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How ‘Fixer Upper’ Inspired the Latest Renovation on ’50K Three Ways’

Many “Fixer Upper” fans may recall how the hit HGTV show inspired the shiplap trend—which may explain why Tiffany Brooks adds this design flourish to her latest renovation on “50K Three Ways.”

In the episode “House of Dreams,” Brooks works with Chris and Lauren, a couple who have been waiting to update their Chicago house since their 12-year-old was in diapers. They have $50,000 to put toward their renovation, but they aren’t sure where they want to spend the money.

Brooks gives them three great options: a kitchen renovation, a master suite upgrade, or an improved basement and entryway. Find out which project they pick—and how this homage to “Fixer Upper” fits in—which might inspire some upgrades around your own abode, too.

It pays to splurge on a kitchen counter

kitchen counter
This countertop costs a little extra, but it’s worth it.


While Chris and Lauren are on a budget, they don’t want to skimp when it comes to choosing the right materials. After all, they have two busy kids and they want this kitchen to last. So while Brooks plans for a cost-effective kitchen counter, Chris and Lauren are drawn to a more expensive quartzite slab.

“With the quartzite, you get the function of being so strong, but this is crazy expensive,” Brooks warns. “This will easily out the door be about $9,500.”

Still, Lauren and Chris decide to spend double their counter budget to get the slab they love. It’s a hefty price tag, but with quartzite’s durability, this counter will last a long time (even with two kids).

Gold cabinet pulls add glamour

cabinet pulls
These gold pulls add extra elegance to the kitchen.


To finish the kitchen, Brooks adds an elegant white backsplash with brass bead detailing and gold hardware. These finishes aren’t necessarily more expensive than a black or silver version (the cabinet pulls cost just $362), but the gold color helps brighten up this white kitchen and makes it feel extra special.

“I chose these pulls because a touch of gold in any kitchen adds elegance,” Brooks explains when the kitchen is finished

Rather than replace dated wood flooring, stain it instead

wood flooring
The homeowners never liked this flooring.


Chris and Lauren are excited about their new kitchen, but there’s another project they’re hoping to add to Brooks’ workload: staining the floors.

These two explain that they never loved the flooring, but instead of pulling up perfectly good hardwood, Brooks says she can have the floors stained a more contemporary color.

“By restaining all the floors on the main level, this house is getting an instant update,” Brooks says.

Staining the wood costs a pretty penny, $4,700 for the ground floor, but it’s much less expensive than replacing all the hardwood.

wood flooring
A darker color flooring looks great in this kitchen.


Use shiplap in a surprising place

This staircase was a little dated.


While Lauren and Chris focus most of their money on the kitchen, they ask Brooks if she can also update the dated staircase. Brooks wants to keep her costs low, so she paints the wood railings and, as a last-minute addition, adds some shiplap to the staircase.

“The shiplap just is going to add so much texture and so much visual interest,” Brooks says. “It’s going to make a huge difference without breaking the budget.”

This addition also matches the new shiplap hood vent in the kitchen—and it costs only $2,000.

This staircase looks fresh with the new color and shiplap.


Add a half-wall in a big bathroom

This bathroom is big, but there’s no separation of the spaces.


While this couple chooses to fix up the kitchen and living area, Brooks does a great job when drawing up plans for the master suite upgrade.

While the master bathroom is a good size, it doesn’t have any space separation. The bathtub is right behind the sink, which is right next to the toilet. Brooks realizes that there isn’t quite enough room for a proper water closet, so she proposes putting in a half-wall to separate the toilet from the rest of the bathroom.

This partial wall adds privacy for the toilet.


This half-wall is a perfect compromise: It doesn’t take up too much room in the bathroom, but it creates a little more privacy and separation (while also adding a beautiful wood feature wall). While Chris and Lauren decide to update the kitchen instead, it’s clear this bathroom would have been beautiful!