AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Episode 06 - The Barndominium

January 17, 2016

The Meek house was one of our most unique, and maybe even favorite Fixer Upper renovations to-date. There will be some really unexpected homes coming up in season 3, but “The Barndominium” was definitely one of the most fun transformations to watch simply because it didn’t start out as a home, it was built for animals!

This home was originally a horse barn, and I’ve dreamed of getting the opportunity to turn a barn into a home for years. This barn was unique in that the bottom floor stalls had already been converted into a garage and storage space. The upstairs was converted into a small apartment with two bedrooms and small kitchen.

Chip and I have done renovations for our dear friends, the Meek family, several times before and we have always enjoyed working with them and couldn’t wait to get our hands on this project. I was excited when they decided to be on Fixer Upper, because they’re always ready and willing to take on exciting and unexpected projects others wouldn’t typically think about tackling.

The Meeks wanted to transform this barn into a functional and practical home for their family, so we knew the bottom floor would need to be made into a continuation of the upstairs apartment. In the original floorplan, the only staircase leading to the top floor was on the exterior of the barn, so I reworked the it to include an indoor staircase. I wanted the stair rail to give off a modern barn feel. There was also quite a bit of dead space behind the new staircase, so I turned it into an office nook by adding shelving for book storage and a floating desk.

The downstairs sitting room was a natural addition after the staircase was put into place. I added bold definition with these 8-foot black french doors to break up the shiplap, and added large windows for plenty of natural light.


Meek_Magnolia_Photos-9282

The downstairs gathering room is really the heart of this little barn and what makes the house come alive. The Meeks love to host family and friends for dinner parties so this unique and inspiring space is perfect for their lifestyle. To really highlight the room my carpenter, Clint Harp, built this amazing 17 foot table.


Perhaps my favorite thing about this room is that Jimmy Don, my metal artist, was able to turn a handwritten version of Lexia Meek’s favorite verse into a dimensional black metal focal point, really setting the tone for all the guests she’s sure to host here!


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My friend Dustin at Anderson Glass did an amazing job of making my design vision come to life with these doors. The design ties into the modern farm design I incorporated in the living area. Shiplap was installed throughout the house along with hardwood floors for clean lines and a fresh canvas to build on.

Josh, the Meek’s son, loves Legos. Getting the opportunity to surprise him with a whole wall dedicated to his favorite hobby was so fun for me and Chip. The beauty of the Lego wall is that it creates an intentional space for their son to be imaginative, and it’s so cool that I’d bet the Meeks get some use out of it too. I also added a floating desk for Josh to create and play, wooden awnings above the windows, and some simple floating shelves for storage.


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Lexia Meek’s style overall is classic and clean with a contemporary twist, but she did ask for one area of something a little more funky and fun, so that brings us into their kitchen space. With the original design of this home offering the apartment on the top floor, rather than the bottom, we decided to save on budget and keep the kitchen upstairs.

In addition to the new cabinetry and concrete countertops, we installed a bold patterned backsplash and a unique vent hood which was actually made out of wood. We hired a specialist to come in and paint it to look metal, which saved on budget and added a neat detail to the space. I chose to add this mobile wooden island to the kitchen to break up the black and white, and add some extra functionality to the room.

 

Chip and I love having our coffee so easily accessible in our farmhouse kitchen, so I love to incorporate coffee bars into these Fixer Upper homes as well! We did raw wood open shelving in this area to break up all of the white cabinetry and to add a different texture into the kitchen.  ‘

 

Just when we thought this little horse barn turned home couldn’t get any better, just outside of the new dutch door in the kitchen is the balcony, which offers a beautiful view of the Meek’s new land overlooking a lake and a greenbelt.

With the rest of this family great room we constructed a secondary dining space, for when their gatherings are more intimate. I defined this space with a simple black iron chandelier.

I wanted the living room to feel cozy, so I warmed it up with this jute rug, white linen sofa and brown leather chairs. Something I love to incorporate into rooms is a perfect mix of new and old so I added in layered frames, an old galvanized planter and an antique faceless metal clock.


I wanted to make this cozy space a practical place for them to gather together on a quiet weekend.

The exterior of the Meek house received a new metal roof, new siding and all new windows. We also tore down the stairs and framed the home with these style appropriate sliding barn doors. As a little addition, we created a small, fenced garden on the side of the home to appeal to Lexia’s love of gardening.

The Barndominium was a blast for us to transform, and we hope the Meek family is able to retreat here to relax and reconnect with their family and friends for many years to come.

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  • Dawn Wells
    10:50 am, April 21, 2017
    I am blown away by this one in particular. Seeing the before/ after is more than inspiring. I am convinced that Joanna and Chip are masters at their craft and brilliant designers! Wow, wow. Blown away! Besides, they are so fun to watch interact together, which really sells the show. My favorite - I'm a latecomer and such a huge fan now.
  • Wanda Blasdell
    9:07 pm, April 9, 2017
    Couldn't believe this work of art was being rented and now for sale.
  • Bonnie Mills
    2:14 pm, March 29, 2017
    Joanna, I love your railing, you used here. I'm moving to NY and need a contemporary railing, can you give me your contact for this? And, would you ever consider doing a show in the NY/CT area? Maybe you could title it...Southern charm goes East?
  • Cynthia Collins
    9:44 am, March 17, 2017
    What kind of counter top material was used in this kitchen...and what is the color/style/name? My kitchen is really similar to this kitchen!
  • Alicia rivera
    8:04 am, February 26, 2017
    Can you tell me where I can purchase the brown leather and chrome mid century chairs. I have looked everywhere aand can't find any that I like quite as much as those.
    I hope someone reads and responds
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