Life has a way of intervening and changing what you need, and that has led us, yet again, to another house project. Let the downsizing – and this blog – begin! Today we closed on an 1876 fixer upper we bought last month at auction in Madison, Indiana. It promises to be a wonderful home – once this interior to-do list is completed:

  • Strip old wallpaper (as in “layers”) & repair plaster walls
  • “Revisit” current plumbing, electric & HVAC (fingers crossed, slightly scared)
  • Add a first floor powder room (not climbing these stairs in a hurry!)
  • Gut & redo the kitchen and both upstairs bathrooms (words cannot express…)
  • Refinish the hardwood floors (diamonds in the rough!)
  • Paint all the walls and trim (the pretty part)

Having written that, I’m tired already… I should also include these outside projects:

  • Build a garage (if the Historic Board of Review likes our plans & materials)
  • Restore the galleries, doors & transoms (such potential!)
  • Tuck point the brick (probably)
  • Landscape (more of the pretty part)

Did I mention the roof? Holding my breath, but it’s likely the old tile roof will also need attention. These are daunting lists to be sure, but I’m excited to tackle another downtown renovation and decorating project to make this home my own.

The house is not as big as it looks, but it is TALL. Eleven-foot ceilings, 3 rooms down, 3 up, less than 1,800 square feet, and lots and lots of layers of old wallpaper. Check out these photos that we will simply call “Before.”


I should point out that we’re not house flippers. This will be the third renovation of a historic home in Madison to be our own home.  One from the 1840s, one built in 1854, now an 1876 fixer upper. Heck, this is practically a NEW home! And right after closing, we met our new backdoor neighbors, Sandy & Dick, owners of 2nd Street Carriage House and 2nd Street Inn located behind our fixer upper. Sweet!

Check out My Backstory to see how life’s twists & turns have offered change with adventures for each renovation or build along the way.

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One thing that makes my journey unique is that all of my interests are driven by a joyful and genuine curiosity. I delight in finding less expensive ways to make something or creative ways to enjoy something longer. Finding and creating joy - and sharing it - is core to who I am.