Before and After: HGTV’s “Farmhouse Fixer” Gives a 1700s

After having their first child, California residents Megan and Jeff realized that they wanted to be closer to their family and began looking for property in New Hampshire. Following an intense online search, they purchased a 1798 Pelham, New Hampshire farmhouse sight unseen. The young couple called on farmhouse expert Jonathan Knight to help them bring the home into the 21st century (while maintaining some of its historic charm) in the season 2 premiere of “Farmhouse Fixer.”

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While most of the house needed some work, the bulk of Jonathan’s renovations took place in the kitchen. The space began as a wood and brick-filled room. The darkness of the old wood floors matched the kitchen cabinets and ceiling. The space was cramped by the peninsula-shaped countertop and the inclusion of a washer and dryer. The entire flow of the space was thrown off by the brick pillar chimney that was built in the center of the room. Megan’s main hope was for an island countertop, rather than a peninsula, and Jeff requested that they remove the chimney to help open up the room.

With the help of designer Kristina Crestin and the rest of his team, Jonathan gave the room a neutral, modern makeover. After removing the peninsula and bringing in a massive kitchen island, the team added white walls, white trim, white countertops, and taupe cabinets. They also painted the ceiling white, but kept the dark wood beams. Jonathan re-finished the wood floors, which gave them a lighter and cleaner look (rather than the original orange hue) that was more complimentary to the brightness of the room.

“I love that you kept the beams,” Jeff said, upon seeing the final product. “It ties into the rich history of the home and the character.”

The team removed the brick chimney, which wasn’t structural, and the space immediately opened up. They also brought in a wooden dining table, curtains, and two accent chairs to help flesh out the room. In an effort to help give the room some pop without introducing major colors, Kristina picked out black counter chairs and black fixtures. She said that she categorized the color as a neutral that was still able to add contrast to true neutrals. “It feels appropriate to the house, but it can also feel kind of modern,” she explained. 

The highlight of the kitchen was the new pantry that Jonathan and his team built. The white and light wood pantry was created in an effort to discreetly house the washer and dryer, but it also became a beacon of extra storage. In addition to subtle shelving, Kristina added eight reclaimed pickle boxes for easy, classic storage (and as a tribute to the home’s origins). 

“All this old farmhouse needed was a family who wanted to take a chance,” Jonathan said, “And now, that leap of faith is paying off.”

“Farmhouse Fixer” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV.

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