Chip and Joanna Gaines spend a lot of time and energy fixing up other people’s properties on “Fixer Upper,” but in the latest episode of their HGTV show, things get personal. The couple attempt to realize a dream they’ve had for a 2.5-acre lot they own in Waco, TX, that’s affectionately known among their fans as “The Silos,” and command central for the couple.
When Chip and Jo purchased this property in 2014, the vacant lot had an old barn, two rusty grain silos, and an abandoned flower shop where Chip used to buy Joanna flowers back when they were dating (way to lay on the romance, Chip!). Although they promised the previous owners that they wouldn’t touch the silos because they’re steeped in family history, the couple have transformed the barn into their home goods store, Magnolia Market.
In this episode, “Sweet Surprise at the Silos,” they ponder what to do with the 1,500-square-foot flower shop.
Chip has plenty of ideas.
“Hot yoga?” he suggests to Joanna. “Laser tag? Batting cage? Cigar bar? Gymnastics studio?”
But no, Joanna has a far sweeter vision: a bakery.
Chip isn’t convinced. “What do I get out of this?” he asks.
“I will give you a ham sandwich–flavored cuppy cake,” Joanna replies.
Boom! Chip is all in.
“I want it to feel like an old-world bakery with a lot of charm.” Joanna says. “When you walk in, I want it to feel like it’s been here for a hundred years.”
Although Chip likes to joke around, he is a very competent contractor and knows there will be a number of challenges to keeping the building’s original charm while also bringing it up to today’s building and health codes. Together they find fascinating ways for making what’s old new again, while making what’s new look old again.
Watch and learn!
Exposed brick interior walls
The original exposed brick walls have tons of charm, but Chip points out that they won’t pass health regulations in a professional kitchen. The solution? Repair and seal the brick in the retail area, but cover it with subway tile in the kitchen. Up-to-codeness accomplished!
Exposed ceiling beams
Once they’re repaired and refinished, the exposed beams on the ceiling look beautiful in most of the building, but they aren’t ideal in certain areas like the bathroom. So in order to maintain the character of the building, they find antique tin ceiling tiles, stamp them with an ornate design, then install them overhead for a very posh potty. Sweet!
Joanna hopes to refinish the original wood plank floors, but Chip soon discovers they’re so damaged it would cost more to bring them up to snuff than to replace them. Joanna decides to go with new wood floors, laid in a classic herringbone pattern, “to feel timeless and classic, with real character.”
Knowing how complicated herringbone-patterned wood floors are to install, Chip balks.
“Are you doing the herringbone pattern just to be mean?” he asks. “Why don’t you just tell me to use toothpicks?” Of course, in the end, he gets down on his hands and knees and installs them. In the bakery area, they use clean, fresh black and white tiles.
Old doors and new windows
Joanna is the queen of antique shopping, and she knows just where to find salvaged and reclaimed architectural pieces. She finds a couple of doors that need the chipped paint stripped off—and you can imagine how much fun Chip has with the “stripper.” Instead of painting these interior doors, they leave them raw and unfinished, giving them more character, according to Joanna.
It would be impossible, though, to find enough salvaged windows that are the right size and match, so they design old-fashioned paned windows, and paint the frames black, to look timeless.
When they start the project, the original exterior brick walls had been painted white, but that was some time ago. Now they are chipped white with a lot of red showing through. To sandblast or to paint is the question. Since the building sits close to the huge, rusty silos on the property, they decide that’s enough of the rustic look, and paint the entire outside a consistent white, with black awnings, lights, shutters, and window details.
In the end, the Gaines’ four kids get to participate in the big reveal and pass verdict on the new Silos “cupcakery.” Given that Joanna has stocked the bakery with cupcakes, cookies, pastries, and more, what kid wouldn’t be thrilled?
“What do you think?” asks Chip. “Is it yummy or yucky?”
Suffice it to say the new bakery is “100% Gaines approved.”
“Silo-bration” cupcakes, anyone?
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