'Fixer Upper' Season Four Kicks Off With a Bang

Fixer Upper’s season four debut scores big with its highest rated season premiere yet.

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Thank you, HGTV fans, for making Fixer Upper’s season opener a resounding success. You — lots and lots of you — tuned in, and we appreciate you.

Fixer Upper  season 4 is cooking!

Photo by: Rachel Whyte

Rachel Whyte

Fixer Upper  season 4 is cooking!

And if you'll allow us to toot our own horn — and speak in television-ese — for just a minute, here are a few details. Capturing some of the industry’s more coveted ratings metrics, Fixer Upper’s Tuesday night premiere ranked as the #1 most viewed cable program among women 25 to 54 and #4 overall in that same age group. Hollywood Reporter’s Michael O’Connell, who recently called the show “a rare breakout” among cable programming, said it this way on the day after the premiere: “Fixer Upper, cable’s reigning reality show, returned Tuesday night in strong form…The 9 p.m. premiere averaged 3.4 million viewers, topping every other non-news telecast on cable for the night.”

Photo by: Rachel Whyte

Rachel Whyte

And not to quibble over numbers in the seven-figure range or anything, but according to Nielsen ratings, the total number of viewers who tuned in to see the premiere exceeded 4.6 million, breaking the record set by last year’s premiere by a hefty margin.

All that may sound like stats and jargon to some, but it's something we're pretty proud of.

Joanna expressed her gratitude to viewers and fans in an Instagram post.

And it’s worth pointing out that, in the today’s fractionated, hyper-accelerated and dynamic ecosystem of TV-watching, Fixer Upper is a standout in another and broader sense. As reported in The Dallas News, TV research analyst Scott Robson noted that: "What's even more amazing in an era when so much program viewing is recorded programming, 96 percent of Fixer Upper's viewership is live."

That’s you, dear dedicated viewers, he’s talking about. And it’s something we think is pretty unique. Feel like you’re part of a community? You are.

Finally, a special thank-you, Chip and Joanna, for being heroes to millions — and just so darned fun to watch.

The Premiere Episode

Just in case you missed the premiere — probably destined to be referred to forthwith among show devotees as “the doggy-spa episode” (more on that elsewhere) — we’ve got a couple of things to keep you occupied until you can catch it in encore airings. To wit: a 60+ image gallery providing a photo tour of the makeover, including some pretty impressive before-and-after pics.

Before

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After

Open Concept Living Room With Exposed Beam Vaulted Ceilings
Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

The living room in the Chapman's house before renovations, as seen on Fixer Upper. ((Before #7)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Open Concept Living Room With Exposed Beam Vaulted Ceilings

Re-pitching the roof line created the opportunity to create a much more dramatic space with vaulted ceilings, exposed beams and lots more natural light. The living space also features new hardwood floors and a oversized chandelier. The open concept space allows a sneak peek at the kitchen and sunroom.

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Raise the Roof

To create this dramatic living space and open kitchen, Chip and Joanna altered the home's roof pitch, removed several walls, gutted the kitchen and relocated a fireplace.

Home Exterior, BEFORE

"The Cargo Ship House" — as Chip dubbed it because of its elongate shape and exposed vent pipes — was built in 1958 and came with four bedrooms, three baths, about 2340 square feet. The split-level portion was clearly an add-on, and the inside was dated, but clients Andrew and Brittany were excited about the large backyard with established live oaks and Joanna's vision of what the interior could become.

Andrew and Brittany's home wish list included a large main living area, lots of space for their dogs and four bedrooms to one day accommodate a growing family.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Home Exterior, AFTER

In one of their more ambitious exterior makeovers, Chip and Joanna re-pitched the roof line of this home and dramatically enhanced the entry with a porch bump-out that features post-and-beam construction. The exterior is further dressed up with fresh green paint, contrasting black shutters and new stairs and railing.

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Cool Contrast

The new kitchen was given a clean, fresh look with all white cabinetry, white stone countertops and a distinctive gray tile backsplash. Visual contrast and depth was provided in the form of rich blue paint for the vent hood and island base as well as reclaimed and natural wood elements.

