10 June 2014

Fixer Upper

 

For those of you who are older than 30, you might remember the grand old days of HGTV before it was just about house flipping and House Hunters, House Hunters International and House Hunters Renovations.  Long ago there were some great shows on HGTV – ones that you would actually stay home to watch.   Now the more popular shows are Rehab Addict and Property Brothers – ever even watched those?  (OK, I confess – I love Nicole and those twins!)

Recently HGTV debuted a new show that I am not only actually watching, but am loving.  It’s fabulous!!    The show, “Fixer Upper,” is filmed in Texas – mostly in Waco.  It’s the brainchild of the popular blogger, shop owner and renovator Joanna Stevens Gaines and her realtor, renovator husband Chip Gaines.  You might read her blog “Magnolia” and know all about Joanna already.  But – if not, I don’t want you to miss out on a great new HGTV show and talent.

I really like their work – and have found there is so much to learn from their renovations.   The problem is that television shows move so fast, you can’t quite take it all in – at least I can’t without pausing and stopping it as it is being shown.

The great thing is that on Joanna’s web site – they recap each renovation with lots of pictures for you to study at your leisure.  I was so excited to find the before and after photographs and couldn’t wait to share them with you.

image

Joanna Stevens Gaines – sits outside her new house on Magnolia Farms.

All photography by Molly Winn HERE.

 

 

image

Joanna’s shop in Waco – also called Magnolia

I’m glad that HGTV is finally reaching into blogland for new TV stars.  There are so many talented designers out there and Joanna is one that certainly deserves her own show.   But how do you get a show on HGTV?

Joanna and Chip Gaines, with their four children, live outside Waco in an old farmhouse they just finished renovating.  On her popular blog, Joanna would post videos which eventually caught the eye of a production company.  She’s a natural in front of the camera, stunningly beautiful, funny, casual, and most important - very talented.   Chip is a rugged, Texas cowboy and together they present a humorous front.  

The production company produced a pilot for HGTV who bought 12 shows – so far they are approximately half way into their season.  The show is such a  success that more episodes have been ordered.  Each week – their audience has been growing larger and larger as word of mouth spreads the news.  

Joanna must be a major Type A personality.  How she has time to be a mother to 4 young children, run a shop, blog, renovate houses, and produce a show for HGTV – is beyond me.  It exhausts me just thinking about it!

 

image

Joanna with her four children.

The premise of their show, Fixer Upper, is this:  Joanna and Chip show a prospective homeowner three houses, one of which will be bought and renovated by the Gaines.  After the house is decided upon and bought, Joanna and Chip present a plan for the renovation on their budget.

In general, the premise is sound, but there are a few things that leave you scratching your head.

  Typically the renovation budget doesn’t cover the entire house and you are left wondering about the rooms not redone - are those rooms finished later after the show?  What about the tight budget?  Sometimes the entire upstairs will be left untouched.

Also – to create drama - the owner is given a choice of renovations.  For example, would the homeowner rather get a new master bathroom or a new circular driveway.   Amazingly the couple chose the driveway???   What?  There are always decisions like this that don’t make too much sense, but hey – that’s TV.   

 

image

Chip and Joanna in front of HGTV’s cameras for their new hit show Fixer Upper.

There is even more fake drama – each week, either the renovation is behind schedule or over budget and Joanna has to make a frantic call to the owners for more money – which they usually miraculously have.  These fake dramas are scripted and are so, well - fake – HGTV would be better just dropping the  manufactured drama.  Everyone sees through it.  HGTV should respect the intelligence of their audience and stop treating us like imbeciles.  The real conflicts found in renovations are always better than the fake ones – and we can learn from true reality!

Still despite these few complaints – the show is a true winner because the renovations are remarkable and always done on a budget that most of us can relate to.  One thing that helps the budget is that real estate seems so reasonable in Waco – we should all move there asap!   Joanna and Chip do great work – and it shows.  The renovations are mind boggling!   In addition, Joanna’s design aesthetic is attractive and universally appealing.   Each week the show gets better and better.  These two are going to be household names soon – like Nate Berkus before them.

 

image

Vignette of things for sale online from Joanna’s shop Magnolia HERE.

Joanna has a very casual style – a mix of farmhouse and industrial.  She loves shiplap on walls, white slipcovers and dark accents.  Her designs are a study in contrast between white and black.  She uses lots of vintage pieces, some antiques – but mostly old repurposed items from thrift shops mixed in with new repros from Home Goods or Restoration Hardware.  

After the house is renovated – there is the dramatic final reveal.  Joanna stages the new house with furniture purchased from her shop and around town.  It’s not clear if the homeowners keep the furniture or return it – but, hopefully they keep it!  A few reveals have been a mix of Joanna’s staging and the homeowners own furniture.

The homeowners who have been on the show have been very lucky.  They seem to have gotten great deals.  If you live in the Waco area and need a new house, you should contact the Gaines to see if you can get on the show.  I would do it in a heartbeat!!

Today - I thought I would show a few renovations from the show so far – and talk about them.  There is a lot to be learned here – especially if you are on a budget – or if you like the more casual decorating style.

 

Episode One:

The first house renovated has been one of the best.  I was floored by the results of the renovation and rewound the final reveal a 1,000 times.  The house is a nice size - 2600 sq ft and it was built in the 1930s.  But, it was tagged for demolition and was a filthy mess.   The homeowners bought it for $24,000.  Yes.  You read that right – $24,000.   Joanna and Chip spent six weeks renovating it, which is a miracle in itself.

 

Before:

image

Here is how the house looked – you could barely see it through the foliage.  The first thing the Gaines did was to remove all the overgrown landscaping.

 

image

And this is what they found.  The porch and balcony were both unstable so they were removed and replaced.

