Let’s just say I a lot of fun (wine) on New Year’s Eve, which rendered me useless on New Year’s Day. I fed the kids once or twice (I think?) and walked the dog, but after that, I hurled myself on the couch and binge-watched “Fixer Upper” on Netflix. Eight episodes in, Mike intervened, but by then it was too late. I wanted to knock down every wall in my house, and I wanted shiplap. Lots of it.
What is it about Chip and Joanna? They’re brilliant at what they do, of course. But it’s also their loving banter. If I worked with my husband, I’d strangle him with a garden hose. Of this, I’m sure. They have four young children and, like, 100 animals, they run multiple businesses, a bed and breakfast, and a farm, and I can’t help but ask myself, Could I get away with hanging an old splintery picket fence panel on the wall above my couch? And let’s discuss “JoJo” for a moment, shall we? She’s smart, beautiful, intuitive, assertive, and her design and fashion instincts are impeccable. That woman knows what she wants, and I want everything in her closet. Ev.er.y.thing.
After eight non-stop hours of watching The Gaines duo wield their magic on one fixer upper after the next, I learned a few lessons – 18 to be exact – that I hope to carry with me into 2016 and beyond.
- I may or may not want to live on a farm. (Probably not.)
- In case farm life isn’t for me (it isn’t), I want to plant a garden in my backyard. Since I can’t keep a cactus alive, I’d like to at least hang some vertical herb baskets on a wall that I don’t plan to knock down.
- Every child should have a tree house.
- Teach your kids the value of hard work by making them do some heavy lifting.
- Show your kids your work…whatever your work is. Just as important, show your kids your passion…whatever your passion is.
- Humor is essential in a marriage.
- Co-parenting isn’t just for people who are divorced.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. For example, it’s so not a big deal if your husband brings your kids to the pound and comes home with two kittens and a dog when you already have four kids, a farm full of cows, goats, and chickens, a growing enterprise, a television show, and it’s demo day. (I’m in a panic just from writing this sentence.)
- Every woman should have a skilled carpenter on hand. You never know when you’ll need someone to dumpster dive for wood scraps, craft one-of-a-kind turned candlesticks for a mantle, or build a kitchen island made from reclaimed distressed wood.
- According to my nine-year old son, who happens to enjoy watching “Fixer Upper” with me (swoon!), Joanna is bossy. Indeed. She is confident, decisive, and visionary. She is The Boss.
- Be bold. Take risks. Make the hard choice that no one else will. Renovate the worst house on the best block and be The Boss about it.
- Don’t be afraid to make difficult phone calls.
- Pick an accent color and shower every room in your house with a delightful splash of it.
- Screw window treatments! Let the light in! Just keep your clothes on. Or, live on a farm.
- Shiplap is the new Kardashian sheet rock.
- Paint will transform a room, but – damn it – so will knocking down a wall.
- Rules schmules. You can hang a chandelier anywhere.
- Pull up the carpet (in life). You never know. There might be hardwood hiding under there.
Did I waste the first day of 2016 in a heap on my couch watching television? Maybe. But, I was inspired. The next day, I painted my dining room Gulf Coast Valspar blue, chose my accent color (yellow), marked Xs (in my mind, anyway) on every wall I want to knock down, and picked out the perfect spot to hang my very own distressed wood picket fence.