AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Episode 03 - The House in the Woods

December 16, 2015

The Ferguson Family was new to Waco – having moved from the Austin area for Kyle Ferguson to help manage a locally famous pizza shop in the Baylor area. The Fergusons were in search of big shade trees, plenty of space for their kiddos to play, and excellent public schools.

The House in the Woods was the obvious lead contender when the Fergusons were searching for their new home. It came down to three, but this one hit all of their must-haves; plus was on a large lot with a swimming pool in the backyard, and plenty of character.

This renovation began in the home office/music room. Kyle wanted a space where he could work and play music. The original purpose of the room served as a formal dining room. They didn’t need a formal room so we converted it into an office. I love the idea of creating rooms that work for my clients. We started by having a local cabinet maker design this unique, solid wood door. It serves as a striking feature that ties into the main style of the great room, while being functional and adding privacy. We also added fresh, creamy white paint, gray trim and a modern-style silver fan.


To add a personal touch, my friend, Clayton Thompson, designed three wooden music prints that were old patents to specific instruments. We also incorporated Kyle’s personal guitar collection throughout the space. I found this amazing hollowed-out antique guitar that I hung on the wall and then framed it out with a simple built reclaimed wood frame.

From there, this project goes into the master bedroom, where there was lots of work to be done. The original large windows flooded the space with natural light, so I knew this room had potential from the get-go. The main problem with the master was the bathroom’s tiny size and the step down area in the bedroom. Our clients wanted a larger bathroom and were okay with a smaller bedroom footprint to achieve their desires. We closed off the step down area and enlarged the master bath. We installed engineered hardwood floors to the bedroom and constructed a feature wall- which appears more challenging than it actually is.

To replicate this in your space, simply finish out your wall with flat finish, and then apply 1×2 wood trim in a diamond pattern and paint the entire wall one solid color. We chose the same color as the trim throughout the home. Since the bedroom was smaller, I really wanted to make sure there was an element of interest that overshadowed the room’s size.



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The master bathroom was transformed from a small, dated room to a serene, spa-worthy space for the Fergusons to relax.

To give this room the relaxing, spa-vibe I decided to use gray and white carrara marble tiles throughout the entire room. The countertops, the herringbone-laid tile, ceiling tiles and shower tiles were all various shapes of carrara marble tile. This effect of tile floors, walls and ceiling added an unexpected dimension to the space that truly transformed it to a light and airy retreat.

We also added an antique vanity I found at a flea market. We sanded and painted it white, and then antiqued it and added the matching carrara countertops. To add extra character, I added a freestanding tub that gave the bathroom an elegant, seamless look.

The kitchen underwent a massive transition from a closed-off and small eat-in into an open living/dining/kitchen great room. We continued the same engineered hardwoods, creamy white paint and gray trim throughout the kitchen. We also had a custom island and new custom cabinets built. The biggest challenge was the massive fireplace that closed off the kitchen into the living area. The number one thing on the Ferguson’s wish list was the kitchen opening up into the main living spaces. Chip had to remove the large structure and I got to re-design a space that would fit my client’s needs and budget.

I added brass pendant lights and brass hardware for a fun contrast in metals, and I used beveled subway tile with gray grout for a timeless, airy look. Above the vent hood and in the new built-in cabinets, I added shelving and custom glass doors that could display the family’s heirloom blue and white dishes to really make this new space feel like home.

The large windows and trey ceiling in the eat-in area were original to the space, so we added the bench, painted the walls and trim to match the rest of the space and installed a chandelier that blended with the rest of the room.

In the living room, we continued the same wall colors, trim and flooring. One of my favorite areas in this home was the double-sided fireplace in the living area. I really felt like this was a space the Fergusons would gather around as a family. With this vision in mind, I wanted a very traditional, yet cozy feel to this space. The trim work was added to help define the fireplace and the marble surround achieved a traditional look that tied into the kitchen countertops. I also added a dramatic chandelier to the room to achieve this same look. 

The sunroom was already original to the home, and was perfect with the swimming pool being in the backyard. To update it, we added a custom cedar mantel to the fireplace, faux white wood tiles laid in a herringbone pattern, and some fresh paint.

On the exterior of the Ferguson house, the biggest change was the porch post and columns that helped give the house a more traditional feel. We added new siding on the dormers, new trim paint, new shutters, and new front doors. I designed custom porch swings that were made by Clint Harp. The vision for these swings were actually to be more like “hanging beds”. They match the traditional style of the exterior of the home and are a perfect spot for the Fergusons to sit outside, read, drink their morning coffee or enjoy their beautiful shaded front yard.

Chip and I had fun transforming “The House in the Woods” for these Austin-natives, and hope they love their new home and their new city! Welcome to Waco, Ferguson family!

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  • Jay
    4:17 pm, July 1, 2017
    Love
  • Nicole
    7:11 pm, June 7, 2017
    Just saw episode and love the kitchen table. Where is it from? Renovating a kitchen and breakfast nook. Thanks
  • margaret ahlquist
    12:11 am, June 7, 2017
    Love the floors in the Ferguson house. Would you tell me what kind of floors they are and where I could purchase the same flooring. Thanks in advance.
  • Victorua
    3:09 pm, May 14, 2017
    OM. For mi and my husband, the BEST person do that job. Very very profesinal. And so LOVE family.
    I hope one day I need the he's work.
    GOD BLESS,
    LOVE ALL SERVE ALL 🙏🏼❤️🦋
  • Gina Petersen
    9:53 pm, May 11, 2017
    Hi Jo, I just wanted to start by saying I absolutely love you both Chip is so quirky and you are so Beautiful. Anyways I have an old Jagged Rock Slate fireplace so we tried to white wash a couple of rocks and it looked so fake we stopped. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you I hope you can help me. Love your show. Sincerely Gina
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