 

 

image

And here is how it looks today.  Isn’t this incredible?  The new porch was extended.  The house retains its original windows, which are beautiful.  The house was painted gray with white trim – making it look so hip despite its age.   New landscaping enhances the curb appeal – notice the extra wide sidewalk – as wide as the front steps.  I love this detail.

 

 image

Another view – before and after

 

image

Inside – the stairs are original – they were just painted and repaired, as needed.  Joanna added the trendy lantern.  Walls are a soft gray, with white trim, and extra dark wood floors.

 

image

Before:  the wallpaper was falling off – and you could see the shiplap behind the paper.  Joanna wanted to keep the shiplap in all the rooms, but could only use it in the living room for some reason.  She kept all the French doors.

 

 

image

And here is the new living room – with the wood walls and restored fireplace. 

 

 

image

Here you can see into the family room.  Notice the two consoles behind the sofa.  This is great idea.  Sometimes less expensive consoles are rather small and not very wide- but by placing two next to each other – you get a much better scale without spending a fortune.  These tables are just $275 and are sold at Magnolia – as is most of the items found in this house.

 

image

Here is the kitchen before – it was totally gutted and opened up to the family room.

 

image

The kitchen today – with light blue/gray walls and white trim.  They built the island and banquette out of the old shiplap found in the house.   Notice the arches carved into the sides of the island.

 

 

image

Another view of the kitchen – notice how the island is open at the back – another great idea.   Joanna likes to use bold letters as art.  Remember – this house was $24,000.  If I recall correctly – the reno budget was around $100,000.  Amazing.

 

I was hooked on Fixer Upper after this episode – I loved Joanna’s style and couldn’t wait for the next week’s show!   Here it was:

Episode Two:

This was really one for the books. 

image

This house was built in the early 70s.  A soft contemporary – it was stuck in a time warp.  By the foyer – there was an atrium which was a sticking point with buyers – no one wanted this house!  Here you can see the slanting steps from the foyer leading into the two story living room/dining room.  The atrium is open on all sides – long live the 70s!!!!

 

image

The two story living room – with the atrium to the left.   How many houses are there like this – built in the 60s and 70s - that no one wants to buy?  Looking at this – it seems impossible that this house could become a warm, cozy house.  Before, it was a cold, lifeless, time warp – there is no texture, no interesting focal point, nothing that would attract a new homeowner – or not?

 

 

image

The dining area – connected to the living room – on a sea of pink carpet.    The new homeowners realized the house had good points – it’s size and openness and they liked the contemporary design.   The Gaines came up with a great renovation that addressed the bad features – the vast coldness, the lack of texture, and the atrium.

 

image

After:  All the pink carpet was removed and dark hardwoods were laid – which immediately changed the feel of the house.  Here – the foyer – leads down to the atrium and living/dining room.   Gone is the 70s with a warm vignette created by Joanna.  The house was cold and lacked any coziness.  There was no contrast – no textures – and Joanna wanted to add both of these elements to the house, which she did.

 

image

And here is the living/dining room today – what a huge difference!!!   Joanna chose contemporary and trendy furniture and mixed it with warm vintage pieces.   The wood beams add more warmth to the room and bring the ceiling down a bit to a more human scale.   The Gaines added a new contemporary styled railing – in black iron - for more warmth and contrast.   Before, there was no railing – 70s style.

 

 

image

After – the new atrium.   In the cold, lifeless atrium – Joanna added brick floor for warmth and wood beams and shelves.  The low beams gave the room a “ceiling” and made it feel cozy.  The eyesore became a focal point and the owners favorite part of their new house!

 

 

image

Joanna closed off the windows of the atrium that opened to the foyer and back wall.  This is another great idea when you have an atrium that opens to all rooms in the house.  By closing off some of the walls, it isn’t such a focal point.  Atriums from the 60, 70 and 80s can be dealt with like this, which I think is a great solution that Joanna came up with.

 

image

By removing the window from the atrium that faced the living room here – it provided more wall space and less modernity.   Also, notice how much detail the railing adds to the space – there was no rail before.  Joanna also squared off the steps – where before they angled down into the living room.  Another cosmetic change that took away ugly touches of the 70s but left the good aspects – the clean lines, the openness.

 

image

Joanna kept the wood shutters but added a trendy table and chairs in the dining room.

 

image

The 70s kitchen – before.  Notice how the kitchen countertop leads into an eating countertop and then into a wet bar.

 

image

The kitchen looks totally new – but Joanna used the same cabinets, along with the new marble countertop and subway tile backsplash.  She connected the kitchen countertop with the breakfast bar in the corner.  Again, the wood floor provides warmth – as does the blue cabinet paint.  If this was me – I would have taken out the two upper cabinets next to the sink for a cleaner, more updated look – but hey, that’s just me.   The window above the sink looks into the atrium.  It’s amazing that with a few cosmetic changes – mostly paint and wood floors – all signs of the 70s are gone.

 

image

The other direction.  By adding new appliances and countertop and farm sink – she was able to completely change the look of the kitchen – but keep the costs down by using the same footprint.   By building an upper cabinet and adding a side of plywood – the refrigerator now looks like a luxe built in. 

 

image

The breakfast room cabinet became a darling coffee bar.

 

Episode Four:

image

This couple wanted a view of the lake in Waco – and a country French vibe.  The Gaines showed them 3 houses and they picked this ranchburger.  A country French house?  It’s a ranch!  But Joanna promised them she could make this house like French - European.  The owners agreed because the view was incredible – and that sold them on the house – but they were skeptical the Gaines could make it look country French.

 

image

And – here it is.  I thought that Joanna really did change this ranchburger into a country French house just by adding a few elements.  Here’s how she did it.   First – she painted the brick a creamy color.  She added a porch with a tin roof and wood columns.    She demolished the bay window and instead installed two French door – stained dark – that lead out to the front porch.  She arched the upper windows and added French blue wood shutters – the arched dormers really made a huge difference in the façade.  And finally – they added a large curved driveway. 

