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AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Episode 07 - Paw Paw's House

January 19, 2016

Paw Paw's House Chip and I loved tackling this heartfelt project for the Zan family! This couple wanted room to grow, a southwestern vibe, and also preferred to stay in the country where wide-open spaces and Texas sunsets aren’t in short supply.

The Zan’s home was special because it was their family-owned ranch house. It belonged to Sterling’s “Paw Paw”  before he passed away, and she wanted to keep it in the family. Her grandfather built this home with his own two hands and they had many years of memories here. Though the Zans considered buying other homes in the area, this always seemed to be the one they went back to. This house sat empty for so long that it became a home for all kinds of critters and was in need of a major overhaul.

Dansby-Floorplan Options
We started in the master bedroom. The couple wanted a cozy cabin-feel, so we incorporated an accent wall made from fresh cut cedar. This brought a warm, homey vibe and added an element of interest to the space.



The first win in the master was the fact that the original hardwood floors underneath the dated carpet were salvageable. We refinished them, added new windows, light fixtures, drywall and a coat of fresh paint to the walls, and added a natural cedar, clear sealed window trim and baseboards.

The master bathroom needed a complete transformation as well. We installed new drywall, paint, trim, tile, a large walk-in shower, brand new fixtures and hardware, new white oak cabinets, and Volakas marble countertops.image06
Chip and I wanted the living room to have the same southwestern, cozy cabin feel as the master bedroom, so we added drywall and continued the same paint color and trim into the main hallways and living spaces. We installed new pine flooring throughout the living space, added all new windows, doors, and light fixtures to update the main living space.



This space originally had a dated built-in and A/C wall vent and I wanted to spruce it up a bit by removing all the doors and painting the shelves and then my friend and metal worker, Jimmy Don, cut this pretty design out for the new wall vent that now looks like artwork! This goes to show that it doesn’t take much to freshen up a space.


Obviously this was a major transformation but I also wanted to think through all the smaller details so there was still that sentimental element. Sterling’s grandfather picked out these curtains in the before picture in the 60s or 70s (perhaps this is where she got her love for the southwestern flare) and I wanted to repurpose the curtains and make pillows for the new space. I had my little girls help sew the pillows that would find new life on the bench leading to the backyard.



I also had our friend and photographer, Jeff Jones, come out to the property and take photos of the family land that surrounds the home, which is as sentimental as the house itself. We hung these as a surprise in the entryway, in hopes it would be a daily reminder of how rich in family history this property is.


My carpenter, Clint Harp, was able to refinish and freshen up the client’s grandfather’s dining room table, where they shared many meals growing up.

We opened up the kitchen space to the dining and living areas by taking down a wall, and added patterned saltillo tile floors. We also added rock backsplash with heavy mortar, concrete countertops, antique beams, alder wood stained cabinets, copper accents, and a stucco vent hood with wood trim.

The kitchen was a nod to Spanish and Aztec styles while mixing with the southwestern style carried throughout the Zan’s home. It was finished off with an antique pantry door that blended the styles together while adding an extra level of interest to the room.





The outside of the Zan home was completely reworked. It received fresh paint, wooden shutters, and the main entrance was moved the center of the home, so visitors would enter right into the living space. The home also received all new southwestern style landscaping and a deep front porch with wood flooring and an a-frame wood ceiling for the family to sit outside and enjoy those Texas sunsets together.

In the end, the Zan family loved their home’s transformation from a critter-infested relic, to a spacious and cozy family home. The reveal was extra special because the Zan family knew their grandfather would’ve loved it. Chip and I were honored to create a home where the Zans could cherish the memories from the past but also create new memories moving forward with their own beautiful family.



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  • Shannon Patrick
    8:56 am, February 9, 2018
    Where did the console/side board in the entryway come from? I LOVE it! Please tell me I can purchase it!
  • Suzette Firehammer
    2:15 pm, January 27, 2018
    I would like to know where to purchase the light fixture above the kitchen table. I love this remodel. We are remodeling a 164 year old farmhouse and would love to find this fixture
  • Lenglet Dominique
    2:52 pm, January 9, 2018
    C est vraiment magnifique !! merveilleux.
  • Mary Jane Bayer
    11:23 am, January 6, 2018
    I absolutely love this house. What type of siding did you use? Is the wood on the front porch cedar? What brand Windows? Thank you for all your inspiration.
    • Lindsey C
      5:30 pm, February 20, 2018
      Mary Jane- did you ever find out the brand of the windows?
  • Elizabeth
    10:24 am, December 28, 2017
    As always, lovely turnout and so special given the family ties. Wondering if you could share where the couches are from. Keep up the amazing work. Cheers!
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