Fixer Upper: Midcentury Ranch Gets a New Look With a Farmhouse Feel

Chip and Joanna add warmth and rustic style to a modern ranch house, creating an ideal family home -- with room to grow -- for a couple with a young son and two recently adopted little girls. In this remodel Chip and the Gaines kids get a shot at being design consultantson the children's rooms, and the much-anticipated "skinnylap" makes its debut.

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

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

Balance and Geometry

A modern yet dated suburban ranch got a major facelift to create this stylish home with smart curb appeal for clients Keith and Annabeth. The corner window grouping, which was formerly a detracting feature, becomes an aesthetic highlight when given a new look and paired with matching cedar beams, window boxes and a new door.

Stylishly Simple

Joanna was able to integrate the rustic with the modern to create a look that worked as a unified whole. At the front of the home, the interior and exterior were tied together visually by wrapping both the window dividers and wood beams (inside and out) with unpainted cedar. 

Entry Reconfigured

A structural issue with the front entrance presented a challenge for both Chip and Joanna, but the result was a newly redesigned foyer that went beyond original expectations.

Kitchen Innovation

The kitchen was not only expanded and integrated into a more open floor plan, but became the visual focal point of the renovation with its blend of modern and rustic motifs.

Kitchen Innovation

What had been a tiny, cramped kitchen, and even tinier breakfast nook, became a functional and open new space that's both high functioning and visually amazing.

Design Challenge: Girls' Room

For the children's rooms, Chip and Joanna divided and conquered in a competition that also included creative input from the Gaines kids. Chip teamed up with the Gaines girls, Ella and Emmie, to design this room for the clients two adopted daughters, creating a "princess dollhouse room" that's bound to impress kids and adults alike.

Design Challenge: Boy's Room

Joanna teamed up with the Gaines boys, Drake and Duke, to create this bedroom that's perfect for Keith and Annabeth's 10-year-old son. The room features a road-trip theme, perpendicular bunk beds, a study nook and the first Fixer Upper appearance of Joanna's new wall-treatment fascination — skinnylap.

Before: Not Exactly Farmhouse Style

The "Midcentury Mod-estly Priced House." Though midcentury modern was not exactly the clients' first choice — they were looking for something with a farmhouse aesthetic — the appeal, setting and value of this 1959 ranch won them over, particularly when they heard Joanna's design vision for the home. It came with three bedrooms, two baths, 1635 square feet, a nice location in a desirable neighborhood, and – at $95,000 –  a bargain price. The clients' all-in budget of $175,000 left them with about $80,000 for renovations.

After: A Synthesis of Classic and Contemporary

Joanna's design plan for the exterior included painting the brick, updating the windows and door, reworking the front planter boxes and giving the front entrance a distinctive new look.

Foyer, BEFORE

Before the renovation, he home's entryway, both inside and out, was visually unspectacular and functionally awkward. A free-standing closet just inside the front door obstructed the sight line and the flow of the space.

Foyer, AFTER

A new front door with extended height and a picture window insert adds drama to the space and provides another visual tie-in with the unpainted wood elements incorporated into both the exterior and interior.

Foyer, AFTER

Black and white family photos in simple black frames with white mattes add a sophisticated touch in spaces throughout the home, including this one in the foyer.

Foyer, AFTER

The raised landing in the foyer is the result of a structural challenge that Chip and Joanna ran into necessitating a design modification. A low spot at the front entryway was allowing rainwater to collect outside the front door, potentially even letting water to seep in at the threshold. The solution was to fill in the low spot on the exterior with concrete, raising it even with ground level to prevent pooling. This meant also adjusting the height of the front door, raising it by several inches. To facilitate the raised entrance, a landing with stone tile was added in the foyer, with a step-down into the newly opened up living space.

Living Room and Foyer, BEFORE

Living Room and Foyer, AFTER

The living room was updated with fresh wall paint in sage green and new hardwood flooring. The ceiling-height corner window grouping, which had given the home a dated look, now becomes a key feature with new cedar wrap that gives it a more natural and refined look.

Living Room, AFTER

Living Room, AFTER

The freestanding closet just inside the entrance is replaced with this impressive new fireplace with stacked stone and painted black firebox.

Living Room, AFTER

High ceilings, exposed cedar beams and a contemporary chandelier  combine to create a dramatic look.

Living Room, Detail

Living Room, Detail

 

Living Room, Detail

Living Room, Detail

Kitchen, BEFORE

The space that would become a large, open kitchen was essentially a small kitchenette separate from a breakfast room by a half wall with pass through.

