Fixer Upper: An Updated Farmhouse for a Growing Family

Chip and Joanna Gaines work their home-makeover magic on a "Plain Jane Farmhouse" in Robinson, Texas, transforming it into a quaint and inviting country retreat for two physicians with three kids — and new family additions on the way. Editor's Note: We delved into the archives to find these photos from one of our favorite Fixer Upper projects from the show's first season. Until now, these photos have not been seen on HGTV.com.

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images

Photo By: Sarah Wilson for Getty Images

Room to Breathe

The clients were looking for a place in the country with some acreage. For the house, they needed plenty of bedrooms and open spaces to accommodate a large family. In Chip and Joanna's re-envisioning of this home, a formerly divided-up floor plan was opened up to create a new focal point — this common area combining kitchen, dining room and living space.

Relaxed and Casual

Joanna's design skills were put to the test in this project. One of the clients was not a particular fan of some of her signature motifs — including distressed wood furnishings and use of white as a dominant color scheme. Joanna was able to strike a balance, however, creating a modern update on farmhouse style with lots of warm tones and natural wood mixed with contemporary furnishings.

From 'Plain Jane'...

Before. The clients fell in love with the location and setting of this ranch style home in Robinson, Texas, about 15 minutes outside Waco. The house sat on 30 acres, had a secluded and rustic feel and was surrounded by mature trees. The house itself, however, was in need of some repair and updating.

...To Country Elegant

After. The home's star exterior feature, the wraparound porch, was retained and freshened up with new steps and railing. 

Welcome Home

Other exterior enhancements included a soft gray exterior paint color, white trim, contrasting shutters and new doors — including these striking red double doors at the front entrance, flanked by twin sconces and urn planters.

Enlarged Dining Space

The newly opened up dining space features two sets of French doors and a large window for plenty of natural light.

Cool Space, Warm Vibe

Exposed wood beams, hardwood floors and a rustic iron chandelier help warm up the large, open living room. Modern style furnishings help give the space an updated feel.

Kitchen Revamp

What had been a closed-off space with dated cabinetry and laminate countertops has been transformed into a stylish, contemporary kitchen with updated appliances and simple, clean lines.

Entryway Accents

Foyer furnishings include a straight-backed upholstered chair, accent table and a family portrait.

Meet the Homeowners

Rebecca and Joel Mahan are both family medicine physicians in Waco. They have three kids, with plans to adopt more through a foster child program. As such, they're in need of a home with at least four bedrooms. Other items on their home wish list include a country setting with five acres of land or more, a tree-lined drive and a large, open kitchen. Their total budget is $475,000.

Dining Room, BEFORE

The dining room was small, claustrophobic and accessible from the kitchen through a single doorway.

Dining Room, AFTER

The remodel opened up the dining space, removing part of a wall that separated it from the kitchen, and elminating a second wall to incorporate a former storage nook. The newly enlarged space acommodates a nine-foot custom dining table, a large antique hutch and two new sets of French doors.

Another Custom Creation from Harp Design Co.

The beautiful rustic dining table and matching bench seats were custom made by furniture artisan Clint Harp and can serve for both casual and formal dining.

Dining Room, Detail

The wood dining table is staged with a rustic centerpiece while an antique hutch displays colorful china in a visual arrangment blending old and new.

Dining Room, Detail

Dining Room, Detail

Dining Room, Detail

Living Room, BEFORE

The living room, though dated in appearance, came with a number of desirable features including a large open space with a workable layout, a fireplace, large windows for natural light and a teriffic view. Joanna's initial assessment was that improvements in this space would be essentially cosmetic.

Living Room, AFTER

The old carpet and popcorn ceiling were removed. Engineered hardwood flooring was added, as well as faux support beams to give the space a more rustic and cozy feel.

Living Room, AFTER

Joanna stages the living room with simple, casual accents including blue and white ceramic vases atop a reclaimed wood coffee table in waterfall design. The space is brightened with soft blue-gray walls accented with white trim.

Living Room, BEFORE

The living room was spacious but, with its high ceilings and large expanses of wall, felt stark and empty.

Living Room, AFTER

Cedar-wrapped beams help visually define the space, giving it a new dimensionality and contributing to an outdoorsy feel. "In the Mahan's main room," says Joanna, "I really want to cozy up the space; incorporate the beams and just really help accentuate what you see on the outside but make it equally pretty on the inside."

