Episode 06 - The Safe Gamble House January 8, 2018 This particular home holds a special place in my heart. Chip and I actually purchased it to be a flip home project that we planned on renovating and then selling. But right about the time we started working on it, my little sister Mary Kay (but we call her “Mikey”) and her husband David found out they were moving back to Waco for his job. I knew they would love this house, so the whole thing was perfect timing. Mikey and I are really close and always have been. When she and David got married, they lived right next door to us. About nine years ago, they made the moved for David’s Med School, and they’ve been away ever since. Mikey and David have been talking about moving back home to Waco for a long time, and the timing was actually perfect for them to fall in love with this beautiful house. So it’s been a long time coming, but my baby sister is FINALLY moving back to Waco! And to sweeten the deal, Chip and I got to help them create their dream home. DESIGN ELEMENTS The inspiration materials I used to interpret the style of the family’s home Mikey and David have a very fun style. Mikey loves the mid-century modern and the vintage style, and David appreciates that Adobe, almost southwestern feel. We really went bold with our color palette, patterns, and nostalgic details, like wallpaper and macrame. The architecture of the house naturally lends itself to mid-century, so we complemented this by incorporating a lot of clean lines, interesting shapes, and minimalistic details. ENTRY + LIVING ROOM Objective | Open up the space more to the kitchen to make the room feel bright and airy for the family to spend time together The entryway immediately sets the tone for the mid-century modern style. The teal colored front door (Mikey’s favorite color) and the interesting light fixture immediately draw you in. This teal door might be my favorite part of the whole exterior renovation. The original living room already had a great layout, it just needed some opening up and updating. The problem was the wall-to-wall stone fireplace. It was overwhelming and darkened the whole room, so I decided to remove all of the stone and stucco the fireplace. This brought in the adobe style that I knew David would love, and it lightened everything up. We added all new larger windows that were angled to match the pitch of the ceiling. I love this detail because it draws your eye right to the fireplace. I never pass up an opportunity to add storage to a family home, so that’s exactly what I did underneath these bench seats by the windows. You can’t have too much space for odds and ends. Light fixtures play a really important role in bringing in the mid-century style to the home. These round pendant lights are fun and add more to the room than traditional floor or tabletop lamps would have. Like I said before, my sister is an even bigger plant lady than I am, so I wanted to make sure there were plenty of areas where plants could grow happily with lots of natural light. KITCHEN + DINING ROOM Objective | Utilize the original layout and natural light to make the space feel open and inviting The existing layout was already pretty open to the living space. All it took to maximize the layout was to take down a few little half walls separating the kitchen from the living and dining spaces. There was another wall separating the entry from the kitchen, so rather than removing this wall, we updated it with a metal and glass unit which allowed the room to feel open to the entryway, and allows both areas to share all of the natural light in this space. There’s that teal color from the front door again! I can’t overstate how much my sister loves this color, and I liked the idea of surprising her with it in little sections throughout the house. When we found this backsplash, I immediately knew it was the one. The lights above the island are some of my favorites. They’re the kind of design element that enhances the space without distracting from it. Adding shelves at the end of the island like this was a great way for Mikey to store her cookbook collection. Having them displayed like this makes them easy to find, which is so much simpler than digging in the pantry or a storage closet to find the one you need. The dining room is so open and bright because of the big, beautiful wall of windows. We sanded down the existing beam and left it raw so it would warm up the white walls and give the ceiling a point of interest. The chandelier in here was actually one that we took out of a Fixer Upper from season 4 on Demo Day. It wasn’t the clients’ style, so they allowed us to pull it out of the home. I knew it would work perfectly above this table. FAMILY DEN Objective | Make the room multifunctional for work, storage, and play The den was previously a garage conversion that felt cold and uninviting. By bringing the same flooring in here and opening up the doorway, it automatically made this feel like it had always been part of the home. We carried the same look from the kitchen into this space with these black metal framed sliding glass doors. I love the way these kinds of doors offer privacy (and noise control with 6 kids), without shutting the space off from the rest of the home. This was a large room, so adding in lots and lots of storage and carving out functional spaces throughout the layout was a big priority. We added a table and chairs for doing homework and crafts, 6 coat cubbies for each of the kids, we built a work desk for Mikey, and we worked in a big, comfortable sitting area for family game or movie nights. By breaking the space up, we were able to make it work for all of this family’s needs. The den also happened to be right off of the carport, which made these coat cubbies even more necessary. This sort of addition is perfect to serve as a catch-all for the family to drop their backpacks, coats, muddy shoes, and odds and ends. MASTER BEDROOM Objective | Blend bold color and texture together to create a space that lives up to the vintage style this couple loves The focal point of this room is definitely the wallpaper. I love its colors, pattern and its overall vintage vibe. To me this just looked like Mikey and David, and it added an extra layer of texture that the room needed. MASTER BATHROOM Objective | Keep the original footprint, but give the space a modern update The master bath has one of the most interesting vanities of the season. I love its drawer pulls—they feel like a nod to the the mid century modern style. This whole space feels really clean. The shape from the hexagon tile and the green of the hanging plants creates a lot of cool texture. The dry stacked handmade tiles above the bathtub were equally