The Before/After Shot – by Magnolia Mom


{Photos courtesy of Magnolia Mom}

Carly here!

I do not have an ounce of DIY skill in my body. (Sewing a button on a shirt seems daunting.) However, my inability fuels a fierce fascination for DIY-ers. In our age of Pinterest and home makeover TV shows and DIY blogs, I log oodles of idle time observing all the talents of others. I call this “idle time” because, in my own lack of DIY-ness, it can’t be called “research for future projects” since I will never embark on any of the projects! But it is entertaining (and inspiring!) nonetheless.

One of my favorite aspects of DIY-ness is the before/after shot. I love watching people create something ugly or outdated or unusable and transform it into something fresh and new. A favorite DIYer of mine is interior designer and business owner (she owns Magnolia Homes and Magnolia Market) Joanna Gaines. This Texas girl and her hubby, Chip, were featured on a TV series documenting their business to fix up old homes and transform them into their clients’ dream homes.. My sister told me about this show since she and Joanna share mutual friends (although she and Joanna have never met). Over time the show has grown a huge following in the US and I think it’s safe to say I am not the only one who enjoys the before/after shot.

Here is a link to Joanna’s blog that describes one of their Fixer Uppers.

The Asian Ranch

We were excited to work with the Reeds, a young family looking for a home in an established neighborhood in Waco. They selected the “Asian Ranch”, which had a unique modern flare. Instead our clients hoped we could create a French country feel to this home and transform it into the perfect space for their family.

The first issue we set to tackle was the elevation. Because the landscape was very flat and blank, I had the front porch extended and added new wood accents such as porch posts and window boxes. I hoped to use natural elements to add interest to the exterior of the home and painted the brick “Modern Gray”. I also used brick pavers to create unique steps leading to the new front door and windows. To complete the transformation outside, new landscaping was installed.




Inside the clients asked us to create an open concept and merge several of the living spaces. To do this, we removed a main wall and added an internal header for support. I added new “Coronado Birch” wood flooring in the main living spaces and painted the walls “Alpaca”. I also added new light fixtures from Restoration Hardware, adding traditional soft touches to the space.






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