If you have a ranch house – and want a more updated façade – these are wonderful steps to take to change the look of the house.  It’s so pretty and updated now!

ok – now, if this was MY house – I would have used gravel instead of stamped concrete.  The gravel driveway would have really given the house an even more French vibe, but - that’s just me!

 

image

Before – the house had a typical floor plan that is found all over Texas.  When you walk in the front door – to the right is the living room and then there is a smaller dining room that leads to the kitchen.  Also, from the front foyer – the family room is at the back of the house – next to the kitchen.   Here is the dining room leading to the kitchen – before.

 

image

Before:  The nice, but dated kitchen – is right off the dining room. 

In order to update the house – Joanna moved the dining room into the living room.  She then extended the kitchen all the way to the front of the house – where the dining room once was.  This wall on the right of the kitchen was demolished so that the kitchen extended to the front window.

 

image

AFTER:  And here is the formal living room today – turned into a wine/dining room.  The window was removed to put in the French doors leading to the front balcony.  Joanna then added the built ins to house the owners wine collection. 

 

image

And – here is the new renovated kitchen.  The wall between the old dining room and kitchen was removed – and a large island was placed in the long room.  Three lanterns span the island.  At the end of the room – the old bay window in the dining room was removed to make room for the new French door that leads to the front porch. 

 

 

image

And looking the other direction to the breakfast room.  The family room is off to the left. 

For the typical ranchburger – this is a great new floor plan.  Many people turn the old dining room into a study or a useless sitting room.  But here – by extending the kitchen into that space – you create a large, functional kitchen.   I love what Joanna did with this house.    The new kitchen is beautiful.

 

 

image

And looking at the front wall of the kitchen.  You can see into the wine/dining room through the opening.

Now, if this was ME – (Joanna probably wants to strangle me, thank God she’s not reading this!) – I would have placed the refrigerator on the back wall for ease.  I would have hidden it behind cabinet doors or maybe even armoire doors for effect.  To me – the refrigerator seems too out of the way around the long island.  But…that’s just me!

 

image

Before:  Here is the family room before it was renovated.  Joanna removed the wall between the kitchen and den to make the room more accessible and open.

 

image

AFTER:  Here is how the room looks today – open to the new kitchen and breakfast room.   I love how she remodeled this ranchburger floor plan.  She really gave me new ideas and I hope you got some too!!

 

image

And looking the other direction out the back porch.  The back patio room was also renovated with new brick flooring.  Joanna uses brick flooring a lot – it’s a surface I forget about, but it has such warmth and can be either French looking or industrial – either way.   I like how she uses the washed out finish, too.  Makes it look like old repurposed brick.  Joanna gets it from Design SuperStore HERE and it’s called Old Chicago Brick.

Anything you find in the houses that you want more information on – just call Magnolia and they can answer your questions.

Office Phone: 254.235.6111 Fax: 254.235-4642
Shop Phone: 254-235-0603

 

 

Magnolia Farms:

image

The Gaines recently moved into their new house – here’s a before picture of their farm house. 

 

image

And amazingly – here is what it looks like now – with a new bedroom added on to the right side.  Wow. 

 

image

And the other side – after.

 

image

Inside, Joanna used her favorite brick floors in the entry, along with white shiplap walls and ceiling.  The brick floor and shiplap walls are two of her trademarks.  But – by adding the black railing – she adds a touch of industrial chic to the mix, bringing the house into this century. 

 

image

The living room/dining room/kitchen – using Joanna’s trademark of white with black contrasts, and signage décor.

 

image

My favorite is the girls bedroom with its country French flavor and painted white floors.

To see more of their farmhouse, go HERE.

To purchase items seen in these pictures from Magnolia, go HERE.

And to watch Fixer Upper on HGTV, tune in on Thursday nights at 10pm C - check with HGTV.com for more times.

 

 

image

 

A huge thank you to Joanna and Chip Gaines!!!

Congratulations on your fabulous new show – and I hope many seasons with HGTV will follow!

104 comments:

  1. Joni, first comment of the day. I LOVE this show too, just discovered it last week and HAD to view all episodes on demand!!! Magnolia has a similar vibe to the store I design at, Haven. What an adorable couple too, Chip and Joanna. Too cute. I miss the great shows of the past, Homes Across America, Kitty Bartholomew, (first place I saw Barclay Butera), but this one is right up there, and somehow in tune with today's design aesthetic. Rewatching an episode now before work, haha...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I LOVE this show, too! I'm so glad HGTV ordered more episodes. I hope this is the direction HGTV will be going in, and get away from all the real estate type shows. I do wish my cable had all the episodes on demand; right now they only have the French ranchburger (love that!) available.

      Delete
    2. nice article...

      very good information and Inspiring & Interesting.

      success always

      Obat Bius


      Welcome and Happy Reading articles Before Shopping Drug Read It used to be that we serve to prospective buyers of our better-read articles that we made it.

      Delete
  2. Hi Joni,
    I wished we could follow HGTV here on the Belgian tv !
    xx
    Greet

    ReplyDelete
  3. OMG, I'm so glad you posted this, I'm addicted to this show. I DVR it and just returned from France and sat down to watch all the episodes I missed. I love the mix of finding a house (choosing from "the three", then showing HER design, then giving them three bonus choices with the "extra money", and the reveals WITH HER STAGING. I see several items used over and over but now that she has partnered with home goods and shops are allowing her to probably borrow, and even throw in some freebies for marketing exposure... it is so fun! BTW Joni, I brought lots of French design magazines home with me, I'm going to mail them to you. You will see that the "Houston LOOK" is not just in Houston anymore! Great Post! Greet, you can go to JoAnna's website and view most of her shows and she is on Pinterest.

    e

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. omg! you are sweet! I hate for you to spend your money mailing those. I would rather you buy something nice for yourself!!!

