AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Episode 04 - The House on the River

November 11, 2015

Chip and Jo were excited to tackle “The House on the River” for their clients, a newly married blended family of nine. While most of the client’s kids were gone or in school, the couple still wanted a place that felt like a retreat, yet still had enough space for their kids to come stay. This dated home needed fresh life breathed into it, and Joanna set her hands to work. She hoped to transform this dated spec house into a beautiful new home on the river for her clients.

First, Joanna updated the exterior paint, added new wood accents, designed new landscaping, and installed a new front door.

Inside, the client wanted her kitchen to transition smoothly into a larger living space. Chip and Jo gutted the kitchen, installed new cabinets and a backsplash, and included a new set of french doors to bring in more natural light. The clients selected a Honed Brazilian black granite for the countertops, and Joanna used a 3 by 6 ivory tumbled stone for the backsplash. Joanna also incorporated authentic bead board to the ceiling to add some dimension and interest.

Joanna warmed up the living room by adding new stone to the fireplace, installing a bar top in the kitchen, and including large wooden beams. She added warm colors and dark floors to create contrast instead of the previous vanilla walls. The walls in the living spaces were all painted gray.

Joanna loves to incorporate older pieces and architecture to make a room seem more cozy and inviting.

The master bedroom was updated with new windows, creating another beautiful view of the river and adding more warmth and natural light to the space.

The bathroom was divided into two separate baths, giving the family an extra bathroom for guests.

There was an existing large cement carport in the backyard that the clients wanted to transform into an outdoor dining space. Clint from Harp Design Co built a 14 foot farm table for the family to gather around. The outdoor dining area is covered and overlooks the river, making it an ideal place to host guests.

The biggest transformation happened in the original garage of the house. The couple wanted to add a bunk room for their children to stay in, so Chip and Jo converted the garage into liveable square footage. The new bunk room included all new plumbing and electricity and became a perfect space for their kids. The walls were painted gray and Joanna installed custom bunk beds using industrial piping. The end result produced a functional and comfortable space for the client’s older children to stay.

This dated house was transformed into a retreat style space that now fits the needs of their clients and their wonderful family. The simple, soft colors and details created an environment for the couple to retreat in that is strategically placed on the Brazos River. Chip and Jo hope this space will be a place for the family to enjoy being together and making many memories to come!

Photos by Rachel Whyte Photography


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  • Linda C Jacobs
    5:42 pm, September 18, 2017
    I love the outdoor table. I realize it's 14 ft. long but what is the width?
  • Sarah
    2:28 pm, September 14, 2017
    I am looking for bedding and I really like the Master's? Where can I find that??
  • Kristen
    6:07 pm, September 12, 2017
    What is the exterior color? I love it.
  • Patricia Bollman
    9:05 pm, September 8, 2017
    I would love to shop where Jo buys her antiques, and other goodies! Love, love, love their magic!
  • Kimberlee Harrison
    9:11 am, September 1, 2017
    B E A U T I F U L ! Where can I buy the chandelier found in the dining room?
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