A Hatmaker Home Renovation

In HGTV's My Big Family Renovation, Brandon and Jen Hatmaker set out on a complete renovation that would turn a 100-year-old farmhouse into a dream home for themselves and their five children.
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November 25, 2014

The Hatmakers

Meet Brandon and Jen Hatmaker. Brandon is an author, pastor and DIY maverick. Jen, in addition to being an author, is a blogger and women's speaker. They have three biological children and two adopted children, but together they make one huge, happy family.

Seven's a Crowd

After adopting Ben and Remy from Ethiopia, the Hatmaker's 2,400 square foot home in Austin, Tex. was beginning to feel cramped. When Brandon and Jen stumbled upon this Buda, Texas home it was in no condition for a family, especially one as large as theirs.

Getting Started

Before. The home's first floor layout was not only cramped, but the maze of doors, walls and corners made modern family living impossible. The first order of business was to knock out all of the existing walls and start from scratch.

The Game Plan

Before. In addition to accommodating a kitchen, living and dining area, the first floor would be reconstructed for Remy's room, a guest bath and master suite. After the original walls were removed, Remy's room was divided off and the dining and living areas were defined.

A Welcoming Entryway

To make room for the guest bathroom, the front door entry had to be moved. Here, Brandon and Jen show what teamwork is about as the create the new front doorway.

Refitting the Entryway

After. The new doorway leads guests into a spacious foyer. Adjacent to the front door, vintage lockers add to the home's youthful charm and provide the essential storage space 5 kids require. The home's original front door was reused and modernized with a vibrant red paint job.

The Dining Space

After. Because structural support was necessary, the dining room was the first to be completed. A central support structure was built to hold up the second floor of the home, but also to define the kitchen, living and dining areas.

Serving a Family

After. The dining room serves as the Hatmaker base of operations. Homework, blogging and eating require it to be spacious and work-conducive. Jen's brother, Drew, custom built the table to fit the area and the family's many needs. A brightly painted Dutch door now provides access to the backyard.

Helpful Hatmaker Tips

Lighting isn't just expensive, it is also difficult to find the fixture that perfectly suits your space. Brandon used galvanized pipe, mason jars, and a simple light socket set to create the custom light fixture above the dining room table. It is a quick way to make a huge impact on your space and your budget.

Entryway Bath

The newly created foyer is complete with a spacious guest bathroom. Plumbing, from the original kitchen, was refitted to accommodate the bathroom leaving room in the budget for Jen to get creative on the design.

The old and the new

Brand new can be boring. Jen wanted the front bathroom to have character. She went online and found this vintage dresser for only $350. The crew transformed it into a vanity and added the deep vessel sink to complement the dresser's old-world charm.

Making Time

Living through a renovation is hard enough on your own, but with five kids it can be an impossible task. Here Jen takes a few spare moments to help Ben with homework.

Remy's Dream

After the walls that would frame out Remy's room were constructed and dry-walled, all that was left to do was create her dream. Brandon and Jen wanted to make this a special place for their youngest, one that spoke to Remy's personality and style.

Creative Solutions

The loft bed does more than just look cool. It leaves tons of room for Remy express her creativity. Jen made yet another online discovery with this vintage table. It made the perfect art station for Remy. A unique metal art installation above the art table puts the finishing touch on the room.

Vintage Dresser

This vintage dresser, another online purchase, adds charm and storage. The piece is nicely suited to a girls room while maintaining the sophisticated country look found throughout the home.

The Living Room

Before. Awkward was the word for the original living space. The narrow room had clunky angles and the outdated brick fireplace was an eyesore. However, after opening it up to the kitchen, the living area would serve as the heart of the home.

Line of Sight

After: In the completed space, the front door peers straight into the main living area creating a perfect line of sight. The now unified space is large and in charge with the help of vintage furniture, personalized wall art and a striking turquoise paint color.

A Warm Front

The dated brick fireplace did anything but make you feel warm and cozy. Brandon searched long and hard for the perfect replacement. The new mantel, which was built in the same time period as the home, makes the fireplace a welcoming focal point.

Fan-tastic Art Piece

This fan, original to the home, stole Jen's heart as her favorite find. Always looking to personalize their new home, Brandon and Jen decided to make this into a one-of-a-kind art piece that would nod to the home's long history. Vintage sconces on both sides of the fan were found in the home.

What's Cookin'?

Jen was determined to find a vintage stove to complete the kitchen's farmhouse concept. Luckily, family friends were opening an antiques store and had just what Jen needed.