      Delete
  4. Thanks! I had not seen this one so will check it out!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love this show! Glad you put the word out. And I too miss homes across America! Yes, hgtv, bring back some of the oldies but goodies!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Joni, Joni, Joni...you are such a jewel!! I'd "given up" on HGTV and that USED TO BE THE ONLY CHANNEL I WATCHED!! Chip and Joanna may change that!! Your photos and commentary are fantastic!! franki

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! I used to love HGTV but never watch it now. Seriously, never. So I've missed this show but am DVRing it now! Thanks Joni!

      Delete
    2. just like merlin (above) HGTV used to be the only channel i watched...i still have notebooks full of ideas that i liked on each show i watched and taped shows during the day so i could watch them at night...i've been so disappointed in the direction HGTV took about 10 years ago and don't watch it much at all but SOOO happy to find out about this program, i will definately be watching it this Thursday night!

      Delete
  7. Nice one Joni! I kinda stopped watching HGTV...so will look for this and DVR. I need something better to watch. Happy to visit you :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love that this show is based in Texas! And yes, I've been watching too. I love her style. Joanna, if you are reading, I want to call you for help on a vacation house. :-) Thank you Joni for spreading the word about this great show.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I still miss Kitty Bartholomew. Where is she? There's next to nothing about her on the internet. Yes, I watch this show and really like it. I think that HGTV has really dumbed itself down. It used to be the only network I watched, and now I watch two shows - this one and Addicted to Rehab.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, Kitty lives in Ojai California! She has a space in our local antique mall and I have purchased a few things from her. She is renovating a really cute house nearby and has lots of things from her old home in the new one. She is still personality plus too!

      Delete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for posting about this! I, too, miss the old "decorating shows" of HGTV. Please use your considerable influence with them....cause I know you have some! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Joni I say Bravo to those like Joanna and Chip who take on these fixer uppers and make the transformation!
    It always broke my heart waaay back in my Real Estate days to see homes that just languished on the market and needed so much updating!

    Xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

    ReplyDelete
  13. I no longer watch HGTV these days but found this show while flipping thru the channels late one night!!!! I had seen her kitchen before but didn't realize it was hers until the show came out. Love her style....I hope they keep the show, they are such a cute couple :o)
    ~Des

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow! Looks like a great show. I'm going to have to switch back. I'm like you, I just got tired of HGTV after they dropped the wonderful decorating shows. I also love wrap around porches. They should be mandatory in any house with kids. I brothers and I spent many a rainy day on our wrap around porch playing all kinds of games.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Have done the 'starter' brick ranches for decades. Treat them as a Gardeners Cottage. Paint the brick, replace front windows on narrow porch with French doors, take off porch rails, remove foundation plantings at porch and add flagstone terrace.....

    Love seeing it done at the mid-range ranch. Have never had that opportunity and WOWZA they did a great job. Love learning new things !

    This couple should have a magazine they edit/manage for Meredith or or or. They have talent without being totally derivative in a zone of mostly staid ideas.

    Garden & Be Well, XO T

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes. i love them. i read your story about your this old house cover story. that was quite a story!!!!

      Delete
  16. One of the Best shows HGTV has ever had in the history of HGTV!!!! I have watched every episode at least twice now and cant wait for new ones!!!
    LOVE!!!!! LOVE!!!! LOVE It!!!!!
    Denise

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Joni -- what a great post! I love the warm, French country/Texas ranch vibe that Joanna and Chip create. So many great ideas in this story -- the ranch-burger transformation is just amazing. Thanks for such a fun way to start my day Joni and for introducing me to yet another inspirational blog. best, linda

    ReplyDelete
  18. I loved HGTV till I found out they are anti Christian. : - (( http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865603458/HGTV-drops-brothers-amid-controversy-over-Christian-views.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sammy - I thought you meant the Gaines - and i was so shocked because Joanna is very religious!! ok, i read that story. i don't understand why we can't all live together. who would be hurt by having a fundamental family on a hgtv show? the only thing I can think of is that there are probably a lot of gay men who work for hgtv and would be offended by not being able to marry. Would the brothers even talk about their religious beliefs on the show anyway? I doubt hgtv is anti Christian - I think they might be anti controversy.

      Delete
    2. Sami/Joni - I highly doubt that it has anything to do with actual beliefs at HGTV - it's far more likely they don't want backlash from people who support gay rights, religious equality, and the right to choice. The article notes that the Benham brothers are not merely fundamental - they veer to the extreme and are very vocal about it. They hold rallies and make public statements. Their father opposed an interfaith memorial for Sandy Hook and protests outside of mosques. While the First Amendment (Happy Fourth, 'Merica!) guarantees us all a platform to voice our opinions, I cannot blame HGTV for not wanting to alienate a large swath of their viewership. I'm sure the folks at HGTV could see the writing on the wall re: the first time the Benhams held an interview. Duck Dynasty v2.0, and this would not be an already established show with a very loyal and ardent following.

      Delete
  19. Those transformations are amazing! I think her kitchen remodels are my favorite. I do wish her rugs were larger and seagrass!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. me too - but that is just for staging. i doubt she would sell them such small rugs, right? haha. some people like small rugs - but it's a pet peeve of mine

      Delete
    2. I get it "pet peeve". The rugs are small enough for pets.

      Delete
  20. I agree 100%! I love this show!! I think to have a successful show on HGTV the personalities have to work also and I enjoy them so much. She is so soft spoken and serious and he is goofy. They are a breath of fresh air. Her designs are just my style so I love them and am inspired each week! I hadn't ever read her blog so I was happy to find it with more pictures and projects!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great post! I too remember when HGTV had really good design shows. I quit watching HGTV altogether a long time ago but this one looks appealing due to Joanna's style even if the premis of the show is based on HGTV's "formula" for all their shows.

