Fixer Upper: Behind the Design - The Hardy House

In an update on a tiny 1930's Tudor, Joanna Gaines zeroes in on merging Parisian and eclectic accents to suit the worldly tastes of couple relocating from Austin to Waco. Look for #neverbeforeseen rooms and elements not featured in the original Fixer Upper episode.

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Microsoft Windows Photo Viewer 6.1.7600.16385

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

We'll Always Have Paris

World travelers Matt and Samantha Hardy, who are new to Waco, called on Chip and Joanna to help them find their perfect home — and upon Joanna in particular to infuse Parisian style elements into their home's design. Paris, it seems, is one of Matt and Samantha's favorite cities. Jo worked with her design assistant and local artisans to customize every detail in their small vintage Tudor, giving it a classic style with European flair.

Austin Couple Seeks Waco Charm

When Matt and Samantha decided to leave behind the fast pace of Austin, and slow things down a bit in Waco, they wanted their first home to be one with historic charm and also to reflect their lifestyle. "We like to travel a lot," Samantha told Joanna, "and we pick up weird things at estate sales and places we've been.. So I think our style is kind of blend of Parisian and eclectic." They also had a strong affinity for wood tones and textures.

Before

The Lunar Lander, as Chip dubbed it because of its original arched door with a crescent moon cutout, was built in 1939. It had the basic attributes the clients were looking for, but the exterior was drab and lacking in curb appeal. At a mere 1400 square feet, the house came with three bedrooms but only a single bath. Part of Joanna's mission (though not shown in the original Fixer Upper episode) was to find space to create a guest bath.

After

For the exterior renovation Chip power washed the brick, restoring it to its original yellow-beige color. The home's original door, with unique crescent-moon window, was retained but given a new finish with pleasing gold stain that permits the wood grain to show. Charcoal gray trim and new custom metal railing offer tastefully subtle touches that make the house stand out.

Before

The galley kitchen was fairly spacious with a relatively wide footprint but the appliances and cabinetry were dated.

After

"We didn't have the budget to reconfigure the kitchen," said Joanna, "and I'm actually glad because I think the cozy layout of the galley kitchen fits the eclectic vibe we want." She went with black cabinets and white countertops for strong contrast, brass open shelving and antique French doors in keeping with the Parisian theme. The distinctive wood wallpaper has gold flecks that create a subtle tie-in with the brass shelving and kitchen hardware.

Kitchen, Detail

Joanna picked up these vintage French cannisters on one of her trips to the Round Top Antiques Fair. #neverbeforeseen

Before

The living room had natural appeal, with hardwood floors in good condition and a fireplace, though the dated brick of the fireplace surround was fairly drab and unimpressive.

After

Joanna brought in a half dozen or so styles of patterned tile before she decided on the perfect one to complement the room's warm wood tones.

Living Room, Detail

The framed documents behind the sofa are part of the original deed to the house from the 1930s which were found during demo. "I love that we got to feature the history of this little old house," said Joanna, "and they fit right in with Sam and Matt's old-world style.
#neverbeforeseen

Dining Room, Before

Part of the interior reconfiguring would include creating a larger cased opening between the dining and living rooms.

Dining Room, After

"The main reason I wanted to keep the living area neutral is so that I could have this gorgeous green in the dining room," said Joanna. "It really adds a lot of flair, and adding the tall, white wainscoting helps tone down the bright color."

Dining Room, After

When staging decor on shelves, as seen in this pass-through between the living room and dining room, Joanna likes to create a visual grid, alternating between vertical and horizontal elements.

The Powder Bath

Though not highlighted in the original Fixer Upper episode, to add a second bath to the home's floor plan, a new hallway was created with this small powder bath located conveniently for guest use.
#neverbeforeseen

The Powder Bath

Homeowner Samantha was fond of wallpaper, and Joanna went with a bold print with black and gray floral designs on white background.
#neverbeforeseen

The Powder Bath

Dark metal finish and a mirror with black frame add to a dramatic contrast in the guest bathroom.
#neverbeforeseen

Exterior Detail

Espalier is the practice of training a tree to grow flat against a wall, as seen here next to the Hardy's front door. "I think it not only gives the hearty exterior that character it needs," says Joanna, "but it also nods to that European flair that I know the Hardys are wanting."
#neverbeforeseen

Behind the Scenes

A little rain never stopped a Fixer Upper final reveal.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

No matter how many times we renovate these homes, days like this where we actually get to reveal the project to clients, that never gets old. It's always my favorite day.
—Joanna

To the Moon and Back

If you enjoyed this Behind the Design feature, be sure to check out the complete renovation gallery from the original Fixer Upper episode: "Fixer Upper: Austin Couple Finds Waco Charm".

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