Dysfunctional Rancher Becomes a Family-Friendly Home | Season 2 Episode 10
Dave and I were excited to work in our old neighborhood in Downtown Bentonville when Kate and Wes Walker asked us to update their ranch home. When they purchased this house three years ago, Kate could immediately see beyond the dark and outdated interior and into the future potential of this house, while Wes was skeptical.
The Walkers homeschool their three kiddos and had a general idea of the improvements they wanted to make. They just didn’t have a clear vision of exactly what the final style and design should be. They love the neighborhood, and they see this house as the place they want to live in for years to come. We were thrilled to help them tackle this project and put their own stamp on the house, in order to make it their forever home!
BEFORE: A ranch home lacking a front porch.
The exterior of this house didn’t need an extensive overhaul (a good thing since Wes really liked the outside). But I knew a few minor changes could make Kate’s dream of a big front porch come true and still keep the overall appearance of the exterior intact. A fresh coat of creamy white paint brightened the look. We changed out the bathroom-like tile in the front entry and installed a new, updated metal pillar in place of the three clunky stone pillars.
To stay true to what the home looked like on the outside, we created a front deck space, complete with a propane fire pit and a sitting area. Now the Walkers can sit in their front yard with guests, and watch their kids and neighbor friends play in the yard. We’re relieved it passed Wes’s stamp of approval!
AFTER: A brighter appearance with a big front deck.
Landscaping & Fire pit | Ground Effects Landscaping
Exterior Siding Paint Color | Benjamin Moore White Dove
Living & Dining
BEFORE: A big space in need of a simple refresh.
These two rooms really didn’t need a huge overhaul; they simply needed to set the stage for the rest of the redesigned house. A coat of paint on the walls and a darker stain on the magnificent ceiling beams added a nice refresh. The larger entryway into the kitchen added more natural light and made the biggest difference in making this room feel more warm, inviting and open.
AFTER: A refreshed introduction to the home.
Furnishings | Howse
Wall Paint Color | Benjamin Moore Simply White
BEFORE: A dark, brown space with plenty of potential.
The Walker’s kitchen really became a focal point of transformation for the rest of the house. Taking out and opening up walls helped give us a sense of the space we were working with and removed the barriers to natural light coming from the front of the house.
When we meet with homeowners before the show, we have them pick out photos of colors and spaces so we don’t stray from styles they like. For the kitchen cabinets, Kate had picked several images with various shades of green, but she was still nervous about committing to the color. I’m so pleased she loved what we picked! That shade was a striking complement to the handmade saltillo tile, the new countertops, and the existing ceiling beams. Each of these features, along with additional touches like the antiqued brass faucets and old pantry doorknob worked together to give the kitchen its Mediterranean style. The best part is that it became the space Kate really loves.
AFTER: A sophisticated kitchen with an olde-world, Mediterranean feel.
Sconces | Shades of Light
Saltillo Tile | Rustico Tile and Stone
Island Stools | Pottery Barn
Appliances | Metro Appliances
Custom Cabinetry | Premier Wood Concepts
Countertop | Pacific Shores Stone
Cabinet Paint Color | Farrow and Ball Green Smoke
BEFORE: A small closet in the homeschool room.
The Walkers wanted a pantry, and we built one that really made a huge difference in how the whole kitchen space functions for the family. Dave built a gorgeous vintage-style door made from a tree in downtown Bentonville and reclaimed glass from a neighbor’s barn. This door served as a unique, see-through entry to the pantry, and made visible a special touch we added to the room.
During the walk-through, I noticed several impressive sketches and drawings in the school room. Turns out, the Walkers’ ten-year-old daughter, Reese is an incredibly talented artist. I knew I wanted to somehow incorporate her art into the renovation. After gathering a few sketches from Kate that Reese had created featuring the perfect balance of white space and hand-sketched herbs and spices, I had those sketches into wallpaper for the pantry.
This was hands-down my favorite touch in this home. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when Kate noticed the wallpaper at the reveal. Nothing tugs at a momma’s heart faster than the complete joy of others celebrating your child’s unique gifts and talents. I think of Kate in this pantry twenty years from now looking at that wallpaper with a full heart and it makes me teary all over again!
Dave added another awesome feature in this pantry. Before the renovation, the Walker kids used the small closet area as a spy room for the Investigators’ Club they have with friends in the neighborhood. We didn’t want to rob them of that, so Dave leveled up the space and made a door that functions as a pantry shelf on one side, and swings open to reveal a tiny, hidden room for them to plot their adventures. There’s going to be a lot of mysteries solved in this clever detective station!
We love that the wallpaper and spy space help the Walker kiddos know that this home is a reflection of their entire family.
AFTER: Plenty of pantry with personal touches.
Peel and Stick Wallpaper | Lolliprops
Cabinet Paint Color | Farrow and Ball Green Smoke
BEFORE: A closed-off room used for homeschooling.
The Walkers needed more desk and cabinet space in this room where the children have homeschool. They wanted the shared wall with the kitchen removed to open up this space, but also have the option to close it off.
I really wanted this room to feel timeless and to grow with the Walker kids in all their seasons and stages of learning. Dave built a custom feature wall with chalkboards and desks to serve as one complete unit where each child has their individual space. We added more of Reese’s artwork here to create a personalized gallery wall. Pocket doors allow for the entry to be open during the school day, and closed when not in use.
AFTER: A timeless, functional room that fosters creativity.
Sconces | Shades of Light
Schooldesk Wall Paint Color | Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
Main Bedroom & Bathroom
BEFORE: An extra, unused garage.
This blank slate was a fun challenge! Kate and Wes didn’t need this extra garage, and they wanted to hand over their existing room so their two boys could share a larger space. We made grand plans to carve out a bedroom, a bathroom with a shower and tub, and a nice walk-in closet.
Bringing in the terra cotta floor from the kitchen continued the Mediterranean theme and made this bedroom feel like a spa. We kept the width of the existing window and enlarged it for plenty of gorgeous natural light. A corner sitting area across from the bed, and a heavy, cast-iron tub in the new bathroom transformed this room into a luxurious suite. This part of the renovation became Wes’s favorite.
AFTER: A spa-like bedroom retreat.
Cast Iron Tub | Signature Hardware
Sconces | Hudson Valley Lighting
Vanity Paint Color | Farrow and Ball Pigeon
Built-in Reading Nook Paint Color | Farrow and Ball Pigeon
We are so happy that Kate and Wes can see their family growing up in this home. We set out to help them fulfill dreams they had when they purchased the property by customizing it to their family. We believe it’s now definitively The Walker Home!