When it comes to renovations, the talented folks at Magnolia Network know a thing or two—and that's an understatement. Magnolia Network stars are some of the most talented designers, carpenters, and home professionals around, so their expertise when it comes to overhauling or updating homes is truly unmatched.
That's why we went straight to the sources to hear all about the renovations they'll never forget. Read on to learn more about what made these renos stand out to the Magnolia Network stars.
Keyanna Bowen from Rental Redo
"For this renovation, I redesigned a courtyard for a single mom, and a bedroom for her two boys. The bedroom and courtyard were both extremely small spaces, so a big focus of this renovation was not only decorating, but also creating small space solutions. Prior to the redesign, the boys' bedroom was dark, cramped, and had two loft beds that were too large for the space—the boys had no place to do homework or play.
Because this was a rental, the landlord requested I keep the walls neutral, so I painted the walls a fresh white to brighten things up, and did contrasting trim to add a bit of visual interest. Since I couldn't add color to the walls, I incorporated color and pattern with the textiles and decor. To make the space feel more personalized for the boys, I took store-bought bunk beds and customized them with paint, a privacy curtain, and sconces that can be turned on and off with a puck light (so no hardwiring was needed). We also built a custom sized desk using inexpensive plywood that was long enough for each boy to have a workspace, but narrow enough to allow floor space for play.
The courtyard had been neglected for years and previous tenants had used it as a dumping ground. To make the space feel like a lush, tropical paradise, I installed a hanging garden wall and incorporated low maintenance plants and greenery throughout the space. A good power wash, plants, and decor, was all this space needed to be transformed into a relaxing retreat for the boys' mom, Nicole."
Tamara Day from Bargain Mansions
Courtesy of Nate Sheets
"This house will always be one of my favorite projects. It was built by hand in the late 1800s and renovated in the 1980s. When I walked into this house, I knew the kitchen needed to be moved to work for the modern family. During the 1980s renovation, they moved the kitchen to the basement. We moved the kitchen, the largest space in the house, on the main floor, completely transforming the house's look and flow! It was such a grand upgrade that kept the charm and character of the original 1800s home.
This home was fun to renovate because there were so many elements of Kansas City's history throughout it. One of my favorite things we found in this house was a hidden cellar for liquor in the Prohibition times! It's always special to feel like you're a part of history after a renovation."
Annie Hawkins and Brittany Baker from The Home Team With Annie and Britt
"Our most memorable renovation had to be our very first renovation (seen in their episode of First Time Fixer), in downtown Salt Lake. It was a classic mid-century modern condo building with incredible views of the Wasatch mountains. The inside was original and really needed a new life.
Because this was our first renovation, the learning curve was high and there was a risk around every corner, but that also meant the opportunity for great reward. Since the condo was built in 1964, we really wanted to keep the integrity of mid-century throughout the design without it feeling too 'on the nose.' The walnut cabinets in the kitchen, the sliding glass door partition elevated the home and made an impactful first impression right when you walked in the front door. Persevering through the ups and downs of the renovation, and having everything come out more beautifully than we could have imagined is something that will stick with us forever."
Brooke and Brice Gilliam from Making Modern With Brooke and Brice
Courtesy of Brooke and Brice Gilliam
"We transformed a 100+ year old unfinished basement into another fully functional living space for a family of four. We were able to design and create so many unique, yet cohesive, spaces in one area; the bathroom was the absolute show stopper. The clients loved tile laid in a pattern, not patterned tile, so Brice tasked me (Brooke) to cut the tile to his ideal ratio so the narrow strips could be laid in a modern, but classic pattern—fitting of the 100 year old house.
The basement project pushed us both outside our 'typical' box, and we were faced with reworking plumbing in a concrete slab to fulfill the clients’ dream of a 'moody' bathroom, without it feeling like a basement. The outcome was unique, edgy but timeless, and the homeowners were in love, and so were we!"
Chase Morrill from Maine Cabin Masters
"One renovation project that really stands out in my mind was the Ballard Camp on Maranacook Lake in Winthrop, Maine. The cabin was originally built as a display cabin that traveled all around the northeast in the 1920s. The cabin was used to showcase Maine and encourage people to visit our beautiful state. Once the cabin was done with its travels, it was purchased by one of the first forest rangers in the state and moved to Maranacook Lake. The cabin then fell into serious disrepair, but the history, location, and family connection made the renovations worth it! I remember walking up to the cabin for the first time, there were trees growing out of the roof, icicles in the camp, rotted cedar logs, but the location was right on the water's edge.
Because the cabin was built to be assembled and disassembled to move from city to city, it was built in sections and bolted together. This made demolition easier, we could cut out sections at a time, but once the demo was complete we had removed almost three quarters of the structure. Most contractors would have said it was a total tear down, but to rebuild the cabin would have meant moving it further away from the water’s edge and all the history and character would have been lost. To retain the original charm, when we started rebuilding, we sourced local materials and matched the style as best as possible."
Kate Martindale and Amy Neunsinger from Capturing Home
Courtesy of Amy Neunsinger
"This renovation consisted of updating the current kitchen from the early 1990s, sanding and whitewashing the floors throughout the main floor, and repurposing the client's antiques that were scattered around the house and in storage. Our only purchases were two faucets, an island sink, cabinet hardware, and butcher block countertops for the kitchen.
The homeowners are friends of Amy's as their kids went to the local elementary together. It's always a bit more pressure when designing for a friend as expectations are through the roof and you want to be invited back! The challenge was to combine Edward's English heritage with Kelly's California vibe using the house as the framework for the [California style] and Edward's antiques inherited from his family as the nod to his English roots. We didn't want the home to feel disconnected from the family and how it needed to be lived in, but we also wanted to give the home a new spirit and attitude. We did this by whitewashing the dark wood floors, finding new uses for their existing furniture (including the farm table repurposed as the new kitchen island) and hanging their art collection with a fresh new perspective (ie. two oil portraits on either side of the main sink in the kitchen.)
One of the most important tasks was to leave more negative space on the walls to allow the rooms to breathe and flow better. The end result was a kitchen that looked like it had been there for years somewhere between California and England. It's always rewarding when you find the intersection of ideas and design that your clients had been looking for."
Brian Patrick Flynn from Mind for Design
"This renovation is the basement level of my own home in Atlanta. It was just a dark and dingy 1965 unfinished basement intended for storage, but I wanted to transform it into a fully functional guest apartment.
The one thing that will always stick out for me is the timing of this project. We started during the extreme supply chain shortage which also involved a massive shortage of contractors. So, what was set to take six weeks ended up taking five months. The biggest challenge for me was designing a space in my own home that could feel almost like an escape, still part of the house with the same midcentury vibe, but making what was a basement feel like a full-in house. Not an easy task!
It was rewarding in the aspect that 1,300 square feet of space meant solely for storage is now bright and open and airy and reminiscent of a home up in the Hollywood Hills. I still cannot believe this used to be a basement!
I think showing people how you can have a colorful space without necessarily painting or wallpapering all of the walls with color, but instead keeping a clean, bright ultra white palette, and then sprinkling in colorful accents such as tile, upholstery and art, that also makes for a super colorful space."