The transformation of the Fixer Upper interior is so close to completion! Few tasks remain beyond small paint touch ups here, and slight decor modifications there. For this blog post, let’s start The Big Reveal with a look at how the living room has changed. Come on inside.

Let’s begin with how the living room looked after we purchased the house at auction in November 2018. The floors needed to be refinished, the roller shades on the front windows needed to GO, the non-original front door and painted-over transom needed to be replaced & restored, the wallpaper needed to be removed, and the ceiling needed repair. At least these were the things that were obvious at first glance!

Living room, opposite of street side
Living Room “before” – door to Dining Room

Once work began on the house, and wallpaper and old HVAC chases were removed in the living room, things actually looked worse.

Living Room “No Paper” – notice removed HVAC chase right of fireplace

Then came the application of a coat of wall binder, followed by wall & trim repair and eventually painting.

Walls prepped with bonding agent

The new period four panel door, new hardware and rebuilt transom were installed, and the floors were refinished.

Floors are refinished and the wall above the fireplace is wired and ready for Ken’s TV. Walls are painted in Sherwin-Williams® “Ivoire” and the trim is Sherwin-Williams® “Dover White.”

It was a long time coming, but we couldn’t be happier with how the living room has morphed into a warm and welcoming area, a great place to read, knit, watch TV, or just sit.

View of the room inside the front door
Newly shuttered windows facing Poplar Street. Wood shutters matching the trim color are from Madison’s Carol’s Custom Curtains. Area rug from Annie’s Attic Consignment in Louisville.
Picture window draperies were made by Carol’s Custom Curtains with fabric from Louisville’s Boone Fabrics and vintage trim from Etsy. The woven wood blind was ordered online from Smith & Noble.
View from the living room into the Dining Room

It’s been fun to recombine the furnishings from our previous home into new vignettes in the Fixer Upper living room. It’s really given us fresh perspective on many things that had been hung in non prominent locations, collections and objets d’art that had not been displayed. I’m very happy to have some of my needlework pieces sitting about. And the new pieces added to the old mix have succeeded in giving us a cohesive “pulled together” look. Here’s a slide show of some of the special things in the room.

There you go! Now you’ve seen the 1876 Fixer Upper‘s living room transformation from rundown to rehabilitated. We are really enjoying living in downtown Madison, Indiana, and are loving our refurbished nest. Stay tuned for the next Fixer Upper update on the new and improved dining room!

Written by


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.