The Families of Fixer to Fabulous: Catching Up With the Coopers
We thought it would be fun to check back in with some of the families we worked with during the first two seasons of Fixer to Fabulous to see where they are now and what they love most about their newly remodeled home. Today, we’re kicking off “The Families of Fixer to Fabulous” with the Coopers!
Season One: Scotty and Cynthia Cooper
In the premiere episode of Fixer to Fabulous, we introduced you to the Coopers. Scotty and Cynthia purchased a 1930s house that was definitely rough around the edges. The dated structure needed a full overhaul as it didn’t fit with their hopes for unique architecture inspired by Cynthia’s love of New Orleans. We had a wonderful time as we transformed it from an abandoned craftsman to a creole cottage, giving our downtown Bentonville district a little piece of the Big Easy.
We recently chatted with Cynthia about a few of the experiences she remembers most from the experience of having their home remodeled for the show.
What was it like filming an episode for television? What do you think viewers would be interested to hear?
Well, I think living my life having an editor to cut things out and refilm awkward moments would be really perfect! And I want viewers to know that Nola, the “vicious dog who likes to bite people” is actually well-behaved. 🙂
Remember their beloved dog, Nola? To cover the round-mortared holes in the brick, I knew a large-scale piece of art would fit with Cynthia’s New Orleans’ eclectic style. Scotty suggested a painting of their adorable pup, Nola, so I had the art commissioned by a local artist. The painting turned out playful and unexpected. Cynthia loved it!
What made you apply for a renovation with us on Fixer to Fabulous? Did you have any concerns going in?
We looked into having the house remodeled by an architect, but struggled with that experience. Turns out, going that route involved an astronomical cost, much more so than working with Marrs Developing. Scotty and I knew your reputation and felt comfortable with you and Dave when we met. That allayed my fears. From then on, even with my specific requests for the house and my desires for a Creole theme, I trusted both of you with my vision.
The Coopers described some of the elements they wanted, and we were able to take that and run with a vision. We completely redesigned the exterior of the house by removing the front porch and overhang and building a porch that spans the width of the house. To capture the Creole cottage feel, we replaced the old, rotting siding and added four pairs of narrow French doors across the front of the home.
Do you have any amusing memories from the home renovation? What would viewers be surprised to learn that happened off-camera?
Yes! The house was infested with fleas. During the process, I think we had to have pest control go out four times. After a couple of attempts, we found out the workers on the film crew themselves were scratching and we would get a phone call to have the pest control company again go back to the house: quite an experience. It took multiple attempts to get rid of the insects.
Also, I don’t think people know that we hired you and Dave for additional renovations on our house, even after we stopped filming.
After we wrapped on this episode, we completed a second phase of the remodel. This included the downstairs bedroom and bathroom, a new powder bath carved out of a nook under the stairs, and an additional laundry/mudroom. We were honored to take care of what the Coopers needed and we appreciated their trust.
What problem did the remodel solve for your family?
The remodel gave us a permanent place to live with a design we love. We wanted this downsized house to be our forever home, and you and Dave had the vision to make that happen. We don’t anticipate ever leaving.
It warms my heart to hear this from Cynthia. We met the challenge to create for them a permanent home and were thrilled to bring a New Orleans vision to life with details like handcrafted copper gas lanterns, the haint blue ceiling, an antique brick walkway, custom porch swings and repurposed doors.
What part of the renovation made your daily life better? Where in your house does it feel most like home?
The improvements to the kitchen help every day: I spend most of my time in there cooking my favorite Cajun-style food. That walk-in pantry was a great surprise and an added benefit, right along with the surface space and quality of the marble countertops and island.
I also know I’m right at home whenever I see my stepfather’s refurbished desk in the study. That truly was an emotional moment for me when I discovered that you had turned that into something I use on a regular basis.
I loved being able to dig that antique desk out of storage for Cynthia and refurbish the sentimental piece for her new study. Her tears of joy when seeing the desk were hands-down my favorite part of this reveal.
We are so happy with how this renovation turned out for the Coopers, right along with them, we hope that it serves as their forever home! Stay tuned as we bring you up-to-date on more families from seasons one and two of Fixer to Fabulous.