Fixer Upper: A Very Special House in the Country

With the help of Chip and Joanna Gaines, a family undertakes a one-of-a-kind project in the rolling hills outside Waco, TX -- and simultaneously the term "barndominium" is added to our design lexicon. In this notably non-traditional Fixer Upper , a barn conversion turns a 1000-square-foot attic apartment -- along with horse stalls and hay storage -- into an amazing 2700-square-foot home with contemporary styling and a truly spectacular dining space.

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

Alternative Country

What was once a service building and working barn in the countryside near Waco has been transformed into this unique, spacious and stylized home – dubbed by Chip Gaines "The Barn-dominium."  

Grand Dining

The barn's center breezeway has been converted into this elongated dining space with a massive farm table that can accommodate up to 16 guests. 

Grand Dining

Mix-and-match wooden chairs, lantern lights and rustic country accents help provide the dining space a welcoming and casual vibe. 

Carefully Blended Ingredients

The recipe for this visually balanced kitchen includes plenty of natural wood to help soften the bold visual impact of the black-and-white patterned tile and the contrasting cabinets and countertops.

Country + Modern

The kitchen, located on the second floor, effectively marries contemporary elements like stainless appliances and black metal railing with more rustic and utilitarian basics such as concrete countertops and a custom island in unpainted wood finish.

Family Table

In addition to the grand dining hall downstairs, this second-floor dining area adjacent to the kitchen is ideal for casual dining and family meals.

Simple Open Design

Walls were removed on the second floor to create a mixed use space that incorporates kitchen, dining and living areas.

Book Nook

A work desk and integrated bookshelves are tucked neatly under the newly reconfigured stairs.

Kid Space

This downstairs boys' bedroom comes with a great view and some special kid features a la Joanna.

Meet the Meeks

Hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines with homeowners Todd and Lexia Meek in their new dining room. The Meeks were looking for a place with character in a country setting with some acreage and ample space for a family of five. Their wish list included 4 bedrooms, a large kitchen and a space for entertaining. They were working with an all-in budget of $359,000 and were willing to consider something a little outside the mainstream.

BEFORE

"Outside the mainstream" is exactly what the Meeks got when they opted for this former horse-barn with concrete slab floors and absolutely no frills. It sits on a 16-acre tract, was built in 1980 and had been partially renovated to added a modest upstairs apartment. Prior to the renovation, the entrance was via outside stairs and this second story porch. List price for the land and barn was $180,000.

AFTER

Large windows and traditional barn doors add a dramatic flourish to the new entrance for the beautifully remodeled ground floor. The outside stairs and upper porch were removed and an impressive set of doors added to replace the metal garage door that was there previously. 

Artist's Rendering

In the boys' bedroom, Joanna used LEGO blocks to fashion this replica of the Meeks' newly converted barn home.

First Floor Dining Room, BEFORE

Joanna's recommendations for this first floor space included replacing the existing garage door with a new entry package, adding hardwood floors, new walls and French doors leading into an informal den.

First Floor Dining Room, AFTER

The statement piece in the dining room is the 17-foot farm table custom designed and built by furniture artisan Clint Harp.

First Floor Dining Room, BEFORE

The first-floor design plan also called for two bedrooms and additional bath.

First Floor Dining Room, AFTER

Other key elements in the dining space include new French doors, lantern style pendant lights, a custom designed wall feature and rustic coat rack.

First Floor Dining Room, Detail

First Floor Dining Room, Detail

Entryway, AFTER

Dark hardwood floors in the downstairs dining room and entryway help give the space a classic look and and provide a warm balance with the white shiplap walls.

Entryway, Detail

Kitchen, BEFORE

Kitchen, AFTER

Kitchen, BEFORE

Kitchen and Upstairs Dining Space, BEFORE

Kitchen and Upstairs Dining Space, AFTER

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Upstairs Dining Space, BEFORE

The plan for the upstairs apartment included removal of some existing walls to create a large living area and adding large windows on the front side of the barn.

Upstairs Dining Space, AFTER

The old popcorn ceiling was removed and shiplap walls, baseboards and molding added as well as new recessed lighting and chandelier.

Dining Space and Kitchen, BEFORE

The renovation budget for the barn conversion was $180,000. A large portion of that went to infrastructure and utility upgrades such as adding HVAC and upgrading plumbing and electrical for the downstairs portion of the structure. The estimate for the upstairs kitchen upgrade was $30,000.

Dining Space and Kitchen, AFTER

Upstairs Dining Space, Detail

Upstairs Dining Space, Detail

Dining Space and Kitchen, AFTER

Downstairs Den, AFTER

This informal den, adjacent to the main dining room on the main floor, blends modern styled chairs and sofa with traditional elements like classic styled ceiling fans and dark hardwoods.

Downstairs Den, AFTER

Downstairs Den, AFTER

Downstairs Den, Detail

Downstairs Den and Office Space, AFTER

The newly configured stairs wrap around to create a handy work space.

Office Space, AFTER

The office nook includes a custom-made floating desk and built-in bookshelves.

Upstairs Living Room, AFTER

Contemporary and rustic elements are once again integrated to create a relaxed and comfortable setting in the upstairs living space.

Upstairs Living Room, AFTER

Upstairs Living Room, Detail

BEFORE

This space on the first floor would be converted into a boys' bedroom.  

Boys' Bedroom, AFTER

The boys' bedroom features a LEGO wall complete with metal baskets and a library ladder on rollers for those hard-to-reach spots.

Boys' Bedroom, AFTER

Boys' Bedroom, AFTER

Boys' Bedroom, Detail

Boys' Bedroom, Detail

Boys' Bedroom, Detail

Modern Country Living

The barn conversion is one of the more distinctive and unusual Fixer Uppers that Chip and Joanna have undertaken, and it offers a taste of the types of elements that might be incorporated into their new headquarters at Magnolia Silos. Distinguishing exterior features seen here include a classic metal roof, extra large windows, sliding barn doors and exterior gooseneck lamps.

Finis

If you enjoyed this particularly imaginative Fixer Upper project, you might also enjoy this ambitious makeover from Season One: Country Farmhouse Goes from Scary to Sensational.

Or head over to the Fixer Upper main page for lots more projects, galleries, videos and behind-the-scenes features.