The Fixer Upper We Love To Call Home

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I heard this house had a pool, but I’ve rarely seen it recently!

If you want to see how we got here, read my blog on making a house a home.  Click here.

After moving to Tampa in mid-December, we spent five weeks living in a construction zone beginning on January 17.  Besides what I picked about construction, I also learned I could live with dust, mess, disaster areas, grout, constant banging and pounding, a toaster next to our bed, and more.  Our #demoday turned out to be #demoweeks.

My Man would come home from work at the end of the day and marvel at everything that was being done.  See the video below.


Continuing with my pursuit to be a grown up, I also learned everything didn’t have to be put in its place every second of every single day, especially when our house was being torn apart. But even more importantly, I learned once the remodel was done, I didn’t have to hang every picture or unpack every box to be happy.  I learned to relax.  I looked at the bookcases in the family room and thought, ‘Yeah, someday I’ll style those up.’ We needed another dresser for a bedroom, a bookcase for my husband’s office, and random other pieces, but I didn’t have to run out and try to find it all in one day!

Bottom line, the house didn’t have to be completely finished for us to feel a huge sense of satisfaction.  There was still work to be done, but it had started to feel like our home.

Here was a video walkthrough of the downstairs prior to the remodel.

This was the entry way before.


We feel a sense of ownership walking in the front doors now.img_3144

Thank you Kim Ratcliff for convincing me I ‘needed’ the African beads at Warmth Company.  Read my blog about my final day with Kim in California.  Remember this lamp Shauna Smith?  Someday I’ll tell its story too!


The first story  floors were ripped out and ceramic tile laid down as well as new paint throughout.  The largest part of the remodel was tearing out three walls in the family room and redoing the entire kitchen, from top to bottom.  The family room was dark with a lot of wood and painted grass wallpaper.  It just looked so dated.


The after!





Prior to beginning the renovation, the kitchen featured dark cabinets and granite counter tops, a big clunky island, a refrigerator from 1992, and a lot of stencil and dark green paint.


The afters!



The shaker cabinets are devine.  Chris Robinson and his crew blew it away with these cabinets.  With the walls gone, the kitchen now flows straight from the family room and front door. It features pendant lights, a farm sink, an island and floating shelves over subway tile.

We bought a midcentury dinette set in California (thanks Vicki at Not Too Shabby for the amazing deal!).  We browsed and found the hutch for $75 on Craigslist in Florida and refinished it (Annie Sloan’s French Linen).


After putting dishes on the floating shelves, I was a little surprised at the clutter!  I needed to phone a friend for guidance.

I reached out to my girl Lindsey Mansfield and after reviewing the photos, we face-timed with glasses of Chardonnay (mine was Wrights Station), moving pieces in and out. Formerly of Anthropologie, my girl Lindsey knows how to style up some shelves!

Researching refrigerators, we knew we couldn’t do this huge remodel and not go slashy with the frig.  We used my parent’s housewarming gift and bought the frig of our dream’s, a Kenmore Elite model with French doors.  Click here to read all about it.  It was a serious upgrade from the 1992 GE model the previous owner’s had used.  Seriously in love.

The kitchen just blows us away every time we walk in.  The Kohler farm sink is the perfect addition as is the white quartz counter top with a gray vein.

Obsessing about an island, I scoured the internet and found some amazing spindled legs.  Click here to see them.  Contractor Chris and his crew took it from there and made the island, which I painted the same color as the family room beams (Westchester Gray Sherwin Williams).


Below is a video of a walkthrough I did this morning of the first floor.  I will write more in the coming days about the other rooms in the house.  My squad gave pointers, tips, suggestions and was generally there to say ‘Someday soon it will all be done, be patient’ or ‘Ohhh, I love that!’

Calling me ‘nit picky’ at one point (personally was not shocked by this term nor was my husband), we must give a huge shout out to our contractor Chris Robinson and his crew (especially Mark and Josh; and the tile guys, Bobbie and Keith).  Our squad rocked it!  If you are looking to remodel in the Tampa area, look no further than Florida Home Pro.  Period.  Click here for their website.

In addition, Don Polson’s crew did a remarkable job of painting just about every inch of our house, from the ceiling to the floor.  When I look back at all the different color swatches we painted around the house and then photographed, I laugh! #50shadesofgray


All this wouldn’t have been possible without the best realtors in Tampa, the Wood Team!  Thanks Nancy and Doug Wood for helping us find a house that is now our home!  And of course thanks to Eric Reddish for the recommendation – you are right – Nancy and Doug are the best!


P.S. Stay tuned for additional blogs in the next few days of other parts of the house we re-finished as well.



  1. Wow! What a transformation. So impressed by you guys & your wonderful crew! Love the before & after videos–really gives the reader a sense of what you accomplished. That kitchen is just gorgeous. Every detail on fleek (I know I sound like an old person trying to be cool!) can’t wait to see it in person someday. So so so very happy for you & St. Nick–you deserve this beautiful home! Xo


  2. Michelle and Nick…your home is so cool. It’s neat to see the transformation. So so so beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I hope to walk through your front door one day😀.
    Kathy B.

    Liked by 1 person

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