If you’ve seen the show Fixer Upper, you may have wondered what the homes look like after the staged furniture and accessories are moved out and the homeowners move in their own belongings.
Well, wonder no more. I recently had the opportunity to visit a home featured on Fixer Upper two years ago, and I’m sharing it with you today. You’ll see photos of what it looked like before the Fixer Upper crews got their hands on it, what it looked like for the big reveal, and what it looks like now.
Remember this episode with the McKenzie family? Val and her craft room and “Big Mike” and his must-have shoe closet?
At Home: Joanna Gaines Blog
I connected with Val after I decorated a home using some of her custom frames as my color inspiration. When she said she was happy to let me tour her home and blog about it, I jumped at the chance.
Here’s the pre-Fixer Upper exterior, and the after.
As was typical for a home built in the late 1980’s, the floor plan was closed off and a little dark.
The Fixer Upper renovation changed all that, of course. Here’s how the heart of the house looked on reveal day in May of 2015. Val is especially fond of the vaulted ceiling, the beams, and the brick on the fireplace. The wall color is Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams.
So how does the house look now, a little over two years HGTV first aired this episode?
It’s even more gorgeous. It’s a warm and welcoming home that Val McKenzie has decorated to perfection in her personal style.
Joanna Gaines had seen Val’s dining table and asked to use it in the staging, but it was buried deep inside a Pod at the time so that wasn’t possible. I love the McKenzies’ table. It’s rustic and at the same time has a modern edge. They purchased it from West Elm.
Val made the long, elevated centerpiece from some old wood she had lying around and some spools she found. She added some greenery from her yard to the candles and pine cones. Touches of greenery (mostly faux because Val says she tends to kill the real stuff) can be found all over the home. Fragments of natural wood displayed as art are another design element she favors.
Val made this large arrow in the living room from weathered boards. It hangs next to the bookcases she purchased from Overstock.com.
She fell in love with the bookcases and ladder used in the staging for the show, but not with their $5000 price tag. She purchased hers for a total of $750 for all three. They are beautifully styled with her favorite things–family photos, faux greenery, natural wood, globes, a vintage fans, and old books.
Although she didn’t purchase the bookcase used in the staging, she did buy the coffee table. The “M” was gifted to them, and Val left it in the same spot.
The large botanical print over the fireplace was also gifted to the McKenzies, but Val moved it into the dining room over her cabinet where she displays a collection of milk glass.
She built the fence panel resting on her mantel, topped it with a big wreath, and added some chunky candlesticks, old books, and a chalkboard.
The kitchen exceeded Val’s expectations. There’s not anything about it she doesn’t love–from the pendants over the island with no glass (one less thing to clean) to the leathered granite for the perimeter (she didn’t want anything too shiny) to the wavy subway tile to the Carrara marble island. Unless they have company, the McKenzies eat all their meals at the island.
Val has experienced some staining on the marble but isn’t too worried about it. She wanted real marble and knew going in all the warnings with this surface. “We live here,” she said. “Stains happen.”
The only issue she has with her glass front cabinets is that once she had everything inside them arranged just so, it’s hard to make herself use any of the items and mess up the look.
Although I love every inch of this house, the craft room is probably my favorite. Formerly the breakfast area, during the Fixer Upper renovation this room was closed off to make a dedicated space for Val to make and paint the frames she sells through her etsy shop Ruby and Lucy.
The painted canvases on the wall above the sink were left as gifts, but Val relocated them to her youngest kids’ bedroom and hung a chalkboard instead and a storage piece that she made to hold her craft paints. The sink, one of the most practical features of the room, is used daily. The wall paint color is Silver Strand by Sherwin Williams.
With its built-in storage, the table in the center of the room is the spot where Val does all the painting of her custom frames. She keeps a roll of craft paper nearby and covers the surface to protect it. The table is a custom piece by Clint Harp of Harp Designs.
Val offered to move some items on the floor out of the way for photos, but this is real life–just like the paint spatters on the floor.
The McKenzies’ master bedroom, painted Mindful Gray by Sherwin Williams, was staged with some colorful bedding for the Fixer Upper reveal. Today, however, it’s decorated all in neutrals.
All the bedding and pillows are from IKEA; the rug is from Lowe’s. Val made the shiplap headboard herself and added the outdoor galvanized lights.
Two gray-painted chest of drawers serve as nightstands. The old window frame leaning against the wall adds texture. The French door leading to the back yard is painted black, the same as the double front doors and the French door in the living room.
Val made the floating shelves and styled them with more faux succulents and another globe. The white tab-top drapes are from IKEA.
The McKenzies were given a binder at the completion of their Fixer Upper experience with all the pertinent information to their home renovation–paint colors, product names, appliance warranties…
They couldn’t be happier with their new home and its perfect location, very generous size, open layout, practical features, and beautiful details.
When the first photos of the completed home went up on the Fixer Upper website, Val wasn’t quite sure at first what she was seeing. “Look at that gorgeous house!” she thought. Then she realized it was their house.