Projects & Improvements

Before and After: “Fixer Upper” Filled a Mid-Century Home with Arches and Antique Details

updated Feb 12, 2021
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Before: Large empty room with sliding glass doors and tan tile floor
Credit: Magnolia Network

A design team’s true skill is tested when they’re asked to combine two unexpected styles under one roof. In the latest episode of “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home,” Chip and Joanna Gaines work on a renovation that involves honoring mid-century architecture while adding European style into its living spaces, and while they have their work cut out for them — spoiler — the finished result is flawless.

Nicole, a young woman who recently bought her first home in Waco, Texas, reached out to Chip and Jo to help transform her mid-century home into a place where she wants to put down roots. In its current bare state, there are several rooms that are either closed off or need of being contained. Since one of Nicole’s asks was to bring in European design, Chip and Jo thought the best way to do this while also being functional was by adding arches — lots and lots of arches.

Credit: Magnolia Network
Credit: Magnolia Network

The living room was in desperate need of definition as there was none between the living room and dining room. To do this, Jo decided to build not just a wall but a massive archway to create more obvious designation. Going with a soft color palette, Jo made the crown molding on the arch a grayish-blue, which complemented other design details in the living room.

The Gaines also built a bench underneath the front window to create a relaxation nook, and added some rattan, greenery, and brass touches to further strengthen the soothing vibe. As a personal touch, they hung renderings inspired by photographs Nicole took during her travels.

Credit: Magnolia Network

The flow between the dining room and the kitchen had the opposite problem — there was too much separation (see the first photo). Nothing that knocking down a wall couldn’t fix, of course. After doing so, Jo filled both rooms with European-inspired pieces, from a round top oval dining table to a pair of french doors with brass handles.

Just when you think no curved structures existed in these rooms, if you look closer, you’ll see that the kitchen island has a rounded shape that matches the rounded cabinetry. Additionally, they installed a blue and white patterned backsplash that created a textural component in the kitchen, and they hung brass brackets to double pots and pans as wall art.

Credit: Magnolia Network
Credit: Magnolia Network

The bedroom, once a bland room with little light coming in, was transformed into a warm, inviting haven. Chip carved out a built-in bookshelf that followed the European theme, and the backdrop of the archway was painted terracotta shade, which tied in with the ceiling. Speaking of the ceiling, Jo covered the entire ceiling with a soft, floral pattern that was subtle yet statement-making. More personalized art filled the space, and larger windows helped natural light pour in.

To see additional rooms that were transformed and the full reveal, check out the latest episode now on Discovery+. And if you’re interested in getting the look of these rooms, head over to the Magnolia Blog for where to shop the products.

“Fixer Upper: Welcome Home” episodes air every Friday at midnight on Discovery+