Episode 14 - The All-American Farmhouse March 6, 2018 It was a true honor to get to work with TJ and Stephanie, who moved to Waco to attend Baylor University, on this special project. TJ is a veteran marine who lost his leg while stationed in Afghanistan. Watching the community come together to donate everything from materials to labor was so meaningful. The building was originally a pole barn, which is basically a simple barn-style building used for storing supplies. It had been converted into a home years prior, but by the time we got our hands on it, it was still a pretty blank canvas. The goal here was to make it as spacious as possible with the original floor plan’s limited square footage and to make sure it felt more like a home than a converted barn. DESIGN ELEMENTS The inspiration materials I used to interpret the style of the family’s home TJ and Stephanie love the farmhouse style, so I honored that by using a pretty neutral palette that balanced the traditional farmhouse features with industrial elements, like black metal hardware and concrete countertops. EXTERIOR Objective | Warm up the exterior to ensure this former barn felt more like home This front porch is really what gave this home’s exterior the farmhouse look they wanted, and I have no doubt they’ll spend plenty of time out there. Our carpenter, Clint, built the porch swing especially for this couple and with this front porch in mind. The barn doors of on the front of the house hide the garage. They match the style of the home so well that you almost forget it’s a garage in the first place. ENTRYWAY + LIVING ROOM Objective | Utilize the layout to make an open living room that’s inviting The arched trim surrounding the windows and doors adds a polished detail to this home that I love. I carried this feature throughout the rest of the house as well to serve as a character detail that looks as if it could be original to the home. The entry to this home was designed to be warm and welcoming. With the color of the walls and all the natural light coming in through those big french doors, I knew that this area of the home would be plenty bright. KITCHEN Objective | Make good use of the existing footprint to create a bright, open farmhouse kitchen I love this kitchen. It’s a perfect mix of the classic farm style with bolder metal elements. The metal “X” on the ends of the island, pot rack, open shelving, and vent hood all steal the show in here. Instead of installing a traditional backsplash,we went with white vertical wood. It offers a subtle backdrop for the rest of the details in the kitchen. To give some variation, I had our cabinet guy stain the cabinet under the sink, rather than paint it like the rest of the lower cabinets. This helped keep this space from looking like one big wall of grey cabinets. When you think of a built-in, you probably usually think of a living room. But having a designated space for cookbooks and drawers designed for storing utensils merits having one for the kitchen. Plus, the added nostalgia of this plate rack was just too good to pass up. OUTDOOR EATING Objective | Create an alternative dining area that incorporates the outdoors and overlooks the land There wasn’t enough room in the floor plan to add in a formal dining room, so we decided to capitalize on this beautiful view and create an outdoor eating area. We screened it in to keep the bugs away, but also wanted this to be an area they could use year round regardless of weather. We tied in the same style “X” from the kitchen island to the screens of the porch so that the two spaces felt more connected. MASTER BEDROOM Objective | Set the homeowners up with a beautiful master suite with a view of their land I wanted to create a simple accent wall with texture in the master. We installed board and batten to help create this look. MASTER BATHROOM Objective | Create a functional bathroom with plenty of storage The black hexagon tile feels just modern enough to fit perfectly in here, and is a perfect balance to the warm stain on the vanity I knew I wanted to incorporate a personal element into the home, and when I asked TJ and Stephanie if they had a phrase of some kind that was special to them, they immediately thought of this quote. They have such a sweet story and I hope this is a daily visual reminder of everything they’ve overcome and accomplished together. Their reaction to seeing it for the first time was my favorite of the entire reveal. The custom vanity in this bathroom has so many storage opportunities—and (in a bathroom especially) you can never have too many drawers. OFFICE + LAUNDRY ROOM Objective | Get creative on space to combine these two much-needed rooms This laundry room/home office has some eye-catching plaid, cement tile that I love. I never pass up an opportunity to incorporate a unique pattern into a room, and a smaller space—like this one—is the perfect place to do it. You get just enough variation without it overtaking the entire room. Congratulations to TJ and Stephanie on their new home and their engagement! That was definitely a Fixer Upper first. We hope this home serves as the perfect backdrop for the beautiful story to come. Welcome home. Interview With Homeowner Q: What was something that surprised you about the design process? A: Stephanie: We were very surprised to find out that we got to actively play a role in the design process. We took more of a back seat to the design process and really trusted in Joanna and her team. We shared with them the color palette we like (black, white, natural/wood) and T.J. had a few specific requests that he had his heart set on, and the whole team went out of their way to make them happen. He requested concrete countertops, a farmhouse sink, and a handicap-accessible shower that didn’t look handicap-accessible. Q: What was the deciding factor that attracted you to choosing this home? A: Stephanie: We chose our home because we fell in love with the uniqueness of the barn and the beautiful land / views / serenity of it all. We had previously lived in Washington, D.C. and it was TJ's dream to own land. After living in Waco for 6 months we knew we wanted to buy. We could both feel that it was meant to be. We were so excited and it makes me smile all over again thinking about it! Q: What is your favorite room in the house and why? A: TJ: My favorite room / space in the house is the outdoor space. The reason I fell in love with this home/barn was due to the beautiful views. Chip and Jo did an amazing job of creating an outdoor space that we love. The porch is my favorite place to sit and watch the sunset or sunrise. I sit out and watch our cows and our horse roam around. The weather is perfect in Waco for outdoor dining and we absolutely love having our meals outside. Stephanie: My favorite room in the house is the kitchen area. The kitchen island is the perfect gathering space when friends and family come over. The design team made our compact space feel so functional. We opted for no TV in our home which meant we got extra windows! I love the views of our land and with all of our windows and french doors it literally feels like we are a part of the outdoors. Q: How did you decide on the design of the house? What inspired the choice? A: Stephanie: We wanted a modern farmhouse design that matched the land. We like a simple color palette, we wanted the design to be simple and not rustic. TJ had a couple of more specific requests we mentioned earlier. After that we pretty much left everything else up to Joanna and the design team! We wanted to trust in their vision and it was the absolute best decision! We truly wanted to be surprised in every way on our reveal day. Q: What was your favorite thing about the renovation process? A: Stephanie: That TJ got to participate with Chip and Shorty and the crew for DEMO DAY! We purchased the house and never dreamed we would be on Fixer Upper. We bought the land and the barn because as unique as it was, it was love at first sight. We had planned to slowly remodel the house while TJ was finishing his degree at Baylor. TJ is a very hands on / handy dude so it was really special to both of us that he got to participate in the demo process of our home.