Season 5 is finally here! Leading up to the season premiere was like waiting for Christmas morning, to say the least. Chip and I had been counting down the days until November 21st. We are truly so proud of each and every one of the homes in this final season, and we’re more than ready for you to see them and meet the families who we designed these spaces for. We mean it when we say we saved the best season for last.
First up this season: Matt and Samantha. They are a young couple who moved from Austin to the Waco area. As first-time homebuyers, they were looking for a house with a home office, a backyard for their two dogs, and just a space that overall reflected their fun personalities. This cottage-style home built in 1932 ended up being the perfect place for the two of them to settle here in Waco
The inspiration materials I used to interpret the style of the family’s home
Because Matt and Samantha loved different design styles that fell under modern and Parisian style, the home’s final reveal reflected an eclectic design with a nod back to some of the original character of the home. To hone in on this style, I drew inspiration from bold patterns and colors and unexpected textures. Matt and Sam wanted to preserve as much of the home’s original character as possible, so we restored the original hardwood floors, the front door, the exterior brick, and left existing tile in the bathroom.
LIVING ROOM + ENTRY
Objective: Create a gathering space that matches the family’s eclectic design style
Though the living room was a clean slate before we got started, it was lacking definition and interest. To add a little bit of the Hardys’ personalities to the space, we covered the fireplace in a hand-painted tile, added a simple warm wood mantel, and installed wooden beams on the ceiling.
While we were cleaning out the home on Demo Day, we found these old, rolled up prints that initially looked like garbage. When we started looking at them, we realized they were the home’s original deed and blueprints! Framing them above the couch made for the perfect focal point for their living room.
We refinished the home’s original hardwood floors and applied a warmer stain tone. We also brightened up the walls with a clean shade of white.
One really special part of this room was getting to incorporate these side tables that Matt’s grandfather built. They were beautiful all on their own, but add the fact that they’re now heirlooms and they couldn’t be more perfect.
Objective: Open up the space and add a bold color to make the room a visual focal point when walking into the home
Though you know I love a good open floor plan, I wanted to keep the dining room it's own clearly defined space because of the bold color I chose for the walls. Using these open built-in shelving units achieved this while still allowing the floor plan to feel open and cohesive.
Using this deep blue jewel tone on both the ceiling and the walls really helped to define the dining room. I love the way the color is contrasted against the clean, white wainscoting and trim.
Objective: Utilize the existing layout while giving the space a modern and functional update
I appreciate the simplicity and layout of a well placed galley kitchen—especially one like this. There’s plenty of room for Samantha and Matt to both be in the kitchen at the same time without bumping into each other.
Black cabinetry really grounded this kitchen, while the quartz countertops, backsplash, and gold hardware really helped balance out the overall look of the kitchen.
Though it looks like cork, the back wall is actually wood wallpaper with gold accents. I designed this paper because I love a good, unexpected wallpaper pattern. This one brings warmth and texture to the kitchen, creating a subtle focal point that doesn’t distract from all of the other unique elements.
A classic breakfast nook would’ve been a misuse of this corner of the kitchen, especially with the dining room so close. Instead, we opted to do a little breakfast bar. This saves space, but also gives an extra food prep area or a great serving spot for all of their parties or gatherings they’re sure to have.
The antique doors leading into the pantry helped bring architectural details to a formerly basic space and offered a nice contrast to the white color we chose for the walls.
Objective: Convert one of the spare bedrooms into a home office for Matt to work in
Because Matt works from home a few days a week, having an office was a top priority. Before the renovation, you had to walk through this room to get to the back bedroom because there wasn’t an actual hallway. We added a wall in order to form a true hallway and to clearly define the office as its own space. Adding this wall also allowed us to turn the room’s previous closet into the powder bath that is on the other side of the hallway! This improved the overall flow of the floor plan.
The live-wood edge on the floating shelves created a masculine look that gave this office even more personality.
This renovation was all about preserving the small, original elements of the home. When we showed them this house, Matt immediately noticed the door knobs and said they reminded him of his grandma.
Objective: Update the master bathroom while keeping the existing layout
All the different textures used in the master bathroom were a fun way to add even more charm in here. The combination of the original tile, buffalo check wallpaper, brass hardware and the wainscoting all came together to create a really beautiful bathroom with a lot of interesting layers.
One of Samantha’s favorite things about the house the first time she saw it was the original tile flooring in the master bathroom. This provided a great source of inspiration for the rest of the design choices.
Objective: Preserve the original character of the home while giving it a clean and modern update
It’s amazing what power washing can do for a brick exterior like this one. I knew with a deep cleaning this brick would be as good as new.
The front door with this crescent-shaped cutout is one of my favorite parts of this home. And it was original to the house, which made me love it even more. Over the years it had been painted white and was covered up from the outside by a dark screen door. After we got rid of that screen door, stripped the white paint off and sealed it, this thing was beautiful and became the focal point of the exterior.
We added a nice substantial trim around the windows and painted all of the trim work a charcoal color. We replaced the existing windows and added custom black iron railing to the windowsills and to the front porch to give the home a refined look. We also took out the overgrown bushes that overpowered the exterior and opted for simple, classic landscape.
This house was such a fun project to kick off season 5 because the couple’s style was so unique. Thank you for letting us be a part of your story, Hardy family! And congratulations on your very first home together!
What are some memories that you’ve gained from this experience?
We were so touched that Chip and Joanna incorporated Matt’s grandparents! Matt grew up watching his grandfather (or Pop, as we call him) woodworking in his shop, so having a part of that legacy in our first home is seriously priceless. We feel like those tables will be passed down for years to come.
Which room in the house do you use the most?
I think technically it’s a tie between the kitchen and living room, but I have to credit that amazing dining room for inspiring us to break our habit of always eating in front of the TV. Either way, with the open shelves and wider entry into the kitchen, they honestly don’t feel like separate rooms anymore.
Are there any details you would like readers to know about your house (or the Fixer Upper experience) that weren’t featured on the show?
The Magnolia team saved us a ton of cool stuff they found during demo, but not all of it ended up on the show. They framed our original blueprints and deed to the house, which was cool because they had notes and edits from the original owners scribbled all over them. They also saved us a couple layers of wallpaper they discovered. One is like a 1960s retro pattern, and the other is literally a hand painted floral pattern that’s probably original from the 1930s!