Kitchen, AFTER

The space gets radically transformed into this single open space that combines a spacious kitchen with a central informal dining area. A visual highlight is the rustic dining table crafted using reclaimed wood by furniture artisan Clint Harp.

Kitchen, BEFORE

The kitchen itself was so small and cramped that it would scarcely be functional for just a couple, much less a family of five.

Kitchen, AFTER

The new, enlarged kitchen is efficiently laid out and balanced with cabinets on either end and plenty of storage options. The French doors are updated and the walls throughout are covered in dark-stained shiplap.

Kitchen, BEFORE

Kitchen, AFTER

A stylish industrial light fixture offers visual complement to the booth-style dining table. The space is kept light and airy with white quartz countertops and white cabinetry with contrasting black hardware.

Kitchen, BEFORE

Kitchen, AFTER

The kitchen redesign gave Joanna the opportunity to incorporate some of the more traditional and farmhouse elements that the clients were looking for while still tying the look to the existing lines of the home. The stained shiplap and informal dining space provides a decidedly rustic feel but is balanced with contemporary open shelving designed by Joanna with black metal frames and glass shelf inserts.

Kitchen, AFTER

The modified industrial look of the shelves and lighting is suited to the newly enlarged and modernized space as well as the home's overall architecture.

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

In addition to the booth-style dining area, the kitchen includes some deliberately fun design elements like a built-in coffee bar and a seating nook with coat hooks and drawer storage.

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

 

Bright Lights, Big Kitchen

Chip, who has more than once expressed a desire to flex his design chops, assists with installation of vintage style bulbs as one of the final touches in the kitchen.

Before

After

"I really love that this kitchen now feels balanced," says Joanna, "in this kind of asymmetrical home."

Office Nook, AFTER

The kitchen opens at one end onto a space that's contiguous with the living room and incorporates a built-in desk for a small home office.

Office Nook, AFTER

Office Nook, AFTER

The office nook includes a desk with concrete tabletop, free-hanging shelves and corkboard covered in black wallpaper with white script design.

Boys' Bedroom, BEFORE

With the clients' emphasis on creating a perfect family home, Joanna wanted to do something special with respect to the kids' rooms.

Boys' Bedroom, BEFORE

Joanna wanted to surprise Annabeth and Keith, and their three kids, by transforming some very ordinary bedrooms into something fun and unique.

Boys' Bedroom, AFTER

With help from the Gaines boys, Joanna created this fun and functional boys' bedroom with offset bunk beds, integrated bookshelves, a work desk and black metal awnings.

Boys' Bedroom, AFTER

A vintage automotive tool chest doubles as a small dresser and the closet doors are covered in corkboard for displaying posters and artwork. A stylized map of the U.S. and vintage license plates as wall decor create a roadtrip theme.

Boys' Bedroom, AFTER

The framing and built-in stairs in the bunk-bed unit are painted white and black metal railing provides visual contrast.

Boys' Bedroom, AFTER

Joanna enjoys experimenting with wall texture and her latest foray is what she terms "skinnylap." Essentially it's just 1" by 2" wood trim in 8-foot lengths installed with a narrow gap between boards to provide texture and depth to the wall. In this case the trim was installed over a thin piece of plywood secured to the drywall behind and the wood was left unstained but sealed.

Boys' Bedroom, Detail

Boys' Bedroom, Detail

Boys' Bedroom, Detail

Girls' Bedroom, BEFORE

Chip, with help from the Gaines daughters, tackled this room to create a fun and feminine space for the clients' two daughters.

Girls' Bedroom, AFTER

Chip and the Gaines girls worked in tandem to create the look of this girls' bedroom which they termed the "Princess Dollhouse Room."  The walls are covered with scalloped wood shingles painted in white.

Girls' Bedroom, BEFORE

Girls' Bedroom, AFTER

The wood shingle theme is tied in with scalloped awnings in the same style, bringing visual balance to the room.

Girls' Bedroom, AFTER

Light pink paint on the wall, sconces and a small chandelier give the room a look that's bright and airy as well as feminine.

Girls' Bedroom, Detail

"I think one of the greatest joys as parents is to give good things to your children," says Annabeth, "and so it was just this sweet gift that Chip and Jo gave to our family and that we were able to give to our children."

Girls' Bedroom, Detail

Girls' Bedroom, Detail

Girls' Bedroom, Detail

Girls' Bedroom, Detail

Before

After

Everybody Wins

If you liked this Fixer Upper project, you might also enjoy this one: Midcentury "Asian Ranch" Goes French Country.