Before & After: Our European Country Style Fixer Upper

It has been five years since we bought our Northern Illinois fixer upper after downsizing from twice the square footage and land. The years have flown…maybe because there seems always to be another project on the horizon or another son moving home temporarily, or because (and this is the most likely), the renovators are getting old so time passes quickly! Before & After: Our European Country Style Fixer Upper is a walk down memory lane with our DIY transformations.

European farmhouse style and French Nordic cottage decor in our fixer upper - Hello Lovely Studio. Come see the renovation photos in Before & After: European Country Style Fixer Upper.
Breakfast area of the kitchen with new white oak hardwood floors, a newly plastered ceiling, and also new baseboard trim. Chairs, cushions, table: RH; Placemats: FIND HERE; Rug: Homegoods; Candleholders: FIND HERE.

We renovated the whole house entirely ourselves, with the exception of the hardwood flooring, new HVAC, new windows, and new roof. Hope you enjoy seeing how far we have come!

Before and after European country fixer - Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #diyhome #homeimprovement #homerenovation #europeancountry
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Before & After: European Country Style Fixer Upper

Fixer Upper Overview

The marketing photos for this home didn’t look like a disaster when we saw it online. In person was another matter! It was bank-owned as a foreclosure, and corners were cut everywhere.

Lovely grisaille mural wallpaper from Photowall with grey trees on a white ground. I created a DIY accent wall in a guest bedroom, and the mood is timeless, serene and tranquil - Hello Lovely Studio. #wallpaper #mural #interiordesign #hellolovelystudio #grisaille #treewallpaper

To minimize their costs, they even installed low quality taupe carpet over existing pet-soiled padding.

Hello Lovely Studio's serene white kitchen with vintage steel cart repurposed as a work table. #hellolovelystudio #whitekitchens #modernfarmhouse #coastal #shakerkitchen #vintagecart #worktable

All the hardware and faucets had been spraypainted white (no, I’m not kidding!), and the walls were a sad yellow-white. There were critters in the attic, a shower/bathtub leaking into the electrical box, water damaged subfloors, and a jungle of weeds for a view.

Neutral Thanksgiving 2019 - Hello Lovely Studio.
Dining room is between the kitchen and great room and formerly had a narrow opening which we widened for vintage French doors. Dining chairs: FIND HERE; paint color on pedestal table: BEHR Ancient Stone; rug: FIND HERE; chairs: RH; lantern: Home Depot.

We Viewed it Years Earlier!

One slight advantage we held in entering this mess of a project? We had toured the property 12 years earlier when the original owners were selling.

Alder door opens into a neutral bedroom with linen upholstered egg chair and grisaille mural on wall - Hello Lovely Studio.

It had been lovingly cared for inside and out so the gardens were lush and beautiful. At that time, the home was not within our budget, nor did the floor plan make sense for our young family.

Brene Brown inspirational quote about courage, belonging, vulnerability, and integrity. #brenebrown #inspirationalquotes #wisdomquotes #selfkindness #spiritualtransformation #quotes #vulnerabilityquotes #couragequotes #selfawareness

This time around in its forlorn, neglected state, we had no competition for the home! Not even the neighbors wanted anything to do with it since they watched its steady decline over the years while it was rented.

Brene Brown inspirational quote about courage, belonging, vulnerability, and integrity. #brenebrown #inspirationalquotes #wisdomquotes #selfkindness #spiritualtransformation #quotes #vulnerabilityquotes #couragequotes #selfawareness
Hello Lovely Studio's white oak hardwood floors in her European country living room, dining, and kitchen with Belgian linen. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #whiteoak #hardwoodfloors #belgianlinen #europeancountry #openfloorplan

French Country Courtyard Dreams

Clearing away overgrown, straggly bushes and weeds made room for a peaceful, pea gravel courtyard you can see RIGHT HERE. The siding on the house is light stone grey, and I went for a tonal look on outdoor furniture purchased from a friend. It is painted a 50/50 mix of FARROW & BALL Cornforth White and Hardwick White.