Hatmaker Helper: Use water and crinkled aluminum foil to remove rust from metal.

The Perfect Kitchen

The new kitchen is anything but ordinary. From the range hood to the bar island, it was necessary for many of the kitchen's elements to be made custom so that it fit in with the rest of the home's highly personalized look.

A Bangin' Backsplash

The kitchen in their last home was plain Jane, so Brandon and Jen wanted this one to make some noise. Copper tile backsplash was the perfect element to make this kitchen sing.

Hatmaker Helper: A dab of wood stain gives copper tiles an easy, but authentic aged look.

Working With Color

Brandon and Jen really put their DIY skills to the test getting the kitchen cabinets the right shade of green. It took some time but the satisfaction of creating a distinctive cabinet color, and saving tons of money, was worth it.

Farmhouse Concept Completed

To give the lower cabinets that perfectly imperfect look, Brandon started with a coat of light gray paint and then one coat of this gorgeous green. After the green had dried, a light wash of gray was applied and then sanded and wiped off.

More Custom Features

There was no way Jen was going to have that incredible copper backsplash blocked off by cabinetry. They had their metalwork guru, Justin, build a custom steel frame for open shelving. The shelves were painted in the same manner as the lower cabinets.

Foodie Frustrations

One of the toughest parts of the renovation was not having a kitchen. Even the kids got tired of eating out. After having to outsource almost every meal during construction, the family voted to turn the backyard shed into a chicken coop!

Kid's Space

Before. With five children, separate rooms are luxuries, but Jen wanted to give each of their children a private space no matter how small. The attic would be completely reconstructed to hold three kid's rooms and a shared recreation and reading area.

Creating More Space

Demoing the walls in the attic added much needed living space to the home. Here, Brandon and Jen use a little elbow grease to tear down drywall. The two did as much demo work as they could in order to save money during the remodel.

Shared Space

After. Jen used the shiplap from downstairs to create a fun focal point on the kids' rec room wall.

Helpful Hatmaker: Get the kids involved! Jen had each child paint boards a different color but kept the end result a secret until they moved in.

Making It Personal

It was a gift for Brandon and Jen to have the ability to give each child their own space. The rooms were tailored to fit each kid's personality. Caleb, age 11, got this super cool skateboard-headboard for his room.

The Grown-up Getaway

The last thing to do before the interior was done: create an ultimate master retreat. Since their oldest son, Gavin, would be living in the garage apartment, Brandon and Jen were free to reserve the rest of the lower level as their own.

Birch Tree Bedroom

Jen loves wallpaper, but when she came across this idea for wall decals online, she thought, "why not?" The birch tree decals were super cheap and super easy to apply so there was nothing to lose. She and Brandon ended up loving how the decals accentuated the high ceilings.

Master Bath

After: After the master bedroom came the master bath. A crystal chandelier, double vanity, and claw foot tub give this en suite bathroom an upscale and luxurious feel. However, the vanity was kept electric green to add a little fun.

Farmhouse Spa

Applying wainscoting to the bathroom walls kept to the traditional farmhouse look, but Brandon and Jen wanted a more luxurious feel in their new en suite. Painting the wainscoting a high gloss black created contrast against the white walls and gave the room a more upscale, spa-like vibe.

Double Vanity

Inspired by how well the vintage vanity in the guest bathroom turned out, Brandon and Jen decided to repurpose a 1970's dresser as their master bathroom vanity. They kept the original green so they just had to fit it for plumbing and add the sinks.

The Final Steps

During the dining room renovation, this blue Dutch door was installed as the main pathway to the backyard. One of the finishing touches on the home were these steps connecting the dining room to the backyard. Almost done.

Sentimental Value

This white table has seen some tough times. For much of the renovation, the Hatmaker family relied heavily on this outdoor space as their only area to prepare makeshift meals, do homework or just escape from the renovation madness. The family decided to keep the table, but the backyard needed clear vision and purpose.

Throwin' Washers

One of the first things Brandon did for the backyard was make a space for playing washers. Much like the game of horseshoes, washers is a Texas staple. After almost four months of hardcore home rehab, the family will be ready for some casual game time.

A Texas Sized Space

What a fun way to end massive renovation. This outdoor living area, complete with a kitchen and television, is dripping in Texas style with bare wood beams and a massive stone fireplace. Now, the Hatmakers will be just as comfortable outside as they will inside.

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