Desiree Schwalbe 24 1

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  1. Hi Crystal, I absolutely love the 1988 Fuqua Double-Wide Kitchen redo that Desiree and Todd Schwalbe did. Is there some way I can find out where they got those cabinets? Your help is much appreciated!

  2. Hi Crystal,
    I have a question. Our cheap walls do not seem to be sturdy enough to hand pictures, decorations, mirrors etc. How do you hang things on your wall in mobile homes? We’ve used the stickys, but they aren’t good either. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Stuart!

      The only way to ensure the walls can hold weight is to make sure you always hit stud with a screw. Even the smaller studs can bare quite a bit of weight due to the framing integrity (cabinets for example). Your studs will be 16″ – 24″ a part and you can always tell there is a stud where the panels meet each other and there are a strip or batten over it. You can measure off from there.

      Best of luck!

  3. Wow! What a beautiful home! I have a couple of questions I want to ask the owner(s)

    1. What was the total cost of this upgrade/ remodel?
    2. How long did it take?
    3. Are there specific suppliers/vendors to use versus general suppliers like the Big Box home improvement stores?
    4. Are the walls painted or torn out and replaced and then painted?

    Again, congrats on a lovely home.

  4. WOW! This place is downright jaw dropping! I can tell that the owners really enjoyed remodeling the place. They really put their hearts and souls into it. Such wonderful ideas they had! Especially the landscaping!

  5. Hi Crystal!

    I always enjoy the remodels but this one is by far the most A-Mazing one for me. I’ve lost count on the number of times I have read it and poured over their photos (laughing). Think I mentioned before on my one and only comment before that we bought new less than a year ago. But it needs our “signature”, you know? Todd and Desiree’s re-do is inspirational, huge thank you’s to them for sharing it with us. We live only about 35 min north of the Gulf of Mexico here in SE Texas and definitely share their love of the water – no diving or boat though (darn on the boat). Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful project!

    Cheryl in Texas

  6. Beautiful beautiful home !! I know exactly what you mean about preconceived ideas concerning manufactured homes. We bought a beautiful new Silvercrest home in Palm Springs. When we tell people we live in a mobile home park you can see by the look on their face they are imaging the very worst that they have seen on TV or the movies. The few who do come to see us are shocked at how beautiful our new home is. It’s a wonderful way to live, no regrets at all.

  7. Such a beautiful home! I enjoy seeing what others have done to update their homes and this one is a gem.

  8. Hi Crystal,
    Just read my first article and I really enjoyed the pictures and the interviews. I too moved to Florida to be near the gulf. We needed a place that we could afford in retirement. We tried two places before settling in the Dunedin Palm Harbor area. The first was a mobile home that we bought for 1k and rented the land. It truly was irredeemable, lol. Mostly because of the environment of that park. But it was 5 minutes from the beach and I did enjoy walking and swimming at Bradenton Beach. Next, after selling the place back to the park, lol, we moved to Tampa, and we rented a manufactured home that was right on the bay. Dock included. It was wonderful, but after two years we knew that we needed to own a home if we were going to remain solvent in retirement. Alas, we couldn’t afford the homes at the park in Tampa. But after searching, we lucked on a manufactured home in a pretty park with a creek running through it. It’s about 10 minutes from Honeymoon Island, and maybe 20 minutes from Clearwater Beach. Dunedin itself has a quaint beach town old time feel and the old downtown area is quite active, boat and wine clubs, restaurants, historical museums, art lofts, festivals, and home to the biking walking Pinellas Trail. Back to the house, it was such a fixer upper, that we got the home for the price of the share. We paid 32k for the residency owned share. So, you know that thing about good bones? Well, when you get the house for free, yeah. We’ve sunk quite a chunk in replacing caved in floors, (there was a master bathroom leak for 3 years while abandoned) and we even had to shore up some outer wall beams for dry rot. We have so much more work to do, but so far we completely remodeled the master bedroom and bathroom, laid flooring, and replaced a few windows. I’m making it my cottage, and one of the reasons we took this is the back yard. There is at least a hundred feet behind the house, and on the other side of the fence is custom mansions with hundreds of trees. There is also a shady tree line in our own back area. We are ukulele players, part of Tampa Bay Ukulele Society. We have parties in our backyard which seats up to a hundred people!!! Of course we invite the neighbors from my park so that they let us play music! Lol. I will send you before and after pics once this place is completed. We are on a very small budget and it’s going to take sweat equity and time to get it all done. Still have to gut the main bathroom and kitchen. Also want to insulate the very large Florida room up front, and turn that into the Mermaid Bar. With the amount of entertaining we do, I’m considering opening the kitchen to expand the feel of the area. And have also considered opening the main room to the Florida room once it’s insulated. And lastly, I’m looking at siding. I’m investigation the new shingle type of vinyl siding, and will add shutters and window boxes to truly create the cottage I’ve dreamed of. It’s not cheap to do a flip when you need to replace bones, but I look at my children who are entering their 40s and think, “What a wonderful vacation home they will have for sharing when it’s there turn to retire.”. They certainly enjoy visiting from Seattle and going to Disney World, the beaches, and so many amenities that surround us here. I was looking to see if you have an actual magazine? I’d certainly subscribe!!! That’s all for now, I’ll be scouring your articles and products fully, and will keep a journal of our journey from Dull Beige Paneled 1978 Manufactured Home to Seaside Cottage 2020.
    Ever Strumming
    Norine Mungo
    Tampa Bay Ukulele Society
    Board Of Directors
    Event and Performance Coordinator
    It’s An Ukulele Day!!!

    1. Hi Norine!

      I loved reading your comment! It sounds like you have a gorgeous home and it’s just gonna keep getting better! I cannot wait to get to share your home and your story – it’s ‘real life’ stories like yours that inspires others. Flooring is a common issue with all mobile and manufactured homes, unfortunately. They use MDF and the least little water can ruin it quick.

      Ironically, the only thing my daughter asked for her 15th birthday last year was a ukulele. She learned a few songs on it just watching Youtube. If y’all ever visit the Myrtle Beach, SC area please let me know. I’d love for her to meet you. Have you ever thought of videoing the meetings in your yard? I bet you’d get all kinds of views – I bet it sounds great!

      Thanks for commenting – I look forward to hearing from you lots more!