1905 Craftsman Fixer Upper for Two Fearless Newlyweds

Chip and Joanna Gaines undertake an ambitious makeover on a century-old home for a newlywed couple who are undeterred by a challenging renovation. For the interiors, Joanna strives for a timeless design that honors the home's history while incorporating contemporary enhancements.

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Taking the Plunge

Chip and Jo took a house that appeared at first glance as if it might be in danger of falling in, shored it up and transformed it into this vintage charmer designed to suit the tastes of two new homeowners. Among the more impressive achievements on the exterior was the revival of the beautiful front porch – one of the home's most distinctive features and one that had been partially obscured by earlier modifications.

Delicate Balance

For the interior spaces, Joanna wanted to strike a balance between vintage and contemporary – one that didn't detract from the home's original character but that allowed for a modern floor plan and functional flow. 

Embracing the Light

In the newly expanded dining room, tall windows and statement lighting in the form of a large chandelier contribute to the room's open and breathable feel.

Plenty of Headroom

A feature that appealed to the clients immediately was the sizeable living room with tall ceilings. The living area was freed up even further by removing a brick fireplace that had been just inside the front entrance, and relocating it to an exterior wall.

His...

The front section of the house was reconfigured to incorporate his-and-hers office spaces. This one features a fireplace with original century-old brick and dark stained shiplap paneling.

...and Hers

The second office space has a more feminine feel with white shiplap and large French doors.

Suitable for Napping

The new master suite features newly refinished hardwood floors and decor that creates a calming and restful ambiance.

High Contrast

The new bathroom employs a crisp black-and-white palette with matte black lower cabinets offset by white marble vanities and brushed brass fixtures.

Meet the Homeowners

Ken and Kelly Downs were recently married and feeling the need to move beyond living in Ken's former bachelor pad. Kelly liked wood floors and period craftsman style. Both Ken and Kelly were hoping to find a home with at least three bedrooms, an open kitchen and office space. Their all-in budget was $250,000.

BEFORE

Chip nicknamed this house the "3 Little Pigs House" since it looked like a huff and a puff or a strong wind might just blow it away. Likewise Joanna confessed to being a bit hesitant to take on a renovation of this scale. But Ken and Kelly were certain right away that, despite its obvious challenges, this was the house for them. The asking price for this somewhat distressed property was $35,000, leaving a renovation budget of around $215,000.

AFTER

To transform the exterior, the old stucco was removed and the front porch opened up and enhanced with new railing, trim and columns. A new front door in natural wood finish was added as well as a new skirt and stairs in antique brick. A new metal roof was added as well as fresh landscaping.

Favorable First Impressions

The front door is new, as are the windows, but the frame around the door is original. It was simply cleaned up, repainted and the accent windows reinstalled.

Front Porch, AFTER

Living Room, AFTER

The living room is reconfigured and freshened up with restored hardwood flooring, new lighting and a neutral palette.

Living Room, AFTER

The fireplace was relocated from a former awkward location just inside the front door, refurbished using the original brick and accented with new built-in shelving.

Living Room, Detail

Living Room, Detail

Living Room, Detail

Living Room, Detail

Living Room, AFTER

Dining Room, Before

Prior to the renovation, the dining room had white tile floors and a wall separated the space from the kitchen.

Dining Room, AFTER

The refurbished dinng room has hardwood floors and opens onto a newly reconfigured kitchen. An original brick chimney chase was exposed and was retained as an architectural feature.

Dining Room, AFTER

Statement pieces in the dining room include a custom dining table fashioned from reclaimed wood by furniture artisan Clint Harp and a visually impressive chandelier.

Dining Room, Detail

Dining Room, Detail

Dining Room, Detail

Dining Room, Detail

Dining Room, AFTER

The dining room's bay window now features a new built-in window seat that provides additional seating as well as storage.

Dining Room, AFTER

Kitchen, BEFORE

The kitchen was a relatively large space, but the cabinetry was old and limited to one back wall. Joanna's recommendation was to remove a wall to open the sight line into the living and dining spaces, fashion a new U-shaped kitchen layout and add a large island.

Kitchen, AFTER

The newly reconfigured kitchen looks like a completely different space and is given a classic and colorful look.

Kitchen, AFTER

Highlights in the new kitchen include base cabinets in deep blue, white Carrara marble countertops and a stainless steel farmhouse sink.

Kitchen, AFTER

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Joanna's design for this kitchen incorporates plenty of prep space and storage – including these open shelves as well as generous upper and lower cabinetry.

Kitchen, Detail

Newly enlarged windows and white subway tile help brighten up the space.

Kitchen, Detail

Upper cabinets include both glass and wood door design, and special features on the range include a wall mounted pot-filler faucet and custom hood.

Kitchen, AFTER

Kitchen, AFTER

Joanna took a deliberately fun approach with this kitchen design, utilizing varied combinations of colors, textures and metal finishes.

Kitchen, Detail

Office Space, BEFORE

One of the clients' wishes was for a home office. In an unconventional approach, Joanna's floorplan made use of this large space just inside the entrance to build a pair of office spaces on either side of a reconfigured foyer.

Her Office, AFTER

Kelly Downs' new office has built-in floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, a large farm-table style desk and stylized chandelier.

Office Space, BEFORE

One of the more challenging aspects of this renovation was this fireplace located just inside the front door. In order to take down walls to create a more open floor plan, the existing brick fireplace had to be disassembled and relocated.

Her Office, AFTER

Her Office, AFTER

The home's original shiplap was retained and either painted and utilized in its original location – as seen here in the Kelly's new office – or repurposed elsewhere in the home.

Her Office, Detail

Her Office, Detail

Her Office, Detail

His Office, AFTER

On the other side of the new entryway, Joanna and Chip created this office space for Ken, which could also serve as a sitting room or reading room if desired.

His Office, AFTER

For this office space, Joanna created a more masculine look with shiplap in a dark stain finish and a fireplace with unpainted antique brick.

His Office, AFTER

His Office, AFTER

Master Bedroom, BEFORE

To create a new master suite, this bedroom was combined with an adjacent one to expand the footprint, and an existing bathroom was modified to incorporate it into a full master suite.

Master Bedroom, AFTER

Old paneling was removed and new baseboards and trim added in the new master. The color palette, white linen window treatments and subtle decor combine to create a tranquil and relaxed feel.

Master Bedroom, Detail

Joanna incorporated vintage and architectural salvage pieces to tie in with the age and period of the home.

Master Bedroom, Detail

Bathroom, BEFORE

Master Bath, AFTER

Matte black base cabinets offer a pleasing contrast against the white shiplap an chair-rail trim. 

Master Bath, AFTER

Large framed mirrors work well with the bathroom's high ceilings, and the contrasting theme is continued in the black and white concrete tile floor.

Master Bath, Detail

A white pedestal tub with brushed brass fixtures provides an especially elegant touch.

Master Bath, Detail

Master Bath, Detail

Spirit of Design

With the renovation complete, Joanna Gaines stands at the newly restored front entry of of one of the more ambitious Fixer Upper projects to date. In terms of design, Joanna helped a couple who were eager to create a home that was "designed together" – bringing together each of their respective styles – and did so while honoring the age and legacy of the home.

Finis

Did you like this Fixer Upper project? If so, you might want to check out Fixer Upper: Tackling The Beast – another particularly daring makeover courtesy of Chip and Joanna Gaines.