    ReplyDelete
  22. must watch them + HGTV has a winner + they need one. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. HGTV is not very careful labeling their menu of shows. I was taping Design Diva and when I went to watch it I found Fixer Upper had been taped. I'm in love with this show. I'm so happy I stumbled across it.

    ReplyDelete
  24. DEFINITELY going to have to check out that show! I love her style. She doesn't forget the past and respects that which I appreciate! Reminds me so much of the renovations done to many of the centuries old houses in England where we lived for 10 years. My kids recently bought a house in north Austin (Pflugerville) that was literally stuck in a time warp but my daughter-in-law had vision, found a great designer to help and they went from a house that was long available in a very hot market where houses don't stay on the MLS more than 4 days to one that would sell in 10 minutes if they marketed it today. I love suburban renewal! Sometime, when they are completely finished with their renos, I'll send you some photos of the befores and afters.

    Those are four very different houses, styles, ages - but I think I could live in any one of them! And that's RARE for me! Hats off to this couple and I'm heading to the TiVo to set up for the next show now! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheri - hi!!! long time!!! i would love to see the house, send the pics when she is through, for sure!!!!

      Delete
  25. Love the show and your post. Thanks for letting us know about her website. I agree, HGTV needs more show like this and fewer house hunting shows. Otherwise they need to change their name to real estate TV.

    ReplyDelete
  26. So nice to see someone who tackles so many different projects!!!!!! And to do it so well. I enjoyed this post very much...... Will tune in to HGTV to check it out..... My favorite???? The Ranch Style house. There is a lot to be said for that style..... Look at how it was transformed........ and you don't even notice low ceilings........... They do a fabulous job!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. i could not agree more. i have not watched hgtv in years and am quite frankly bored of the house shopping shows. it would be great if they could find a healthy compromise between house shopping and perhaps decorating. this show is like a breath of fresh realistic air. i love the spaces that they create and on an actual budget. thanks for sharing this post.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great vision, love the renos. I'm less crazy about the flea market/farmhouse style furniture and accents in every house, but I do recognize it's a look. Not my favourite one, though. Nevertheless, looking forward to seeing more of these renos. The results are better and more coherent than the Spanish-turned-modern house a few posts ago.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I agree, Joni, this is a great new show and I've watched all the episodes so far. I really like the two of them as well. They have a genuine chemistry and it's clear they are both very talented. Why the gimmick of the three houses? I think everything on HGTV is all about 3 isn't it (LOL) since people at home supposedly turning the voting into a game? I do miss the good old days, as you do, especially the shows that Joe Ruggiero and Chris Madden hosted. Not only are the tactics repetitive on HGTV, but they're constantly doing marathons of the same shows on a night when you'd like to settle down for some variety. The drama interjects a bit of silliness since it is so fake and really unnecessary and in some way does a disservice to both of them as well as the homeowners. Also, the underlying message of taking stock and restoring the worst house in the neighborhood is great for preservation and showing what can be done with an abandoned or foreclosed home besides tearing it down. Thanks, as always!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just chiming in to say ditto on your entire comment Michelle, I was about to mention Ruggiero and Madden then decided to read the comments first.
      Great post Joni!

      Delete
  30. No it's not just you, the frig is totally located in the wrong place. It will never work for a real cook who will have to walk all the way around the island one way or another when preparing food. It just isn't done like this. There is a reason for the kitchen triangle concept which does have variations but never to walk completely around an obstruction.
    That said these renos are amazing. Beautiful!
    Sheila

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have also discovered this show and really like it. They both are genuine people and you can tell they like to have fun. I love her style because it is my style. I did not know about her shop though so that was news to me. I will continue to look forward to more of their shows. I have watched them all. My husband even stopped the other day coming through the room and watched it for a minute. Now, with that being said I wish someone would discover me and my husband as we run a real farm with cattle. We do it all, we both hunt, and have a life that is much more worthy of a show than a lot of these fake reality shows. Just saying!! Check out my blog at http://lipstickcamouflageandfarmlife.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. REALLY?? Don't think you'll be getting a show anytime soon, 'aarond" (aka lipstick camouflage). Yeah, like most people want to see a couple hunt?!!
      Also, nice how you had to get your plug in for your blog.

      Delete
    2. We already have Pioneer Woman and Marboro Man

      Delete
  32. Joni,
    I love what they did with the houses you've shared. I'll instruct Mr. B to start recording this for me...it looks like fun. Thanks for the introduction.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  33. As Michele from Boston said - I truly miss Joe Ruggiero - his Homes Across America was my all-time favorite show! Also, does anyone remember "Dream Drives" -
    they showcased beautiful neighborhoods throughout the country on each episode. Aside from this new show, I would prefer to see more of the "completely done" homes,
    like the old days. Yes, I miss Kitty Bartholomew also.
    Lauren

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon June 10,2014 at 4:45 PM Lauren:
      Yes to everything you just said...ditto, ditto, ditto!
      Kitty Bartholomew was great and Joe Ruggiero not only had the most beautiful elegant houses, he was HOT!
      Sheila

      Delete
  34. what a fabulous post and definitely Joanna has an eye for great design. I particularly love her style. I love all the home renovations programs, we got a lot of them in New Zealand from the USA but we haven't had this one yet, I am hoping it makes its way here. At the moment I am watching "House Rules", an Australian series where 6 couples get to do up each others homes with only a short list of house rules as to what they do or don't like. Its been a fun series and there is only two more houses to go. It is interesting how people interpret a style, some are great, others have no idea. Looking at all the renovations that Joanna has done, she most definitely knows what she is doing so I might pop over and take a look at her blog.

