AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Episode 16 - The Chicken House

March 22, 2016

The Messerall family was a sweet couple looking to upgrade from their current space. They had a classic style, but preferred to add in some fun and unique elements to change things up and add defining features to their home.

The exterior of the Messerall’s home was dated, but I loved its potential. We decided on painting the brick this soft bluish-grey color. This started us off with a fresh palette to build on. To bring in dimension and break up all of the brick, we decided to stone-in the chimney. We also tore out all of the green shrubs and added fresh landscaping. To add a comfortable space for them to sit outside and drink their morning coffee, we extended their front porch out and added white wooden railing to match the freshly painted trim.

The front door opens straight into the living area, which was in pretty good shape when we got our hands on it. The natural light in here made it the perfect space for friends and family to gather. I decided to use an interesting wallpaper pattern in here to really set this space apart from the rest of the home and incorporate interest. 

To maximize this space I added a small office nook using the same wallpaper adjacent to the living room.


I loved the carved-in details of this antique wooden door I found at an antique store. It seemed like the perfect addition to warm up this space and add texture.

The formal dining room, was floor-to-ceiling wallpaper before demo day. We took down the wallpaper and incorporated the existing shiplap walls to give clean lines and a fresh, light feel in this space. I also incorporated black iron accents to break up the white and add a traditional feel.

Luckily, the flow of these spaces was already seamless, and didn’t require much demo, other than increasing the size of these arched cased openings.

The kitchen was easily my favorite room in this home. This is where the Messerall’s style was able to shine through. Before the reno it was covered in floral wallpaper, vinyl flooring, and dated countertops. The good news was that the footprint could pretty much stay the same, so all of the updates were cosmetic.

We did a patterned tile backsplash to define the kitchen’s main spaces, and, to add subtle texture, tried something new by installing a second backsplash—white-washed brick pavers. This prevented the patterned tile from looking busy while also adding another level of interest to their kitchen. The brand new green painted cabinets were a fun, modern way to incorporate color into the space.

I designed this wall planter that my welder Cody built and installed these terracotta pots that Black Oak Art custom made. This was definitely one of my favorite elements in this entire home and really personalized the space for the Messeralls.

The kitchen was already equipped with a perfect-sized eat-in space, so we simply updated and highlighted it by adding bench seating by the window and a modern chandelier. We also carried the shiplap from the formal dining room into this space to help define it from the kitchen.

In the Messerall’s master bedroom I wanted to create a restful and neutral place they could relax. Before we got in there, it didn’t have have much character—it was just a plain space with white carpets and popcorn ceilings. We installed shiplap along the bottom of the wall for added dimension, and painted the room a warm grey color.

The master bathroom’s original pink tile was quite the throwback. And very obviously hadn’t been updated since the house was built. We demoed all of the old tile and replaced it with shiplap to make it feel like an extension of the master bedroom. To add definition we painted it this deep blue, and to add function I designed the custom vanity with two sinks and two mirrors. To keep with their classic design style, I incorporated a subway tile bathtub surround and this traditional white floor tile.

Chip and I loved working with this sweet couple to design and build them the home of their dreams! They loved it, and as always we hope they’re happy here for years to come.

Photos by Rachel Whyte


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  • Katie
    11:06 am, March 28, 2017
    Where is the bedding used in the master bedroom from? I absolutely love the white and navy blue with the pop of color!
  • Erin
    11:26 pm, March 19, 2017
    What is the name of the deep blue color in the bathroom?
    • Christy @theharperhouse
      11:42 am, March 23, 2017
      Try Benjamin Moore Hale Navy for a similar look :)
  • Tina
    7:11 am, March 14, 2017
    Trying to find the name of the wallpaper that was used in this house . The chicken house
  • Maria Paroline
    2:41 pm, March 12, 2017
    We love how this home turned out. We live in Garland TX in a home very similar to the old Chicken House and have been trying to find a before and after for the kitchen and master bath, but no luck until now. Thank you Chip and Jo!! Would love it if you expanded your services out here or at least have contractors that could follow your lead!
    • Lori Mayfield
      11:10 am, March 13, 2017
      I am building a Farmhouse Revival home in Lingleville, Texas on our dairy farm. I love the windows in the chicken house, I have spent a good amount of time trying to find windows like this. Would you please tell me the brand of the windows used in this house? Do they have grills on the outside with the divided lights? I would appreciate your feedback very much. I love everything that you and Chip do. My new home is going to be an open concept with shiplap, a farmhouse sink, barn doors, and lots of beautiful big windows. It will look very familiar to a Gaines, "Fixer Upper," I hope. ;-). I purchase your store items often and love them!
      Thank you, Lori Mayfield, Rn,
      Lingleville, Texas.
  • Emily P
    10:18 am, March 10, 2017
    Would love to know the exterior brick color of this project. As always, thanks for the inspiration! Best.
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