Fixer Upper: When a House In the Country Goes Ultra-Modern

In one of their biggest stylistic challenges yet, our fearless Fixer Upper duo has a tall order to fill when a couple moving from Denver wants a country retreat — but a house with thoroughly modern vibe. See what happens when Joanna gives up shiplap (well, mostly) in favor of lots steel and concrete.

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Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Comfort Zones (and Getting Outside Them)

Joanna and Chip stretched their stylistic parameters on this project, refashioning an ordinary suburban home into a showplace with a distinctly modern aesthetic. Joanna put her rustic and farmhouse leanings aside temporarily to focus on visual simplicity, industrial textures and a spare approach to decor.

Non-Waco-Centric

The clients, Dean and Brittany, were new to the Waco area. They were looking for a quiet spot in the country with some acreage — but a home with a modern style. In and around Waco, acreage is not a problem, but modern homes are hard to come by. Chip and Joanna were able to transform a bland ranch style house to create this stylized home with decidedly modern attributes, inside and out.

Not a Subway Tile in Sight

Without significantly altering the footprint or layout of the kitchen, the space was stylistically reinvented to give it this contemporary industrial look.

Wide Angle Views

For the clients, the location and scenery were major selling points for the property. The redesign of the living room took full advantage of the backyard views with floor-to-ceiling slider windows that span practically the full width of the living area.

Back In Black

A Joanna-designed home with no shiplap? Not likely. But with its modern styling, the majority of the surfaces in this renovated home were plaster and concrete. But for this just one accent wall in the new master bedroom, a novel take on the now-familiar wall covering makes for a dramatic design statement. In this variation, newer lumber was used for a cleaner edge, and the wall was painted in matte black and paired with simple swag pendants with vintage style filament bulbs.

Natural Light

Wood surfaces in the home featured white oak and ash in light or unstained finishes. Here, custom wood bookshelves in the home office offer a bright palette, and clean, geometric symmetry.

Cafe View

A coffee bar in a corner of the kitchen provides an ideal spot for rela and looks out onto the home's large backyard.

BEFORE

The Pick-A-Door House, so named by Chip for reasons that here are fairly self-evident. Prior to the renovation, the home was strictly plain vanilla, an unspectacular ranch house with limited curb appeal. The dated exterior was a visually confusing mish-mash of materials — wood, brick and stone.

AFTER

The existing stone portions of the exterior were retained,and matched stone added, along with wood siding painted in dark gray, to replace the brick sections. A steel-and-glass door was added and large windows with low-profile black frames replaced the two "extra" front doors.  A new pitch extension creates an entirely new facade.

BEFORE

Customarily, Chip and Joanna's renovations involve tearing out walls to open up and merge spaces. But with this home, which already came with a large, open living room, a different approach was taken.

AFTER

To define the new dining room (seen here at left) and a home office (at right), only portions of walls were removed, and slider doors were added to partition off the spaces from the main living room. The doors operate on quiet rollers and can be pulled to meet at right angles to close off the two spaces or, alternatively, can be left open. The black metal sliders match visually with the new front door as well as the large windows that span the back of the living room.

Living Room, AFTER

One of the biggest transformations in the living space is the wall of slider windows offering an expansive view of the backyard. Other big changes include plaster walls, concrete panels and new hardwood floors in light oak. The beautiful light wood floors are used throughout the renovated living spaces, replacing a former hodge-podge of different floor coverings.

Living Room, Detail

Joanna likes this box shelving in natural wood finish because it's flexible, affordable and can be adapted for practically any room or design scheme.

Living Room, Detail

Plaster walls with a raw concrete look were used throughout the living space in lieu of standard drywall.

Living Room, Detail

It was discovered that the original brick fireplace in the living room was poorly engineered, was deteriorating and causing structural issues. Removal of the old fireplace provided the opportunity to replace it with something entirely different and visually in keeping with the new style of the home. The new fireplace features concrete panels and hearth and— Joanna's favorite design feature — a pass-through to the adjacent kitchen. The opening functions as a place for storing firewood, and the architectural feature, along with the juxtaposition of concrete and wood textures, creates a visual focal point in both rooms.

Home Office, BEFORE

Home Office, AFTER

The home office is the same size and footprint as the dining room, and the spaces are directly across from one another, providing balance and symmetry to the overall space. The closet door and trim are in the same white oak as the custom built-in bookshelves.

Home Office, Detail

Home Office, Detail

Dining Room, BEFORE

Dining Room, AFTER

The dining room features modern style dining chairs, a round dining table with concrete tabletop and a modern chandelier that matches the one used in the office.

Dining Room, Detail

 

Kitchen, BEFORE

The kitchen was already fairly large but had dated and mismatched cabinets, popcorn ceiling and fluorescent lighting.

Kitchen, AFTER

Removing just a portion of the walls at either end of the kitchen, and adding more windows, made the space feel nearly twice as large.

Kitchen, BEFORE

Kitchen, AFTER

Black lower cabinets, with clean lines and no exterior hardware, along with gray concrete countertops, provide a strong base and visual contrast with the wood floors and open shelving in light finish.

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Master Bedroom, BEFORE

This space, which would become the new master bedroom, was formerly a garage.

Master Bedroom, AFTER

The former garage is transformed into an edgy master suite with modern design details like the black accent wall, a contemporary styled ceiling fan, updated lighting and simple, modern furnishings.

Master Bedroom, BEFORE

Master Bedroom, AFTER

Master Bedroom, Detail

"I wanted to do an accent wall in the master bedroom just to add some texture," says Joanna, "and I thought shiplap would be a great option to show people that even shiplap can go modern." Using newly milled boards helped provide a more contemporary, less rustic look than the reclaimed raw or white-painted shiplap she might typically use.

Master Bedroom, Detail

The single-panel headboard in natural wood finish provides striking contrast with the matte black of the accent wall.

Master Bedroom, Detail

This modern styled dresser was custom made by furniture builder Clint Harp and is constructed entirely out of ash. It features clean lines, a light finish and integrated cut-outs for drawer pulls in lieu of external hardware.

Master Bedroom, Detail

Master Bedroom, Detail

Master Bedroom, Detail

Master Bath, AFTER

New walls were added to create the master closet and bath within the master suite.

Master Bath, AFTER

The master bath features black marble shower tiles and dark tile floors. The dark backgrounds are offset by brass fixtures, natural wood and concrete countertops in light gray.

Master Bath, Detail

Master Bath, Detail

BEFORE

AFTER

The exterior is thoroughly updated with black metal roof, new wood siding, all new window packages, a wider concrete walkway and fresh landscaping. The home now has a sleek and contemporary vibe that stands apart in this part of the country.

Modern Masters

If you enjoyed this Fixer Upper project, we'll just bet you'll also like this one: A Fixer Upper Take on Midcentury Modern.