European Country Fixer Upper Before & After

Before
BEFORE
French country courtyard with boxwood, gravel, bisto set, baskets, and a French mirror. #hellolovelystudio #frenchcountry #bistroset #courtyard #gardendecor #boxwood #frenchbaskets #outdoordecor #outdooroasis
AFTER
European farmhouse style and French Nordic cottage decor in our fixer upper - Hello Lovely Studio. Come see the renovation photos in Before & After: European Country Style Fixer Upper.
AFTER. Similar wood patio benches RIGHT HER; a pretty French inspired mirror RIGHT HERE; pillows: Grandin Road and RH. White lumbar pillow with ruffle HERE.
BEFORE.
Exterior of Hello Lovely Studio fixer upper
DURING
French bistro chair and stripe Turkish throw tucked in a corner of my garden to invite relaxation and reading (cookbooks are my idea of relaxation!). #hellolovelystudio #frenchcountry #bistrochair #turkishthrow #seagrassbasket #turkishtowel #outdooroasis #romanticgarden #outdoordecor #bistrochairs
Brene Brown inspirational quote about courage, belonging, vulnerability, and integrity. #brenebrown #inspirationalquotes #wisdomquotes #selfkindness #spiritualtransformation #quotes #vulnerabilityquotes #couragequotes #selfawareness
BEFORE
European farmhouse style and French Nordic cottage decor in our fixer upper - Hello Lovely Studio. Come see the renovation photos in Before & After: European Country Style Fixer Upper.
AFTER. Find industrial French metal bistro chairs HERE; slate rubber planter boxes are HERE; custom grainsack pillow: FROM THIS SHOP; front door: FIND HERE.
French country style courtyard with gravel and stonewall with a black modern French bistro dining area and boxwood. #hellolovelystudio #frenchcountry #modernfrench #courtyard #graden #outdoordining #outdooroasis
European farmhouse style and French Nordic cottage decor in our fixer upper - Hello Lovely Studio. Come see the renovation photos in Before & After: European Country Style Fixer Upper.
AFTER
Brene Brown inspirational quote about courage, belonging, vulnerability, and integrity. #brenebrown #inspirationalquotes #wisdomquotes #selfkindness #spiritualtransformation #quotes #vulnerabilityquotes #couragequotes #selfawareness

European Country Fixer Upper: Front Door Before & After

Replacing the front door was actually not a priority since I knew that simply painting the existing steel door could make a big difference. It was after we worked with Pacific Entries to replace most of the hollow core interior doors with solid, rustic alder planked doors that we realized we could transform both the interior entry and exterior porch in one fell swoop!

BEFORE

We still haven’t upgraded the exterior lighting at our home, but what a huge difference. We love giving this place an identity with French Nordic cottage and European country farmhouse style.

Knotty alder front door (Pacific Entries) and country courtyard by Hello Lovely Studio
AFTER. Front door: Rustic Alder Exterior Door With Speakeasy; vintage galvanized watering cans RIGHT HERE.

Eventually, we would like the river rock walls topped with a natural stone, but since the tops we inherited the place were eroded and nasty looking, my idea was to remove the old top and replace with low cost concrete as a temporary solution.

BEFORE

For under $40 (the concrete pavers were under a dollar each from Home Depot), this solution has served us well even 4 years later.

Rustic stone wall in French inspired courtyard by Hello Lovely Studio
AFTER. FIND candles HERE to repel mosquitoes (which are legendary in these parts).; pillows: RH. Find a burlap lumbar pillow at a great price RIGHT HERE.
European farmhouse style and French Nordic cottage decor in our fixer upper - Hello Lovely Studio. Come see the renovation photos in Before & After: European Country Style Fixer Upper.
AFTER. I found the statue of Mary at a local estate sale and spent about 4 hours talking to its previous owner…there is nothing like collecting stories along with the objects of your desire.
Brene Brown inspirational quote about courage, belonging, vulnerability, and integrity. #brenebrown #inspirationalquotes #wisdomquotes #selfkindness #spiritualtransformation #quotes #vulnerabilityquotes #couragequotes #selfawareness

European Country Fixer Upper Entry

I’m not exaggerating when I say the tile near the front door was the precise color of an awful bruise. Fitting since the whole house had been walloped. We still haven’t upgraded the bifold closet doors which I despise, but things look a lot better!

