Fixer Upper: Austin Couple Finds Waco Charm

Joanna and Chip Gaines help a couple from Austin, who are relocating to Waco, update a small Tudor style home with real period charm, skillfully adapting it to fit the couple's lifestyle.

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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

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

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

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Synthesizing Classic and Modern

The homeowners were looking for a house with vintage appeal, but also one that could incorporate their eclectic tastes. Joanna was charged with finding a workable and eye-pleasing combination of both period and contemporary elements.

Before

This 1400-square-foot brick Tudor had the basic attributes the clients were looking for, but the exterior was drab, dirty and lacking in curb appeal.

After

A few small things went a long way in giving the house a fresh and vibrant look. Chip power washed the brick exterior, 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.

Meet the Homeowners

Matt and Samantha Hardy have decided to leave the fast pace of Austin, Texas and slow things down just a bit in Waco. The couple had never owned a home together before and were eager to find a place of their own. Their all-in budget, including any renovations, was $200,000. Thheir wish list pretty simple and straightforward:  a home with some genuine period attributes and charm and space that would accommodate a home office for Matt.

Living Room, Before

The living room had natural appeal, with hardwood floors in good condition and a fireplace as a visual focal point. It would just need some freshening up and design flourishes a la Joanna.

Living Room, After

"The biggest thing in here that I want to do is just tackle the fireplace," said Joanna, reviewing her design plan with Samantha and Matt. "We'll add some handmade tile to the fireplace, a wood mantel and then a stucco wall over the top."

Living Room, Before

Living Room, After

The walls are painted in bright white, making the pattern tile fireplace and natural wood mantel stand out.

Living Room, Before

Living Room, After

Adding natural wood beams, in a grid pattern, was a bold choice for the small space of the living room, but Joanna feels it definitively adds character to the space and is a visual tie-in with the wood mantel and open wood shelving.

Living Room, Detail

Matt and Samantha had expressed an affinity for natural wood so Joanna incorporated it in several places throughout the design. Included are two end tables custom created by Matt's grandfather in his wood shop in Overland Park, Kansas.

Living Room, Detail

Living Room, Detail

The living room design includes this work desk with rough-edge wood table and rustic leather chair.

Living Room, Detail

The arched wooden door with crescent-moon window had been painted emerald green, and Joanna's first instinct was to keep that color. Ultimately, though, she decided to strip it and reveal the natural wood grain using a light maple stain.

Living Room and Dining Room, Before

Prior to the renovation, the living room opened up onto the dining room through a cased opening.

Living Room and Dining Room, After

The new design retained and enlarged the cased opening and added a pair of built-in pass-through bookshelves, helping to unify and open up the adjacent spaces.

Dining Room, Before

Dining Room, After

Joanna opted for a rich blue wall paint offset by white trim and wainscoting and a brass statement light-fixture illuminating the dining table.

Dining Room, After

Natural blinds and earth tones help balance out the rich blue of the walls. "The wainscoting, all these kind of details," says Joanna, "make the room feel bigger."

Dining Room, Detail

A buffet in black with natural wood top helps ground the space, and the brass hardware and accessories provide a visual tie with the brass shade of the pendant light.

Home Office, Before

Originally a bedroom, just off the main living spaces, this room would become Matt's home office and an adjacent hallway to provide easier access from the front of the house to the back. 

Home Office, After

"Originally, [this room] was the only way we could get to the back of the house," said Joanna. "It was an odd configuration, and we decided to cut into the rooms and make a hallway down the middle of the  house. This now has a lot of purpose and improved function." 

Home Office, Detail

The room is transformed with fresh blue-gray walls, white trim and open custom-made open shelving.

Kitchen, Before

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

Kitchen, After

The doorway to between the kitchen and dining room is replaced with a cased opening for better flow.

Kitchen, Before

Joanna's design plan called for a thorough update to the existing kitchen: all-new countertops, backsplash, appliances, fresh paint and new hardwood floors.

Kitchen, After

Highlights in the kitchen include custom black cabinetry and vent hood, apron-front sink, white marble countertops and backsplash and open shelving. 

Kitchen, Before

Kitchen, After

The redesigned kitchen blends the warmth of hardwood floors with the sharp contrast of the black cabinetry and white granite countertops. The distinctive wood wallpaper has gold flecks that create a subtle tie-in with the brass shelving and kitchen hardware.

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

The custom rough-edge bar top is made from longitudinal slices of raw pecan hand cut at a wood specialty shop in Valley Mills, Texas. The same wood was used to create the open shelving and work desk in the new home office.

Kitchen, Detail

The kitchen pantry features antique mirror-glass doors. In the kitchen, and throughout the renovation, original vintage door hardware was retained and used wherever possible.

Bathroom, Before

The bathroom was plain and ordinary but did include original porcelain tub and vintage hex-tile floor with colored accents, which Samantha opted to keep.

Bathroom, After

The vintage tile was cleaned up and a new vanity added as well as new mirror, light fixtures, shower hardware and wall paint.

Bathroom, Before

Bathroom, After

Gray and white wallpaper in plaid design complements the black vanity cabinet with white marble top. Here, as in the kitchen, black cabinetry works well with all the natural light, while the white wainscoting helps make the space feel larger.

Bathroom, Detail

Bathroom, Detail

Powder Room, After

The remodel includes this new powder room with new vanity, framed mirror and fun graphic wallpaper.

Powder Room, Detail

The Reveal

Samantha and Matt prepare to meet their new Fixer Upper. 

The Reveal

Chip always comes well prepared.

After

I just love the lines. I feel like it's super timeless, and I love that arched door with the little moon. Very unique...I think we knew it would be beautiful, but it's almost surreal that we get to live here.
—Samantha Hardy

Finis

If you liked this Fixer Upper project, we've got a feeling you might also enjoy this one:
When a House In the Country Goes Ultra-Modern.  And keep checking back here for new show updates and galleries throughout the new season.