Small Historic Home Meets Full Potential | Season 5

Written by Jenny Marrs on . Posted in .

Remember Ted and Suzanne Lennard from season three? We had so much fun working on their house, and now we got to work with their daughter Selby on her house just down the street. Selby and her husband Blake have such a sweet love story. They started dating in high school after Blake broke his neck (C2) in a car accident. This experience, in part, inspired Selby to become an occupational therapist and work with people with spinal cord injuries. The McDowells have now been married for more than 5 years, and they have the cutest little baby – Phoebe. 

Blake and Selby bought a historic house with the hopes of renovating it because they love where it’s located. It’s near the town square with lots of restaurants and shopping nearby, but the house had some major issues. It was neglected and sunken to the point of being an eyesore. Plus, the house is tiny – only 776 square feet – which means we were going to need to be very creative in order to make it comfortable for a family of three.

Exterior

BEFORE

Since we were starting off with a tiny historic home in the heart of old traditional Bentonville, we decided to lean into the cottage look – white picket fence and all. First, we had to remove all of the lead paint with an abatement process which took some time. Then, we installed a new roof, replaced the siding, and gave the house a new coat of paint. This classic cream-colored paint looks so pretty and cheerful. The wooden beams and shutters add contrast and keep it looking like a historic home, and the pretty blue front door adds character. For added charm, we installed a brick pathway in a herringbone pattern leading up to the front door and planter boxes in the windows. We also fixed up the front porch area by giving the floor a refresh, adding new lighting and some comfy outdoor furniture. And, to finalize the adorable cottage look: a white, picket fence was added on the property. Now, the front of the house looks so inviting!

AFTER

SOURCES

Flag | Allegiance Flag Supply

Exterior Lights | Kichler

Decking | Aeratis

Roofing Materials | Owens Corner

Roofing Labor | Lakota Roofing & Construction

Exterior Siding | Plygem – White

Doors & Garage Paint Color | Farrow & Ball Pigeon

Picket Fence | Plygem – White

Brick Skirt & Walkway | Plygem – Chester

Landscaping | Ground Effects Landscaping

Living Room

BEFORE

Even though we went with historical charm on the outside, we opted for a modern look inside. One of the McDowell’s biggest requests was to vault the ceiling. Luckily, we were able to do that, and the crisscross beams combined with the new vault look gorgeous and add a unique architectural detail. Another big change was replacing the flooring throughout the house and fixing the uneven areas. The inlay border on the living room floor adds visual interest while the crisp white walls, ceiling and window treatments make everything feel light and airy. I was so glad we found this old chimney so we could leave the original brick exposed. It’s a nice reminder of the home’s historic past. With this new living room, the McDowells now have a cozy gathering space where they can host their family and friends.

AFTER

SOURCES

Furniture | Howse

Living Room Fan | Kichler

Wall Paint Color | Benjamin Moore Simply White

Kitchen

BEFORE

Blake and Selby love to cook and this tiny kitchen desperately needed upgrading and a different layout that could fit a full-size refrigerator and dishwasher. We removed a wall to open up the living room to the kitchen and absorbed some space from the former bedroom to create a new galley kitchen. We also installed gorgeous white oak cabinetry, quartz countertops that are durable but have the beautiful veining of marble, full-sized appliances, a small pendant light above the sink and a handmade tile backsplash. You can also see part of the original brick here, which adds texture to the space. The new kitchen has a modern and organic feel that I love. 

AFTER

SOURCES

Cabinet Knobs | Amazon

Faucet | Gerber

Backsplash Tile | Rainy Bray at Fifth Street Studio

Countertops | MSI Surfaces

Countertop Fabricator | Gunn Granite

Rug | Turkish Trunk

Cabinets | Premiere Wood Concepts

Wall Paint Color | Custom Color matched to the backsplash tile

Laundry & Mudroom

BEFORE

This area used to be a sunroom, but we reconfigured it to create a much more functional laundry room/mudroom. We were able to give the McDowells more storage with a large pantry and additional cabinetry. With the white oak cabinets and the walls the same color as the kitchen, it makes it look like this room is an extension of the kitchen and both spaces compliment one another nicely.

AFTER

SOURCES

Countertops | MSI Surfaces

Cabinets | Premiere Wood Concepts

Wall Paint Color | Custom Color to Match Kitchen Tile

Main Bedroom & Bathroom

BEFORE

This room used to be a lot smaller before we moved some walls around. Before the renovation, Selby and Blake didn’t have a room that could fit a queen bed. Now they can, and Dave made it even more special by adding a dramatic wall behind the headboard. He created a Shou Sugi Ban wall, by taking strips of wood and burning them into a multi-tone effect. Again, white walls, white ceiling and white curtains keep things looking bright and airy. Plus, there’s lots of natural light coming in through the windows.

The bathroom turned out really beautifully. The walk-in shower, white oak cabinetry and window for natural light all make the space feel larger. And, I love the funky black and white pattern if the tile in this space. 

AFTER

SOURCES

Bathroom Sconce | Kichler

Shower Tile | Bedrosians

Shower Floor Tile | Bedrosians

Floor Tile | Bedrosians

Faucet, Sink, Toilet, Shower Head & Valve | Gerber

Cabinets | Premiere Wood Concepts

Bathroom & Bedroom Wall Paint Color | Benjamin Moore Simply White

Back Porch

BEFORE

The McDowells knew the back patio would become their main dining space so they wanted a space that would be extra special. We added a whole new covered porch off the new mudroom, complete with new decking and a wood paneled ceiling. It’s large enough for a dining table and a separate lounging area, and it turned out stunning! The wood paneling on the ceiling, along with the large modern ceiling fan, and the fun detail of the stag horn fern on the wall – it all makes the porch look like one of the modern restaurants you might see in our town square.

AFTER

SOURCES

Outdoor Furniture | Howse

Porch Flooring | Aeratis

Exterior Siding | Plygem

Landscaping | Ground Effects Landscaping