AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Episode 17 - The Carriage House

March 30, 2016

The Carriage House was a special project for us and I love that this particular project is our season finale. This home was moved into the backyard of the Magnolia House property as the guest quarters for the main house in the late 80s, which was also about the last time it was updated.

This house sat vacant and untouched for so many years that it was falling apart inside. Of course, Chip and I immediately envisioned renovating this property for our soon-to-be Magnolia House caretakers, Rob and Marianne, but with the inside we had our work cut out for us from the start.

The exterior of the Carriage House was in bad shape. Its roof was damaged and it seemed off-balance. I knew we’d need to add a second window on the right side of the home to add that much-needed balance. We also enlarged the windows to bring in natural light, painted the siding, added shutters for definition, and installed a metal roof. This roof complimented the ranch-style of the home’s exterior and also tied into the roof on the Magnolia House. To warm up the blues and silvers, we went with a wooden door and stained the front porch to match.

The front door opens up into the dining, living and kitchen areas, which was previously closed off into three different rooms—all of which were dated and run down.

The carpets in the living room were ruined with stains, and the floral wallpaper in the kitchen really took me back to 1990. Even with all the mess, I was inspired by the home’s original character and loved imagining how cute this place must’ve been 20 years ago.

I wanted to really highlight that feeling in the living room by using classic details like shiplap walls, these arched-frame built-in bookcases, and an antique fireplace surround.

The dining room was more of a transitional space from the entry to the living space, but it was close to the kitchen and became the perfect area to hang a chandelier and create a not-so-formal dining room.

The Ward’s kitchen was a traditional style with hints of copper accents. We incorporated the shiplap with white beveled tile, white marble and gray cabinets. It had plenty of storage and space for the Wards and their family when they entertain.

Past the kitchen there’d previously been an eat-in space, but the large island offered enough room for the Wards to eat breakfast or drink coffee, so we transformed it into an extra workspace and bench seating. If Rob and Marianne both needed a room to work, they had the option. And when it’s not being used, offers plenty of extra storage.

To the left of the entryway was the old dining room, and with the dining space now beside the living room, this made a great area for a home office. Plenty of office space was important to the Wards, because they work from home and each knew they’d get a lot out of a designated work space.

I found these old doors at an antique shop and loved their texture and the way they warmed up this wall. The barn doors in the back of the room lead to the storage closet, but I loved the way this added an interesting and unexpected design element. This little room felt like a seamless continuation of the living area.

The master bedroom and was right off the kitchen, so I wanted to set it apart by using this mid-tone gray paint color. I was inspired by the simplicity of this space and hoped it would be a quiet retreat for Rob and Marianne.

The original master bathroom was a closet. This room ended up being one of my favorite spaces in the home and turned out even better than I envisioned. It looked like a spa bathroom! We did fresh white cabinets and a classic shower tile pattern to accent the larger marble shower tiles. The freestanding tub and the vanity tied in the character carried through from the rest of the home.

We couldn’t be more grateful for Rob and Marianne’s help with the Magnolia House and we hope they love it here!

Chip and I are so thankful for your support and all your encouragement! Thank You! This season seemed to fly by so fast. We are currently renovating houses for Season 4 which will air this fall so stay tuned for some more amazing clients and homes we can’t wait to share with you!


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  • Brian
    7:16 pm, July 21, 2017
    Can you please tell me who is the manufacturer is of the fireplace box? Love the arch. It's so unique. Remodeling our home in Sarasota Florida.
  • Pam
    10:29 am, July 8, 2017
    where did you get the onlays for the living room fireplace mantle
  • Laurie Lawless
    8:52 am, July 8, 2017
    Hello! Can you please tell me where the comforter and shams in your the "carriage house" bedroom can be bought! Thank you so much 😊
  • Melissa
    9:59 pm, July 1, 2017
    It would be nice if Magnolia staff ever answered these comments. I've written several times. I'd like to know what color paint is used in this bedroom.
    • Deborah Beauchamp
      5:56 pm, July 19, 2017
      Melissa--same here! We're trying to find that "perfect" shade of gray for our bedroom, and this is my favorite so far. I wish so much they would say! My husband is at the paint store right now! :)
    • Deborah Beauchamp
      6:03 pm, July 19, 2017
      Melissa! I hope you see this! I found something helpful! Google The Weathered Fox blog! :D
  • Nancy
    6:27 pm, June 26, 2017
    I Watch your show religiously and think you'll are genius's in what you can't be beat..would love to know where you bought that beautiful bedspread or comforter with those shams in the master bedroom of 'the Carriage house"...I'm in love with that large petal design and I would love to buy one for my guest room...Thank you and may you continue making this a more beautiful world so that people can have their dreams come through thanks to you and your husband...
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