How many of you have said to yourself “I want Joanna Gaines to makeover my house!“? I know I have…….on numerous occasions. To be honest she could go buy a house for me and make it over, sight unseen, do anything she wanted and I would fall in love with it, guaranteed. Can someone make a show like that? Can you tell I love her style? I actually just love her and Chip, could they get any cuter? Joanna has incredible style both in fashion and especially when it comes to interior design, I think everything she does has a timeless look about it and she has a love of old stuff that I completely get. Until I can actually move to Waco, Texas and buy a home for them to makeover for me I thought I would put together a list of things that both you and I could do to get her look in our homes. So this is your guide on how to fake the “Fixer Upper” Look.
1. Use Wood
Seems like an obvious one but Joanna likes to add wood to all the homes she renovates, I have noticed the first thing she almost always says when showing a couple a house is something along the lines of “we would replace this flooring with hardwood“. Hardwood Floors form the basis of her design and I would consider them a signature element of her style. She also incorporates a lot of wood furniture. I personally love having warm wood tones in my home and my dream home has dark wood floors throughout. Our current home has “fake” wood floors so we have to fake it for now, but one day I will have them again.
2. Use Architectural Elements as Art
This is by far my favourite part of her makeovers, I love seeing what unexpected things she will hang on walls……doors, windows, a part of a windmill, ironwork….everything looks like it has been made to hang in that exact spot. It makes me want to buy a bunch of doors and hang them effortless from my walls, but somehow I don’t think the effect would be quite the same.
3. Add “Quotables” to your Home
If you have to figured it out already I love typography and one of the things that I am drawn to when it comes to the homes on “Fixer Upper” is that Joanna adds personal meaning to the homes with a quote or saying or even the use of simple typography. I believe it is the personal touches that make a home and adding words to your decor that mean something to you are the ultimate personal touch.
4. Paint your walls Neutral Colours
Joanna uses a neutral colour palette throughout all the homes she works on, the walls are kept to pale greys and creams allowing for a simple base colour to build her design style from. Besides my first home, which I would call an experiment in paint colours, all the walls in my homes have been neutral, it makes everything so simple to decorate around.
4. Upcycle, Upcycle, Upcycle
I think Joanna is the Queen of Upcycling, she is seen reusing a lot of discarded items from the home during the renovation and repurposing them as furniture or decor items. If she doesn’t find something in the home itself she sources second-hand materials to make one-of-a-kind items for her clients. I love items like this as they are then unique to you and makes it more special.
5. Use Vintage Furniture as Statement Pieces
Joanna regularly uses large vintage (or vintage inspired) furniture when decorating homes, they make a statement and really give each room a focal point. For me any furniture that has a history is such a great item to bring a room together, my living room sideboard is the oldest piece of furniture I own and I love the look and feel it brings to my home, it really says something about my style. When having large statement pieces like this you don’t then need to clutter your home with too much other “stuff”, let them speak for themselves. These are the pieces I think you should spend money on, they are timeless and will stand the test of time that cheap mass produced furniture will not.
6. Use Colour Sparingly
You won’t see a lot of colour in these homes, usually it is incorporated through throw pillows, bedspreads, tiles or the occasional piece of furniture but as mentioned before she keeps to a neutral colour palette. Even though I am a big fan of colour I think the reason I am drawn to Joanna’s design style is that she actually uses colour so sparingly, therefore when it is used it really pops. I am going to try to tone down the use of colour in my home so that the colours I use are not fighting against each other for attention.
7. Incorporate Metals
There is a slight industrial feel to the way Joanna decorates, she uses a lot of metals whether it is through lighting, vintage industrial decor, furniture or metal shelving. You will find that a lot of the items she sells in her shop are made from metal or wood, these two materials form a huge basis to her design style. I especially like all the metal storage and decor items she uses to style the homes, they still keep to the neutral colour scheme but add texture and character to the rooms.
8. Style using Greenery
Joanna’s finishing touches always incorporate greenery of some sort, whether it is vases of flowers, an indoor herb garden or wreaths, her homes are full of life. All but one picture in this post has greenery in it somewhere. I know that a lot of you are like me when it comes to keeping plants alive and while it is great to have real plants you can also incorporate fake plants as well. You will notice that she mainly sticks to “green” plants rather than colourful flowers. Green is considered a neutral in this case and works great in any room.
9. Don’t let what you have limit what you can do.
I think the greatest thing I have learnt from Joanna and Chip cannot be shown in a picture. What is probably the most important thing they teach each and every one of their clients is that you can make any house your dream home you just need to use your imagination, a little grunt work and a some style to make it into a place you would love to call home. How many times on the show do you see a buyer say they love any of the homes when they first see them? NONE! Every time they are completely shocked that Chip & Joanna are showing them these fixer uppers, but they show them what it could be and they start to see that what they thought was a lost cause could just as easily be their dream come true. So maybe we can all take something away from that, maybe we just need to look at our homes as “potential” dream homes and do what we can afford to make that a reality. I know I am trying to do that with what I have.
If you have not guessed already this is by far my favourite show. Even my husband loves it and actually begs me to watch it. I think this says a lot about how good the show is and how much fun it is to watch this incredibly talented couple do what they do best. They are yet to do up a house that I don’t love and would be happy to move into tomorrow. I love that Joanna’s style incorporates so may different influences from farmhouse, industrial, french, vintage etc. people would say it is eclectic but I think it is a style of its own and has that ability to adapt to a particular client while still being distinctly Joanna. Hopefully, I have given you some useful advice on what I think you could do to achieve this timeless style in your home. If not at least there were pretty pictures to look at, I know I never tire of getting a peek into these homes.
If you loved this post you may also like to read my other post in this series: How to Fake the Industrial Look.
I would love to know how many of you love the show too…..what has been your favourite home they have done?