Our Fixer Upper: From Hovel to Haven

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Hi, friends! Thank you for joining me on the blog today!

Remember when I shared our backstory and told you that most people wouldn’t have paid 10 cents for our ransacked shack turned fixer upper turned tiny home? Well, that statement may have very well applied to our farm as a whole. And while I’ve told you a bit about our journey, I haven’t yet elaborated on how we came to buy the farm or how our vision slowly turned to reality.

So, here it goes….

One evening, while still living with my parents, I overheard them talking about how the farm that backed up to my grandparent’s land was getting ready to go up for auction. The owner had passed away and the land was edging on foreclosure. I was 21 years old at the time and had just made my last car payment. So, naturally, my response was, “Well, why don’t I buy it?” After a brief conversation with my parents about what a bizarre, yet, logical idea that was and a quick call to my boyfriend (now husband) to gather his opinion, it was decided… I was going for it. 

As the auction approached, we spent a good deal of time exploring the 17 acres, finding a whole lot of weeds, an overgrown pond, and a couple of run-down structures. It sure wasn’t much to look at, but it had a story and hidden potential, and I wanted more than anything to be the person who got to re-write that story. You see, at one time, the farm had been home to a beautiful log house. That house was lost in a fire, leaving only the foundation and a single exterior wall. The owners built the small cabin that is now our home in it’s place, but life happened, and over time, the cabin and the remainder of the property became unmanageable. To me, that was all the more reason to restore it to its original beauty.

The day of the auction came, and I was clueless and anything but confident that the sale would go as planned. I was accompanied by my Daddy and my (now) husband and father-in-law, who gathered intel from fellow bidders and coached me through the process. And much to my surprise, when it was all said and done, I walked away the proud owner of the most beautiful dump I had ever seen. 

But life after the sale was anything but glamorous. Once I discovered just how much work was going to be involved in turning this thing around, there were many, again I say MANY, days I thought I must have been mentally incapacitated to have ever thought this was even close to a good idea. The amount of critters and trash we had to dig through to get to a point where we could even think about moving forward are enough to make me cringe, even now. We waded through glass, fell through floors, and probably breathed in enough asbestos to kill a small village. But for every piece of trash, there was a treasure. Antiques, furniture, you name it. It was here, and now, a great deal of it has been repurposed in our home. 

Over the months that turned into years following the purchase of the farm, we had dozer work done, sewed new grass, and began a constant debate surrounding what our next step would be. My husband and I knew we wanted to start our life together here, but not yet financially ready to build our dream home, our options felt very limited. We contemplated renovating the cabin, but decided time and time again that we would be better off to just tear it down and start from scratch. But, do we ever do what makes the most sense? Rarely. And so, we started our biggest DIY project to date, and with the help and selfless labor of our family and friends, we built a home and outdoor haven that has exceeded our wildest dreams. And when we got done with that, we built a barn, had a wedding, and now I am sharing it all with you!

Below you will find a few of my favorite before and afters from our fixer upper frenzy. And if you’d like to see more when you’re done browsing, you can tour the inside of our tiny home [HERE]!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


exterior of cabin before renovation
Side view of Catie's tiny house
cabin interior before renovation
rustic fixer upper farmhouse kitchen with barnwood table in Catie's tiny home
open farmland
rustic gray pole barn on open farmland
overgrown pond bank
fishing pond nestled in woods on Catie's farm

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