AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Episode 12 - The Faceless Bunker

November 11, 2015

Chip and Jo were excited to tackle “The Faceless Bunker” for their clients, who for the majority of their lives together have lived on an island. Their hopes in moving back to Waco were to be able to find a home with the same feel as their beach house in a good neighborhood. The area they wanted to live in is a small suburb of Waco and is known for its established neighborhoods, great school districts and beautiful trees. It is not, however, known for the beachy style houses like the Fuch’s were looking for. This was a challenge for Chip and Jo but they landed on “The Faceless Bunker” because it had the most potential to be transformed into a modern beach home.

To begin the Gaines’ started working on the exterior, which lacked both color and personality. Chip and Jo had to remove the brick because it was not attached to the house property and added new siding. They added a faux balcony to bring some dimension to the front of the house and installed new windows, so that the home was no longer faceless. The front door was replaced and painted, and all new landscaping was added to create a tropical ambiance for the home.

Episode 12- before

Episode 12- 3

Inside, the client’s least favorite part of the home was the entryway and layout. The view of the beautiful backyard was obstructed due to a lot of railings and posts. In place of this, Joanna designed a new railing with steel and cables to give the entryway a more modern clean look and also allow for a better view to the rest of the home. The Fuch’s requested bamboo flooring, so Chip and Jo installed bamboo flooring throughout the entire first floor of the home.

Because the view was important to them, the Fuch’s wanted to relocate the kitchen to a more central place in the house. Joanna reconstructed the kitchen in the middle of the first floor where the craft room and mechanical closed were originally. Chip and Jo added new windows, cabinets, countertops and a backsplash. Joanna also installed loading shelves and appliances to give it a fresh and fun feel.


The original kitchen became a new home work space for the client’s kids. Joanna installed two sconce lights with a desk that was suspended from cables, similar to the railing in the new entryway. At the client’s request, Joanna also designed sliding doors leading into the butler’s pantry. In the pantry, Chip and Jo created simple shelving with galvanized pipe and reclaimed wood to add both character and function. They also installed built in cabinets and a bench seating area. Joanna designed the bench and table herself to match the new railing and overall look of the house and her carpenter, Clint, built both pieces.

In the dining room Chip and Jo added a new set of French doors which opened up to the outside patio. They also installed new flooring and light fixtures. Because the original railing and posts were removed, the view to the backyard was visible from this room as well. Now the clients were able to see outside from both the dining and living room without something blocking their view.

Episode 12-1

Episode 12

On the bottom floor of the house a new stairwell was installed and large French doors and windows were added to bring more natural light into the space. The fireplace was simplified and restructured for a more modern look with black tile. In hopes of personalizing the space for the Fuch’s, Joanna brought in her friend, a graphic designer, to design a plat map of their neighborhood. This custom made piece was installed along the large wall in the living room and would forever remind the client’s of their new home.

In the game room, Chip and Joanna updated the bar area to give it a clean look. The existing brick wall added some warmth to the space and the metal accents. Joanna brought in a ping pong table for the room, promising to provide a great source of entertainment for their kids.

The master bathroom had been newly renovated, although the Fuch’s did not prefer the style of the room. The Gaines gave it a more modern beach house look by adding a new set of double vanities, Alder wood, tile, countertops and a glass shower enclosure.


In the end, this house was transformed into an open and modern beach style home. Instead of an awkward and choppy layout, Joanna created an open floor plan with maximum views to the beautiful backyard to see the new landscaping. The new style of the home matched the client’s personalities and preferences; Chip and Jo were honored to create this great space for the Fuch’s to raise their family.

{Photos by Rachel Whyte Photography}


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  • Carol
    1:10 pm, September 16, 2017
    I would love to know more about the sectional. I can't find it on your site anywhere. where to purchase and does it come in any other fabric choices.
  • Petra
    4:43 am, August 16, 2017
    I loooove the layout of this house!! Just saw this episode on tv here in Australia and the finished product is amazing!! I want to build a house with this 3 level layout!!! Welll done guys!! Xox
    • Rene
      12:53 pm, September 16, 2017
      Crumbling Mansion was by far the best. I want that house! Is it still for sale? I even searched online and couldn't find it!
  • Tiffany
    9:28 pm, July 16, 2017
    What type of countertops were used in the kitchen?
  • Lorna Cassil
    3:14 pm, July 16, 2017
    What happened to the crumbling mansion that they did not pick? It was totally the best house.
    • Debra Motschenbacher
      11:15 am, August 25, 2017
      Totally agree! I was wondering the same thing!!!
  • Sherriann Hicks
    2:59 pm, July 16, 2017
    What is the exterior paint color and trim used on this home?
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