Living Room, Detail

Living Room, BEFORE

Living Room, AFTER

Wood trim in natural finish above the windows helps create visual continuity with the beams and wood flooring.

Living Room, Detail

Living Room, Detail

Living Room, Detail

A metal chandelier in a rubbed bronze finish coordinates well with the room's warm tones and natural wood.

Living Room, Detail

A wrought iron sconce with candle holder adds visual interest to the transition space between the living room and kitchen.

Living Room, AFTER

Living Room, AFTER

The size and openness of the main living space is nicely suited to a blend of country and modern elements. "When I design these houses," says Joanna, "I'm very passionate about not just throwing them together with generic pieces. I want it to feel like home, and I want it to have a story."

Living Room, Detail

For an extra personalized touch, Joanna framed topographic maps of the town of Robinson, the farm and surrounding land – found during the demolition phase of the reno – and used them to create this gallery wall above the mantel.

Foyer, AFTER

The front entry gets a new look with updated double doors and distinctive accents including an oversized wall clock and shallow console with twin table lamps.

Foyer, Detail

Integrated Space

The kitchen, which had been tucked away behind a single door entry, now opens onto both the dining and living room. "In the Mahan's," said Joanna, "I really want to take a wall down that will open up the space from the dining room to the kitchen ... I just love opening up walls between dining spaces and kitchen spaces."

Kitchen, BEFORE

Prior to the renovation the existing kitchen did offer plenty of space but, with the laminate flooring and dated lighting, cabinets and countertops, was in need of some simple updating.

Unifying Spaces

Joanna lightened up the space with new cabinetry and kitchen island in white, contrasting granite countertops, subway tile and modern stainless appliances. The basic layout, including the location of the pantry door and island, remained essentially intact, but the space has a decidedly new look and feel.

Kitchen, BEFORE

Kitchen, AFTER

A fresh color palette, ceiling-height upper cabinets and updated lighting bring new life to the kitchen.

Kitchen, AFTER

The open style of the pendant lights is well-suited to the space above the island since it doesn't create visual obstruction. 

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

An antique grocery scale adds a farmhouse touch in the kitchen.

Kitchen, Detail

A vintage wooden crate holds a decorative arrangement of mushrooms and live moss.

Kitchen, Detail

BEFORE

The purchase price for the home was $410,000, leaving a renovation budget of around $65,000 to update the exterior, remodel the kitchen and living area and add hardwood floors. 

AFTER

 The exterior facelift included a thorough revamp of the wraparound porch, new doors, railing, stairs and shutters.

BEFORE

AFTER

Gray exterior paint for the brick and siding, and white trim, help give the '90s era ranch style home a more modern and unified appearance.

BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

Some deteriorated portions of the porch had to be removed, but the majority of the original wood flooring was left intact.

Porch, Detail

Porch, Detail

Fresh Landscaping

Outdoor Dining Space

The outdoor dining table, which would double as a study area for the Mahans' kids, was custom made by furniture designer Clint Harp using wood repurposed from an old pergola that Joanna provided.

Portrait on the Porch

Chip and Joanna pose for a snapshot on the Mahan's newly restored porch.

The Reveal

The large photo banner, showing the house in its "before" state, conceals the newly renovated home from view.

The Reveal

Rebecca and Joel are about to open their eyes but, initially, will see only the "before" photo banner.

The Reveal

The Reveal

Chip and Joanna prepare to "pull back the curtain," revealing the Mahan's newly updated home.

The Reveal

The Reveal

The Reveal

The Reveal

Rebecca gets emotional – in the best possible way –  upon seeing the newly transformed home for the first time.

Behind the Scenes

Joanna and Chip take the Mahans on a tour of their newly renovated farm house. This outdoor dining table is another custom piece by carpenter and furniture artisan Clint Harp.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

The Gaines pose for a portrait shot with homeowners, Rebecca and Joel Mahan. 

Finis

And if you liked this Fixer Upper project, we think you might also enjoy this one, also from the first season:
Fixer Upper: Country Farmhouse Goes from Scary to Sensational.
And keep checking back at the Fixer Upper main page for more new home transformations courtesy of Chip, Joanna and crew.