Sarah Fogle doesn’t want any confusion. Despite her zest for DIY, she is no Mrs. Bob Vila! Her work spaces are a little disorganized, and her drill is defunct. And yes, she wears her heart on her sleeve—along with paint and caulk-stained pajama pants.
A sassy and determined grad school student with a realtor’s license and flair for do-it-yourself home improvement, crafts, and blogging, Sarah is renovating her 1982 Atlanta, GA residence, which she affectionately calls “The Ugly Duckling House.” Sarah is fixing it up in between studying, working, and maintaining a social life.
Once upon a time, Sarah shared these remodeling adventures with her “then-boyfriend.” When the “we” turned to “I”, things changed. One less person meant one less pair of hands, as in, “I don’t get to tackle things as quickly as I used to.” On the upside, solo re-mo meant Sarah could sing her favorite tunes (Grace Potter, Maroon 5, Theory of a Dead Man) as loud as she wanted. And it also meant there was more space in the workshop—a good thing, since Sarah describes her DIY center as “tiny” and “practically non-existent.”
Currently, Sarah’s primary woodworking set up is relegated to a cramped corner of her one-car garage. Anchored by two folding tables and a pegboard wall, Sarah says, “The focal point is the mess.” Intent on upgrading (soon, hopefully) to some sturdy workbenches where she can properly clamp her beloved Kreg jig, she surmises, “I figure the organization comes after I’ve built my new worktables.”
Sarah has another work space upstairs known as The Study-O. Once “a dumping ground for half-finished projects,” The Study-O is shaping up—with a homemade desk, new paint job, and repurposed lighting—to be a pretty swank multi-purpose room. Used for crafts, studying, and office work, it is still a room in progress. Sarah is contemplating whether to buy or make a storage unit and also where to hang a gold leaf world map that she made.
Aside from ripping up floors and such, Sarah is a bedroom blogger. Committed to honest communication with her followers, Sarah says, “I keep almost everything within reach in the bedroom at night and blog with my laptop in bed while watching a little TV.” She dedicates six to eight hours to her spunky blog and a few more hours to answering reader emails and keeping up with social media sites.
Five years from now, Sarah envisions that the “Ugg-Duck” house will have sold and that she will be tearing apart another fixer-upper. She has gotten the hang of solo DIY and will call on others as needed. Her dad is first on the list, as he is the one Sarah holds responsible for her early DIY education. “I’m sure I can figure things out on my own because of him,” she says.”
Sarah also enlists friends when needed. “If I invite them out for dinner anywhere near my house, there is a strong possibility I’ll ask them to hold something steady or lift something heavy before we head out.” And then there’s Charlie, a sweet rescue who Sarah swears, because of the pup’s jumping prowess, is part kangaroo. In the middle of a project gone bad, Charlie can be quite the comfort.