BEFORE
Front entry with knotty alder door, vintage table, and vintage French prayer chair - Hello Lovely Studio
AFTER. I collect vintage French prayer chairs, and they find me wherever I roam…really! Wall paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White. Rustic alder exterior door with speakeasy: FIND HERE; jute rug: FIND HERE.
BEFORE

Staircase Woes & Cheap Fixes

The stairs were the open riser type I associate with the Brady Bunch, and they can be charming in the right contemporary project and when they are wood, not wrapped in cheap carpet. We needed a budget friendly fix!

BEFORE

We closed the risers, installed a linen-hued durable carpet, and painted everything white except for the handrail. I sanded most of the existing stain and varnish from the rail and then rubbed on a clear wax.

European farmhouse style and French Nordic cottage decor in our fixer upper - Hello Lovely Studio. Come see the renovation photos in Before & After: European Country Style Fixer Upper.
AFTER. We love the beautiful Southern exposure and daylight flowing into the entry and stairway. Rustic alder door with speakeasy: FIND HERE.
A serene home with European country inspired interiors, alder doors, and spare decor - Hello Lovely Studio.
Brene Brown inspirational quote about courage, belonging, vulnerability, and integrity. #brenebrown #inspirationalquotes #wisdomquotes #selfkindness #spiritualtransformation #quotes #vulnerabilityquotes #couragequotes #selfawareness

European Country Kitchen Transformation

The marketing photos of the kitchen in the house revealed natural maple hardwood floors and white cabinets. Except the hardwood had been destroyed from water damage.

White oak hardwood floors in a serene simple Shaker modern farmhouse kitchen by Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #whiteoak #hardwoodfloors #kitchendesign #shakerkitchen

The vinyl cabinets were also worn out and well past their prime! Countertops were new navy blue laminate, the sink was a new white cast iron model, and both the white range and microwave were brand new.

AFTER

We salvaged the cabinetry we could and moved it with the countertop into a basement workshop. Every single thing we could re-purpose in this fixer upper was incorporated into the plan. But I wanted stainless appliances so someone else got to enjoy the white ones.

European farmhouse style and French Nordic cottage decor in our fixer upper - Hello Lovely Studio. Come see the renovation photos in Before & After: European Country Style Fixer Upper.
AFTER. Sink: exact Signature Hardware Reinhard fireclay sink is HERE; Kohler Parq Bridge Faucet: RIGHT HERE. Wall ovens: Bosch.
Shaker style white cabinets in simple serene kitchen with white oak floors and Viatera Minuet quartz countertops - Hello Lovely Studio.
Brene Brown inspirational quote about courage, belonging, vulnerability, and integrity. #brenebrown #inspirationalquotes #wisdomquotes #selfkindness #spiritualtransformation #quotes #vulnerabilityquotes #couragequotes #selfawareness

Before & After Kitchen Renovation

As is often the case, things got far worse in the kitchen before they began to get pretty! Here’s the breakfast dining area of the kitchen before we were forced to demo the flooring (no worries – we salvaged the usable boards!) and redo almost everything except the window seat.

BEFORE
White serene kitchen with window seat - Hello Lovely Studio
AFTER. Table, dining chairs, throw, and pillows: RH; rug: Homegoods; wall paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White.
European farmhouse style and French Nordic cottage decor in our fixer upper - Hello Lovely Studio. Come see the renovation photos in Before & After: European Country Style Fixer Upper.
AFTER. Stripe Turkish Hand Towels RIGHT HERE.

Things Get Worse Before They Get Better!

Care to see how things got worse? And just so you don’t think I’m making it up that the whole house was painted an awful antique white…look at the contrast of old vs new BENJAMIN MOORE White I painted the whole house. We even painted the two story vaulted ceilings ourselves!

