See How Team Fixer Upper Revitalized This Collapsing Carriage House
With every new episode, Chip and Joanna tackle bigger (and more impressive) projects. In the season three finale, see how they transformed this falling-into-the-ground carriage house.
This week's big project: Chip and Joanna are upgrading and remodeling an abandoned carriage house that sits adjacent to Magnolia House Bed and Breakfast. Jump right in on another manifestly challenging renovation? Sure. Why not, right?
How Do They Do All That?
And as long as we're on the subject, if you've been following along closely, maybe you're wondering just how Chip and Joanna Gaines find the time to do all the things that they do. Guess what. So are we. I mean, think about it. Maybe they're miracle workers but, even so, between managing multiple home renovations for clients, shooting a TV series while doing so (and a wildly popular TV series we might proudly add), maintaining a killer design blog, operating Magnolia Market, renovating and converting a former industrial site for their new headquarters and opening a bed and breakfast, they can't do everything. Can they? And note that this doesn't even take into account raising four kids and dozens – perhaps hundreds, by now – pets and farm animals. (Incidentally, does anybody have the current tally on how many goats reside at Magnolia Farm?)
A Perfect Fit; A Far-From-Perfect Building
So to paraphrase Clint Eastwood (or, more precisely, Harry Callahan), there comes a point where you've got to know your limitations. So when it was almost time for the Magnolia House B&B to start taking in guests, Chip and Joanna recruited semi-retirees Rob and Marianne Ward as potential managers to run it. The Wards seemed like the ideal choice. They were an adorably affable couple, essentially retired but adventurous, and Marianne had, in fact, dreamed specifically of operating a bed and breakfast. Sounds like a trifecta, wouldn't you say?
Not so fast. First, Chip and Jo had one particular tough sell on their hands. Since they wanted managers who could live on site at the B&B, and since Magnolia House isn't big enough to accommodate both guests and permanent occupants, they'd have to convince the Wards to take up residence in the carriage house that sits just a few yards away. Just one problem: the carriage house had been sitting vacant for years and appeared to be on the verge of falling in. Actually, as closer inspection later revealed, there were several problems – including termites, asbestos and rotted floor joists. And though any one of those three terms alone might easily constitute a deal killer for some people, undaunted, our two intrepid heroes moved forward with a radical makeover of the long neglected building.
Meanwhile, and once they heard Joanna impart her vision as to what the carriage house could be when all was said and done, future B&B hosts Rob and Marianne were in.
Key Word: Character
Joanna's guiding principle in designing for the carriage house was to incorporate as much character as possible and do so in a style that suitably matched that of the recently restored bed and breakfast. On the exterior, larger windows were added along with black shutters, lantern sconces, rustic wood flooring for the enlarged porch and a metal roof that both suits the architecture of the building and ties in visually with the roof on the main building of the B&B.
On the interior, in the home office, she added a rustic wooden desk, shiplap walls, sliding barn doors and an antique tool bin that she had wall-mounted to serve both as a decorative feature and as a functional filing system for reservation receipts, room keys, etc. She also added antique French doors as inserts on either side of the cased opening onto the office space and, similarly, incorporated antique wooden corbels to help define the opening in the transition between the kitchen and living/dining area.
Several walls were removed to open up the interior and eliminate the maze-like feel it had before. In the new floor plan, the kitchen opens onto the new living space and incorporates a desk and work station as well as a bench window seat with added storage. Opening up the space essentially doubled the kitchen's footprint and made room for a large island that becomes a focal point for family and entertaining. The kitchen's color palette of white, gray and black is accented by brushed copper fixtures including twin pendant lights, faucets and cabinet hardware.
The Master Bath
Among the more dramatic transformations in the carriage house renovation was the new master bath. An old office space adjacent to the bedroom was converted into a luxurious and spa-like bath that includes a pedestal tub, large walk-in shower and inset linen closet. Twin vanities on either side of the standalone tub have wooden bases handcrafted by furniture artisan Clint Harp. The bases have hand-turned legs and are stained in a dark finish to provide a warming contrast to the grey walls and white trim.
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Fixer Upper airs on HGTV Tuesdays at 9 pm | 8c. Watch for Season 4 coming this fall.