Fixer Upper Season 4, Episode 1

by Joanna Gaines
Published on November 30, 2016

When we started working on a design concept for the Chapman home, I liked that Brittany and Andrew loved the traditional style, but didn’t want it to be too formal. They wanted their home to be comfortable, welcoming, and a space they could entertain in without it feeling stuffy.

From there, “relaxed traditional” is what I started calling the Chapmans' design style. It also encompassed a few traditional and French touches throughout the space.

Living + Dining

Objective: Create a comfortable living and dining space that blends rustic and traditional styles.

The living room was large with the sunroom connected, so we had to work out a way to define the two spaces so not a single inch of space was wasted. This double-sided fireplace was a great way to bring separation to the space without completely closing it off.

The Chapmans' dogs are such a big part of their story that I had a friend make these funky custom art pieces. I love the way they personalize their space.

When the Chapmans have guests over, I like the idea that they'll have two spaces to kind off "choose from" to entertain in. This sunroom is such a beautiful space, and the natural light in here makes it the happiest space in the whole house.

I love the natural light in here. The big windows are one of my favorite features of the home and make this space the perfect sunroom.

The beams we added throughout the living spaces and master bedroom were actually faux beams, meaning they were hollow. Brittany loved the look of beams, and this was an inexpensive way to achieve the exact same look.

Brittany studied abroad in France, so she has a soft spot for French culture. Small details, like this chandelier, give the home a touch of French flair.


Objective: Open up the area to the rest of the living space and create an island that can double as a breakfast bar. Add a butler’s pantry with a wine service area for hosting.

Knowing that the exposed beams would warm up the space, I went with white cabinetry, white countertops, and white backsplash. Accents like black iron pendants, navy details, and wooden beams finish this room up perfectly.

Brittany loves the color navy, so painting the vent hood and the island was a detail I knew she would appreciate.

I love the light in this butler's pantry. The family specifically requested this area for ease of entertaining. I also love that they requested a wine service area! So fun and personal to them.


Objective: A fun wish list item for the laundry room/mudroom was a dog shower for their furry friends.

By far the most unique feature of this home is the doggie spa. When the Chapmans requested it, we all had a good laugh, but this is definitely one of my favorite things about the whole house. It was a first! The built-in shelving unit made this area a practical place for the Chapmans to store jackets, laundry supplies, and odds and ends.

The laundry room/mudroom was previously a workshop, but the Chapmans had more use for it as a laundry room. It ended up being equally practical and pretty.

This wallpaper, “Letterpress,” is actually one from my Magnolia Home Wallpaper line. I love the way it adds a fun story to the space.

The contrast of the black wainscoting with the white subway tile and cabinetry makes for a bit of a high-end feel. The gray herringbone tile really evened it out and made the space feel more traditional.

Master Bedroom

Objective: I wanted to design a space that matches with the traditional ranch style but is a subtle and relaxing retreat for the Chapmans.

This master bedroom only required basic updates. We added this same faux beam to match the beams in the living room, and kept with a neutral palette.

The master bathroom in this space was originally covered in dark wood and was stuffy and outdated. I wanted it to be the exact opposite—light, airy, and spacious.

I loved the idea of marble tiles throughout this entire space. We also incorporated a fresh white wainscoting, light gray walls, and wood-trimmed mirrors to warm the space up.

Interview with Homeowner

What is your favorite element in the house?

Definitely the fireplace! It’s the focal point of the living room. It was something we weren’t expecting, but we love it. We’ve already been through the whole stack of wood seen on the show, and it hasn’t even gotten really cold in Texas yet!

How did the “dog shower” come about and how has it worked in your home?

We had the silly idea of a dog shower, and Joanna turned it into something that was so much better than we could have imagined. Our chocolate lab is always so excited for bath time.

Have you invited any guests over since the remodel?

It’s been really special to be able to fit the entire family easily. With 20 people in the house, 2 large dogs and 2 little dogs—this is a big accomplishment. We are so excited to host holidays and have even more people over to the house in the future.

The Chapmans were fun clients, and we loved working with and getting to know them. Chip and I appreciated their willingness to work with us and give us a few “firsts” of our own! This beautiful home was one for the books, and we hope they live happily here for years to come!