An Old Rancher Gets a Chef-Inspired Facelift | Season 2 Episode 7

HGTV Fixer to Fabulous Exterior Renovation.

Levi and Jessica Rush are both from Northwest Arkansas and met in college at the University of Arkansas.  Together, they have a passion for the outdoors and enjoy opportunities to soak up the beauty of the region. One of their adventures has been a crazy five-year plan that resulted in the birth of a business—and two children. In 2014, the Rushes fulfilled their life dream of opening a restaurant: Levi’s Gastrolounge in historic downtown Rogers. Their all-around fabulous little boys, River and Bronx, supply frequent entertainment at the restaurant and are experts on all the best parks in the area.

This house belonged to Jessica’s grandparents. Bob & Lurodine Wilkinson moved to Rogers, Arkansas in 1963 and Bob built the home himself. After her grandparents died in 2009, Levi and Jessica moved into the house. They see it as an incredible experience to live in a home with so many family memories and they continue to grow those memories with their own family.  In 30+ years, the neighborhood has changed and they’ve seen a recent focus to update and renovate the houses. The midtown location allows easy access to all of Rogers and surrounding towns.   

The Rush’s home is a traditional ranch style house with the classic 60’s elements of wood-panel walls, dark rooms (no lights in certain rooms) and low ceilings. Over the years, they have made a few updates, but the work done was poorly. At this point, they need bigger changes. A transformation to a chef’s kitchen, and an updated living room, music/playroom and outdoor space would allow them to indulge in their lifestyle of hosting and entertaining guests, and the family’s love of outdoor play.

Dave and I really loved the excitement and energy Jessica and Levi brought to this project. We also loved the fact that that they wanted to embrace their home’s mid-century roots because a mid-century modern style home isn’t something we often get to do. We loved getting the chance to keep the distinctive feel of that era with its natural wood and clean lines.

Exterior 

BEFORE: a classic 1960’s brick ranch home.
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  17
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  18
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  16
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  20
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  17
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  18
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  16
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  20

We modernized the outside look of this home by giving it a brighter appearance. The Rushes wanted the exterior brick painted, a change that’s often controversial in the world of renovation, but certainly lent well to the mid-century aesthetic.  The bright white paint makes the house shine, and the new black-framed windows add the ideal complement and contrast to the updated color.

We all agreed that the iron post on the porch had to go, a change that allowed us to add a functional and fun design element to the front of the home. While keeping in theme with the mid-century design, and taking inspiration from Palm Springs, we created a small courtyard to the side of the porch with a slatted wall for privacy.

AFTER: a light & bright mid-century modern home.
  • Image0 (4)
  • DSC 0100
  • DSC 0106
  • DSC 0099
  • Image0 (4)
  • DSC 0100
  • DSC 0106
  • DSC 0099

Sources

Flushmount Light | Kichler

Landscaping | Ground Effects Landscaping

Exterior Paint Color | Benjamin Moore Simply White

Front Door Paint Color | SW – Tricorn Black, 6258

 

Living Room

BEFORE: a dark and unbalanced space. 

  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  4
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  2
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  4
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  2

The Rushes like to entertain, and this room didn’t offer a welcome feel for guests. Low ceilings and a lot of brick made the space dark, cramped, and definitely outdated. We knew that by painting the walls we would brighten the look, give the illusion of higher ceilings, and create a more welcoming space.

The wall of vertical wood slats played up the mid-century design and, most importantly, centered the fireplace, giving the symmetry needed to make it the focal point of the room. Painting black over the original brick gave just the right contemporary look against the dark grain. The slats also provided a seamless camouflage for what would have otherwise been an awkward door leading to the garage, a feature Jessica wanted and that the house lacked. We were excited to show them a virtually hidden door!

AFTER: a modern, warm, and inviting living room.
  • DSC 0161
  • DSC 0096
  • DSC 0157
  • DSC 0183
  • DSC 0175
  • DSC 0156
  • IMG 5023 (1)
  • DSC 0161
  • DSC 0096
  • DSC 0157
  • DSC 0183
  • DSC 0175
  • DSC 0156
  • IMG 5023 (1)

 


Sources

Furniture | Howse

Hardwood Floors | Shaw 

Wall Paint Color | BM – Decorator’s White, CC-20

Fireplace Brick Color | SW – Tricorn Black, 6258

 

Dining Room

BEFORE: a small dining space.
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  1
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  2
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  3
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  1
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  2
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  3

This dining area was somewhat closed off and also cramped. We wanted to go with an open concept, and provide a cohesive flow throughout the living area and kitchen and on into this space. A long walnut table served as a connection and with entertaining still in mind, pulled all the rooms together.

