Chili’s Grill & Bar home renovation contest winners eat up new digs

Meet the super fan family that got to "Chilify" their house with the help of HGTV's Brian Patrick Flynn

Instead of waiting until the one-year anniversary of the Chili’s Grill & Bar app and delivery service, the restaurant chain celebrated its digital platform’s half birthday by redecorating the home of a super fan household.

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The Arnett family of Lexington, Kentucky won the $30,000 #ChilisMyHouse home renovation contest out of the 18,000 entrants who wanted a chance to turn their house into a restaurant-inspired residence. As to why the Arnetts stood out from the rest, executives at Chili’s were impressed by the family’s creative entry.

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"We couldn't say no to the family that wrote a Chili's lullaby for their fresh lil' pepper and created a rib mobile," said Ellie Doty, senior vice president and chief marketing officer in an official statement for Chili's on Monday.

"The deep love our Guests have for Chili's is something that can't be explained, because we are truly a part of people's lives. With the Arnetts welcoming their baby boy into the world, schedules and routines have changed, and we're happy Chili's can be a part of their journey in a way that evolves as their family grows." 

- Ellie Doty, Chili’s Grill & Bar Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

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The franchise didn’t take on this task on its own. Chili’s looped in HGTV interior design regular, Brian Patrick Flynn, to bring the “Chilify” project to life. Within a week, Flynn revamped the Arnett's living room, dining room and kitchen in the restaurant’s vibrant image.

The Arnetts got their own custom Chili's welcome mat to go along with their red door and gold door knocker. (Chili’s Grill & Bar)

A few standouts include a red hot door with a gilded chili pepper door knocker and entryway rug that says, “Hi! Welcome to the Arnett's, where neighbors know where to go for some Chili's goodness!”

Inside, the Arnett’s living room features custom artwork and a multicolored cast iron skillet accent wall. The dining room has a Chili’s signature hand-painted wave wall, a branded neon sign and rib-scented candles. The kitchen and breakfast nook received bold blue patterned walls and matching cabinets.

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"This was, by far, the most fun and creatively fulfilling design project I've ever worked. Between all of the bold colors, the graphic patterns, and the super comfy midcentury furniture, I think it's safe to say this would be any interior designer's fantasy assignment," Flynn said about his design.

He added that he made his choices based on what would make the Arnetts smile.

In his own words: "I truly wanted to create a space they would love and enjoy making memories in. since that's what Chili's is all about – spending time with those you love."

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According to #ChilisMyHouse winner, Walter Arnett, Chili’s and Flynn can consider this project a mission accomplished.

"My wife and I had no idea what to expect,” he explained. "I absolutely love Chili's and used to go every couple of weeks before our baby arrived, but now we order Chili's delivery, which has been super clutch!”

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The renovation comes just in time for the holidays, and the Arnetts said they’re excited about hosting Christmas this year “in a space we love so much."