The Families of Fixer to Fabulous: Checking Back With Bowman Cooper
After moving from New York back to Bentonville, Bowman Cooper wanted our help with a historic home she purchased. We were absolutely on board, as we love the Cooper family! Bowman found this old house just a few blocks away from her parents, Cynthia and Scotty Cooper, whose home renovation was featured on the premiere episode of Fixer to Fabulous. After she closed on the 1880s property, they all went to work fixing up the place and soon discovered the job too much to handle. Bowman asked for our help to conserve the history of the home while making it livable, and if we could…to bring some color, specifically pink.
We were excited to take on this project and give this home the pretty pink overhaul it needed.
What do you want people to know about this experience of renovating your home while filming for television?
I want people to know that you and Dave are not just television personalities. You’re good people who are passionate about renovating, building, and decorating homes. It’s obvious this is what you love to do.
Those are such sweet words. Dave and I do love this work and we’re glad it shows. We make the most unexpected discoveries when restoring old homes, and it’s so much fun to salvage elements and spaces and turn those into custom features for the people who live there.
What made you apply for a renovation with us on Fixer to Fabulous?
The house I purchased was just a mess! I knew you were looking for participants for the second season, and with the improvements you made to my parents’ house, I trusted you to do the same with mine. I am so lucky I got accepted to be a part of the show.
We’re glad we could accommodate Bowman in the show’s second season. What Bowman called a mess, I saw as a blank slate; this home’s stripped away, hidden character just needed to be revealed. We found some real treasures while working on this project.
What concerns did you have going into this renovation?
I was a little nervous. I didn’t have a vision of how the house should be remodeled or what I wanted it to look like when it was done. I knew that I liked old things, and wanted to use pink and green, but had no idea how to make those colors work with the house. You all put together an impressive, incredible space.
Bowman wanted to preserve what she could of the home’s history, something we strive for. We also wanted to make sure it reflected her personality and preference for pink. My daughter, Charlotte (our little “princess of pink”:)), and I spent special time going through shades to find the perfect pink for the exterior. On the inside, we stuck with the pretty pink theme on the walls and used a dark green shade in the kitchen as a complement. We love that Bowman put her trust in us to take a few of her favorite colors and run with our ideas.
Tell us about an amusing or fun memory from your experience with Fixer to Fabulous.
Remember that scene where Dave asks me to push on the kitchen island, revealing the root cellar? A lot of my friends ask me about that. I was NOT acting; I was genuinely surprised and actually speechless. That reveal came totally out of left field!
Our plan for her kitchen was basically to replace everything. While taking it apart, we came across that whole area under the floor…one of those AMAZING, one-of-a-kind discoveries. Dave and I both knew we had to figure something out in order to make this space useable. We knew we wanted to create a wine cellar and I was so excited that we were able to keep the original brick (it was beautiful and gave the space such a cozy feel!), and, after we found the concrete floor under the layers of dirt, we could actually stand up in the space and it became possible to create an incredible wine cellar. Because the house is small, we had a problem finding a place to install the stairs going down to the cellar because they would take up valuable square footage. Dave came up with the idea of using the big kitchen island as the tool to hide the staircase which was GENIUS. He was able to install a mechanism to roll back the countertop (and it is impossible to get locked underneath – we made sure of that!) to reveal the hidden staircase!
This was one of our favorite projects, EVER. We brought our kids over, my parents, Dave’s parents, a couple of the neighbors… all to see this while we were working on the house. We loved showing it off and could not wait to surprise Bowman during the reveal. We saved this moment for last – you can see on the episode that Dave was standing on the other side of the island during the kitchen reveal because he didn’t want Bowman to push the counter open by accident before it was time. Our whole crew was waiting for the big moment and it was so much fun to see Bowman’s reaction – she was truly shocked and speechless!
What problem did the remodel solve for you? Where in your house does it feel most like home?
The whole house was so dark before, and this renovation breathed life and light throughout. The remodeled study ended up being even more important than I expected. For the last year, I’ve been doing my job virtually, and this room with shelves for my books and supplies has made teaching from home so nice. It’s also the place that makes me feel most at home. Those beautiful shelves allow me to look through all those books and also display my knick-knacks and tchotchkes.
We took Bowman’s desire for a home office and made it a cozy and comfortable room where she could work among her books and collectibles. The built-in shelves, bigger windows, and antiqued French doors gave this study the elegant touch we wanted for her.
We love that this house really works for Bowman for both her job and her leisure. It was wonderful to be a part of adding character back into its walls and literally digging up history in the process. Check back as we bring you more conversations from past Fixer-to-Fabulous families.