funky and fun, especially with this really interesting hanging shelf that we designed. I love it so much, especially since it’s in this fun color that we incorporated into the rest of the renovation. LAUNDRY ROOM Objective | Move the mechanical closet to give the family a bigger and more functional laundry space We took over a mechanical closet to make sure Mikey and David had plenty of space to get clothes washed. I love the 50s vibe and all of the colors in here. EXTERIOR Objective | Give the original ranch style exterior a modern update to match the interior The original look of this home was dated with a painted white stone exterior. However, when we started to replace the old windows, we noticed that the original stone wasn’t attached to the house correctly. It basically just started crumbling off of the house. So we rebricked the entire exterior, and also added a vertical, warm-stained wood siding in a few places to add warmth and interest. We know firsthand how much this family loves to be outside, so building an outdoor eating area was a must. From there, the new landscape and updated windows put the finishing touches on this exterior. Building this outdoor eating space onto the front of the house, rather than adding it in the back, was deliberate, because of how much it draws the exterior of the home out. These cement breeze blocks have a vintage style that I knew my sister would love, so I enclosed this space using them. Mikey is the original plant lady, so this cement bench serves as even more surface area for her to store her outdoor plants. The wood arbor style roof allows plenty of sun to get in, but also gives a perfect spot to hang outdoor string lights. Overall, I knew this little eating space would be a fun gathering spot where the whole family would love to gather. I loved every second of getting to work with Mikey and David to design this home, and getting to share this experience with her will always make this one of my very favorite Fixer Upper projects. What makes it even sweeter is that this means Mikey is moving HOME, and that just can’t be beat. Chip and I truly couldn’t be happier to welcome the McCall crew back to Waco! Interview With Homeowner Q: What was something that surprised you about the design process? A: I didn’t realize at first how we would have a lot of say in what we wanted in our house and how easy and peaceful it all would be. You give Jojo ideas and pictures of what you like, and then her and her team take it from there and make it happen—but far above what you even anticipated. Q: What made you want to live in this home? A: I loved that the house was a ranch style home with just what we needed in this season… 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, a main living area with a kitchen and a gameroom—no extra wasted space. I love functional, practical spaces. We also liked the neighborhood and the area in general. Q: What is your favorite room in the house, and why? A: Oh my that’s hard I love every room and corner of the house! And the outside space in the front is dreamy! Initially David and I both thought the game room was our favorite… I love all the pops of color in there and all the storage space and functionality of the room, but the more I’m in that main living room and kitchen area, the more it becomes my favorite with all the bright light coming through those big windows, and I love the fireplace… when I’m in that part of the house with the mid century lighting and furniture I feel like I’m living in a different era. Time slows down and I want to sip coffee by the fire with our old Bing Crosby records playing in the background and just sit and enjoy David and our 6 kiddos. Q: What is your favorite feature in the house and why? A: We love all the windows and natural light! So good for all my plant babies and real babies. The house we lived in before was dark and natural light just makes us all a bit more happy. Q: How did your home balance design and functionality? A: I couldn't have imagined a more perfect blend of design and functionality. I don’t like wasted space or pretty spaces that don’t really serve a purpose. I love all the built-ins by the fireplace and in the gameroom… the cabinetry feels very mid century and offers practical space for storage and sitting. Q: How was it getting to work with your sister to design your home? A: I have wanted Jojo and Chip to do a house for us since we first got married 13 years ago, so this was a dream come true! Jojo knows my style more than anyone, so I had complete confidence that she would design the perfect home for us. Q: How did you decide on the design of the house? What inspired the choice? A: I have always loved mid century with a touch of the 70s. Anything that reminded me of my grandparents’ house—from their mustard yellow couch and curtains to their cute little kitchen with colorful vintage trinkets—has always made me happy. Hollywood ranch style homes in the 50s and 60s always appealed to me as well. David and I love the great outdoors and some of our fondest memories with our kids are spending time in the mountains of northern New Mexico. It’s always been my dream to live in a house that feels like that mid century time period. Jojo, as only she could do, was able to incorporate all these different design aspects of mid century modern, New Mexico flavor and a touch of the great outdoors into one home. Q: What was your favorite thing about the renovation process? A: I loved that I virtually had to do nothing except show Jojo a few inspirational pictures. It really is the most amazing thing on reveal day because you haven’t seen the house since demo day or lifted a pinky and it feels like the biggest surprise and gift. It’s an overload of beauty at every corner and you feel so known and loved. It is truly overwhelming. Q: Was there anything that surprised you about getting to work with your sister and Chip? A: We knew it would be amazing, but it really did exceed our expectations. It was above and beyond what we could have imagined. Every single room and detail was so well thought out. It’s hard not to feel completely overwhelmed just walking into each room, because you know they poured their whole hearts into every space in that home. There’s so much love and beauty in that house! Q: How was your own personal style revealed in the home? A: The color choices, abundance of plants, decor, wallpaper and fixture choices…all of that stuff I would have hand picked myself. Joey knows me so well. And when a friend or family member walks in, they say, “This house looks and feels just like you.” This is a true testament to Jojo and Chip and how they can create a home that perfectly fits the people who live there.