Redefined Dining

An enclosed dining room is replaced with this open dining area that's part of the new open floor plan. The dining area was pushed back into the main living space, making way for a much enlarged and better designed kitchen.

Open Flow

In the newly reconfigured space, a new double-sided fireplace serves as a visual focal point both this main living room and a sunroom just beyond.

Gracefully Gray

The master bath gets a complete makeover with a large glass-enclosed shower, gray stone tile and double vanity.

A Hint of Treehouse

The upstairs master suite has new, large windows that provide a view out onto the branches of a large live oak, creating a natural green and tranquil backdrop for the bedroom.

Kitchen, BEFORE

The existing kitchen was enclosed, cramped and cluttered. The refrigerator was placed such that, when the refrigerator door was open, the work space was essentially blocked.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Kitchen, AFTER

Reconfiguring the downstairs space allowed for the creation of an open and spacious kitchen complete with a large island, a butler's pantry, plenty of cabinet storage and two sinks.

Kitchen, BEFORE

 

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Kitchen, AFTER

The open kitchen is now centered within the downstairs floor plan. The large island becomes a focal point for the home, ideal for family gathering and entertaining as well as food prep.

Kitchen, AFTER

Detailing in the kitchen includes twin lantern pendants above the island, stone countertop with ogee edge and farmhouse sink.

Kitchen, Detail

Above the range, the subway tile is offsest with a dramatic gray tile backsplash with pot-filler faucet.

Kitchen, Detail

Crates built into the lower cabinets provide a novel take on storage as well as a warm visual contrast against the white cabinetry and countertops.

Kitchen, Detail

  

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Kitchen, Detail

 

Dining Room, BEFORE

 

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Dining Room, AFTER

Dining Room, Detail

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Living Room, BEFORE

Prior to the renovation, the main living area had low, flat ceilings and the existing fireplace was awkwardly placed.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Living Room, AFTER

Re-pitching the roof line created the opportunity to create a much more dramatic space with vaulted ceilings, exposed beams and lots more natural light. The living space also features new hardwood floors and a oversized chandelier.

Living Room, BEFORE

 

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Living Room, AFTER

An obtrusive utility closet, just inside the front entrance, was removed to facilitate the creation of a welcoming foyer that flows naturally into the main living area.

Foyer, AFTER

A high-backed wooden bench adds an elegant touch in the new foyer.

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Living Room, Detail

Living Room, AFTER

The new placement of the fireplace, with gray stone surround and reclaimed wood mantel, is in a much more inviting location and forms a visual delineation between the main living rooom and adjacacent sunroom. The pass-throughs on either side of the fireplace provide a logical flow between the two spaces and attractive sight lines.

Sun Room, AFTER

The large windows and high ceilings provide the entire living space with an open and airy feel.

Sun Room, Detail

Sun Room, Detail

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Sun Room, Detail

The original fireplace, in what is now the sun room, was converted to create built-in bookshelves with a lower compartment that accommodates firewood storage.

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Sun Room, Detail

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Sun Room, Detail

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Sun Room, Detail

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

The Mud Room and "Dog Spa"

The clients have two dogs — a chocolate lab and chihuahua — that they consider full-fledged family members. Joanna took that as an opportunity to do something special in the new laundry room, incorporating a decidedly dog-centric theme and design.

The Mud Room and "Dog Spa"

This space actually includes a doggie sized shower complete with (what else?) white subway tile and glass door.

"This was a fun room to design," says Joanna. "One of the things [Andrew and Brittany] kept asking was to make sure that what I was incorporating was dog-friendly. So not only did we want to make it super functional and practical for our clients, but we also wanted to just throw in a little extra surprise for them." 

The Mud Room and "Dog Spa"

On the wall opposite the dog shower is a generous laundry area with open storage and a modern washer and dryer.

