In case you didn’t know, pretty much the whole world has a crush on Chip and Joanna Gaines, the husband-and-wife team of HGTV’s Fixer Upper.
As a proud member of the fan club, I’m just going to go ahead and say what we are all thinking: No, it’s not weird to have a crush on this inspiring couple and yes, we all feel the same way. Phew, glad I got that off of my chest!
But seriously, this is a couple who has a lot going for them at the moment—a cover on the latest issue of Country Living, a new book coming out (!), a high-rated TV show, a thriving home goods store, a loving family, and more goats than you can count. Most importantly for us, however, this is a couple who knows how to make a house a home, thanks to their masterful eye for design and redecorating. And while we may not have the same budget and resources as a reality TV crew, we can still use their expert advice when fixing up our own homes, from the kitchen to the bathroom and beyond. Here are some of Chip and Joanna’s most inspirational home improvement projects to help you get started on your own home.
And hopefully, we will have as much fun as Chip while doing it. Minus eating any bugs, of course. (Yes, he really did that.)
Craft a country kitchen
A country kitchen really never goes out of style, and it can work in many different types of homes. To get this charming look in your own home, focus on some of the timeless essentials of a country kitchen. Keep the look bright, with white cabinets and counters—or even muted shades of calming yellow, green, or blue. Focus on adding rustic elements, like the wicker and hand-hewn wooden chairs, or other natural materials with a stamp of handmade craftsmanship. Add touches of whimsy, like the delicately patterned wallpaper Joanna used (above), or even some barn door hardware for authentic architectural detail.
You can DIY this look for less in your own kitchen by adding tumbled tile or beadboard as a backsplash, painting your existing cabinets (white is always a great choice for brightening up your space), and adding a repurposed farmhouse kitchen sink—check your local home recycling stores for vintage sinks on a budget.
Lastly, don’t forget to keep plenty of open space and ample seating for hungry farmhands!
Think outside of the box for bedrooms
I bought this old amazing cathedral window a while back bc I just loved the detail. On the day I was decorating the Whyte house the master bed did not make it and I didn't have time to go out and purchase another bed. This old window fit this queen bed just perfect! It's always the best when you have to get creative in a crunch… It's rewarding when it's better than what was planned!
One of Joanna’s specialties is repurposing vintage pieces into decor that us mere mortals may have never even considered, like using this cathedral window as a makeshift headboard in a bedroom. It’s a stunning piece and it incorporates elements of grandeur by drawing the eye upward.
To create the look in your own home, think outside of the box (or in this case, the box spring) when it comes to your bedroom. Do you have personal pieces, like vintage furniture or art you could display or even upcycle in your bedroom? What about an accent wall to break up the sleeping area? Revamping traditional furniture pieces in a bright paint color is a simple way to add an unexpected and cheery surprise. If you’re on a budget, you may just consider adding a splash of striking wallpaper or even a favorite textile behind your bed to create a similar effect for less. The thing to keep in mind here is to let go of any design “rules” and unleash your creativity!
Choose a color palette for a uniform look
What is it about this cozy and inviting room that makes you want to curl up on the couch in front of the fire with a good book? Look closely and you’ll notice a lot of different elements—stone, various woods, glass, a fluffy textured rug, and even a bit of industrial metal. The key that brings the entire space together is how our power couple tied together all these different elements, by keeping the color scheme similar (in mostly muted browns) which keeps the room feeling modern, yet in a low-key and lived-in way.
To get the look in your own home, play around with different types and stains of wood flooring and natural elements, similar to how the stone hearth and wooden mantel complement one another so beautifully. You can also get inspired by these unique color schemes for living rooms, which focus on tying together one common color for a cohesive mood.
Never underestimate the power of paint
The takeaway here is that when it comes to remodeling your home, especially on a budget, never overlook what can be accomplished with a little old-fashioned elbow grease and a lot of paint. If they can manage to paint an entire brick house, just think about what you can do in your own home to spruce things up.
Get the look for less by creating an accent wall or even revamping outdated vinyl floors with a splash of bold color—or even paint in your own stenciled pattern. Paint can always be changed, so branch out and experiment!
Get creative with children’s spaces
Just like the way mischievous Chip brings out the kid in all of us when we watch, let the areas in your home designed for children bring out your playful side. You may not be as imaginative as Joanna to slice a wooden table in half for two children’s desks, but what about painting a chalkboard wall on their wall as a way to reduce clutter and encourage their constant creativity? If excessive toys are a problem in your home, you might scour your local hardware store for some inexpensive storage using tin pails like these.
Regardless of how adorable this couple is together and as hosts on Fixer Upper, I think we can all agree on the most important aspect of their relationship—they give us some darn entertaining things to look at. Houses, I mean. Of course I meant the houses.