Historic House Gets Pretty Pink Overhaul | Season 2 Episode 13
Bowman Cooper is the daughter of Scotty and Cynthia Cooper, whose home we renovated in the premiere episode of Fixer to Fabulous. What a special project this was! After being in New York City for a year, Bowman has come back to Bentonville where she was raised, and purchased her first house just a few blocks away from her parents! She’s excited to be back in Arkansas, closer to her family and friends from her hometown.
Bowman is a seventh-grade English literature teacher. She discovered this historic home while on a walk with her mom and after a little digging, found out it was built in the 1880s. She closed on the property and got to work right away fixing it up with her parents. Finding holes in the floor and walls, and just a lot of overall disrepair, they realized they were in over their heads. The Coopers called and asked if we could help out. Bowman was ready for us to get in and make her new house livable while preserving its historical integrity. She also hoped we could make this home reflect her personality and love of color.
The character of this 1880s house had really been stripped away over the years. We were ready to bring back some of this home’s history and infuse it with quirky character, making it ready for Bowman to enjoy!
BEFORE: A dilapidated appearance
The exterior of this house didn’t seem too bad, but parts of it were just run-down. Broken windows, a porch that was falling apart, and an awkward, off-center front door hid the quaint structure of this house that was just waiting to be seen. Right away, we knew the house needed siding, windows, and landscaping on the front and side.
Bowman asked for a unique front door, and for it to be more symmetrical with the entry. Since one of her favorite things in the world to do is hanging out on the front porch, we made plans to make that an inviting space.
The front porch was in such bad shape and couldn’t be salvaged, especially since it contributed to the rot on the floors inside. Dave had fun tearing it up and installed a new one that allowed for proper water drainage.
When it comes to color, Bowman is all about the pink. She wanted the exterior to be an inviting pink shade (likely making it the only pink house in town). When it was time to choose the right paint for the exterior, I brought along several color samples and the princess of pink herself…my six-year-old daughter, Charlotte. She has spent a lifetime developing a preference for all shades of pink, and there’s no one I trust more to pick out just the right one to use as the exterior paint color for this house!
The reclaimed front door in dark green sets off this one-of-a-kind pink Bentonville house just right! These outside changes put the old charm right back on this adorable cottage.
AFTER: A beautiful and glamorous historic home.
Sconce | Shades of Light
Landscaping | Ground Effects Landscaping
Exterior Siding Paint Color | Farrow and Ball Setting Plaster
Exterior Siding Trim Paint Color | Benjamin Moore White Dove
Front Door Paint Color | Farrow and Ball Studio Green
BEFORE: A rough room in disrepair
The inside of this house was just a mess. If at all possible, Bowman really hoped we could salvage some of the original wood floor and was open to having it painted. She definitely wanted pink walls. She also wanted to raise the ceilings in the living room, and we knew that would make a dramatic difference inside.
The old floor in this place was badly in need of repair and presented a real challenge. To help us, we brought in a flooring specialist. We knew that keeping this floor meant it would be repaired with a few patches. We accepted this and loved the character that it added to the house.
We opened the ceilings up to the attic, and turned the extra space into a deep, spacious loft. New paint, flooring and a charming window worked beautifully to make this a cozy place to read or for a guest to sleep. Since this space required a climb, we found an old ladder in a friend’s barn and painted it black as a stark and beautiful contrast to the light floors and walls of the living room.
I adore how this whole space turned out. The wall color is a sophisticated and grown-up pink that goes right along with Bowman’s personality and style.
During this remodel, Bowman’s dad, Scotty Cooper, got in touch with me when he found out a neighbor’s friend had a connection to the home. Scotty sent a picture apparently taken in 1946 of a boy blowing out birthday candles on the front stoop of this house! I had the photo printed and framed and hung it in the house as a connection to the families who lived here in the past.
AFTER: A sophisticated, eclectic space.
Chandelier | Hudson Valley Lighting
Sofa | HK Living USA
Art | Buddy Whitlock
Coffee Table Cubes | Howse
Wall Paint Color | Farrow and Ball Setting Plaster at 50%
Kitchen & Wine Cellar
BEFORE: A dark, generic kitchen
Basically, the plan here was to start from scratch and replace EVERYTHING! The dark walls and plain cabinets didn’t reflect Bowman at all. She spends a lot of time in the kitchen and wanted something light and open.
