From House Hunters to Fixer Upper

After the madness of the first days under contract, I thought the next seven days would be quieter. Au contraire, my dear! Things haven’t slowed down, we’ve just become more accustom to the stress. Thank God for Chip and Joanna Gaines. (And Hulu!)


 Fixer Upper has been our saving grace over the last two weeks. If you’ve never watched the show, here’s how it goes. Chip and Joanna Gaines are this gorgeous couple with four kids that own a farm and a real estate, design, and construction business down in Waco, Texas. Every episode they meet with a person/couple/family and show them three houses and what they can do to modernize and beautify each house. The couple picks a house below their target budget, and the remainder of the money is used for renovations. You then watch as Chip and Joanna and their team, deconstruct, reconstruct, and stage the house. The person/couple/family returns at the end of the show amazed by what Chip and Joanna did to their “fixer-upper” and get a tour of their new house. The show is pretty predictable – open a wall, add an island, paint this white and distress it – but such good fun. Chip and Joanna are this adorable and hilarious couple and through watching the show you laugh, become inspired, and learn a lot about home construction, design, and decoration.

For example, I spoke to our home inspector about the possibility of taking out a wall in our living room to create an open concept kitchen and dining area, but I needed to know whether the wall was load-bearing. After climbing into the attic to look at the joists and headers and some other construction words, he informed me the wall was load-bearing but could be removed if replaced by a beam. I had no idea what he meant. And then in Season 1, Episode 3 of Fixer Upper, Joanna needs to take out a wall, Chip finds that it’s load-bearing, so they run a beautiful exposed beam across the ceiling to support the weight of the house. Problem solved.

Every night we watch an episode after dinner as a relaxing and inspirational end to the day. We’ve watched enough episodes now and have a clear understanding of the show’s template as well as Chip and Joanna’s style that we’ve coined our own Fixer Upper Drinking Game. We don’t actually drink during the game, but we do say “Drink.” whenever something off our list happens.

We’re not taking out walls anytime soon. After five years, and five moves we don’t want to move into a construction zone so renovations will come much later. On the contrary, we want to get settled in the house as soon as possible. Part of me feels like we haven’t really had a chance to live in Denver. I spent the first year flying back and forth to Boston and then spent last six months busy looking for a house. Someone once said to me, “You grow where you are planted,” and something about “getting settled” sooner than later will finally make us feel ‘planted’ in Colorado.

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