Obsessed Much?

5 Dreamy Old Fixer-Upper Houses in Florida I’m Obsessed With!

I’ve been BEYOND OBSESSED with old houses for well over three decades now. I can still remember the exact experience in my childhood that sparked my fascination and wonder with these architectural treasures.

I was about 12 years old and a cousin of mine and I had a sleepover at her aunt’s house in Elmhurst, Illinois (near Chicago’s O’Hare Airport).  It was the first time I’d ever stayed in a 100-year old home and it was beyond UH-MAZING and such a treat!  There was SO much character in that house and every room, nook & cranny felt absolutely magical to me.

But if I’m being super honest here, the whole time I stayed in that house I was nervously waiting for ghosts to pop out at me while climbing the stairs to each floor.  Lucky for me – and the pants I didn’t end up soiling – the apparitions from my wild imagination never materialized.

However, what DID materialize during that visit was a newfound undying respect and admiration for these magnificent homes and their timeless craftsmanship.   So much so that when I designed our current modern farmhouse, my goal was to make it look like an old house that we brought back to life.

One of my favorite past-times is searching for old fixer-uppers on and Zillow and dreaming about how I would restore each one to its former glory. And since I live in Florida, I thought I’d start with some antique architectural gems I found in my own state.

C. 1929 • HIGH SPRINGS, FL • $79,900

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This old girl is in the quaint town of High Springs which is located just outside of Gainesville.

I know she looks a little rough, but look at how grand her wraparound front porch is!! I simply adore those wood and brick columns, the little gable peak above the front door, the original lap siding, and the double roofline.

Can’t you just imagine how gorgeous she would look with some fresh white paint, a sunshine-yellow front door, new porch flooring, a new metal roof, and TONS of colorful flowers surrounding that porch?  ER-MA-GAWD!!

I’m willing to bet that Erin & Ben Napier from HGTV’s “Home Town” would be all over the amazing opportunity to breathe new life into this former beauty.

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Just look at all of the original beadboard in this adorable little room!

This space could be home to THE fricking cutest little laundry room ever, especially if a vintage porcelain sink like this one was incorporated into the design.

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I’d use front-loading machines so I could hide them under a reclaimed wood counter which would double as a folding station as well as house vintage glass storage containers for detergent, clothespins, etc.

Then I’d add some cheerful lemon fabric (see a color pattern – yellow – starting to emerge here?) to completely hide the laundry machines behind.


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And since there is only subflooring in this space, I would use a subtle, vintage-inspired blue-and-white tile pattern like this one from Everett and Blue.

Throw a  white retro-inspired radio like this one into the mix and this potentially-charming space would definitely make laundry time feel like less of a chore!

Click here to view the listing.

C. 1914 • MOUNT DORA, FL • $449,900

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This next beauty happens to be located in my very favorite place in Florida – Mount Dora.

It’s an idyllic lake-front town full of rolling hills, grand oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, and is home to the friendliest residents.  The town is loaded with charming, antique homes and the entire setting has a New England-like feel to it.

The Hubs and I and our 3 pups vacationed for several days there last year since we hadn’t visited in quite some time.  We rented the cutest vintage cottage down the street from this one so we had the opportunity to walk past this gorgeous girl and she did not disappoint.

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She has THE prettiest, most welcoming grand porch complete with a true Southern “Haint Blue” ceiling.

She’s been stripped down to the studs on the inside, but that opens up a world of opportunities here.  I lost count on how many fireplaces are in this house! And those gorgeous floors just need a good refinishing to be brought back to their former glory.

Personally, I’d leave the ceiling rafters exposed and sheetrock the walls.  Maybe add some vertical shiplap to a few walls for some more character.  GAH – I have WAAAAYY too many ideas ricocheting around my tiny head for this house!

Oooh – I almost forgot to mention that she also comes with the sweetest little guest house complete with a full kitchen. BOO-YAH!

Click here to view the listing.

C. 1887 • JACKSONVILLE, FL • $405,000

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I’ve been stalking this gorgeous girl for awhile now – I’m just SUPER in love with this house! It’s been in the same family since 1941 (so cool!) and has a lot of original character inside and out.

It’s the same house as the image at the top of this post – this is a side view so you can see why I love it so much (look at that brick chimney and those windows!).

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It has an absolutely breathtaking view of the St. John’s River and the Jacksonville skyline from not one, but TWO expansive porches.

I mean, seriously. LOOK. AT. THAT. VIEW!!  I freaking love that aqua blue (what appears to be) skinny lap ceiling.

This house definitely needs a good polishing, but I see nothing but opportunities to make her shine like she’s meant to.

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There are SO many beautiful rooms in this home but I think my favorite part of this property is an old building on the property which is currently being used as an artist’s studio.

This thing has the ceiling of my dreams!  I just adore all of the rustic charm in this space.

It would be such a rewarding adventure to fix up this beautiful house!

Click here to view the listing.

C. 1900 • MONTICELLO, FL • $149,000

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This elegant beauty is in the small town of Monticello, which is about 25 miles outside of Tallahassee.

I haven’t been to Monticello yet, but it’s definitely on my list now after seeing how many beautiful antique homes they have there!

This house is on almost an acre of property and it’s SO full of character and charm.

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It appears someone started to restore the interior but fell short of finishing the project.  But they sure made some good headway and now it’s ready and waiting for someone with a vision of what she could be to come along.

This room is directly to the left of the entryway.  That fireplace definitely had me at, “Oh – Helloooooo…” And those gorgeous original heart pine floors – refinished to perfection!

You gotta check out the rest of this house – there are SO many possibilities to polish her up a bit more.  I can totally imagine a lot of lazy days sittin’ and sippin’ lemonade on that front porch though …

Click here to view the listing.

C. 1883 • EUSTIS, FL • $450,000

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This former church is located in the sweet little lakefront downtown area of Eustis, which is Mount Dora’s next-door neighbor.  I have visited Eustis (and Tavares – another one of Mount Dora’s neighbors) and it’s a super cute town full of vintage homes.

The interior photos for this listing are not very good, but they can at least give you a glimpse into how beautiful this structure is.

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I mean, GOOD LORD – look at that tin ceiling, the herringbone-patterned wood walls, the arched windows, and those original hardwood floors! Sooo many endless design possibilities with this place.

This building could be converted into such a unique home and it’s also zoned for residential/business use so you could live upstairs while running your business downstairs. Oh my gosh, how much fun would that be?

Click here to view the listing.

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it.  It’s definitely different than any other post I’ve written in the last year (I can’t believe it’s already been a year since I started this blog!) and it was so much fun sharing my passion for old houses with you.

I’d LOVE to know if you’d like to read about more of these beautiful old houses located throughout the U.S. in the future.  I have SO many of these gorgeous homes saved in my profile I’ve been dying to share with others!

Thank you so much for following my blog and for letting me help you create your own lived-in, loved-in spaces!

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