The walnut and modern lights over the table and across the ceilings helps the dining area function somewhat as its own separate space or as a defined, intentional space for sharing a meal.

AFTER: an open concept dining area perfect for hosting family and friends.
  • DSC 0169
  • DSC 0162
  • DSC 0176
  • DSC 0171
  • DSC 0160
  • DSC 0169
  • DSC 0162
  • DSC 0176
  • DSC 0171
  • DSC 0160

Sources

Pendant Light | West Elm

Furniture | Howse

 

Kitchen

BEFORE: a cramped and outdated kitchen. 
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  6
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  7
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  5
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  6
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  7
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  5

This kitchen was confined and offered limited space and movement. Levi wanted to cook and still socialize with guests. Most of the kitchen appliances were original to the house, and barely worked. We took out the peninsula cabinet that blocked a clear path to the living area and removed a head knocker cabinet that obstructed the view to the living room. Levi requested easy access so plates would be within reach, and the open shelves we installed sealed the deal to make this a true chef’s kitchen.  

The Rushes really needed a kitchen to fit their lifestyle. We reoriented the room into an open space, giving them a whole new layout. Subway tile up the wall and wrapped around the range hood will allow them an easy-to-clean kitchen, with an island/counter space for all the room they’ll need to eat as a family, or to host guests. We were thrilled to give Jessica the larger window over the sink she wanted so she could watch the boys play in the backyard.

I found a piece of a gold foot kick rail stored in the Rush’s garage, left over from the one in their restaurant. We attached it to the new kitchen island where it served as a nod to their restaurant and tied in the gold throughout the kitchen.

AFTER: A bright, mid-century modern kitchen fit for a chef.
  • DSC 0180
  • DSC 0190
  • DSC 0186
  • DSC 0185
  • DSC 0168
  • DSC 0121
  • DSC 0118
  • DSC 0116
  • DSC 0180
  • DSC 0190
  • DSC 0186
  • DSC 0185
  • DSC 0168
  • DSC 0121
  • DSC 0118
  • DSC 0116

Sources

Sconce and Pendant Lights | Worley’s Lighting

Appliances | JennAir (Metro Appliances)

Custom Cabinetry | Premier Wood Concepts

 

Music Room 

BEFORE: a catch-all room without personality. 
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  14
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  15
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  14
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  15

This room provided a great space but wasn’t living up to its potential. We wanted this to be a cozy room where the family could gather and overlap with their creative activities. As a throwback to Jessica’s electrician grandfather, Dave installed an electrical conduit across the ceiling for lighting. simple, monochromatic paint and decor made this all-in-one room come together.

I knew that Levi and Jessica wanted their boys to grow up with a love and appreciation for music. With that in mind, we put together a creative corner with pipes and mallets and a xylophone. This would allow their kids to experiment, use imagination, and make music in ways not limited by the structure of pre-made instruments. We’re so excited for the Rush’s future family time in this room.

AFTER: a creative and inspiring family music room. 
  • DSC 0087
  • DSC 0082
  • DSC 0195
  • DSC 0087
  • DSC 0082
  • DSC 0195

Sources

Custom Light | Dave Marrs

Custom Musical Instruments | Chase Looney

Wall Paint Color | Farrow and Ball Green Smoke

 

Back Patio

BEFORE: an uninspired patio space.
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  10
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  11
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  12
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  13
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  10
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  11
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  12
  • HGTV Fixer To Fabulous  13

My hope for this outdoor area was inspired by the idea of a Palm Springs resort. Knowing that Levi and Jessica want this to be the central location of where they entertain, we wanted this space to be an oasis.

Starting with a new concrete slab as the foundation, we then covered the space, and added outdoor seating and a fire pit. The warmth of wood and steel materials will keep this an inviting place to eat, entertain, or simply lounge.

We hope this family will love stepping out the sliding door and into their new backyard vacation.

AFTER: a back patio reminiscent of a Palm Springs resort. 
  • DSC 0128
  • Fixer To Fabulous HGTV
  • DSC 0133
  • DSC 0150
  • DSC 0140
  • DSC 0129
  • DSC 0127
  • DSC 0128
  • Fixer To Fabulous HGTV
  • DSC 0133
  • DSC 0150
  • DSC 0140
  • DSC 0129
  • DSC 0127

Sources

Landscaping | Ground Effects Landscaping

 

Thanks for touring the Rush’s house with me! And, great news – we still have four new episodes of Season Two to go! Join us every Tuesday night at 9|8 central for an all new episode through the end of the month! (So many exclamation points!!) 

fixer to fabulous, fixer to fabulous hgtv