The Mud Room and "Dog Spa"

"What I like about smaller spaces like mudrooms and even small guest or powder baths," says Joanna, "is you don't always have to do just one or two things. In here, I wanted to  go all-out...There's a lot of things going on here, but I feel like somehow it all comes  together, and I really love how this room turned out." Custom features include a gray herringbone tile floor, black wainscoting, fun wallpaper and wood crates built into the open storage.

Want to read more about the Dog Spa Mudroom? Check out this post on our I-Heart-HGTV blog for more info, and meet two new four-footed members of the Gaines family.

Master Suite, BEFORE

The second-floor bedroom had worn carpeting and was in need of updating, but it offered ample space to create a luxurious master suite.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Master Suite, BEFORE

  

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Master Suite, AFTER

Joanna's reccommendations included new, large windows for more natural light, a dramatic light fixture and sliding barn door, but one in an elegant rather than rustic style.

Master Suite, Detail

Master Suite, Detail

  

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Master Suite, Detail

The master bedroom includes this sitting area ideal for reading or relaxing.

Master Suite, Detail

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Master Suite, Detail

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Master Suite, Detail

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Master Suite, Detail

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Master Suite, Detail

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Master Suite, Detail

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Master Bath, BEFORE

 

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Master Bath, AFTER

The remodeled master bath includes built-in cabinets with glass-front storage and marble tile floor.

Master Bath, AFTER

Other highlights in the bath include a pedestal tub and large glass-enclosed shower.

Master Bath, AFTER

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Master Bath, Detail

A mirror with stained wood frame and twin metal sconces help warm up the space.

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Master Bath, Detail

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Master Bath, Detail

Master Bath, Detail

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Finis

If you liked this Fixer Upper project, you might also like this one: Fixer Upper: A Family Home Resurrected in Rural Texas. And  check back often at HGTV's Fixer Upper Central for more new galleries from Season 4, web-exclusive video clips and lots more.

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Design On Her Mind:
The Chapman Project

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And we’ve got exclusive videos with Joanna providing insider info on the renovation and the design inspirations for the project featured in the premiere episode. You won’t find these anywhere else but right here on HGTV.com.

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More From the New Season

And for a sampling of what you’ll see in upcoming episodes, check out our Season 4 Sneak Peek gallery.

Welcome to Season Four

In this gallery we offer you an exclusive first look at some of the designs and details you can expect to see in the upcoming season of HGTV's Fixer Upper, as well as an assortment of behind-the-scenes moments, snapshots and candid pics of your hosts, Chip and Joanna. Fear not. There will be lots more photos to come. Think of this collection merely as a season-four sampler.

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Chip and Joanna at Work

As we hinted earlier in a blog post on I-Heart-HGTV, you can expect some new and different things in the coming episodes of Fixer Upper as well fresh takes on familiar themes. (Spoiler alert: There will be cupcakes.)

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Chip and Joanna at Work

Things you can expect in the new season include – but are by no means limited to – a focus on more unique and tucked-away spaces, lots of kids' rooms and at least one space created with four-footed occupants in mind.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Chip and Joanna at Work

For Joanna-design devotees, expect a new take on shiplap and (wait for it) ventures into bolder, brighter colors. Don't worry, though. The soft grays, bright whites and subtle shades of blue aren't likely to go away.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Joanna at work. Chip, not so much.

The photos following in this gallery offers a sampling of the themes you may want to watch for this season — kids' spaces, small spaces, different spaces, distinctive details, fresh takes on color...and something called "skinnylap".

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

You're Welcome

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Blending Vintage and Contemporary

A white console with light distressing is complemented visually by old books and vintage black-and-white photos.

Blending Vintage and Contemporary

An antique apothecary chest, schoolhouse globe and cathedral style window frame create a visually interesting space within a space.

