The Diva Farmer’s mobile home makeover is amazing!

Whether it’s a yard sale find or a complete mobile home, Tina Nichols creates pretty things. Her mobile home makeover is a great example of the potential that older mobile and manufactured homes have when a talented owner gets ahold of it.

Get ready for an amazing mobile home makeover!

Mobile Home Makeover – Finding a Diamond in the Rough

After a 6 year career in the military, Tina was ready to own a home. She wanted her new home to have three things: be a smaller cottage-style home with a fireplace, large kitchen, and outdoor space large enough for a garden and some fruit trees. Unfortunately, in today’s real estate market ‘reasonably priced’ means one of two things: rundown and needing major renovations or a compact cookie cutter town house. Neither appealed to Tina.

Tina had just about given up on her search for a home when she finally stumbled upon a gated mobile home community with a 1979 Fleetwood double wide that had everything on her short list and then some.

The home has a comfortable 1,744 square feet of living space, a fireplace (which had been converted to a pellet stove), a nicely sized kitchen (with a built-in Bosch oven and microwave), and plenty of yard for a small garden and a couple of fruit trees.
Tina bought the property with cash and began her mobile home makeover and her blog, The Diva Farmer. She has big plans for both and if the blog ends up like the home, we are all in for a treat!
Her 1979 Fleetwood double wide was well-kept and mostly original:

1979 mobile home makeover - Kitchen Before 2

 

1979 mobile home makeover - Kitchen Before 3

 

The home still had the late seventies paneling, an era known for autumn colors: groovy greens, burnt umbers, and basic browns. Darker muted colors in flowering patterns are reminiscent of the seventies as you can see:

 

 

mobile home makeover - Kitchen Before

 

Mobile Home Makeover: Transitioning into the 21st Century

Tina managed a mobile home makeover that transitioned the late seventies model mobile home into a modern cottage masterpiece.

The end result is gorgeous:

manufactured home kitchen makeover - breakfast nook after

 

 

Mobile Home Makeover 101 – Demo Day

Remodeling her own home was a labor of love!

Tina managed the entire mobile home makeover by herself, only using a contractor to help demo and hang the cabinets.

Demolition day is usually the most physically intensive part of a mobile home makeover. It’s always smart to have extra man-power.

1979 Mobile Home Makeover Interior Makeover - Kitchen During Remodel Project

 

Mobile home kitchen remodels can pose a few complications. Water lines, gas or propane lines, and heavy cabinetry are all issues that owners have to deal with during demolition. In this case, Tina had to remove the entire ceiling in addition to the cabinetry, flooring, and paneling.

 

Demolition Day in 1979 Mobile Home Kitchen Makeover

 

Mobile Home Makeover 102: Rebuilding

After the demolition was finished the rebuilding began. Tina installed sheet rock over the ceiling and walls to give the kitchen a clean canvas to build upon. The floor was also prepared for new covering.

 

1979 Mobile Home Interior Makeover - Kitchen During Remodel Project - Sheetrock

 

Cannister lights were strategically placed to provide good task lighting for Tina’s favorite hobbies: baking and cooking.
The sheet rock was finished too.

 

Sheetrock hung in 1979 mobile home kitchen remodel

 

The ceiling was painted a bright white to allow light to bounce around. The walls were painted a light blue and the flooring was laid.

Once the paint was dry the new cabinets and lighting was hung.

 

1979 Mobile Home Kitchen Makeover - installing new cabinetry

 

1979 Mobile Home Kitchen Makeover - flooring and walls complete

 

Tina extended the cabinetry into the dining area.

1979 Mobile Home Kitchen Makeover - installing new cabinetry 2

 

Finally, the cabinetry was painted, the countertop was installed, and tile back splash was started. This is a gorgeous mobile home makeover! See more about Tina’s great mobile home makeover here. 

 

1979 mobile home kitchen makeover - finished

 

A great baking center:

1979 mobile home kitchen makeover - finished 2

 

Laundry Room Makeover

Before Laundry Room Mobile Home Makeover

In addition to the kitchen, Tina updated her laundry room, too.

