Fixer Upper: The All American Farmhouse

A house in the country — Chip-and-Joanna style — becomes an American dream-come-true for former US Marine TJ and his girlfriend Stephanie. And if you thought most Fixer Uppers have happy endings, just wait til you see this one.

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo Agency

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 Agency

Country Living

This idyllic farmhouse in the countryside near Waco started out as a corrugated metal barn. That was before Chip and Joanna worked their magic.

Sit. Think. Rock.

A house in the country with expansive porches positively cries out for porch swings and rocking chairs. This one is no exception.

Country Kitchen, Modern Aesthetic

Brushed metal, copper accessories, stone surfaces and natural wood are brought together in a stylish and functional new kitchen.

Simple Details

The new laundry room and kitchen feature open shelving and plenty of storage options.

Abundant Light

The new master suite has large windows for maximizing the scenic views and bringing lots of natural light into the space.

Meet the Homeowners

TJ and Stephanie met after TJ returned from a tour in Afghanistan and was going through recovery for his injuries. Stephanie was working for the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization that works with veterans with war injuries. The couple ultimately decided to move to Texas and bought a tract of land on the outskirts of Waco. With the land came a building that had originally been a barn — which the couple hoped to transform into a country dream home. Though their budget for renovations was small, their wish list included a welcoming kitchen, a master bath with a large walk-in shower and spaces for enjoying the outdoors. Once Chip and Jo signed on, news spread about the project, and some local businesses and community members were eager to pitch in with donations to help a deserving veteran. In the end, the contributions of money and materials effectively doubled the original budget.

Before

The "home" that came with the property was essentially a 980-square-foot apartment (of sorts) built within the confines of a 2100-square-foot corrugated metal building. Inside, a master bedroom was separated from the rest of the living space — a guest room, tiny kitchen and combination bathroom/laundry room — by tin walls and dirt floors.

After

The corrugated tin exterior is replaced with wood siding painted in white and offset by the natural wood of the newly refinished columns, new front door, barn-style garage doors and screened patio. Solar panels installed at the rear of the metal roof provide power to the home's heating and cooling systems.

Before

The apartment portion of the building included a small living room and tiny kitchen.

After

Walls were removed, as well as a mechanical closet and laundry room, to expand the living space, creating an open floor plan encompassing a the kitchen and living room.

Living Room, Before

Living Room, After

The living room gets new hardwood floors, updated lighting, two sets of French doors and lots of large windows.

Living Room, Before

Living Room, After

The living room is furnished with a charcoal gray area rug, contemporary sofa and leather chairs, and a foyer bench just inside the front door. The natural wood finish of the new doors provides a warming counterbalance to the cool gray walls and white trim.

Living Room, Detail

The stylized American flag in shades of gray is an original art piece that Joanna had specially commissioned for TJ and Stephanie.

Living Room, Detail

Kitchen, Before

The footprint of the kitchen is expanded, making room for a large island with concrete countertop and bar seats for casual dining.

Kitchen, After

The footprint of the kitchen is significantly expanded, making room for a large kitchen island with stained concrete countertop, built-in storage and bar seating for casual dining. Other highlights include ceiling-height cabinets in medium gray, simple bracket-mounted open shelving and custom vent hood painted in black.

Kitchen, Before

Kitchen, After

Other special features in the kitchen include a vertical plate rack, custom made mirror panel and deep farmhouse sink.

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Laundry Room, After

The newly relocated laundry room is in a hall space adjacent to the kitchen and serves as a combination laundry, pantry and home office. It features a patterned black, white and gray tile floor — and yet another set of large-scale French doors.

Laundry Room, After

The laundry room also includes this handy work desk and additional open shelving.

Master Bath, Before

In the original floor plan, this laundry/utility room doubled as a the home's sole bathroom — with water heater in full view. Not exactly a spa-like experience.

Master Bath, After

The new master bath, located in what had originally been a bedroom, is spacious and includes a large walk-in shower, an important feature for TJ because of his injury. The shower features a custom-made gridded glass enclosure, twin bench seats and double shower heads.

Master Bath, After

White subway tile and stone countertops are offset by dark hardwood cabinets and tile floor in charcoal gray.

Master Bath, Detail

Master Bath, Detail

Master Bath, Detail

The engraved quote on the shower wall has its origins with Stephanie and TJ: "I love you every step of the way."

Bedroom, Before

Bedroom, Before

Master Bedroom, After

The new master bedroom is located in a portion of the building that was originally part of the original barn and had dirt floors and tin walls. The newly redefined space has new walls painted in soft gray, white shiplap paneling, new hardwood floors and twin copper reading sconces.

Master Bedroom, After

Joanna's 'wall of windows' offers a panoramic view of the surrounding fields and pasture. "I wanted it to feel really spacious in here," she said. "Anywhere we could put a door or a window, we did."

Master Bedroom, After

Master Bedroom, Detail

Master Bedroom, Detail

Master Bedroom, Detail

Before

Prior to the renovation, the barn/house was in rough shape and only nominally fit for human habitation.

After

The newly re-imagined country farmhouse is a spectacular showplace with modern updates, loads of rustic appeal and great outdoor spaces including a revamped front porch and a separate side porch that spans the length of the house. The side porch incorporates a deep deck, outdoor game space and a screened patio area that's ideal for outdoor dining and entertaining.

Front Exterior, Detail

The new porch swing was custom made by wood artisan Clint Harp and personally hung by Chip and Joanna.

Front Exterior, Detail

The garage doors are lightly stained and, in a nod to the building's history, made to resemble vintage barn doors.

Front Exterior, Before

Front Exterior, After

The home's updated entry includes all new landscaping, flagstone walkway, rustic exterior sconces, refinished and re-stained porch columns and a new front door with side lights.

Front Exterior, Detail

A tin watering trough, painted black, serves as a planter on the front porch.

Side Porch, Before

This covered area along the side of the building did have a small deck, but was hardly a hospitable space.

Side Porch, After

The space was left with its rustic, country feel, but an expansive elevated deck, updated exterior lighting, a twin set of French doors and four sturdy porch rockers make for a far more inviting space.

Side Porch, After

The side porch even includes a covered game space that's perfect for a game of cornhole.

Side Porch, Detail

Clint Harp custom made the cornhole set and, especially for TJ, added a teak inlay engraved with a U.S. Marines insignia.

Side Porch, Before

Side Porch, After

A portion of the side porch is set aside for this screened patio with outdoor dining area,

Side Porch, After

"I really wanted to make sure that we give them livable space on the outside," said Joanna, "so we have the screened-in porch that I think really is a nice extension off of the front exterior... I just feel like those little elements are the things that really make it special."

Side Porch, After

The screened patio features two custom made screen-door entrances, dining table and an oversized industrial style ceiling fan.

Side Porch, Detail

Side Porch, After

Side Porch, Detail

Front Porch, Detail

Olive trees in dark charcoal ceramic planters bring some green to the covered porch.

The Reveal

Mr. Gaines prepares to pull back the banner to reveal TJ and Stephanie's newly renovated home.

The Reveal

TJ's service dog, Macho, waits patiently alongside TJ, eagerly anticipating the big reveal.

The Reveal

Stephanie and TJ get their first look at their newly re-envisioned home.

Wait For It...

Were you thinking the story was over? It's not.

A Question

In a Fixer Upper first, a proposal of marriage — right on camera. TJ pops the question to Stephanie on the steps of their new home.

An Answer

Stephanie says "yes".

Finis

Okay, now we're done with this Fixer Upper. And if you liked this one, may we suggest that you might also enjoy: "A Country Home Fully Reimagined." And keep checking back here for lots more Fixer Upper.

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