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Blending Vintage and Contemporary

An alcove within a home office is highlighted by shiplap, a decorative metal arch and green glass vases.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Coordinating Details

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Coordinating Details

  

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Distinctive Spaces

In this dining room, a white distressed buffet cabinet is accented with antique dishware, raw wood cutting boards, white ceramic pieces and fresh greenery.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Distinctive Spaces

An antique schoolhouse desk chair, with coordinating accents, creates casual bench seating in a foyer.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Texture and Tone

An oval coffee table in distressed white finish offers nice contrast with a sofa, chair and ottoman in dark brown leather.

Texture and Tone

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Form and Function

A wire crate towel rack accents a newly remodeled master bath.

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Little Visual Surprises

An architectural salvage piece makes for an interesting wall hanging above a bathroom towel rack.

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Little Visual Surprises

Wall-mounted pocket vases offer a casual and playful touch in a master suite.

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Stay Cool

Simple, clean lines are augmented by a visually relaxed palette incorporating soft, cool grays, bright whites and pale blues.

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Stay Cool

 

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Stay Cool (With a Touch of Warm)

A cool palette is nicely offset by the warmth of natural wood.

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Go Green

Pun intended. Joanna incorporates soothing, eye-pleasing greens into the color palette in a number of spaces this season.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Go Green

Go Green

 

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Go Green

Green serves the designs well, not only in terms of wall-color selection, but as an always welcome addition in the form of green plants that help bring the outdoors in.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Go Green

 

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For the Kiddos

A girls' bedroom makes use of a dusty pink color motif, antique metal twin beds and vintage accents.

For the Kiddos

For the Kiddos

 

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

For the Kiddos

Built-in shelves in a kids' playroom house storage baskets and books as well as decorative and crafting items.

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For the Kiddos

This space in a boys' bedroom features a bracket-mounted work surface and blackboard.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

For the Kiddos

A vintage auto-shop cabinet doubles as a storage chest in a boys' bedroom.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Nooks, Crannies and Small Spaces

Joanna focuses on creating visually interesting effects in small, out-of-the way and defined spaces such as this storage nook adjacent to a kitchen.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Nooks, Crannies and Small Spaces

 

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Nooks, Crannies and Small Spaces

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Nooks, Crannies and Small Spaces

Inset wooden crates offer a different take on storage in this kitchen.

Imaginative Staging

 

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Imaginative Staging

 

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Girls Like Flowers

As always, Joanna incorporates visually coordinated flower arrangements into her home staging, as with this dining room centerpiece accompanied by a wooden base and antique apothecary bottles.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Girls Like Flowers

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Exterior Touches

A new home exterior gets freshened up with unpainted wood shutters and flower box with a caladiums and bright purple flowers.

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Exterior Touches

A decorative sconce in rubbed bronze finish stands out against the new white exterior and blends nicely with the black shutters.

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Let There Be Light

Another key emphasis in Joanna's design strategies is incorporating light that's both functional and visually pleasing, as in this dining room chandelier with drum-style surround.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Let There Be Light

 

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Let There Be Pie

 

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Let There Be Cupcakes

Fresh from the ovens at Magnolia Bakery, Joanna's signature cupcake — The Classic — is adorned with a tiny magnolia leaf.

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After All, We Did Promise You Cupcakes

And Magnolia Bakery delivers with eight unique and delectable creations.

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Cupcakes Make People Happy

Chip and Joanna perfect some of the bakery recipes at the Gaines farm. Chip's main focus is the frosting.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Cupcakes Make People Happy

 

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Cupcakes Make People Happy

 

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Cupcakes Make People Happy

 

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Are You Ready to See The Biggest Fixer Upper Ever?

The Fixer Upper Bakery Special, showcasing the renovated Magnolia Silos and new Magnolia Bakery, is scheduled to air on HGTV on Valentines Day, Tuesday, Feb. 14. Be there.

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

You're Welcome

 

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

In Fact, You're Always Welcome

 

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Heroes

If you liked what you saw here, you can read more about Season Four on the I-Heart-HGTV blog. And be sure to check back often at HGTV's Fixer Upper Central for more new galleries from Season 4, web-exclusive video clips and lots more.

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

New episodes of Fixer Upper air Tuesdays at 9p|8c. 

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