE.

4. A hero with muscles and a killer arsenal of tools.

Shhhhhh. My husband does not sport a “Chip Gaines Dad Bod.” His athletic physique and fitness have been ESSENTIAL to our success! Cordless drills and sanders, levels, and portable tool caddies help too.

Have a look at what hardworking tools and essentials can bring back to life.

Before pic of courtyard in Hello Lovely Studio's fixer upper
Knotty alder front door (Pacific Entries) and country courtyard by Hello Lovely Studio
AFTER: We gutted the entire courtyard with the exception of the Burning Bush (right), brought in a few plants and pea gravel, and upgraded the front door with a knotty alder beauty from Pacific Entries.
Rustic stone wall in French inspired courtyard by Hello Lovely Studio
Tools required: shovels, wheelbarrow, tamper, and muscles.
Front entry with knotty alder door, vintage table, and vintage French prayer chair - Hello Lovely Studio
Tools required: drill, paintbrush, paint roller, carpet stretcher, and saw.
Modern farmhouse kitchen with apron front farm sink and marble subway tile by Hello Lovely Studio
Similar Fireclay Sink: 30″ Nantucket Farm Sink
before of catwalk at Hello Lovely Studio's fixer upper
Renovation Reality, Folks!
before of master bedroom in Hello Lovely Studio's fixer upper
Master Bedroom During Renovation
Master bedroom with Stikwood wood plank wall and knotty alder door in Hello Lovely Studio fixer upper
Master bedroom with white oak flooring and knotty alder doors - Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio – Master Bedroom
Detail of white oak hardwood floor in farmhouse style master bedroom in Hello Lovely Studio fixer upper
Hello Lovely Studio – Master Bedroom
Before pic of living room at fixer upper - Hello Lovely Studio
BEFORE: Living Room
Belgian style living room with linen upholstery, white oak flooring, and stone fireplace - Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio – Living Room
Demo of living room floor in fixer upper by Hello Lovely Studio
BEFORE: Living Room
Living room and hallway to kitchen in fixer upper by Hello Lovely

I love looking back at the “before” pics to appreciate how far we have come with this place! Stay tuned for more before and after pics of the fixer upper I am dying to show you, and thanks for cheering us on every step of the way as THE ULTIMATE RENOVATOR ESSENTIALS, friends.

p.s. No, you do not get photos of my hero’s non-Dad-bod, kittycats…yet.

Peace to you right where you are.


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  1. October 24, 2017 / 9:18 am

    Thanks Michele,
    Great ideas for tools–I may have to snag one of those HP skinnies! Your DIY cottage is stunning ?

    • michele
      October 24, 2017 / 11:10 am

      Thank you, Holly. I highly recommend the elitebook–light as a feather! 🙂

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