    I think my favourite renovation is the French style cottage, they really did give it some character and I love the kitchen, its exactly what I want for my little cottage.

    Lee :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love this show! It's not just the talk of bloggers, but my friends and family as well. My favorite is the gray home with white trim, too. I'm just amazed that even with $100k budget they could pull it off after seeing the before, which honestly looked like a teardown. They are an adorable and down to earth couple with such great style. I hope HGTV takes notice and continues with more shows like this!

    To the previous poster, I loved Dream Drives as well!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Wow! Wow! Wow!!!! This makes my heart happy!!!! Thank you for posting this...this is soooooooo incredible - I love my sissy Jojo and Chip!!!! They truly are incredibly genuine people!!!!!!! Thank you fir cheering for them!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I haven't watched anything on HGTV for well over a decade! Well, I guess I have watched the White House Christmas shows but that is it. Yes, this is a talented couple so maybe that is a good sign that HGTV might be getting better. I just think of all the things HGTV could be doing, could be covering, and I just don't get why they seem to do the same thing - use the same formula all the time. The Food Network is the same way - at first it was kind of good, but for years now...ugh. Speaking of The White House - I recently watched the entire Jacqueline Kennedy White House tour she did in the 60's - so interesting - she really did her research and did a fabulous job. It's on YouTube.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I saw this show once and was too disgusted by the dead rats in the featured rundown house. Those old windows should be replaced because it's very annoying having rattling non-energy efficient windows. The ONLY show I have on my DVR list from HGTV is Selling New York (which also has it's fake scenario but I do love the the sites of NY anyway).

    ReplyDelete
  39. Joni,
    I always enjoyed Joe Ruggiero on "Dream Drives" - wow, the Barnes's are like the Martha and This Old House of Waco!
    Great posting, keep it up!

    Dean

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thank you for letting us know that HGTV FINALLY has something other than House Hunters. I stopped watching it about 2 years ago and cancel my magazine from them also. I loved all the designers - Sara Richardson, Candice with the first group of helpers. I will be watching tomorrow night for that new show. TV is the pits on Thursday and Saturday nights.

    I am your newest follower - thank you for all the wonderful photo's on this post.
    Mary

    ReplyDelete
  41. Wow, jaw-droppingly good! First is my favorite. Personally, I would have turned that atrium into a tiny, cozy bookcase lined reading nook :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. This is one of my favorite shows!Thank you for showing more of these gorgeous projects. Love this family! Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
  43. Great tip, Joni! I read your post and just watched the first three episodes. Thanks. Cindy Hattersley and Delores Arabian had lunch together last week and we all agreed that YOU were the reason we started to blog...get in all that fun.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I really appreciate to your for doing great job and very glad to get this blog and read all the information and getting excited.
    Web Design Company | Web Development Companies

    ReplyDelete
  45. I agree with you. HGTV is so bad now. sick of house hunters. I want Sarah Richardson back. Design shows! More design shows!!! This new one is on the right track!

    ReplyDelete
  46. This is crazy! I was in the process of recording the June 5 Fixer Upper episode "Nomadic Suburbanites Seek Unique Retro Residence" from my DVR to Windows Media Center on my PC. While doing that, I thought I'd check out Cote de Texas because I hadn't visited the blog in a couple of days. To my pleasant surprise you are featuring not only the show but the very episode I'm recording! What are the chances? It's hard to determine my favorite episode though; I thought it was the very first episode they had done, but I'm quickly realizing that if there is a white kitchen, I'm sold.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Homes Across America, Dream Drives, A Gardener's Diary.... and Yes, We want Sarah Back ASAP. I hope HGTV is reading ! Will be checking this show out. Thanks !

    ReplyDelete
  48. All of it is just gorgeous. I really liked your thoughts too, those touches would make it just that much more. Thanks for bringing this to my radar!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thanks so much for this post - I love her style! I had quit watching HGTV, but now I just set my DVR to record this show - something to get excited about on tv!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I think the show is great too but what about the house the couple got for $10k from the city - the 2 story tear down - but when it was done it was my all time fave of this series! It had amazing period detail!
    It was a mixed race couple with a girl under ten - all the furnishings Joanna did were drop dead fabulous. Great post; great show.

    Suzanne on St. Smons

    ReplyDelete
  51. There is something about this show that I just do not like - maybe it is the husband or the vibe of the husband/wife combo? Maybe it is the husband that is a complete turnoff. After trying to watch 2 or 3 times I have given up on it completely.

    ReplyDelete
  52. FYI - I tried to add my info from Open/Id or Name/URL for my above comment but it did not go through!

    ReplyDelete
  53. My hubby and I are huge fans of Fixer Upper! Along with seeing their amazing transformations, it's also refreshing to see a married couple on HGTV who obviously love and respect one another. Thanks for featuring some of their makeovers!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Saw it for the first time this week and loved it! Wasn't surprised you featured them....such a talented likable family.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Such an exciting post! I really do like several of the shows on HGTV; Property Brothers, Love it or List It, Buying and Selling and Flip or Flop. BUT, while on vacation a few weeks ago, found Fixer Upper and just can't get enough. Love that you showed them and we have the opportunity to study everything. It is a very inspiring show. I love that these homes are not the most expensive but that they have so much style and warmth when they are complete! Thanks again for a great post!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Top Expensive Cars, top speedy cars, top most popular cars in the world
    TopAmazingCars.BlogSpot.Com

    ReplyDelete
  57. Joni - Another great post! HGTV has lost millions of viewers in recent years as they have moved away from design shows and turned their focus to real estate. Hopefully this is a move back in the right direction and we will have more good quality design programs to watch. They need to bring back some of our old show favorites too, such as Sarah Richardson! Fixer Upper is the first decent program in a very long time.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Awesome interior designing and interior Furnishing!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thank you for this post! I am in total agreement with your regarding HGTV, used to love it. I caught one episode of Fixer Upper and totally loved it. Finally something worth watching on HGTV.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I agree wholeheartedly that this is a design great show! It's like a breath of fresh "design" air! It's on HGTV Canada, and truly, these types of shows have been lacking up here as well ~ thank goodness, hopefully more shows like this are in the works.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I've seen a bunch of the episodes and although I LOVE her design aesthetic, the rennos are always the SAME: white kitchen, dark floors, white furniture, shabby chic-look.... It's getting very boring.

