Chip and Jo Prove It: Yes, You Can Downsize Without Losing Out On Style

See how Chip and Jo turned a small and dated home into an open space packed with design details. 

Contemporary Kitchen With Blue and White Handmade Tile

Contemporary Kitchen With Blue and White Handmade Tile

As in the living room, the overall kitchen design emphasized visual simplicity and clean lines for a relaxed and uncluttered feel as seen on HGTV's Fixer Upper.

From: Fixer Upper

Photo by: Rachel Whyte

Rachel Whyte

So you want to cut down your square footage...without sacrificing style? You're not alone. That's why Ben and Stacie Childers, soon-to-be empty nesters from California, signed up for a Chip and Jo renovation. Why Waco? Apart from the obvious reason (A chance for a Chip and Jo makeover!!), their son is also enrolled at nearby Baylor University, meaning he's close enough to drop by anytime. (Read: Do his laundry.) 

The Childers were looking to streamline and simplify their life, so they chose this ADORABLE bungalow. So cute, right? 

Homeowners Stacie and Ben Childers pose in front of their newly renovated home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (portrait)

Photo by: Rachel Whyte

Rachel Whyte

To make a small space feel spacious, Joanna used a light, bright color scheme. Get more of her tips on making a small space feel huge: 

Designing for Empty Nesters 01:21

Joanna talks about using a color palette to design clean and simple spaces.

In the kitchen, a big island with a farmhouse sink and plenty of seating is perfect for eating and food prep. 

Farm Sink in Contemporary Kitchen

Farm Sink in Contemporary Kitchen

A farm sink is featured in the kitchen of the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on HGTV's Fixer Upper.

From: Fixer Upper

Photo by: Rachel Whyte

Rachel Whyte

Open shelving against the wall keeps this space feeling open and airy. See more of Joanna's kitchen design tips: 

Empty Nest Kitchen 01:17

Using handmade tile and open shelving, Joanna creates a charming kitchen.

My favorite part of the house is this adorable bedroom that's full of natural light and, of course, shiplap. 

Renovated Bedroom With Exposed Wood Beams

Renovated Bedroom With Exposed Wood Beams

All of the original windows were retained and given new window treatments. The hardwood floors were restored and all of the original shiplap exposed and painted white. Unpainted wood ceiling and exposed wood beams help distinguish the space and provide a warming accent, as seen on HGTV's Fixer Upper.

From: Fixer Upper

Photo by: Rachel Whyte

Rachel Whyte

See how Joanna packed all this style into such a small space: 

Downsizing for an Empty Nest 01:50

Joanna managed to save space and keep the character in a small bedroom.

See more of this small but style-packed house with 58 photos of the makeover. 

A Storybook Bungalow Makeover

See All Photos

Redefined Space

The kitchen was the space most radically altered in this Fixer Upper renovation. A wall was removed, opening the kitchen onto the dining room and effectively increasing the kitchen's footprint threefold.

Soft Hues and a White Canvas

Joanna and new homeowner Stacie are on the same page in their affinity for white. Stacie asked for a color palette that emphasizes rich blues and white. In the living room, going with white walls and white slipcovered furniture provides an opportunity for the subtle accent colors to stand out.

#shiplap

The cozy master bedroom is finished clad in Joanna's favorite material, the home's original wood shiplap, here painted in fresh white and offset with unpainted wood ceiling and exposed beams. As with the selection of white wallpaint, Joanna and homeowner Stacie are in sync in their love of shiplap.

Economies of Space

The master bathroom, like the bedroom, is relatively small but is made to feel roomy and inviting through a judicious layout and simple fixtures.

Dining Almost Alfresco

The new dining room is located in what was formerly a screened porch. Large windows wrap around the space and new exterior French doors opening provide an outstanding view onto the backyard. A second set of French doors, seen here leading into the newly remodeled kitchn, are the original doors that openend onto the porch.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Meet the Homeowners

Ben and Stacie Childers are soon-to-be empty nesters with one daughter enrolled at Baylor University and a second likely to be enrolled there soon as well. Moving from California, Stacie and Ben were eager to downsize and simplify, and were hoping to find a home in the Brookview neighborhood close to the Baylor campus. They were looking for at least three bedrooms and two baths in an older style home that had character and original details. Their all-in budget: $175,000.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

BEFORE

This house -- dubbed by Chip the "Beanstalk Bungalow" because of the plenitiful seedpods from the catalpa tree in the front yard -- was built in 1919, has five bedrooms, three baths and 2100 square feet. The listing price was $100,000 which would leave approximately $75,000 for renovations before moving in.

AFTER

Exterior improvements included patching the stucco, all new paint and trim, a new roof, fresh landscaping and a new unpainted wood door in an arched profile. "This house is just simple and sweet but it really makes a statement," said Joanna after the renovation was complete. "The house had the character built into it. It just needed to be exposed."

Exterior Detail

The new door is highlighted with arched trim painted in gray-green, twin sconces and a pair of matched urn planters. A bonus addition, from money left over after the major improvments, is a new brick-paver front porch.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Exterior Detail

Ironwork window boxes on either side of the front door, and greenery in terra cotta pots, help to soften the facade.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Front Foyer, AFTER

A close-up of the entryway into the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on HGTV's Fixer Upper.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Living Room, BEFORE

The living room had original pine wood floors as well as a brick fireplace with built-in bookshelves on either side -- a feature common in bungalow and craftsman style homes. Joanna recommended sanding and refinishing the hardwood floors and opening up the cased opening into the adjacent dining room to create a more open feel in the main living space.

Living Room, AFTER

Drywall was removed, exposing all of the original shiplap in the living room. The walls and brick fireplace were painted in white. Joanna made use of the textures of wood and fabric to warm and soften the space, creating a living space that feels uncluttered and restful.