We removed the wall to the living room, replaced the cabinets and countertops, and put in a big window for new light to shine in. We installed sleek quartz countertops and painted the cabinets a dark shade of green to complement the pink walls. The color added a stylish contrast to the new open living area.
While pulling up floors and looking at the original wood, we came across an unexpected treasure with a big space below the house. I could not believe we found a giant cellar! We don’t even typically find basements in Arkansas, and this cellar speaks to how old this house is. This had to be salvaged and turned into something usable. At the bottom of this dugout-like space, we dug down through six inches of silt and yay…found concrete! This made it possible to create the height to stand up down here, and make it into a functioning space! We kept the old, original brick and added wood skirting above it. It’s like we fashioned a sort of speakeasy under Bowman’s new kitchen!
An installed sump pump will keep water drained. We kept the original chimney, added seating and dim lighting, and built stairs leading down into what we turned into a wine cellar. Dave built a bar and installed wine storage in this rustic, clandestine space. With a slick design, we used the new kitchen island to create a sliding entrance that became the wine cellar’s ultimate, top-secret access.
AFTER: An open kitchen with natural light and a hidden, handy wine cellar
Sconces | Lucent Lightshop
Custom Cabinetry | Premier Wood Concepts
Countertop | Pacific Shores Stone
Appliances | Metro Appliances
Cabinet Paint Color | Farrow and Ball Studio Green
BEFORE: A front bedroom
Bowman had plans to use this front bedroom as an office space to work from. She was interested in vaulting the ceiling for attic access, and definitely needed bookshelves.
To make this room a little more open to the living area, we widened its entry. Dave built French doors with old glass, allowing see-through to this study, and to create flow from the living room. A wall of built-in shelves stands ready to hold Bowman’s books.
AFTER: A stylish, elegant study
Chandelier | CB2
Library Lights | Shades of Light
Built-in Cabinet Hardware | Anthropologie
Paint Color | Farrow and Ball Setting Plaster
BEFORE: The main bedroom with all the wrong colors.
Just like the living area, Bowman wanted to preserve the floors and envisioned pink on the walls. Because she appreciates the unconventional, we brought in some gorgeous, dark floral wallpaper for the ceiling here in this room. With new paint and lighting, we created a space that fits seemed to go with Bowman’s personality and design preferences.
AFTER: A beautiful, unconventional bedroom
Chandelier | CB2
Wall Sconce | CB2
Wallpaper | Kelly Ventura
Art | Jaquita Ball
Wall Paint Color | Farrow and Ball Pink Ground
BEFORE: An empty slate
This bathroom was pretty much in shambles. Bowman had a vision for this to be a place that made her excited to be up in the morning. She wanted penny tile on the floor, and made a special request for some personalization.
With Bowman’s approval, I worked with her mom on just the right saying to install in her bathroom. Penny tile in hand, I went to see Cynthia and we talked about how the tile would look and what it should say. She reminisced on the 1950s song, “Hey, Good-Lookin’” by Hank Williams that she sang when Bowman was a child. She came up with “lookin’ good,” a perfect sentimental touch for this bathroom space!
We installed classic subway tile in the new shower, but with an unconventional pattern that gave it a modern twist. A new sink and large vanity pulled it all together. This is definitely a great room for greeting the day.
AFTER: A bright bathroom ready for every morning
Cabinet Paint Color | Benjamin Moore Onyx
I just love all of the details in this house! We could build a new structure perfectly without the patching and repair, but we would lose a whole lot of the character that’s revealed when we get in and start unveiling what each house holds within. We’re excited that Bowman’s home has the character she wanted to keep and the personality she wanted to add.
Like many of the homes we renovate, this one was built so long ago, and there’s a reason we restore them. We know that other people have lived in these homes, but a photo like the one shown in this episode is such a personal reminder that decades ago, real people have real stories from living in these houses. Homes are more than the four walls and materials used to make them. Just as each house served as home to other families, we get to give each one a new lease so all of our clients can make new memories. Creating spaces where new memories can be made is what we love most about our jobs!