An Entertaining Oasis | Episode 8
This week’s episode of Fixer to Fabulous featured a home that was quaint and pretty cute from afar but as soon as we got a closer look, we found several issues that needed to be addressed. There was a rotting (and very unsafe) exterior deck, broken exterior siding, rotten and missing hardwood floors inside (with three different types of hardwood patched together over the years), no dining space and a fireplace insert that didn’t function. The homeowners own a local wine bar in town and love to open their home to friends but the existing home wasn’t conducive to entertaining at all. We completely overhauled the exterior, kitchen, dining and living space and created a new outdoor patio all with one goal in mind: entertaining. Read on to find out how we did it!
BEFORE: A cute home in need of a safety overhaul.
The exterior of the house had been hodgepodged together over the years. Poor architectural adjustments and a variety of renovations had turned this once charming Victorian into a somewhat dilapidated — and unsafe — structure. However, this house has a rich history as one of the oldest in Bentonville and we relished the opportunity to return it to its former glory. We focused on giving the Gheens everything they had asked for — an expanded kitchen, more natural light, a dining space and a new outdoor patio for entertaining.
First things first, we had to remove the large tree that was no longer healthy and could pose a real hazard to the Gheen’s home. We planned to add on to the front of the home in order to create a larger kitchen and dining nook and this tree was right in the path of that expansion. Because it was hollow, it wasn’t safe and needed to be removed regardless of the renovation. We NEVER want to remove a tree, especially one this large and old, but it needed to be done and Dave was able to use the milled wood from this tree to build the Gheens a brand new dining table and exterior fireplace mantle – bringing new life to an old tree.
The new addition, new siding, paint, and a gorgeous new front door all worked together to create this charming modern craftsman home for the Gheens.
AFTER: A charming modern craftsman.
Landscaping | Rodden Landscape Co.
Exterior Sconces | Kichler
Exterior Siding Paint Color | Benjamin Moore Beach Glass #1564
BEFORE: a small L-shaped space with very little natural light.
The expansion of the kitchen transformed the front elevation of the house and allowed us to reorient the layout (adding an island) for greater functionality. New cabinetry, appliances and tile backsplash left the kitchen completely unrecognizable from its former self.
The kitchen is now timeless and warm and just plain gorgeous. The natural wood tones in here and all of the light streaming in from the new windows make it such an inviting space. The glass upper cabinets keep it light and bright and the new dining nook with built-in seating and storage, along with Dave’s custom-built dining table (built out of the milled Catalpa wood from the tree out front), finish off the space perfectly.
AFTER: a timeless and warm kitchen.
Pendant Lights | Kichler
Cabinetry & Range Hood | Premier Wood Concepts – Link
Appliances | Metro Appliances
Faucet | Kohler
Custom Kitchen Table | Dave Marrs
Cabinet Paint Color | Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-17
Wall Paint Color | SW Gossaer Veil 9165
BEFORE: a closed off and dark space.
The house was a cluster of small rooms, closed off from one another — a reﬂection of the era it was built. We certainly didn’t want to lose the charm of the house, but we did want it to feel more open and have more natural light. After we removed the offset front door and window, we were able to center and install a beautiful wooden multi-light entry door with sidelights. This helped make the space feel more open and bright.
The biggest change in this room came when we removed the wall separating the kitchen and the living room. Additionally, we removed the living room ﬁreplace (because it wasn’t original to the home, it didn’t function and the Gheens wanted it gone) and added french doors leading out to the new hardscape patio. This completely transformed the look and feel of this room and created a nice open flow from the patio all the way to the kitchen – perfect for entertaining guests.
And, a little something fun that you didn’t get to see on the episode — the Gheens found the original property abstract for their lot dating back to June 16, 1841 (an abstract is basically a collection of legal documents tracking ownership for a parcel of land) so I HAD to display it in their home. I found an old clipboard at a local antique shop, attached the abstract and hung it right by the front door. A simple display for a meaningful piece of the home’s history.
AFTER: a bright and airy space perfect for entertaining guests.
Clay Olive Oil Jars | Griffith Pottery Works
Artwork | Tiffany Foster Smith – Link
Ceiling Fan | Kichler
Furnishings | Avenue Design Co
Wall Paint Color | SW Gossaer Veil 9165
BEFORE: an unused space on the side of the house.
The new french doors in the living room now lead out onto a gorgeous new patio space for the Gheens. I chose an antique brick salvaged from a local building for the fireplace to keep with the historic and classic feel of the home. We finished it off with a custom-built mantle that Dave built out of the same milled catalpa wood from the old tree out front. We kept the Crepe Myrtle trees Laura Gheen loved by transplanting and flanking the fireplace with them. The new horizontal wood post fence created warmth and also gave the Gheens privacy for this space.
I’m now trying to find the right place at our home for this exact set up because I love it so much. It’s warm, inviting and cozy and I don’t think I would ever leave my spot right in front of that burning fireplace! We are so fortunate to have pretty mild seasons here in Northwest Arkansas so the Gheens can enjoy this space pretty much year-round (with a few blankets and an extra log on the fireplace in the winter).
Sconces | Kichler
I hope you enjoyed the tour of the Gheen’s Entertaining Oasis! Join us again this coming Tuesday for another new episode of Fixer to Fabulous on HGTV at 9|8c!