For years, Chip and Joanna Gaines have mesmerized us with house flips that flaunt their signature modern farmhouse style. Their show, Fixer Upper, has become one of HGTV’s most famous, and after binging it, we couldn’t help but wonder: What happens when the cameras are gone? How does the homeowner make the space their own—or do they keep everything exactly as Chip and Jo intended?
Chip and Joanna Gaines Renovated This Home 7 Years Ago—Here’s How It’s Held Up
We followed our curiosity and spoke to Kristi Bass, owner of “Little House on the Prairie” in Waco, Texas, from season two (which is now a rental property). Read on for before and after photos of the house (showing how, exactly, the Gaineses transformed the space), as well as Bass's exclusive insights about how things have changed in the nearly seven years since the episode aired.
What Were Some Of The Property’s Main Issues Before Its Renovation (and Were They Resolved)?
“The home was very outdated and choppy…The rooms were all separated off and closed in and [offered] very little natural light,” Bass adds. “Chip and Jo did a great job transforming this home. It went from an outdated, run-of-the-mill [property] to a trendy and charming one-of-a-kind home.”
To combat the claustrophobic feeling, the Gaineses removed the wall between the living and dining room but left the fireplace as a stand-alone feature. It “added a central focal point for the room without adding any distractions,” and helped showcase the newly renovated kitchen, Bass says. White subway tile, a dark wood island and four rows of open shelves completed its new look. “The island in the kitchen, the ‘farmhouse’ sign, the antique chandelier and wall sconces were bought as part of the show and we were able to keep [everything] after filming,” Bass adds. To this day, they remain exactly where Joanna placed them.
What Were Some Of Your Favorite Changes?
“The bathroom was also an impressive transformation,” says Bass. “The clawfoot tub addition and new double marble vanity made the space feel much more inviting and added depth and character to the room.” Chip and Jo also used shiplap to create an accent wall behind the tub and hung a large, framed mirror with matching wood to pull the space together. “Most of the house had great wood floors, ceiling and walls…Those were left intact and balanced out with fresh trim and paint,” she adds.
What Personal Touches Did You Put On This Home That May Be Different Today From When The Episode Aired?
Bass actually purchased this property from the Batsons—who were on the show—two years after it aired. “[The original owners] did not opt for a back deck but instead spent their [extra budget] on the front exterior of the house…the only substantial change I have made to the house is adding a huge back deck with patio seating, outdoor lighting and fencing to the backyard.”
Still, aside from the backyard addition, the property (along with its original furnishings) remains exactly the same. “I don’t know if [the Batsons] gave Chip and Jo a budget [for furniture and decor] or if they bought it all from them after the show. Either way, nothing in the house has been changed since the airing of the show—I just purchased the house and its contents together. It looks almost identical to how it looked in the reveal.”
Since Bass rents the property, part of the draw is staying in a Fixer Upper home. As long as the Gaineses’ style remains popular—and their ever-growing empire suggests it is—there’s little reason to make sweeping changes. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Which brings us to our next question…
How Has Everything Held Up, Seven Years Later?
So far, Bass hasn’t had any issues. “I am blessed and honored to call it mine,” she says.
Click here to learn more about this property (and possibly consider your next getaway to Waco, Texas).