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Fixer Upper Season 2, Episode 8

by Joanna Gaines
Published on February 25, 2015

"The Shingle Shack” was a good size home with a ton of potential but needed to be updated and revamped. Our clients were drawn to this house because it was located in a great neighborhood and had plenty of bedrooms for their family. We were excited about walking through the process of purchasing a home with the Haire family since it would be the couple's first home together.

In hopes of giving the house more curb appeal, I lightened up the house with a soft but bright gray tone. Because the house looked dated and heavy, we removed the shingles and replaced them with new siding. We also painted the exterior trim white, which created a more clean and finished look. I incorporated a new front door, new porch posts, shutters, and simple black hardware on the plain garage door. These improvements were topped off with a fresh beautiful landscape that made the exterior come alive.

Inside, the front foyer was dark and closed in, so I opened up the wall into the living room and added new iron railing. I also selected a carpet runner for the stairs and a light color for the walls. The new front door also added a significant amount of natural light to brighten the space as well. I designed sliding barn doors in the foyer leading into our client’s office, creating both character in the foyer and privacy for the office. I also added a custom-made bench by Clint HarpOpens in new tab to hide a major plumbing line in the foyer. The reclaimed wood bench fit perfectly along the wall in the foyer and added even more charm to the entry.

Bench made by Harp Design CoOpens in new tab

The foyer led into the living and dining spaces, which both only needed simple updates. We added new flooring, base boards, crown molding, and new lighting.

I opened up the wall from the formal dining room into the kitchen to create a more open floor plan. Then, we completely transformed the existing kitchen by adding new cabinets, a large island, new pendants, new appliances, and, my favorite, a signature farm sink. I used Silestone Quarts countertops with a limestone “Chenille White” limestone tile backsplash and a Tilebar Imperial Cumulus Cloud backsplash accent. Lastly, I created a cased opening from the kitchen into the living room so that the young mother could keep an eye on her kids in the backyard.

In the den, I added two new sets of French doors to bring in more natural light. Chip wrapped the existing beams and sanded and re-stained the original hardwoods with a “Minwax Provincial” stain. I balanced the built-ins by the fireplace and the wood elements in both the den and the breakfast nook with a calm and peaceful color scheme and decor.

Upstairs, the master bedroom was revamped to include new windows, floors, lighting, and new trim. We painted the walls for a cohesive soft look throughout the home.

Bed courtesy of Bob Mills FurnitureOpens in new tab

The biggest challenge for this Fixer Upper was the master bathroom. Originally, this bathroom felt more like a half bath than a master, so our clients decided it was worth cutting into one of the existing bedrooms to add more space to the bathroom. Chip and I created a spacious yet functional master bath and added a tub, large shower, double vanity, and large walk-in closet. I selected a “Silestone Quarts” product for the vanity, Floor and Decor Forum “Ivory” tile for the floor and shower walls, and a “Rockford Blend” for accent tiles.

 In the end, we were honored to be a part of the Haire family's first home buying experience. I believe the key to buying a Fixer Upper is buying it at the right price, while making room in the budget for the needed renovations and not going over the market value in the area. Not only were the Haires able to purchase this “ugly house on the block” at a great price, but they were able to stay within their budget and transform the house into an All-American classic beauty.