Fixer Upper Goes Tiny: Joanna's Tips for Living Small, Stylishly
A pint-sized historic shotgun-style house gets the Fixer Upper treatment.
Bold Dark Green Vintage Tiny Home with Wrap Around Brick Skirt ,Unpainted Wood Columns, Iron railing and Metal roof
On HGTV's Fixer Upper, this shotgun home was totally transformed from the inside out. The house itself was moved from one location to another and the area on top was extended to create a loft area. The home features new windows, front porch, brick skirt and attractive landscaping.
Downsizing, simplifying and even microhome living are having a moment, so it's no wonder that Chip and Joanna decided to try their hand at a small house makeover. Homeowners Jessie and Cameron Bell chose a 700-square-foot, shotgun-style home as their Fixer Upper. Chip and Jo's challenge? Make it magically fit all their essentials, with style to spare.
Simple Floating Shelves and Vent Hood Add Style and Function Tiny Vintage Home
On HGTV's Fixer Upper, the small kitchen features a vintage refrigerator, vent hood, floating shelves and wooden flooring. The black floating shelves, vent hood and counter top are a stark contrast to the neutral walls and tile back splash, making them a functional design element in the space.
The crew opened up the space and added a loft, creating soaring 20-foot ceilings in the main living space and kitchen area. Luckily, there was room for an adorable mint green fridge. (Kitchen goals!)
Here, Joanna reveals her biggest challenges with this pint-sized space:
Shotgun Tiny House Kitchen 01:16
To make the home more functional for everyday living, Chip and Joanna moved the home's master bedroom where the kitchen once was.
The deep blue paint color used on every wall makes this small bedroom seem more spacious. More design tips from Joanna here:
Shotgun House Master Suite 01:12
In the home's new loft, the casual, relaxed space features an extra living and office space.
See how this space came together right here.
Shotgun House Loft 01:14
See this home (including the crazy run-down before) plus all the gorgeous details, below.
Great Things in Small Packages
"What's fun about smaller spaces is that it really challenges your creativity and makes you maximize the space that you've got," says Joanna. "From the beginning, the tiny shotgun house had lot of big challenges, but in the end, the reward was huge. Every design element that we got to incorporate really stood out. We love this house."
Playing With Perceptions
The footprint the new kitchen was tight, but carefully thought-out design helps create the impression of a much larger space. Oversized windows that start at the floor, vaulted ceilings, an oversized ceiling fan in a modern design and lots of natural light are all factors that contribute to an open and roomy feel.
A challenge with adding the loft was where to locate stair access. Chip came to the rescue with specialized retractable stairs that can be raised and lowered drawbridge style. When the loft is not being used, the stairs can be raised to a storage position where they hang suspended about 10 feet above the kitchen.
Meet the Bells
Homeowners Jessie and Cameron Bell check out the kitchen and living area in their newly renovated home. The Bells had been married for three years but were purchasing their first home together. They liked small, cozy spaces and both were interested in an older home with character in an appealing neighborhood. Their total budget, including renovations, was $131,000. Jessie and Cameron were adventurous and not afraid to take on a project that was challenging or unusual. On that last point, they got their wish.
Despite its rough appearance, the Bells were intrigued by this authentic shotgun style house built in 1920 – one of only two such houses still standing in Waco. Cameron had spent time in southern Louisiana where shotgun houses were once fairly common, so he was familiar with their history and a fan of the style. This house was listed at only $28,000, but it was clearly in distressed condition both inside and out and would require extensive repairs and upgrades.
The total reimagining of this shotgun house – serendipitously paralleling in some ways the current 'tiny house' movement in home building – encompassed major modifications to both the interior and exterior. The exterior features new steps and wraparound brick skirt constructed using antique bricks, new wood columns and trim in unpainted finish, iron railing, a metal roof and bold dark-green exterior paint. The most substantial modification, though, was raising the roofline, facilitating the upstairs loft and dramatic 20-foot ceilings.
Demolition + Relocation
The shotgun house project was an even more monumental undertaking than even Chip and Joanna first imagined. Before the purchase could be finalized, a real estate developer bought the entire block where the house was standing – with the intent on demolishing all of the existing houses to make way for new construction.
Demolition + Relocation
Chip was able to negotiate a deal with the developer who was willing to turn over the house at no cost – provided that it could be relocated to another site. The Bells agreed to the relocation plan and ultimately were able purchase a lot in an up-and-coming neighborhood near downtown Waco for around $31,000. Here, Joanna pitches in on demo day after the structure was moved to it's new site.
Demolition + Relocation
Chip accepted the formidable challenge of moving the house, something he had never done before. For the relocation, the house had to be lifted from its foundation, the roof removed in order to clear power lines while the structure was in transit, and the gas lines, electricity and plumbing disconnected. The entire structure was then trailered to the new location and secured on a newly poured concrete slab. Once on its new pier-and-beam foundation, the house was essentially gutted and reframed, including addition of a new upper floor and a raised roof. So, in the end, the house itself was free, but moving the structure cost $5,000, and the cost of the new lot was $31,000 – leaving the Bells with a budget of around $95,000 for renovations. That amount can go a long way in 700 square feet.