BEFORE
European farmhouse style and French Nordic cottage decor in our fixer upper - Hello Lovely Studio. Come see the renovation photos in Before & After: European Country Style Fixer Upper.
AFTER. Louis style counter stools: FIND HERE; wall paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White.
Window seat with linen pillows in European country inspired serene kitchen. Come see more of my home in Hello Lovely House Tour in July. #hellolovelystudio #timeless #tranquil #interiordesign #europeancountry #europeanfarmhouse #simpledecor #serenedecor
AFTER. Before & After: European Country Style Fixer Upper…photos of our cottage renovation as well as shopping resources to get the look. French Nordic cottage style and European farmhouse decor ideas…certainly lovely indeed.

In the old kitchen design, upper cabinets flanked the window over the sink and felt too heavy for me. The ceiling fan was old, loud, wobbly, and ridiculous.

BEFORE
Minuet Viatera quartz countertop in our classic white kitchen with Shaker cabinets and stainless appliances. #hellolovelystudio #whitequartz #countertops #kitchendesign #minuet #viateraquartz #lgviatera
AFTER
Minuet Viatera quartz countertop in our classic white kitchen with Shaker cabinets and stainless appliances. #hellolovelystudio #whitequartz #countertops #kitchendesign #minuet #viateraquartz #lgviatera
Brene Brown inspirational quote about courage, belonging, vulnerability, and integrity. #brenebrown #inspirationalquotes #wisdomquotes #selfkindness #spiritualtransformation #quotes #vulnerabilityquotes #couragequotes #selfawareness

Marble Backsplash

Polished marble subway tile taken to the ceiling brought an airy, serene, contemporary look but it did cost us storage. I tried to make up for it by installing ceiling to floor cupboards (a very English country look) on the frig and oven wall. Here’s how that wall looked before we installed cabinets and appliances:

BEFORE
European farmhouse style and French Nordic cottage decor in our fixer upper - Hello Lovely Studio. Come see the renovation photos in Before & After: European Country Style Fixer Upper.
AFTER – Beverage frig under breakfast bar: FIND HERE.

The step back cabinets to the right of the ovens (above) contain a cool appliance garage (on a hinge which lifts straight up) so I can hide away the toaster and Vitamix (only the best machine in the world!).

White modern farmhouse kitchen with marble subway tile and quartz countertop - Hello Lovely Studio
AFTER. Cooktop: Bosch; countertop: Viatera quartz (Minuet).

Cooktop or Range?

This was my first cooktop (see above), and while it functions well, I kind of miss having a range, mainly because I love the look of a traditional style kitchen.

Hello Lovely Studio kitchen with window seat in white kitchen
AFTER

We Moved the Frig

In the kitchen’s U-shaped design before, the refrigerator was located across from the sink wall. I chose a French Door Frig and moved it to the corner, adding horizontally installed wood beadboard (and no cabinets, hooks, or any clutter) to the former frig wall. (And yes, when we viewed the house, they didn’t even bother repairing an old broken kitchen drawer which was just plopped down on the breakfast bar.

BEFORE

A simple but smart addition to the breakfast bar: horizontal installed solid wood beadboard which I painted white. It takes all sorts of abuse and wipes clean far better than drywall!

European farmhouse style and French Nordic cottage decor in our fixer upper - Hello Lovely Studio. Come see the renovation photos in Before & After: European Country Style Fixer Upper.
AFTER
Brene Brown inspirational quote about courage, belonging, vulnerability, and integrity. #brenebrown #inspirationalquotes #wisdomquotes #selfkindness #spiritualtransformation #quotes #vulnerabilityquotes #couragequotes #selfawareness

White Quartz for Countertop

You can read about my journey to find the right white countertop RIGHT HERE. I didn’t use any sponsors on any of this kitchen renovation so you don’t have to wonder whether I’m pushing a particular appliance or surface in here. We spent a ton of money even with doing the work ourselves!

White modern farmhouse kitchen with Viatera quartz countertop - Hello Lovely Studio
AFTER Sink: FIND EXACT HERE; faucet: RIGHT HERE; Ovens: Bosch; countertop: Viatera quartz (Minuet).

The mirror was just a placeholder since we wanted floating shelves which are still all the rage with the cool kids and the ongoing modern farmhouse obsession. Still no shelves, but I’m okay with it.

