My Love-Love-Hate Relationship with Fixer Upper

Fixer Upper is Our Family’s New Obsession

My four-and-a-half year old’s latest preoccupation is watching Fixer Upper on Hulu as a family after dinner. I asked her to draw a house the other day and she drew a floor plan. She plays “Chip and Joanna” in the backyard, which is now home to a flock of imaginary goats. Yes, we’re a mite obsessed with the Gaines family.

They make building an empire look easy, don’t they? It’s so comforting to think that someone out there is genuinely happy and has it together. I can’t even snark at them. The closest I can get is thinking that they must have a lot of help off camera that we viewers never see.
That said, I admire that vision of Joanna more than her style. Don’t get me wrong – the homes look lovely. But if I came home to a sea of dusty pale blue, open shelving in my kitchen, and barn doors on the entrance to my bedroom, I think I’d throw up. We’re mid-Season 3 and I think I’ve seen one too many classic or vintage houses lose their style to farmhouse chic.

But It’s All Good…

One thing that watching has done is to help me refine my yuck and my yum when it comes to decorating. I started a “house book” back in graduate school. This was wa-a-a-ay before Pinterest. I would literally tape pictures ripped from decorating magazines into a notebook. Living in a drab apartment, it was a feast for the eyes. One day, looking through it, I began to see patterns. I like white kitchens with hardwood floors pops of red, poppy prints, tufted furniture, warm colors, a cozy feel rather than a serene one, and vintage charm, 1920s-1950s style. Watching Fixer Upper has just reinforced most of this.

yellow and red retro kitchen.

My dream vintage-style kitchenĀ here.

My dream house would be a Victorian or Craftsman style house with a big porch. A house that feels sturdy, and looks like it belonged to my great grandmother and grandmother, but they left only the cool vintage stuff behind. And a cheerful yellow kitchen, with a cabinet full of plastic cups for the kids that I CAN CLOSE.

Joanne Gaines would hate it.


P.S. Dear Joanna Gaines, Please bring me a white island with a polished wood top and a kitchen big enough to put it in. And be nice to Clint at Harp Designs. Sometimes he seems a little annoyed with you.

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