Here’s the original room:

manufactured home makeover - laundry room before

manufactured home makeover -storage closet in laundry room before
manufactured home laundry room makeover - before washer and dryer

After Laundry Room Mobile Home Makeover

The end result for Tina’s laundry room is awesome!

manufactured home laundry room makeover - after

 

manufactured home laundry room makeover - after 2

 

The white surfaces in the laundry room creates a great cottage feel. See more of Tina’s laundry room makeover here. 

Yard Sale Find: Updating a Kitchen Island

Tina added a contrasting color into the kitchen by placing a red butcher block island in the middle of the kitchen. It was a yard sale find! You can see all the steps of Tina’s yard sale find update here. 

 

yard sale find - kitchen island before

After update:

yard sale find - kitchen island after
yard sale find - kitchen island after 2

 

 

 

Tips for Your Own Mobile Home Makeover

I asked Tina to share some of her best tips and advice for mobile home makeovers.  She was quick to say that homeowners should not push themselves with an unreasonable time-frame. Mobile home makeovers take time!

Tina had been living in her kitchen remodeling chaos for one year. That in itself is mentally draining, but pushing herself physically day after day to work on the remodel left her exhausted. She has since learned to pick one small area, focus on that till it is done, and then move on.

Mobile home remodeling is not a race!

Homeowner Q and A

Give Me Something to Believe In….

It’s tough to explain to some people that you are going to buy an 30 year old mobile home and remodel it into a beautiful home. Some people simply doesn’t have the creativity to envision such a thing and Tina dealt with that.

Tina admits that her biggest challenge during the projects was getting people to believe in her vision, “I think everyone thought I was nuts to buy this place, but now they are amazed at the rooms I’ve completed.”

Tina went on to answer a few more questions: 

Why did you chose to live in a mobile or manufactured home?

I grew up in one and have always had a soft spot for them. I cannot see spending the money on a site built house when I can turn a $24K home into my dream home and then be debt free.

Any advice you would give someone thinking about buying a mobile home?

Get past the outdated ugly; it can all be modernized. You want to focus on the layout, the flow from room to room and see if your dream house is hiding somewhere in that layout.

Next, make sure it is structurally sound and has minimal damage. Ugly can be fixed but real damage indicates you may have a major headache on your hands.

Have you been stereotyped or dealt with misinformation about your home? How did you deal with it?

I live in an area of the country where ‘trailers’ are for the poor. Co-workers were stunned that I bought a “trailer”, they still joke about it. True, there are a lot of trailer parks around here that are dumps, but I happen to live in a lovely gated community and I simply reply to the rude comments by asking them if they are debt free; because I am.

I then invite them over and watch their jaws drop when they see the transformed rooms!

Any other remarks, advice, information, tips you’d like to share?

My son always said I could turn the ugliest house into the most beautiful place to live and that is what I’m doing with The Cottage. You can live in luxury and still have money in the bank and be debt free; just follow your own path.

Thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous home with us, Tina! I cannot wait to see what you do with the rest of it!

And thank you so much for reading Mobile and Manufactured Home Living! 

 

13 Responses

  1. Melinda Knorr

    I’m in the process of buying an old (but well maintained) double wide & everyone thinks I’m crazy. It’s on 6 acres that are unbelievably beautiful that I couldn’t afford otherwise. This remodel is totally inspirational. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
    • Crystal Adkins

      Congratulations Melinda! Follow your heart and your gut! There’s so many possibilities once you own land – you could live in the mobile home while building a home or just turn the mobile home into a gorgeous modern home. The land will likely always gain value, too!

      Best of luck! Be sure to take lots of images of your process -I’d love to feature it someday!

      Reply
  2. Luisa

    Thanks for another example of wonderful mobile home living. I get so tired of “friends” sniping at me and my little trailer, but then I remind myself I was able to retire ten years early, and am not dependent on anyone else to help pay my bills.

