June 20, 2024
Magnolia’s Director of Styling Reveals Waco Home Renovation

Lisa Petrole

Ashley Maddox (left) and Hilary Walker.

A “turnkey home” may be realtor catnip, but true design lovers go for the neither-new-nor-improved originals. When Ashley Maddox moved to Waco, Texas, to work as Magnolia’s director of styling, she set her sights on finding an unrenovated midcentury home for herself, her husband, Austin, and their two boys. “Waco is seeing a lot of growth now, but it’s been a sleepy town, so there are homes sitting there virtually untouched,” she says. She received a tip about one such uncut gem from a friend who noticed a neighbor piling up flooring outside and raced over to investigate. When he told her he was fixing up his home to sell, the pal connected him to Maddox, who begged him to not touch a thing. She did a walk-through with her boss, Joanna Gaines, who agreed it was perfect. “Once Jo said it was good,” Maddox recalls, “it was like, ‘OK, let’s do this.’”

Maddox enlisted the help of interior designer Hilary Walker, her friend and coworker, to transform the outdated layout while preserving its 1950s charm. The pair opened up a wall in the kitchen, replacing it with airy built-in shelving to store what Maddox calls “sit-abouts,” explaining, “We’re not minimalists over here; I like to have pretty things to look at.” Though other walls were removed, original hidden storage stayed, and built-ins off the den serve as a toy cache for the boys on the bottom and display for more tchotchkes up top. Initially, Maddox wanted to carve an office/guest bedroom out of the kitchen. “But it would have been, like, a closet, so I said, ‘We’ll have grandma and grandpa stay at a hotel,’ which works out better for everyone,” she recalls. The now-spacious kitchen has walnut cabinets and a paneled refrigerator in keeping with the midcentury palette, plus dark stone counters that pair well with the glossy terrazzo tile floors. “The kitchen feels like a gentleman’s crisp suit to me—it’s the perfect base for the rest of the home,” Walker says.

We aren’t into beige living—there’s no beige world here!

Throughout, bold hues run rampant: rust in the bedroom, green in the boys’ room, and blue in the bathroom. Furniture from Round Top and Facebook Marketplace was reupholstered using automotive fabric. “It’s our weirdest budget hack—it looks like great nubby tweeds from midcentury offices, but it’s so inexpensive,” Walker says. Nothing in the home is too precious or too bland. After all, “Who has time for safe design choices?” Walker asks. “We want to have fun.”

Living Room

Pictured above.

The home’s 1957 architecture shines throughout its central spaces. Sofa: vintage Nicoletti Salotti. Chaise and chairs: vintage. Large painting: Janet Little. Pendant: Etsy. Side table: Good Vintage.

Family Den

family den

Lisa Petrole

Avocado green walls are in keeping with the midcentury spirit and create a chill mood for movie nights.

family den

Lisa Petrole

Sofa and coffee table: Magnolia. Rug: Loloi. Paint: Savannah Shade, Benjamin Moore. Side tables and chair: vintage. Pillows: Etsy.



Lisa Petrole

Rich walnut cabinetry sets the tone for a classic kitchen. Walnut paneling conceals the fridge. Barstools: CB2. Range: Zline. Faucet: Brizo.

kitchen island

Lisa Petrole

Pendants: Amazon. Sconces: Lulu and Georgia. Counters: Topzstone.

Breakfast Nook

breakfast nook

Lisa Petrole

The original kitchen was awkwardly segmented. By removing a wall and cabinets, Walker and Maddox carved out a welcoming corner. Table and pendant: CB2. Banquette: custom. Chairs: vintage.

Dining Room

dining room

Lisa Petrole

A pared-down palette keeps the focus on the cantilevered soffit and clerestory windows. Dining table and chairs: vintage. Pendant: Hay. Credenza: IKEA.

Primary Bedroom


Lisa Petrole

Rich earth shades create an immersive sanctuary with “a touch of drama,” Walker says. Paint: Deep Reddish Brown, Farrow & Ball. Rug: Loloi. Headboard: Anthropologie. Bedding: Target. Pillows: Marion Collection, Etsy.

Children’s Bedroom

kid's bedroom

Lisa Petrole

Painted brick in the boys’ room provides the perfect backdrop for their artwork. Paint: Castleton Mist, Benjamin Moore. Bed: Crate & Kids. Side table and trunk: vintage. Beanbag: Spaces by Hollie Velten.

Children’s Bathroom

children's bathroom

Lisa Petrole

“Because it’s a small space for children, this felt like the right moment to have fun,” Walker says. Paint: Sydney Harbour, Behr. Fixtures: Delta Faucet. Tile: Wayfair. Shower curtain: Quiet Town.

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram and TikTok.