Fixer Upper: Back Home In Waco

Waco expatriates Lauren and Will have decided to return to their roots, moving back to Waco where they plan to settle down and raise two daughters. Chip and Joanna Gaines help them find and create a stylish and family friendly home within the bounds of a tight budget.

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Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Pocket Door Paradise

Chip and Joanna helped clients Will and Lauren — who were returning to Waco after six years away — transform a run-of-the-mill '70s ranch house into a stylish, family-friendly home with character and some special features.

Merging Spaces

Prior to the renovation, Chip had nicknamed the house "Pocket Door Paradise" because it had so many walls and small spaces, and a plethora of pocket doors. The remodel removed a number of walls, creating an open-concept living-dining area and kitchen. Though the pocket doors went away, Joanna did add a stylized sliding barn door separating the main living space from a kids' playroom.

Island Blue

A large island, with white stone countertops and dark blue cabinets, was added in the newly expanded kitchen.

Sleek and Inviting

Joanna tried some new approaches throughout the living spaces in terms of textures, finishes and materials.

Eye for Detail

Joanna adds a pair of rustic wood candlesticks during final staging of the home, prior to the reveal.

BEFORE

The home, built in 1970, is 2400 square feet and came with four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths. The asking price was $245,000, and the clients' budget was $300,000, leaving only around $50 for renovations. A final negotiated price, however, ultimatedly helped up the reno budget to nearly $100,000.

AFTER

The exterior was given a fresh update, a la Joanna, with gray-green paint, new shutters in natural wood finish, a new arched door and reworked columns with corbels.

BEFORE

AFTER

The remodeled foyer now opens onto the renovated kitchen at one end.

BEFORE

The home's entryway was closed off, with doors opening into the various living spaces.

AFTER

Walls just inside the home's front entrance were eliminated, creating a front entry that opens directly onto the dining and living room.

Dining Room, Detail

Lighten Up

Where the kitchen had been enclosed, and the living room felt dark and confining, a new floorplan now creates an open space where the spaces are combined but still functionally distinct.

Dining Room, Detail

Kitchen, BEFORE

The house had this small galley kitchen, which was not terribly kid-friendly and a far cry from homeowner Lauren's idea of a dream kitchen.

Kitchen, AFTER

Joanna's redesign involved removing a wall at one end, enlarging the kitchen and expanding it into the space that had formerly been a separate breakfast room.

Kitchen, BEFORE

Kitchen, AFTER

All cabinets and countertops were replaced, and new backsplash and appliances added. A new breakfast nook, with direct sight line from the kitchen, is now situated at the opposite end from where the old breakfast room had been.

Kitchen, BEFORE

Kitchen, AFTER

A long wall, that had separated the kitchen from the living space, was removed as well, creating the opportunity to add a large island that helps define the space. Corbels on either side of the columns adds an architectural touch that mimics that on the outdoor columns, and helps further delineate the space.

Kitchen, AFTER

"The design inspiration in this house was to create a nice, open space for the family. They love to host a lot of their friends and family, so I wanted to create a space that was open but where every little nook had a really neat design element that really set it  apart."
—Joanna Gaines 

Kitchen, AFTER

A large built-in hutch helps balance the space offers visual contrast with the grays and blue used in the kitchen.

Kitchen, AFTER

Highlights in the kitchen include new stainless appliances and floor-to-ceiling cabinets for plenty of storage.

BEFORE

AFTER

"What I like about the backsplash is that it's really simple and clean, but it also ties in to the rest of the space with the grays that we've done throughout the house."
—Joanna

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

A rustic pedestal table, chandelier and contemporary chairs create an ideal breakfast nook and a place for serving kids' meals.

Breakfast Nook, Detail

Living Room, BEFORE

"Originally this living room was really dark. The ceilings felt really low, there were popcorn ceilings, there were dark wood beams. When you walked in, it felt like everything was coming in at you. My job here was to really open up this space and create a lot more lighting so it just felt bigger."
—Joanna 

Living Room, AFTER

The dated brick fireplace was painted in a dark blue-gray that ties in visually with the kitchen island.

Living Room, AFTER

The old built-ins were removed and replaced with open shelving and a wall treatment of "skinnylap" — a bit of a different spin on Joanna's beloved shiplap.

Living Room, AFTER

The skinnylap was installed vertically, breaking from the horizontal orienation that's more typical with shiplap. "Because I didn't want this to feel like a sea of pattern" says Joanna, "we installed it vertically. The illusion is that, with all of it going vertically, it feels like the space is taller. It's more inviting, but it's also a great pattern that breaks up this large wall." The floating wood shelves were given a darker stain to make them stand out and add depth.

Living Room, Detail

The monochromatic dark gray gives the fireplace and hearth a sleeker, more contemporary look.

Living Room, Detail

BEFORE

AFTER

Throughout the kitchen and living room, exposed beams and molding, which had been dark stained wood, were painted white to help give the overall space a lighter and more open feel. New recessed lighting and upgraded French doors bring tons of light into the space.

Multifunctional Space

A signature element in this renovation is a multipurpose space that can serve double duty as a guest room or kids’ play room.

Play Room/Guest Room

Joanna’s design incorporates a stylized take on an old-fashioned Murphy bed, allowing the space to be used as sleeping quarters when guests are visiting. The bed folds up and out-of-sight when the room is being used as a kids’ space. 

Play Room/Guest Room

Open or closed, the bed provides visual interest via a natural wood panel and frame that tie in with other wood elements used throughout the newly renovated spaces.

Play Room, Detail

Custom built-in shelving and cabinets were added, and basket bins provide a handy storage solution for kids toys and craft supplies.

Play Room, AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

Though exterior modifications were largely cosmetic, the new arched door, gray-green exterior paint, white columns and black porch rockers go a long way toward upgrading the home's curb appeal.

AFTER

Finis

And if you enjoyed this Fixer Upper makeover, we've got a feeling you'll also like this one: A Ranch Home Update in Woodway, Texas.