Viatera quartz counterop - Minuet. European farmhouse style and French Nordic cottage decor in our fixer upper - Hello Lovely Studio. Come see the renovation photos in Before & After: European Country Style Fixer Upper.
AFTER. Abstract paintings reflected in mirror by me; cabinetry: Schuler; hardware: RIGHT HERE; cooktop: Bosch; countertop: Viatera quartz (Minuet). Teapot: FIND HERE. Candleholders: FIND HERE. Range hood: FIND HERE.

Can you believe how dark this kitchen felt? It needed love!

BEFORE
Viatera quartz countertop - Minuet. European farmhouse style and French Nordic cottage decor in our fixer upper - Hello Lovely Studio. Come see the renovation photos in Before & After: European Country Style Fixer Upper.
AFTER. Polished Venatino marble subway mosaic tile RIGHT HERE. Before & After: European Country Style Fixer Upper…photos of our cottage renovation as well as shopping resources to get the look. French Nordic cottage style and European farmhouse decor ideas…certainly lovely indeed.

Hope you enjoyed this before and after! The post RIGHT HERE continues the tour of our fixer upper’s great room and master bedroom. Take it for a whirl too!

before of catwalk at Hello Lovely Studio's fixer upper
Toilet on the catwalk…renovation reality, folks!
Hello Lovely Studio's French country bedroom with white oak hardwood floors and neutral palette. #hellolovelystudio #flooring #whiteoak #hardwoodfloors #frenchcountry #interiordesign #bedroomdesign
White Slipcovered Sofa
French Basket
Courtney Lamp Base
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Rustic Reclaimed Elm Cabinet
French Chaise
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Silver Rectangle Accent Table
Black Metal Accent Table
Galvanized Console Table
Gabriel Chevron Quilt Set
Metal Martini Table
Marble Subway Backsplash in My Kitchen
French Wire Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
Gustavian Tub Chair
Handmade Sunburst Mirror
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp
Venetian Mirror
French Lidded Baskets
French Panel Mirror
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Antique Chinese Weathered Bench
Helmsley Bronze Door Hardware
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Rococo Floor Lamp
Gertrude Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Colleen Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
White Ruffle Quilt Set
Avignon Coat Rack With Hooks
San Jose Handleset for Front Door
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Adele Dining Chair
Campaign Style End Table
Louis Upholstered Bench
Oak Laminate Flooring
Knotty Alder Interior Door
Alabaster 30″ Lamp
Louis Ghost Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Linen Dining Chair
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
PARIS Framed Print
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
Tulip Style Modern Round Dining Table
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Holborn Lantern Pendant
Rustic End Table
Faux Bois Candleholders
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Bridge Kitchen Faucet (Stainless)
Jute Area Rug
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
Venetian Etched Mirror (24″ x 36″)
White Ruffle Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Polished Carrara Subway Tile
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Belgian Style Lamp
Modern Farmhouse Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
Round Woven Placemat Set
Antiqued Sunburst Mirror
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
Boheme Madera Bench
Round Marble Side Table
Linen Slipcover Dining Chair
Wicker Patio Chair
Teak Farmhouse Stool
European farmhouse style and French Nordic cottage decor in our fixer upper - Hello Lovely Studio. Come see the renovation photos in Before & After: European Country Style Fixer Upper.
Wall paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White.

DON’T MISS Part 2 RIGHT HERE. For more French Nordic inspiration, do visit THIS and THIS.

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

Shop for items you already intended to buy on Amazon RIGHT HERE (not just items in posts) or for home decor here keeps decor inspiration flowing on Hello Lovely!

