Historic Home Overhaul | The Pilot

Last week’s episode was actually the very first one we filmed as our pilot back in the summer of 2017. It originally aired later that fall. At the time, the show was called “Almost Home” before the name change to “Fixer to Fabulous” and we had no idea whether or not anything would come of this one episode pilot. We found out in December of 2017 that the show got picked up for a season and we started filming shortly after for season one. So, watching this episode was sentimental for us. I couldn’t believe how little the kids were and how much they’ve changed! And, we have completely remodeled our own home since the filming. And, Trixie was just a little baby lamb  — she is the mama of baby Lulu born on the “disco castle” episode. 🙂

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This one was also filmed in the summer just before Chase’s accident that caused him to lose his eye. We finished filming one week before the firework went off that changed Chase’s life. Our production team had become like family by that point and joined us in rallying around Chase and his family during his hospital stay and road to recovery. If you haven’t read Chase’s story, you can read it HERE. (Warning: grab your tissues).

Okay, now that I have that cleared up, let’s get in to the details of this home. Dave and I were honored when our friends, Tim and Genessa, asked us to renovate and restore this 124 year-old home for their family of five. We have a soft spot in our hearts for historic homes and this house is no exception — it has been a part of our town for over a century and we love all of its quirks and character. Restoring the original charm and updating the home to accommodate a young family of five was a super fun challenge.

Layout

We really needed to update the layout of this historic home in order to make it functional for a family of five. In order to do so, we moved the staircase entry out of the kitchen and into the living room, then added a pocket door from the kitchen into the new laundry room. We also knocked down a wall in between the foyer and the living room, creating a large and welcoming space as you first enter the home. We also moved the door entering the powder bath out of the master bedroom and into the living room. We completely transformed the attic space from a non-functional floor with one pseudo bedroom, into an entire second floor with two bedrooms, an office and a bathroom.

Because this photo of the schematic in our office was used during filming, we didn’t include the layout of the en-suite master bath and walk-in closet which are now just off the master with an entry in the far left corner. There wasn’t time in our very tight filming schedule to include that portion of the renovation, yet I know there were questions about removing the powder bath entry from the master bedroom so I want to be sure y’all know the Newberry’s have a master bathroom:).

Overall, we went from a 3 bedroom/1 bath home to a 3 bedroom/ 3 bath home with a new office and laundry room.

 

Exterior

BEFORE: the yellow house on the corner.
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The exterior trim was a bright yellow – earning the house the name “the yellow house on the corner” with everyone in town. For some reason, the house also had two front doors on either side of the home – one leading into the kitchen and one leading into the master bedroom.

Dave and I wanted to incorporate as many original elements back into the home as possible. We were able keep the overall character of the home in tact, while freshening up the look.

We replaced the rotting front porch, tore out the cement staircases leading up to the multiple front doors and replaced those with one brick walkway and entryway. For the walkway, we used the original brick from the old fireplace inside the house. We kept the original front door (the one that had led into the kitchen) and gave it a fresh coat of paint. I really wanted to keep a little yellow on the exterior and a yellow front door felt like a good compromise from the neon yellow trim. We also removed the strange “extra roof” in the front gable and added a stained glass window our friend Adrian at Olde World Door and Sunshine Glass salvaged. Dave built a beautiful front porch swing to complete the look of the welcoming front porch.

One really unique feature of the house was the original hardware on the doors. Adrian (from Olde World Door and Sunshine Glass) was able to restore the original door knocker and doorbell and reinstall it on the front door for us. The door knob contains a built-in doorbell that still works! It is probably the coolest front doorknob I’ve ever seen! You simply push the button on the doorknob that says “push” and the internal doorbell rings. I’m sure the Newberry kids have had a lot of fun with that feature… (sorry, not sorry, Genessa. Hehe).

AFTER: a beautiful historic home.
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Sources

Landscaping | John Zito Landscaping LLC

 

Kitchen

BEFORE: an outdated space.
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The wallpaper had to go! After we changed the layout of this space by moving the staircase opening to the living room on the other side of the wall, we modernized the kitchen and dining space for the Newberry family with custom cabinetry, a zinc stove hood, granite countertops and a window seat nook behind the dining table.

