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AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Episode 08 - The Plain Jane House

January 22, 2018

Josh, Linn and their two boys moved to Waco so that Josh could pursue his master’s degree in music at Baylor University. The family of four wanted a home with a functional layout, a room where they could all hang out together, a lot of character throughout the home, and a space for Josh to work on his music.


The inspiration materials I used to interpret the style of the family’s home

The couple’s taste is a modern twist on the traditional style with antique and vintage-inspired pieces incorporated throughout. The home didn’t have many architectural elements in it naturally, so we added in some classic patterns and textures to give it interest. A color you’ll see carried throughout this home in different shades is blue. I wanted this whole space to feel calm, inspiring and relaxing. The most notable design elements were musically inspired, which gave the home personality and a story.


Objective | Reconfigure the floorplan to allow for a more open kitchen


Objective | Give the room an update that feels seamless from the kitchen to the living room


Objective | Give Josh a quiet, inspiring space to practice his music and study


Objective | Use the existing footprint to create a traditional style family bathroom


Objective | Maximize the small space and add architectural interest to the room


Objective | Give the original ranch style exterior a modern update to match the interior

I get inspired when I get to infuse the family’s personality into a design, so this project was really rewarding from start to finish. I loved getting to create a space that was both functional and beautiful for them. Welcome home, Lee family!

Interview With Homeowner

Q: What was something that surprised you about the design process?

A: We were surprised at how much attention was paid to what we wanted and were looking for. We were often asked for our thoughts and input on specific design choices, and even though we weren't able to see the final product until the reveal, it was nice to see how much energy and effort was put into making this a home for us.

Q: What was the deciding factor that attracted you to choosing this home?

A: The location and the price were probably the biggest factors; the size of the yard was also a big plus, and we liked that even though it has enough space for our growing family, it's not so big that we can hide from each other. We like doing life together as a family.

Q: What is your favorite feature in the house, and why?

A: The circular design on the dining room ceiling is probably our favorite design element. Aside from bringing a unique look to that room, it adds a sense of character and detail that is not often found in newer homes.

Q: How did your home balance design and functionality?

A: The openness of the living/dining/kitchen area allows for us to all be together whether we are preparing meals, eating, or playing. Everything is so connected and functional, and yet everything is so beautiful and tied together from a visual perspective.

Q: Why did you apply to Fixer Upper?

A: We had seen the show before we knew we were moving to Waco, and we liked a lot of the ideas and designs that we had seen. When we realized Waco was our destination, and knew we would be buying a house on a budget, we thought, "well, we might as well apply and see what happens!"

Q: How did you decide on the design of the house? What inspired the choice?

A: We both love older homes and a lot of the history and classic design elements that are found in them; things like moulding, chair rails, and trim. We like the things that show that thought and time went into putting the house together. At the same time, we needed practical, functional spaces. I think Magnolia did a great job of merging classic details into a somewhat modern look - it really works for us!

Q: What was your favorite thing about the renovation process?

A: Seeing our home revealed for the first time. It was really hard not to go by and see how everything was coming along. We got little details along the way as we talked through design elements, but finally being able to see how everything fit together and knowing that we could move into our new home was a great feeling.

Q: Did you get the rest of the house renovated or just what was shown on the show?

A: We also had cosmetic work done to the bedrooms and remodeled the master bathroom which was not shown on the show. They also updated the laundry and added a mudroom next to the kitchen. The master bathroom was styled very similarly to the bathroom that was shown, and in the bedrooms we got rid of the popcorn ceilings and added new carpet, paint, and trim.

Q: How was your own personal style revealed in your home?

A: One of the biggest things that we feel reflects our family are the music-related accents that were sprinkled throughout the house. There isn't a day that goes by that songs are not sung in this house, and it's fun to have our house reflect how much music is a part of our lives. The other is the classic-feeling design elements like the moulding and wainscoting that was added in the dining room; they really add some interest and character to our formerly "Plain Jane!"


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  • Heather Balcom
    2:19 pm, February 24, 2018
    Love the blue in the dining room. Can you please tell me the paint color used?
  • Debbie
    11:53 pm, February 19, 2018
    What was the color of blue used on the cabinets?
  • Shannon
    2:27 pm, February 12, 2018
    What was the color of blue used on the cabinets?
  • M Bradbrook
    12:39 pm, February 11, 2018
    Love the bathroom gray paint colour, can you tell me what it is please?
  • Betty
    5:21 pm, February 10, 2018
    Where can I get the black metal framed mirror used in the bathroom in episode 08?
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