Hello Lovely is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

White Slipcovered Sofa
French Basket
Courtney Lamp Base
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Rustic Reclaimed Elm Cabinet
French Chaise
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Linen Slipcovered Chair Set
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Silver Rectangle Accent Table
Black Metal Accent Table
Galvanized Console Table
Gabriel Chevron Quilt Set
Metal Martini Table
Marble Subway Backsplash in My Kitchen
French Wire Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
Gustavian Tub Chair
Handmade Sunburst Mirror
Wide Pine Sideboard
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp
Venetian Mirror
French Lidded Baskets
French Panel Mirror
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Antique Chinese Weathered Bench
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Rococo Floor Lamp
Linen & Burlap Tufted Ottoman
Gertrude Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Colleen Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
White Ruffle Quilt Set
French Louis Style Arm Chair
Avignon Coat Rack With Hooks
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Adele Dining Chair
Louis Upholstered Bench
French Accent Chair
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Faux Bois Candleholders
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
French Candle Style Chandelier
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Ruffle Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Spindle Leg Upholstered Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Modern Farmhouse Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
Matelasse Coverlet
Quilted Coverlet
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Teak Farmhouse Stool
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28 Comments

  1. Karen H.
    April 17, 2019 / 8:03 am

    Your home is a beautiful transformation, Michele. Lots of hard work but I’m sure very rewarding. I love the peaceful and tranquil feeling your decor creates.

    • Michele
      Author
      April 17, 2019 / 10:04 am

      It is rewarding to take something unlovely and see it through – I appreciate the kind words and encouragement. πŸ™‚

  2. Claire
    April 17, 2019 / 8:03 am

    Your home is beautiful. Love your kitchen. Can’t wait to see your master bedroom. We are in the process of giving our laundry room a face lift. I will be shopping for Benjamin Moore white paint today!

    • Michele
      Author
      April 17, 2019 / 10:03 am

      Thanks so much for tuning in and making it more fun! Happy shopping, friend. πŸ™‚

  3. April 17, 2019 / 8:21 am

    Unbelievable transformation! It is hard to comprehend that the former dark and dated space could actually look like the finished product. You really have a gift being able to see the possibilities. Keep the inspiration coming! Best, Kim

    • Michele
      Author
      April 17, 2019 / 10:03 am

      Thanks, Kim. We must have been crazy to take on such an exhaustive project! xox

  4. Karyn
    April 17, 2019 / 12:48 pm

    Hello Michele! So beautiful…

    We are planning a kitchen remodel, and your stunning transformation has inspired me for some time. Our design currently places the fridge (likely a french door model similar to yours) right next to a solid wall. I was concerned about being able to open the door on the wall side enough with that design. Do you know how far you needed (inches?) to be from the wall to make this work well? Are you happy with that layout? We would also have the dishwasher between the sink and the range and was wondering if that was “enough” space for separation of each zone. Thank you for all the beautiful inspiration in your posts!

    • Michele
      Author
      April 17, 2019 / 5:40 pm

      The frig is snug in that corner, and there’s no issue with using it or opening the door. I’m very happy with the layout – the only thing I would do differently is give myself more room in the breakfast dining area since it’s so tight. I feel like I have enough space where the dishwasher is located, but of course if there was a way to have more, I’m not one of those ‘zone’ sort of folks when thinking about kitchen design. I wish the kitchen here were bigger, but I have made the space work in a custom way for how we live. My dishwasher was far away from the range in our last home, and that was just fine with me! Hope this helps. πŸ™‚

      • Karyn
        April 17, 2019 / 7:35 pm

        So helpful! Thank you. The internet is full of “don’t put the fridge next to a wall” posts so hearing that it can work is very encouraging. Trying to update an older home is often frustrating in that you have a lot less space to work with, forced creativityπŸ™‚

        • Michele
          Author
          April 17, 2019 / 7:41 pm

          Exactly! Wow – I didn’t even know about the ‘don’t put the frig in the corner thing’ (sounds like i’m quoting ‘dirty dancing’…ha!). πŸ™‚

  5. P kovach
    April 18, 2019 / 4:08 pm

    Your house looks beautiful. I have read a lot about how difficult it is to choose white paint based on where you live and whether the exposure is facing north. My kitchen and living area only have light coming from North facing windows so I am cautiously looking at whites. Did you have any difficulties with some of your walls looking cold or too blue? I would also like to know what the finish is on the mirror hanging over the breakfast bar? It looks great with the wall tile. thank you.

