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AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

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.


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.


Objective | Warm up the exterior to ensure this former barn felt more like home


Objective | Utilize the layout to make an open living room that’s inviting


Objective | Make good use of the existing footprint to create a bright, open farmhouse kitchen


Objective | Create an alternative dining area that incorporates the outdoors and overlooks the land


Objective | Set the homeowners up with a beautiful master suite with a view of their land


Objective | Create a functional bathroom with plenty of storage


Objective | Get creative on space to combine these two much-needed rooms

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.


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  • Kim
    9:13 pm, March 18, 2018
    "D" names...Dillon (or Dylan), Dallas, Dawson, Dustin, Dusty, Dakota, Dalton, Drew, Dino, Dominic, Derek, Dale, Dean, Duncan, Deacon, Darren, Dane, Dorian, Darian, Darryl, Devan (or Devon), Doug, Diego, Dennis, Dexter, Dex, Donovan, Duane, Dirks (or Dirk), Doyle, Dax, Dag, Deon (or Dion), Dixon, Denton, Dagen (or Dagon), Dain, Dalyn, Darby, Don, Duff
    Biblical...David, Daniel
  • Mary Anderson
    9:23 am, March 17, 2018
    Love you guys! Every project you begin always has a happy ending!
    I just wanted to share: I have a "D" list of boy's names for your next ' special delivery'....Dustin, Daryl, David,Donovan,Donald,Dean, Daniel...
  • donna
    9:55 am, March 16, 2018
    Can you give me the buying information on the arched trim surrounding the widows on the All American Farmhouse, Episode 14, Season 5.
    Thank you so much
  • Sharon Lee
    3:39 pm, March 15, 2018
    Love Chip & Joanna's love for each other & the their kids! Wonderful family! Love Chip's antics & Joanna's designs! Definitely hooked on their show!
  • Karen Reider
    12:02 pm, March 15, 2018
    Loved this sweet little farmhouse and the story behind it. I'm already having withdrawals over the ending of your show. I truly look forward to it every week and can't believe I won't be able to see anymore incredible transformations after this season. You guys are so talented but more than that you are so authentic and just seem like really good people. God bless ya'll.
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