    I bought mine in a spectacular location, grandfathered in, where new McMansion homes were not permitted to be built. I got a fabulous deal on it because snobs were turned off by the singlewide, and my taxes remain very low because of the trailer..
    .
    Truly, there’s so much that can be done with “good bones” and imagination, and you still come out way ahead on the money end. It’s always heartening to get a newsletter from Crystal and Company on days when others have been rude.

    Reply
  3. Beth

    Oh my goodness, I just love Manufactured Home Living! It is just awesome! My husband and I have 8 adult kids between us and now we have adopted 2 from Africa. They need a LOT of time and attention and I would love to just stay home with them and teach them. So, we are considering selling our home, paying off all debt, and buying a double wide. We have found a few at a lake…tiny yards but not a lot of maintenance! I have a lot of ideas about remodeling a home and you have just given me so many more! Thank you so much!!!

    Reply
    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Beth!

      Thanks so much! I hope you get the life you want – affordable housing sure does make it a little easier to reach those goals! Please keep me informed – I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you! Best of luck!

      Reply
  4. KathyB.

    We’re selling the beautiful home we built many years ago and moving over 300 miles away and into a 2000 model manufactured home. Husband’s retiring and we’re moving to a place with a LOT of property , beautiful view, and close to sons and their families. I have loved seeing all your posts and was wondering if you could show us many more manufactured home remodels, especially adding on kitchens / family rooms. We love our new home and it was well made but the kitchen is a postage stamp size and inefficient for the big family & friend gatherings we love to host. We’re planning on gutting the kitchen and adding a whole new kitchen / family room that will also allow us to enjoy even more of our view. Thank-you !

    Reply
    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Kathy!

      Congratulations! Sounds like you are going to have a beautiful home! I am completely dependent on the generosity of homeowners. If they send in their projects I always try to get them up on the site (within 60 days or so). Here are all the kitchen articles on the site, there’s over 200 articles so you should be able to find some great inspiration!

      http://mobilehomeliving.org/?s=kitchen

      Best of luck and please take lots of photos so I can share your project! Thank you!

      Reply
      • KathyB.

        Thank-you ! I will take a lot of pics . Meanwhile , I’ll be browsing the link you sent .

  5. Elizabeth

    Hi Tina! I definitely can relate! Family members thought we were crazy when we bought a old mobile home that needed a lot of work! I love to see what other people are doing with their mobile homes and maybe this could be the beginning of a trend! lol! You have done a wonderful job! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  6. Rhonda

    Stunning home and wonderful advice! “Ugly can be fixed”, lol…love that quote as it pertains to mobile homes–and it’s so true!
    Thanks for sharing it with us :)

    Reply
  7. Trinity

    What a beautiful home! I also love the comeback of being debt free when people ask about living in a trailer.

    Reply
  8. Suzanne Melton

    What a wonderful transformation! Dave and I sat here and checked out all of the familiar Fleetwood details (ours is an ’86 double-wide).

    Just like Tina, we had our refrigerator in the dining room during the remodel.

    Tina, you’ve done a spectacular job! Can’t wait to see what you do to the rest of the MANSION!

    Reply
  9. Pamela Willis

    Wow Tina, this is just beautiful!!!! You’ve achieved a lovely cottage style well.
    I know what you mean about the “Trailer” moniker and stigma. My own 88 yr. old mother still refers to my HOME as “the trailer”. Oh well.
    We began with remodeling the interior of our own home and are about 75% finished. I will only spend money that I actually have, and will NOT borrow. We’d hoped to upgrade the exterior this year, but that will have to wait. From the outside, our home looks like the 1975 single wide that it is. The inside however, has been (mostly) upgraded to a more modern ‘cottage’ style, and has become our comfortable and eye pleasing home. We have no mortgage, and the only debt is a small amount left on a car loan. I sometimes look at ‘McMansions’ with a young family of 4 or so, and mom and dad are working their butts off with no time for family, just to pay that huge mortgage and keep up with the Jones’, and I think….why? Good for you, Tina…..you’ve done a spectacular job!

    Reply

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