    • Michele
      Author
      April 18, 2019 / 7:15 pm

      I know there is a measure of subjectivity when “seeing” white walls. I don’t see blue, but a family member who visited said she sees blue. The light we get here is so yellow and golden that it must make a difference since almost every white paint I brought home seemed to look yellow to us. I think the warmth of the oak floors also helps to keep things from being overly icy, although again, this is so subjective. I hear people say ‘well i would never want to live in a museum or art gallery,’ and i think hmmmmmm, i would! πŸ™‚

  6. Julie Briones
    April 22, 2019 / 1:24 am

    Always love a good before and after! Thank you for sharing at Homestyle Gathering! Hope to see you each week!

    • Michele
      Author
      April 22, 2019 / 9:53 am

      Everybody loves a good transformation I guess! Thanks so much for tuning in. πŸ™‚

  7. April 22, 2019 / 2:59 pm

    Michele,
    Thanks for sharing at Thursday Favorite Things. You did an amazing job of transforming your home. It is so beautiful. I know what you mean by slowing down as we get older. Not so many major projects as when we were younger. Take time to enjoy your lovely home.
    Hugs,
    Bev

    • Michele
      Author
      April 22, 2019 / 4:25 pm

      Great advice! Thanks so much for your kindness and for reading.

  8. April 23, 2019 / 8:48 am

    Hi, Michele!
    I’m just letting you know that your before and afters are one of my features this week at Homestyle Gathering. Thank you for joining us and linking-up! I hope you’ll join us again!

    • Michele
      Author
      April 23, 2019 / 11:24 am

      Thank you so much, Kim! Yay! I will be joining you for sure!

  9. April 25, 2019 / 6:57 am

    Such an amazing transformation, Michele! I love everything you did, and that front door is amazing. We are in need of a new front door, and my choice would be that one! Thanks so much for sharing it with us at Thursday Favorite Things — I’m featuring it today!

    • Michele
      Author
      April 25, 2019 / 9:01 am

      Thanks so much, Pam. I appreciate your encouragement and will join you again this week! πŸ™‚

  10. February 19, 2020 / 6:07 pm

    Oh you have a basket hanging on a wall that I love. I cannot believe what a wonderful job you have done on your home. It is so beautiful and peaceful! Could you please let me know where you found the basket or at least what it is called!

    • Michele
      Author
      February 20, 2020 / 6:48 pm

      Hmmmmm – I am not sure which image you are asking about so maybe shoot me an email (michele at hellolovelystudio dot com), and I’ll be sure to help. πŸ™‚

  11. June 21, 2020 / 9:07 pm

    Such a stunning transformation for which you can take great pride in knowing it was all you that turned this house around. Isn’t it great to show love to something that was once so forlorn and unloved? What a lucky house to have you!

    • Michele
      Author
      June 22, 2020 / 12:41 pm

      Thank you so much, Celia. I want to be your neighbor so darn much. There’s nothing like hands-on experience to learn a bunch of trades. And there’s nothing like the gratification of doing things right the first time to last for a good long time. And yet I am still always ready to move to the next place! We toured an amazing home yesterday that is completely different than anything we have lived in yet appeals to our sensibilities. Who knows!?!

      • June 23, 2020 / 9:20 am

        Such a sweet thing to say Michele. I’d love to be your neighbor as well. It is always fun to complete a project to enjoy the results, but it sounds like you are itching for the next project. That’s exactly how I always feel after completing a renovation. Hey, maybe a new house is in your future?

        • Michele
          Author
          June 23, 2020 / 9:49 am

          My husband and I are having fun trying on ideas right now – new places to live, new ways to live bravely, new ways to learn and grow, and new ways to let go. As long as he is with me, I am home, so that gives me wings. πŸ™‚

  12. July 9, 2020 / 8:11 am

    I enjoyed seeing your beautiful fixer upper turned stunner! Beautiful inside and out. I am happy to feature you at TFT today. Thanks for sharing!

    • Michele
      Author
      July 9, 2020 / 12:36 pm

      Yay! I’m so grateful for your support and encouragement, Amber. You bring so much inspiration to so many and it’s so flattering to be recognized. See you soon over at TFT and I hope you are enjoying your summer and finding lots of projects to keep you busy!

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