Living Room, Detail

A close up of the centerpiece on the coffee table in the living room of the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Living Room, Detail

Additional brick was installed above the mantel, adding scale and a more dramatic look.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Living Room, Detail

A close up of the mantel over the fireplace in the living room of the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Living Room, Detail

A close up of the antique stands and wall art in the living room of the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Living Room, Detail

A close up of the potted plants on the window sill in the living room of the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Dining Room, Before

Since the footprint of the living room and kitchen were expanded into the existing dining room, this enclosed porch would become the new dining space.

Dining Room, AFTER

The quaint and cozy dining room has brick paver floor and a modestly sized table-for-four, custom built by furniture artisan Clint Harp.

Dining Room, Detail

The color theme of rich blues and white is carried through in the dining room decor and accesories.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Dining Room, Detail

A close up of the place setting on the table of the dining room in the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Dining Room, Detail

A close of the wooden tray on the hutch in the dining room of the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Dining Room, Detail

A close up of the top of the hutch in the dining room of the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Kitchen, BEFORE

The kitchen, with cabinetry and appliances dating from a prior remodel, was tight and felt inconsistent with the home's vintage character.

Kitchen, AFTER

A wall was removed to open up the space into what was formerly a dining room, greatly expanding the kitchen's square footage. A new custom island installed and the cabinetry completely reworked.

Kitchen, AFTER

Joanna's kitchen design included plenty of open shelving, further contributing to an open and airy feel in the redefined space. She also sidestepped her often preferred choice of subway tile backsplash in favor of handmade tile in muted blue and white, a favorite color combination of client Stacie Childers. 

Kitchen Detail

A close up of the open shelving and countertop in the kitchen of the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Kitchen, Detail

A close up of the parchment paper roll in the kitchen of the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Kitchen, AFTER

As in the living room, the overall kitchen design  emphasized visual simplicity and clean lines for a relaxed and uncluttered feel.

Kitchen, Detail

The distinctively patterned backsplash is a defining feature in the kitchen and, since they are all handmade, the pattern on each individual tile is subtly unique.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Kitchen, Detail

The distinctively patterned backsplash is a defining feature in the kitchen and, since they are all handmade, the pattern on each individual tile is subtly unique.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Kitchen, Detail

A close up of the open shelving and cabinet space in the kitchen of the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Kitchen, AFTER

The kitchen of the newly renovated Childers home has been completely transformed, a wall was removed to open the space, a custom island installed, and stainless steel appliances were added, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Kitchen, Detail

A farm sink is featured in the kitchen of the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on HGTV's Fixer Upper.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Kitchen, Detail

A close up of the cutting board and new light fixture over the island in the kitchen of the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Master Bedroom, BEFORE

This bedroom, which would become the master, was relatively small but had amazing windows and original hardwood floors. The renovations required here would be mainly cosmetic.

Master Bedroom, AFTER

All of the original windows were retained and given new window treatments. The hardwood floors were restored and all of the original shiplap exposed and painted white. Unpainted wood ceiling and exposed wood beams help distinguish the space and provide a warming accent.

Master Bedroom, Detail

An antique chandelier provides overhead lighting in the remodeled master.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Master Bedroom, Detail

A close up of the wooden tray and journals on the bed in the master bedroom of the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Master Bedroom, Detail

Since the room was fairly small, and the clients wanted a king sized bed, Joanna deliberately kept other furnishings simple and small so the room would still feel spacious.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Master Bedroom, Detail

A close up of the floating bedside table in the master bedroom of the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Bathroom, BEFORE

The bathroom prior to any renovations, as seen on Fixer Upper. (Before #5)

Bathroom, AFTER

The original window and built-in cabinets were retained since they are a desirable and authentic feature of the home's period. An antique table converted into a vanity with vessel sink adds a timeless touch. And though white subway tile did not make an appearance in the kitchen, rest assured that it's in full evidence in the remodeled bathroom.

Master Bath, Detail

A close up of the faucet in the bathroom of the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Master Bath, Detail

A close up the window sill and storage space in the bathroom of the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Master Bath, Detail

A close up the tub and storage space in the bathroom of the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Master Bath, Detail

The original window and built-in cabinets were retained since they are a desirable and authentic feature of the home's period. An antique table converted into a vanity with vessel sink adds a timeless touch. And though white subway tile did not make an appearance in the kitchen, rest assured that it's in full evidence in the remodeled bathroom, as seen on HGTV's Fixer Upper.

Master Bath, Detail

A close up of the vanity and new hardware in the bathroom of the newly renovated Childers home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (After #5)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

The Reveal

Stacie and Ben Childers prepare to see their newly completed fixer upper for the first time.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

The Reveal

Homeowners Stacie and Ben Childers see their newly renovated home for the first time, as seen on Fixer Upper. (action)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

The Reveal

Homeowners Stacie and Ben Childers see their newly renovated home for the first time, as seen on Fixer Upper. (action)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

The Reveal

Behind-the-scenes, hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines congratulate homeowners Stacie and Ben Childers as they see their newly renovated home for the first time, as seen on Fixer Upper. (behind-the-scenes)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Behind the Scenes

Chip and Joanna confer on the Childers project. Meanwhile Chip displays a tee-shirt emblazoned with the slogan that says it all – and which is certain to catch on like wildfire among the growng legion of Fixer Upper devotees.

Behind the Scenes

Chip steps upon the dais and prepares to make a speech before an audience of one.

Behind the Scenes

The crew films as Chip inscribes on the wall words he imagines may be running through Joanna's mind.

Behind the Scenes

The writing is on the wall.

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