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Fixer Upper Season 2, Episode 7

by Joanna Gaines
Published on February 18, 2015

The first challenge for us was to find a house our clients would agree on. They had different preferences, but were both set on purchasing a home with enough open space to entertain guests. Even though most of our client’s children are out of the house, Mr. Blount works as a sports chaplain for Baylor and often invites college athletes over to his home. In the end, they chose "The Unstately Manor" because of the overall potential and classic style.

The exterior of the home was dated and lifeless, so we added a fresh coat of paint. I also incorporated new front doors, new light fixtures and new landscaping to freshen up the exterior. My vision was to restore hope to this classic manor, making the exterior inviting to guests and neighbors.

Inside, the foyer was closed and impractical, which made the home feel choppy and harsh. We opened up this space, and I designed new iron railing in the entry. New hardwoods were installed and the entry was painted a soft gray. The front bedroom didn’t serve much of a purpose and was unneeded for the clients, so I also opened up this wall. This made it possible to view the den from the entryway, creating the open floor plan our clients desired.

The kitchen was tiny and dated, so it gave me a chance to get creative. First, I designed custom cabinets that extended all the way to the ceiling. We framed new windows, adding more light and creating the illusion of more space. New flooring and hardware were installed with a Silesstone Lagoon counter top and "Arctic Ice" subway tile back splash. I added new light fixtures, crown molding, and painted the walls with my favorite color, "Silver Strand." Lastly, Chip opened up the wall facing the dining room, making the two rooms more fluid.

In the dining room, I added a new light fixture and a set of French doors. This created easy access to the backyard from the kitchen. We also extended the bar top from the kitchen, through the dining and into the living room to add more seating for guests.

Inside the living room, we added recess lighting and installed wood planks (shiplap) for a chair rail. The fireplace was painted and a new mantle was positioned on top to freshen up the space. I also added another set of French doors from the living room into the client’s new office space.

The master bedroom was originally upstairs, but our clients wanted the master suite to be downstairs instead. We decided to transform the garage addition into a cozy master suite. We installed new flooring, light fixtures and crown molding, and painted it "Intellectual Gray." A once tiny guest bath was expanded and renovated in a nice size master bath and closet.

The Unstately Manor was a simple, classic house that needed some refining and attention to detail. Now it stands tall and proud, fresh with life and a new story. This home is now the perfect place for the clients to host students, family and friends.