If the thought of purchasing and flipping a century-old home from the 1920s gives you restoration nightmares, how about one from 1886? The homeowner, Meshali Mitchell was not phased. This Victorian style house is celebrating its 133rd birthday this year and Meshali has big plans to restore its original beauty. An Arkansas native, Texas resident, and frequent world traveler, Meshali is a portrait artist, talented story teller, and self-proclaimed lover of people. She has a particular soft spot for open-spaces, cute wrap-around porches and lots of room to grow. Her childhood hobby for photography has slowly eclipsed all other career interests and she now owns and operates Meshali Mitchell Photography out of her home in Dallas/Fort Worth. Meshali is someone who is confident in her style and knows exactly what she wants out of a space, so her biggest challenge here has been to train herself to be patient in seeing her home come to life. See how she’s transformed the space so far and what her plans are for it in the future! Read on below.
Photography by Mia Blessinger.
Hey friends! My name is Meshali Mitchell.
I’m a photographer and storyteller based out of Dallas/Fort Worth but I travel worldwide. I currently live in my 1886 Texas Farmhouse Fixer Upper that I recently purchased in May. Born and raised in a small town in South Arkansas, I moved out to Dallas area for college and decided to stick around. My roots run deep, so open spaces, character and a good front porch are a few things I really desired in a home during my house-hunt. I reside here with my goldendoodle, Belle, and she loves the porch as much as I do.
How would you describe your personal style in one phrase?
Which room do you spend the most time in and what do you love most about it?
It’s a toss up between the kitchen and the living room. I probably spend an equal amount of time in these rooms. Currently, those are my top two spaces and “the most completed” rooms so far. My plan is to knock the wall out that separates them for better flow and a more open concept. That way, the rooms will be a part of each other a bit more. Eventually, it will create a better flow for community and hangouts, too, which is a huge part of my heart. I really love this area of the house: it has tons of natural light during the day when I hang out & work, and beautiful hardwoods. Atmosphere is important to me. “Officing” from home, it’s a great place to think, write, and do my photo editing in a space I truly love and am inspired in.
What were your 3 main goals when designing this space?
1. Open-concept for hang-outs and dinners
2. A place with lots of natural light
3. A cozy place to think and write
What’s one thing in your home you couldn’t live without?
This one’s a tie: the new redline coffee maker (the most used product in the house probably!) or my Sonos Speakers.
What were some big (or small) challenges in designing your space?
Since it’s still very much a work in progress, I’m speaking from a unique place. My biggest challenge so far has been patience in the process. I’m a visionary at heart, so I see exactly what I want and want to get there fast, but I have promised myself to take this on in a “budget-friendly manner”, so some months are way slower than I’d like them to be.
What’s something you would do if you had an unlimited budget and timeline?
I would completely finish out the attic, redo it, and make the house two-story: Moving a cool office/studio space to shoot photos, and a bedroom loft with lots of light and openness!
What’s your best piece of advice to those just starting to design a space for themselves?
Be patient, live in the space for a little while and really figure out what you want long-term. Don’t settle for lesser quality because of a rush. Really come to decide what you will love most and save/wait for it if you have to. Design it and don’t do it halfway. Really love it!