Fixer Upper: On the Hunt for an Old Home That Feels New

Chip and Jo transform a dated 1970s home into a classic charmer that fits perfectly within a highly sought after neighborhood of timeless older homes.

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April 27, 2020

Classic Charm

Chip and Jo would have to find the perfect fixer upper in order to move a young Waco couple into the charming but expensive neighborhood of Castle Heights. That's where this adorable 1970s home comes in.

Meet the Homeowners

While Lacy and Doug loved the Castle Heights neighborhood, their $250K budget wouldn't open the door to most of the area's large, classic homes. Enter Chip and Jo. After showing the couple three homes that were in the right location but in need of some TLC, they settled on a very cute but outdated home and trusted Chip and Jo to work their magic.


One of the most difficult aspects of purchasing a fixer upper is envisioning what the home could be instead of focusing on what it looks like now. While Lacy and Doug had a hard time understanding how Chip and Jo would transform this dingy house into the home of their dreams, they were willing to take the plunge and see what the talented pair could do.


With the renovation complete, the home boasts major curb appeal with a blue-gray exterior, white trim and charming accents like dark shutters and floral-filled window boxes that add much-needed character to the once boring facade.

Entry, Before

Before the makeover, the entyway felt small, dark and a bit cramped.

Entry, After

To open up the cramped entryway, they widened the opening to the living room, which allowed plenty of light to flood the space and made the first look into the home feel airy and welcoming.

Entry, Detail

Living Room, Before

The living room felt very dated with dark wood paneling.

Living Room, After

Chip and Jo replaced the wood panels with drywall and painted the space a calming gray that continues into the kitchen and dining room for a cohesive look that visually enlarges the space.

Living Room, Detail

Updating the fireplace instantly modernizes the space and lends a homey touch to the once dreary living room.

Living Room, Detail

Dining Room, Before

Homeowner Lacy adores classic home details like built-ins and crown molding. The matching pair of built-ins in this home's dining room were a definite selling point.

Opening Up the Space

After completely opening up the space between the living and dining rooms, the home instantly feels larger and brighter.

Dining Room, After

New paint makes the built-ins shine, while a cozy table for six is ideal for entertaining. Long drapes and removable slip covers soften the space and contribute to the slight cottage vibe of this newly finished space.

Kitchen, Before

A tiny sectioned-off kitchen wasn't ideal for Lacy, who loves to cook and entertain, and the dark cabinets and dated appliances simply had to go.

Kitchen, After

By knocking down walls and adding square footage to the kitchen, this once cramped cookery is now the ideal spot to whip up a tasty dinner and invite guests to mix and mingle.

Kitchen, Before

Kitchen, After

By knocking down one wall and opening up another, the kitchen became the heart of the home, with plenty of space to cook, clean, dine and entertain. An adorable breakfast nook sits opposite what was once the entire kitchen.

Kitchen, Detail

Bright white cabinets and a classic subway tile backsplash keep the room feeling bright and open, while new appliances and a handy stainless steel island ensure the space is a home chef's dream.

Kitchen, After

Jo enlisted the help of close friend Clint Harp to craft a one-of-a-kind wooden hood to add a healthy dose of color and texture to the mostly white kitchen.

See More Furniture by Clint Here: Handmade Furniture by Carpenter Clint Harp

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Home Office, Before

On the top of Doug's home check list was a home office. While this space could certainly serve that purpose, the room felt disconnected from the rest of the house and would benefit from a makeover that leaned into the home's style to create a more cohesive space.

Home Office, After

Jo used the remaining $5k in the budget to create Doug's dream office space. She started by raising the windows in the room and making them smaller so that they fit the space better and still offered a great view from anywhere in the room. A new brick floor looks more appropriate for the style of the home and feels like it's always been there.

Home Office, Detail

Backyard, Before

Though the back of the home offered a large yard like Doug and Lacy had hoped for, the overgrowth and ivy damage left something to be desired.

Backyard, Before

Assessing the Damage

As Chip checks the foundation, he discovers that the damage from the ivy is worse than anticipated and prepares to replace up to 80 percent of the siding that had been damaged by the vine and the rodents who once lived in it.

Chip Gets Down to Business

As Chip lowers a 100-pound vent from the roof, he explains his working relationship with Joanna: "To describe Joanna's and I’s relationship from a business standpoint is pretty simple. She’s the brains. She’s the beauty. She’s the design expert. And I’m … the muscle."

Backyard, Before

Overall, the backyard was a good size but needed a bit of a manicure before it would be ready to show Doug and Lacy.

Backyard, After

A new set of French doors and a charming brick walkway lead to a jaw-dropping surprise Chip and Jo have waiting for the new homeowners in the backyard.

Backyard, After

A custom pergola with outdoor seating is the perfect addition for outdoor entertaining and fits right in with the home's updated aesthetic.

Backyard, Detail

The metal chandelier from Jo's collection of thrifted home goods adds the perfect mood lighting in this surprise outdoor dining space.

Backyard, Detail

Backyard, Detail

Dream Team

Chip and Jo pose in the newly-renovated home before moving on to their next magical makeover.

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