    Also, some of her design choices are really bad. For example, that lonnnnnnnnng island in the kitchen that Joni features here. OMG, can you imagine traveling from the stove to the fridge??? Sure, it looks good but in terms of being practical, it's a terrible choice.

    She's very one dimensional as a designer.

    Joni, thanks for this post though. I love that you bring all kinds of design to your blog along with great background information.

    Gina from The Midwest

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you Gina, she does the same thing in every house. Open up a doorway into kitchen from living room, add beams in living room, add crown molding, add subway tile, farm sink, hanging pendant lights, dark floors and white cabinets with same handles and white counters.

      The only house that was different was the the one with the atrium.

      I've also wondered about the furnishings she uses, they are also redundant. Would be interested to know if homeowners keep the furniture or if it's just used for staging purposes, I've heard they don't.

      I also noticed as mentioned they don't do the whole house, just a few rooms. I know in HGTV fashion the dollars spent aren't realistic, all their shows are staged and fake, quit watching years ago.

      Delete
  62. Btw, I really loves the episodes. Fixer Upper is one of the remarkable design shows to watch. Another great post by you. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I'm a teacher and addicted to the show. One house featured a fake fireplace in the bedroom. Love it and trying to find it. Anyone have any ideas where I can find it?

    ReplyDelete
  64. I so appreciate the variety of design you share in your posts.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Love love this show awesome post & if anyone should have a show on hgtv it's you!

    ReplyDelete
  66. a little sleuthing reveals that the homeowners do not keep the furniture that she stages with. I found this web article of one makeover that was written after the reveal. The obvious clue is the house is devoid of furniture, but also if you look at the pictures in the article, there is a different refrigerator than in the reveal on the show. Additionally, the homeowner says in the article they were all in at 180K but according to the show, they spent $110K. I like the show because I love old houses and I live in Texas, so I am all in. I do wish for a bit more authenticity because the costing doesn't seem realistic for everything they do. Decide for yourself...here is the web article about the renovation: http://www.wacotrib.com/news/business/neglected-north-waco-houses-transformed-as-hgtv-cameras-roll/article_dbf75c5e-460e-5ee8-a63c-81e1171c5f8f.html?mode=story

    ReplyDelete
  67. I was lucky enough to catch HGTV's marathon of Fixer Upper on the Fourth of July weekend. Love this couple and love the show!

    ReplyDelete
  68. I had all but quit watching HGTV due to the lack of design shows. My favs were Design Remix, Design on a Dime, Get Color (I think it later became Color Confidential) and anything Candice Olsen. I, too, was disappointed in the turn HGTV took a few years ago. But Chip and Joanna are a light at the end of the tunnel. Love the show, love the designs. I just wish there were a Chip & Joanna in my area! I also enjoy Flea Market Flip (correct name?). I also appreciate reading blogs that are positive and complimentary! Thanks, ya'll, for a pleasant experience here.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I too love the show! Also I wish they would be back the decorating shows. I don't watch hgtv except dvr this show. Hope hgtv starts to wise up.

    ReplyDelete
  70. This is a fantastic post Joni, and I just included your link in my own little post about Fixer Upper today. Although mine is not focused on decorating. In case you're interested it's here: http://gwenmossblog.blogspot.com/2014/07/why-you-should-watch-fixer-upper.html
    And yes, I used to love Kitty B's show too, I consider those the good old days on HGTV. I wonder what happened to her?

    ReplyDelete
  71. As one who used to watch HGTV faithfully, recent years had left me NOT turning in. I mean, there's only so many episodes of House Hunters one can endure. When my sister told me about Fixer Upper I gave it a look and fell in love, and it doesn't hurt that they're from Texas, although Waco is a bit of a trek from my neck of the woods.

    If you find out the answers to your questions regarding what happens to the part of the house not included in the budget (a question I posed just recently to my sister), please let us know. I find such things both interesting and maddening. It's the not knowing what happened that gets me.

    ReplyDelete
  72. I did some research and found the answer to my own question on Joanna's blog:

    “What happens to the rest of the rooms in the house you don’t see on television?”

    At times, we only work on rooms that are of priority to our clients and that work within their budget. Some homeowners want to finish off their other rooms on their own since it is mainly cosmetic (paint and carpet). Other times, we finish the spaces for them after the reveal and this is separate from the budget shown for TV. We help them finish their renovation even when the cameras aren’t rolling. It all depends on budget and our clients priorities for their home renovation.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Thank you for this informative site! I, like many, many others writing here had stepped away from HGTV because I enjoy cheap, inventive and creative design. I loved shows that spent big bucks shows like Candice Olsen, Sarah Richardson and of course David Bromstad. I enjoy Curb Appeal - the Block because it's filmed in California, in the SF bay area ( I'm from there and they need it!). I do like Fixer Upper, very refreshing show, but still big bucks doing all the remodels. Remember Design on a Dime, Room by Room, Loved Design Stars and could care less what happens to the winners...... they are very dated now, but still better than all those clone real estate flipper shows. Love it or List it is so redundant. Given enough money we all put something cool together. Really enjoyed everyone's comments.
    HGTV was always a safe haven to visit away from religion, politics of any variety, a network that brought us frustrated designers together!!

