It’s often said that your home is your castle, but let’s face it, the vast majority of us have to make do with—ahem—more humble environs. If you’re Chip and Joanna Gaines, however, dreams of royal residences do come true. As part of their hit renovation series, Fixer Upper, the couple took on their most ambitious project to date: the restoration of an actual century-old castle in Waco, Texas, parapet and all.
It was not easy. The two-story, 4,300-square-foot edifice had been sitting vacant for years and looked like something more befitting a horror flick than King Charles III. The dingy facade was encrusted in lichen; once-grand Tudor-style details were in disrepair; bones were even found in the basement. “This project was the fixer-upper of all fixer-uppers,” Chip affirmed in the series finale this evening.
But Chip and Jo had a soft spot for the castle and had been hankering to buy it for almost two decades. “For nearly 20 years, we imagined what it would be like to breathe new life into this abandoned, century-old castle,” Joanna told us in a statement.
The castle has been something of a boondoggle ever since construction was begun in 1890 by John Tennant, who eventually abandoned the project and sold it off. The house—with its eight original fireplaces, mahogany paneling, and a turret modeled on a German castle along the Rhine—would not be completed until 1915. It cycled through a series of owners (including Waco’s first female pharmacist) but was left for good in the early 1990s. This content is imported from youTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
Chip and Joanna sought to return the building to its former glory but in a way that was suited to a 21st-century family. “During the renovation process, we repeatedly returned to the castle’s roots—studying the German castle that inspired its original design and finding ways to restore those stunning details,” Joanna explained. “While we completely reenvisioned some parts of the castle and gave others new purpose, in the end the goal was to make it a home again—blending past and present, beauty and functionality, sophistication and charm.”
Click below for the full reveal.
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