Before and After: “Fixer Upper” Renovated an Old Barn Into an Industrial-Meets-Cottage Guesthouse

published Aug 4, 2021
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Credit: Fixer Upper

It’s a barn. It’s an apartment. It’s a condo. To Chip and Joanna Gaines, it’s a thing called potential, and they’ve nicknamed it a “barnapartment” or “barndominium.” In the latest episode of “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home,” they are tasked with doing a complete barn renovation for a family of six in Waco, Texas.

Eddie and Lili wanted to carve out a place for their son to live in during his college years that could eventually become a guest house or hangout. They had a 1,600-square-foot barn on the property, which was originally composed of two plywood rooms and horse stables. The couple envisioned a style that combined industrial design and homey cottage decor, a combination that the Gaines were excited to try for the first time.

Credit: Fixer Upper

Chip and Jo originally planned a pocket door for the living room, but a framing debacle lead to switching to barn doors instead. However, in the long run, they agreed that it was a “good screwup” because adding barn doors was most appropriate, given the history of the space. The floor to ceiling black barn doors with gold handles made for the perfect finish to this beautiful room.

The crowning feature in the living room was a black beam spanning the top of the room, instantly drawing eyes up to realize just how roomy this barn space really was. It also helped retain the barn vibe of the space while adding an industrial feel.

Credit: Fixer Upper
Credit: Fixer Upper

The kitchen accomplished the industrial-meets-homey cottage vibe, thanks to its brown and black color scheme that included rich woods, industrial blacks, and a lighter concrete floor. The same beams in the living room were also installed in the kitchen, creating unity throughout the main room of the barn. 

Black honed kitchen countertops and custom wood cabinets created a natural feel, and Joanna and Chip opted for groutless tile to create seamless space, refocusing attention on the outdoors through the contrast that the windows provide.

Credit: Fixer Upper
Credit: Fixer Upper

Now, onto the study room, where versatility was the goal. For the ceiling, Chip was deciding between golden oak, driftwood, or natural woods, with a goal of warming up the space. Ultimately, Chip opted for the “natural” choice, and Joanna used his selection to make a cozy space that integrated black and white accents, including the black-framed windows.

Joanna deviated from her original plan to go all white on the wall and opted for a charcoal paint to increase visual interest in the space. It pairs perfectly with the wood ceilings that span the whole structure.

The result of the renovation far surpasses any barn, apartment, or combination thereof, and thanks to Chip and Jo, the space now has multipurpose potential way beyond college years. To read more about the process and how to get a similar look, head to the Magnolia blog.

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