    ReplyDelete
  74. I love the show and there's something so warm about the family! Love them! They're a great team and the designs are lovely. A show that I loved watching was "Designers Challenge". I think that's the name of it. I with they would bring it back. Yes, also Sarah Richardson! I do love House Hunters though!

    ReplyDelete
  75. This is a great concept for a show but you have to realize that all of the shows on HGTV are very much staged. They take real people and turn it into a big scripted production. Take it from someone that has seen the other side. Furthermore, who would imagine a show like this in WACO, TX?!? One of the last places in the US you would think would have a fresh contemporary show like this but I guess since Baylor is there and the fact they are from there has a lot to do with it. Waco is not exactly a paradise. Lol.

    ReplyDelete
  76. I really enjoy this show! Mostly because of the dynamic between Chip and Joanna, and even though it's still very staged, this show at least feels a bit more real than many others on HGTV. I actually really enjoy seeing their life on the farm, as that's a life I've always dreamed of having! The budgets on the show may not be 100% accurate, but at least they aren't spending $500k+, and I think it's more realistic that the homeowners may be doing stages of renovation as their budgets allow, instead of everything all at once. The fact that Chip and Joanna work together and don't argue is such a fresh change. I am SO tired of the snarky, negative, and completely staged scenarios in Love It or List It, and I can't stand the cheesiness of Property Brothers. I'm not a fan of the competition makeover shows, and while I do like House Hunters International, I get tired of House Hunters. I really miss the design aspect of HGTV. They claim their renovation shows pull in the highest ratings, though. One thing I don't really like in Fixer Upper is the same repeated design, as other comments have mentioned. I also noticed the first few episodes featured the exact furniture from their own farm house in the renovated homes. Perhaps as they get more popular, Joanna's choice of furnishings will expand. I am curious to see if she is capable of more diverse design, too. While I appreciate she's built a business using her own aesthetic formula (which her clients obviously love), the one time a client's husband hated the decor in her farmhouse, she looked like a deer in headlights. She pulled off the staging in that couple's house by basically stripping all of the accessories away, instead of doing something other than shabby chic. Nonetheless, I still like the show and will continue to watch. The home transformations are truly amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  77. When I first discovered the show I very much appreciated the cooperation between Chip and Joanna, the way they involve their children, and the love and nurture between all of them. It was refreshing.

    Because I lived in Waco for several years going to school at Baylor while working for the local EMS, I am truly interested in the different areas and properties being renovated. That leads me to dig into the shows using Google Earth and other online tools in order to see the properties, and it was this investigative nature that led me to a major disappointment about the integrity of the show.

    As I searched for more information about the episode where the city had acquired a property and sold it to a husband and wife for about $24,000 (2000 block of Gorman Ave) I stumbled across a Waco Tribute article about the show. In it they told the story of the couple who found and purchased the distressed home and then called Chip and Joanna about renovating it. In other words, they owned the house before filming ever started and before ever talking to HGTV and/or Chip and Joanna.

    Fast forward to the show and viewers are led to believe that Chip found three houses with the one mentioned above as one of them. He showed them all three, and then there was the big dramatic moment when we break to a commercial wondering which one was chosen. Joanna guessed they would choose one of the easier houses but hoped they would choose the terrible one. This was all deception and fake, and that's what bothers me. The house was selected before filming even started. I would much prefer the episode break from its normal format and present it AS IS, meaning, tell the viewers that the couple came to them with this rotten house.

    I truly hope that Chip and Joanna are as they appear on the show - kind to one another, love their children, and nurture the family. I also hope they and HGTV re-evaluate the integrity of the show. Keep the lies and deception out of them and play it as it happens. Be truthful. Unfortunately, this one episode soured me on the program, as I will wonder from this point onward what is real and what is not. My DVR was set to record all new episodes, but I just canceled the series.

    Let me end with a positive comment. The positive side of this is the fact that Waco is seeing some nasty old run down homes being brought back to life, and that cannot be disputed.

    ReplyDelete
  78. I tend to suspect HGTV is the bigger culprit for the "fake" part of the show--for all the reasons Joni mentioned at the beginning of the article, and due to all the phony stuff on the Food Network as well. All changes since the current ownership discovered these types of things improve ratings--which, in my opinion, is a sad commentary on American viewing habits, apparently. But that's another "episode"! As for Fixer Upper, I love the show and love to see how the properties are renovated. I also really love Joanna's style. Fresh, casual, interesting, yet still maintaining a certain serenity. I've watched all the episodes over and over. And over. And probably will watch them again. A real testimony to the show is that my husband likes it!! (I don't know how to begin to explain how extraordinary that is!) Anyway, I do hope we will be seeing a lot more of Chip and Joanna.... one way or another!

    ReplyDelete
  79. For all Appliance Repair Houston services call (281) 764-6293 | Ameri Pro Appliance Repair offers fast, reliable repair services to Los Angeles county.

    ReplyDelete
  80. I am so happy and proud to let everybody know about this great spell caster named Priest Ajigar, he brought my ex back to me after 2 years after he left, i have really wanted this man as my future husband after school and it was just one girl that took his attention and before you knew it he started avoiding me before we use to chart, talk on phone, spend some time with me and we go out together but when he saw this girl every part of his feelings towards me changed but right now i am so happy that i consulted Priest Ajigar and really it worked and today my ex is fully back to me and it is my great pleasure to announce Priest Ajigar as the most Powerful spell caster in the world and you can email him for help at (priestajigarspells@live.com)

    ReplyDelete
  81. I am closing on a house in Galveston. Ship Lap EVERYWHERE. I came across "Fixer Upper" via a friend, for I cut cable a few years ago. I am excited about where and how to expose my ship lap in the proper accent places and not ver using it. Fun Fun Fun!!!! Thank You for the inspiration. BonnieSue

    ReplyDelete
  82. Visit this amazingly helpful website for real estates!!
    African Real estate

    ReplyDelete