A Fixer-Upper Dilemma: Classic and Traditional vs. New and Modern

Denitia Blount loves old homes with lots of character. Her husband Norris wants a modern house with all the amenities. Chip and Jo help them create the perfect common ground in a formerly "unstately manor."

Favorable First Impressions

Chip and Joanna reconfigured these spaces, providing a more welcoming entry as well as better sight lines for the den, dining room and kitchen.

Cool and Comfortable

The new living room is soothing and serene in its white and blue-gray palette. The fireplace, wood accents and recessed lighting provide a warming balance.

Clean and Pristine

White cabinetry, countertops, farm sink and backsplash give a formerly dark, enclosed kitchen a light and open feel.

The Ideal Coordinates

As always, Joanna incorporates distinctive decorative touches like this message board with basket hung between the kitchen and living room.

Meet the Homeowners

Norris Blount is a sports chaplain at Baylor University. He and his wife Denitia were looking for a home near the university that had plenty of space for entertaining. Beyond that, however, they had very different ideas as to what would constitute the perfect home. Chip and Joanna were committed to helping them find (and create) the perfect compromise.

Home Exterior, BEFORE

After serious deliberation, the Blounts decided on this fixer upper with classic style, plenty of room and -- with some imagination -- lots of potential. But the exterior had grown dated, the landscaping didn't suit the home's scale and the paint was peeling.

Home Exterior, AFTER

Simple improvements like fresh white paint, updated lighting and a widened front entry help revive the home's former elegance.

Home Exterior, Backyard, BEFORE

The rear of the home felt closed off and isolated with only a single door opening to the backyard.

Home Exterior, AFTER

White paint, new windows and a set of French doors freshen up the home's rear view.

Home Exterior, Detail, AFTER

Chip and Joanna added a wider front entrance, lantern style porch light and twin sconces to create a more welcoming facade.

Home Exterior, Detail, AFTER

Home Exterior, Detail, AFTER

Foyer Staircase, BEFORE

The stairway just inside the front door, with a wall to the left and short hall to the right, made the entrance to the home feel tight and confining. 

Foyer Staircase, AFTER

Chip and Joanna opened up the entry, removing a wall, widening the stair and replacing the old wood bannister with a custom designed iron railing.

The Den, AFTER

With the wall removed, the den is now visible and easily accessible from the foyer.

The Den, AFTER

Norris appreciated the prominently featured 70-inch flatscreen TV in the new den while Denetia was drawn to the built-in bookshelves and cabinets.

The Den, Detail, AFTER

Dining Room, BEFORE

Before the renovation, the dining room was dark and separated from the adjacent living room.

Dining Room, AFTER

The dining space is brightened up with French doors and a new chandelier complemented by dark stained floors, accents and farm table.

Dining Room, Detail, AFTER

Living Room, BEFORE

Before the renovation, the living room was plain and unspectacular with popcorn ceilings, limited lighting and a dark brick fireplace.

Living Room, AFTER

Joanna brightens things up with new recessed lighting, white and blue-gray walls, rustic accents and an antique wood bench.

Living Room, Detail, AFTER

A stained wood-beam mantel and architectural pieces tie in nicely with the dark-stained wood floors.

Living Room, Detail, AFTER

Wooden candlesticks, hand-turned by Clint Harp help dress up the built-ins. (One of the candlesticks seen here was actually Joanna's first foray into wood-turning.)

Living Room, Detail, AFTER

Living Room, Detail, AFTER

Bar seating provides additional entertaining space between the living room and kitchen.

Home Office, BEFORE

Home Office, AFTER

The home office, just off the living room, is given a radically different look with French doors, gray and white area rug and a softer, lighter paint palette.

Home Office, Detail, AFTER

Kitchen, BEFORE

With its dated cabinets, dark tones, and limited natural light, the old kitchen felt closed-in and corridor-like. 

Kitchen, AFTER

New windows, updated lighting and all-white cabinets and counters help give the kitchen new life.

Kitchen, BEFORE

Kitchen, AFTER

Cabinets extending to the ceiling, new appliances and range hood give the kitchen a fresh, updated look.

Kitchen, AFTER

Dark wood flooring replaces the old floor tiles, and the floor-tiles-as-countertops give way to bright white quartz.

Kitchen, Detail, AFTER

Master Bedroom, BEFORE

Since the Blounts wanted the master bedroom on the first floor, Chip and Joanna repurposed this downstairs den into a new master suite.

Master Bedroom, AFTER

The flourescent yellow walls are banished in favor of soft gray. The romantic new master is accessorized with a new chandelier, iron bed and wood furnishings in distressed finish.

Master Bedroom, Detail, BEFORE

Master Bedroom, Detail, AFTER

This exposed brick wall, actually the back of the fireplace in the adjacent room, makes a nice backdrop for two tufted velvet chairs. 

Bedroom Closet, BEFORE

Bedroom Closet, AFTER

Master Bath, AFTER

A small guest bath and laundry closet are transformed into sizable bath and walk-in closet off the master bedroom.

Master Bath, AFTER

Behind the Scenes, THE REVEAL

Behind the Scenes, THE REVEAL

Behind the Scenes, THE REVEAL

Behind the Scenes, THE REVEAL

Behind the Scenes, THE REVEAL

Behind the Scenes, THE REVEAL

The giant "Before" photo banner is pulled back and new homeowners Norris and Denitia get their first look at their renovated fixer upper.

Behind the Scenes, THE REVEAL

Behind the Scenes, THE REVEAL

Denitia and Norris see the interior of their newly completed home for the first time.

Behind the Scenes, THE REVEAL

Behind the Scenes, THE REVEAL

Joanna escorts homeowner Denitia Blount into her newly renovated kitchen.

Behind the Scenes, THE REVEAL

Behind the Scenes, THE REVEAL

Joanna shows Denitia and Norris their new master bedroom.

... And That's a Wrap