Fixer Upper: Bel Canto Bellissimo in Beautiful Waco

Joanna and Chip help Oregon transplant and trained opera singer Josh and his wife Linn adjust to life in the Lone Star State — with a beautifully upgraded '70s ranch with classic and traditional touches.

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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

Making Beautiful Music

Chip and Joanna transform a bland, outdated home for a young couple who are newcomers to Waco. A dedicated music room is part of the design plan since new homeowner Josh is a music student and trained opera vocalist. Classic elements and musical motifs are all part of the visual mix in this impressive home makeover.

Before

The Plain Jane house is a typical '70s suburban ranch, looking a little unkempt and lacking in sparkle or curb appeal. It came with three bedrooms, two baths, 1600 square feet and a list price of $115,000.

After

The exterior gets a striking facelift with fresh white paint, contrasting black shutters, a new front door upgraded porch columns and fresh landscaping.

Meet the Homeowners

Chip and Joanna pose for a pic with new homeowners Josh and Linn Lee, newly relocated to Waco from Oregon. Josh is working on his master's degree in music at Baylor University. The Lee's wish home included a house with classic charm, interior spaces suited to raising a family and a nice backyard. Their budget, including all renovations, was $200,000.

Before

The main living spaces included a galley style kitchen, sizable living room with dated carpeting and fixtures and a dining room separated from the living room by a wall with built-in shelving.

After

The most dramatic part of the renovation was removal of the living-room wall and built-ins to unify the main living space with the newly remodeled dining room and kitchen. The cased opening onto the dining area is matched visually with the newly expanded opening to the kitchen and provides symmetry as well as improved flow.

Living Room, Before

"I think the biggest transformation in here could be on the back wall, where that fireplace is," said Joanna, prior to the renovation. "Take out the storage, take out that door and make it all one big unit. You'd get all-new drywall in here and all-new light fixtures."

Living Room, After

The fireplace gets an update with marble surround and wood mantel. The room is decorated in a casual, contemporary style in neutral tones and stylized features — like a trio of antique cellos that serve as a wall hanging.

Living Room, Before

Living Room, After

The living room sees major modifications, with new hardwood floors, new trim, the removal of built-in bookcases and cabinetry and the addition of cased openings to provide improved access to the dining room and kitchen.

Living Room, Detail

A new fireplace insert, fireplace tools and simple mantel decor, including a framed musical manuscript, help make the fireplace a visual focal point in the room.

Living Room, Detail

Living Room, Detail

Living Room, Detail

A vintage piano-store display and church-pew style bench help give the living room that distinctive Joanna Gaines touch.

Dining Room, Before

"I would love to break this room up into two," said Joanna, prior to the renovation. "So you've got a dining room on this side. We put a wall up, and behind that is your office." In this case, the home office would also serve as a music room.

Dining Room, After

The dining room gets new baseboards, crown molding, window trim and all new flooring.

Dining Room, After

Pale blue-green walls, new window treatments, chair rail and other trim elements that are consistent throughout the home help provide visual continuity and a traditional feel. 

Dining Room, Detail

Framed music sheets and a contemporary chandelier with brass drum shade are decorative highlights in the new dining room.

Dining Room, Detail

Music Room, After

A distinctive custom feature in the home is Josh's office and music room with a variety of musical accessories, soundproofed walls and Josh's antique upright piano.

Music Room, Detail

Music Room, Detail

Music Room, Detail

Kitchen, Before

The narrow galley style kitchen was cramped and had dated cabinets, wood paneling, overhead flourescent lighting and laminate countertops and floors.

Kitchen, After

The kitchen is radically transformed with new wood flooring, modern stainless appliances, new custom cabinetry and an antique door that opens onto the music room.

Kitchen, Before

Kitchen, After

The kitchen is redefined with a new floor plan that incorporates an open design and large kitchen island with white stone top and lots of cabinet storage.

Kitchen, After

The newly unified kitchen and living area, with the kitchen island as the delineating feature, becomes an ideal family gathering location as well as a space for informal entertaining.

Kitchen, Detail

Wood elements like the custom vent hood and antique door help anchor the kitchen.

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Laundry Room, After

Just off the kitchen is a new multipurpose laundry room with lots of additional storage and a small work desk.

Laundry Room, After

Patterned wallpaper in black, white and gray is counterbalanced with warm wood elements and brushed brass cabinet hardware.

Laundry Room, Detail

The laundry room has utility hooks and storage, and the chair rail and painted white paneling provides a visual tie-in with the woodwork found throughout the renovation.

Bathroom, Before

Bathroom, After

The bathroom gets a fresh, new look with subway tile in alternating gray and white bands, oversized vanity mirror and a new tile tub/shower surround.

Bathroom, After

Retro style sconces with glass shades and brushed brass finish tie in with the vanity hardware and faucet.

Bathroom, Detail

Bathroom, Detail

Bathroom, Detail

Before: Drab and Bedraggled

After: Sharp and Distinct

It was created for us, and so that's really special. That means a lot to us, and to our boys as well.
— homeowner Lin Lee

FINE

If you enjoyed this Fixer Upper project, we suspect you'd also like this one: A Rush to Renovate an '80s Ranch Home. And keep checking back here for more new galleries, video and show updates.