AFTER: a modern and open kitchen and dining room.
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Sources

Island Pendants | Restoration Hardware

Dining Room Pendant | Restoration Hardware

Cabinetry & Range Hood | Premier Wood Concepts – Link

Countertops | Super White Granite

Appliances | Metro Appliances

Faucet | Kohler

Dining Table & Chairs | Avenue Design Co

Cabinet Paint Color | Benjamin Moore White Dove

Kitchen Wall Color | Gossamer Veil SW 9165

 

Living Room + Foyer

BEFORE: an under-utilized space.
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After opening up the space, we created one grand room for the Newberry family. We were all disappointed to find the existing chimney was shot, and it wasn’t in our tight budget to install a new fireplace. Even still, I really wanted a cozy fireplace feel for the family and was able to re-use the original mantle as a focal point in the room. I also created this map with the words “Home Sweet Waka” painted on to represent their ties to home here in America and in Uganda, the birth country of two of their kiddos. Waka means “home” in Luganda, which is their kiddos first language in Uganda. It was so important to me to make this first home in America representative of their entire family and to honor the birth country of their adorable little ones.

AFTER: a beautiful room for the family to enjoy.
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Sources

Pendants | Shades of Light

Furnishings | Avenue Design Co

Wall Paint Color | Gossamer Veil SW 9165

 

Powder Bath

BEFORE: previously the master bath.
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The original floor plan did not include a bathroom for guests. Yet I wanted to give Genessa and Tim privacy and prevent all of their guests from having to use their master bath, so we reworked the original (super small) bathroom into a powder bath for guests. I found the vanity at a local thrift store and love how it looks in this space! (And, again, we added on a new master bath and closet after we wrapped filming).

AFTER: a charming powder bath for guests.
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Sources

Sconces | Shades of Light

Wall Paint Color | Light French Gray SW 0055

 

Master Bedroom

BEFORE: an uninteresting room.
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My goal was for this space to be a quiet retreat for Tim and Genessa at the end of a long day. You can spot the door to the en-suite master bath and walk-in closet to the right of the bed. 😉

AFTER: a calming retreat. 
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Sources

Chandelier | Shades of Light

Furnishings | Avenue Design Co

Wall Paint Color | Benjamin Moore Healing Aloe 1562

 

Kid’s Rooms

BEFORE: attic space.
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After tearing down walls and reframing the attic space, we created rooms for the boys and for Izzy upstairs. Izzy’s room has such fun angles and cozy nooks throughout while the boy’s room has a custom bed Dave built with a fort underneath. The fort goes back into a closet space under the beds as well. My kids literally cried when they had to crawl out from under there so we could film and reveal this room to the Newberry boys. I think I have Dave’s next project in mind for our own boys’ room…

AFTER: unique kid’s spaces. 
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Sources

Custom Bunks | Dave Marrs

Bedding | Avenue Design Co

Boy’s Room Wall Paint Color | 1/2 Uncertain Gray SW 6234 and 1/2 Stardew SW 9138

Girl’s Room Wall Paint Color | Gossamer Veil SW 9165

Girl’s Room Door Paint Color | Doeskin SW 6044 on door

 

Kid’s Bath + Office

BEFORE: unused attic space.
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We created two extra spaces in the attic – an office for Genessa and a bathroom for the kids. I love the angles in the office and the kids’ sink is my absolute favorite.

AFTER: two new rooms. 
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Sources

Wall Sink & Faucet | Kohler

Stained Glass Window | Olde World Door & Glass

Bathroom Wall Paint Color | Light French Gray SW 0055

Office Wall Paint Color | Gossamer Veil SW 9165

 

The Newberry family had lived in Uganda for the past five years, and I cannot tell you how incredibly rewarding it was to surprise our dear friends with their very first home back in America as a family of five. It was an absolute joy!

I hope you enjoyed the tour of the Newberry’s beautiful home! I cannot believe it that the season is over! What an incredible journey this has been. Thank you all for watching the show and for your incredible support and encouragement. We hope to have some news very soon to share with you about what’s next!

Have a fabulous week!!

Jenny

Photo Credits: Rachelle Lazarro & Stephanie Ellis