What I Learned About Life From Binge-Watching “Fixer Upper”

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.

  1. I may or may not want to live on a farm. (Probably not.)
  2. 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.
  3. Every child should have a tree house.
  4. Teach your kids the value of hard work by making them do some heavy lifting.
  5. Show your kids your work…whatever your work is. Just as important, show your kids your passion…whatever your passion is.
  6. Humor is essential in a marriage.
  7. Co-parenting isn’t just for people who are divorced.
  8. 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.)
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Don’t be afraid to make difficult phone calls.
  13. Pick an accent color and shower every room in your house with a delightful splash of it.
  14. Screw window treatments! Let the light in! Just keep your clothes on. Or, live on a farm.
  15. Shiplap is the new Kardashian sheet rock.
  16. Paint will transform a room, but – damn it – so will knocking down a wall.
  17. Rules schmules. You can hang a chandelier anywhere.
  18. 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.




Filed under home design, New Years

4 responses to “What I Learned About Life From Binge-Watching “Fixer Upper”

  1. triciathegoodmama

    haha! Love this list! I love open windows, but mainly because I’m too lazy to hang curtains.


  2. ha ha ha! I do not know this show of which you speak, but I will be checking it out. I DO like those blue walls – they are SO 2016. Bravo 🙂


  3. Hey, that’s the gretaest! So with ll this brain power AWHFY?


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