Builder-Grade to Custom Craftsman | Season 4

Written by Jenny Marrs on . Posted in .

Patrick and Ashley Fitzsimmons live in a great location near Crystal Bridges, the park and downtown Bentonville. Married for six years, this adorable couple was living in Patrick’s house, which he had bought as new construction in 2004 – before they had met. Since this house is now a home for two, we wanted to take it from looking like a builder-grade bachelor pad to looking more like a home that reflects their individual personalities as well as their identity as a couple.

Ashley loves the color blue, so we knew we definitely wanted to incorporate that throughout the house. One thing that was very clear was that the two of them LOVE movies. They love movies so much, they watch one each night. Dave and I had so much fun creating a private movie screening area for them!



Most importantly, we needed this house to become an actual craftsman-style home. There were a few craftsman elements but it really needed a few key details to complete the look. 

First, getting rid of the overgrown bushes in front of the house was a no-brainer. Once we started getting those out of the way, we could see that the house had great potential for a nice front porch entrance. All we had to do was widen the front steps to extend them all the way between the two columns at the center of the house. We also wrapped the existing columns, which were faded and narrow, to make them more substantial and brighter. The original siding was falling in some areas, so we replaced it with new siding and painted it a green-gray I found in a craftsman historical color book. 

The front door had seen better days. It was faded and heavily warped by the sun. Dave switched it out with a fade-resistant fiberglass door in a craftsman style that should last much longer. 

Then, we added a classic craftsman arbor that Dave and his brother made in the barn. The arbor and the updated dormer above the garage add so much beautiful detail and curb appeal to the house. To tie it all together, we also added decorative trim and new posts, painted the brick, and added new landscaping and new lighting to the front of the house. 



Flag | Allegiance Flag Supply

Landscaping | Ground Effects Landscaping

Exterior Lights | Kichler 

Exterior Paint Color | Sherwin Williams Retreat

Exterior Trim Color | Sherwin Williams Natural Choice

Entry & Living Room


We made a major change to the entryway. We weren’t going to have the Fitzsimmons pull out the attic ladder in the garage every time they wanted to use the renovated attic space! So, we installed stairs near the front door. Dave added a simple black metal handrail to keep it modern, and we painted the steps in traditional white on the back of each step. The light-colored flooring that we chose for the entire main floor is crisp and cheery. The new light fixtures that run along the top of the hallway break up the length and add interest to the space. And, the Fitsimmons didn’t have to lose their coat closet to gain the stairs. We were able to add it right back into the back of the staircase.   

In the living room, although Ashley and Patrick don’t use the fireplace, I still thought it was crucial to keep it because it provides a nice focal point for the space. To elevate its look and update it a bit, we found a countertop material that looks like concrete and we installed it around the firebox. This makes the fireplace look more modern and is a nice complement to the updated kitchen. We also extended the same light-colored flooring in here and added new paint and new lighting. 



Furniture, Rug & Art | Howse

Living Room Fan | Kichler

Can Lighting | Kichler

Hallway Lighting | Overstock

Wall Paint Color | Sherwin Williams Silver Strand

Dining Room Furniture and Art | Howse



It was a bit odd that the builders of this house had put a big pantry in the middle of the house, especially since it didn’t have much shelf space. It blocked the view from the entry way to the rest of the house. By pushing the pantry wall back a bit, we were able to gain a little extra space which made a big difference to the flow of the center of the house. Now you can see all the way from the front door to the living room. This also allowed us to trade out the existing island for a bigger one with seating. We installed all new cabinetry and painted it all blue – Ashley’s favorite. By taking the cabinets all the way to the top of the ceiling, we gained more storage space in addition to the extra storage now available in the new island. Everything in the kitchen is new: new farmhouse sink, new appliances, quartz countertops and new lighting. I love how the bold blue plays off the traditional white of the subway tile backsplash and white countertops. 



Cabinets | Premier Wood Concepts

Island Pendants | Wayfair

Kitchen Faucet | Gerber 

Kitchen Sink | Overstock 

Kitchen Sconce | Pottery Barn

Kitchen Knobs | Amaon

Kitchen Pulls | Amazon

Kitchen Backsplash | Lowes

Rug | Turkish Trunk

Appliances | Metro

Kitchen Cabinet Paint Color | Farrow and Ball Stifkey Blue

Main Suite


This was a huge room to begin with, so I went with one of my tried-and-true solutions for cozying up a big bedroom. We installed wainscoting along the walls. This breaks up the room and adds character. Plus, it goes perfectly with the craftsman style. Above the woodwork, we applied a wallpaper with a light blue pattern to match the blue of the wainscoting. We also switched out the black curtains for a cheerier cream color and decorated the room with crisp whites and blues. It’s now cozy and calm like a luxury hotel room. 

Originally, the bathroom had a large bathtub that neither one of them was using, so we got rid of that and used the extra space for a linen closet and a larger shower. Since Ashley was very clear that she wanted to stick with traditional subway tile, I decided to make it just a little bit different by having it installed in a unique pattern of alternating horizontal and vertical tiles. We finished off the space with a new vanity and new lighting. 



Bedroom Furniture | Howse

Bedroom Fan | Kichler 

Bedroom Wallpaper | Pepper Home

Shower Head | Gerber

Bathroom Rug | Turkish Trunk

Bathroom Faucet | Gerber

Bathroom Wall Tile | Lowes

Bathroom Floor Tile | Lowes

Shower Floor Tile | Lowes

Bedroom Panel Paint Color | Farrow and Ball De Nimes

Movie Theater


You would be surprised how much extra usable space we find in homes! In this case, Patrick and Ashley knew they had an opportunity in their attic. Dave and I got to have a lot of fun transforming this wasted space into an amazing in-house movie theater.

Extending out the dormer and lowering the floor a few feet allowed us to capture additional headroom. And with the two hidden storage areas Dave built, there’s also a lot of extra space for storing movies and AV equipment. We were able to hide these spots (which in most homes become cluttered) with doors that we disguised as movie marquises. 

For the ceiling, we found a way to the hide LED lights behind the ceiling panel with tiny holes poked in it to appear like the night stars. We added a thin stripe of blue ambient lighting along the edges of the ceiling too. Of course, we had to have movie-grade seating. That meant super comfy seating in the front and raised platform theater seats (complete with cup holders) in the back. 

I’m love that we were able to elevate their nightly movie dates! 



AV Setup (Projector, Projector Screen, Speaker System, etc) |  AV Design Consultants

Fiber Optic Stars | Cinemashop

Rug Tiles | Flor 

Wall Paint Color | Benjamin Moore Hale Navy