Joanna Gaines Says You Don’t Need a Fixer Upper to Have Old-House Charm
Get Joanna's signature style, no renovation required.
If you’ve ever tuned into an episode of Fixer Upper on HGTV, you know that Chip and Joanna Gaines have mastered modern farmhouse style. The Waco, Texas dream team became household names as they transformed the town’s crumbling historic properties into Pinterest-worthy dream homes.
Joanna understands that a time-consuming renovation won’t work for everyone. If you’re a #shiplap fanatic moving into a new home or even a rental, she has a few tips to help you capture centuries of charm.
1. Don’t assume that a new home won’t have history.
Joanna said that clients often think that the choice to build includes lots of cookie-cutter details. “Tell your own story in the space,” she said. With a little planning, you can trade in builder basics for materials, hardware, and architectural details with personality.
2. It’s more than just shopping for farmhouse tables and vintage suitcases.
Incorporate older elements into the construction, not just the decorating process. Joanna loves to repurpose older windows, walls, and doors to add history. “Right now, we’re working on a brand-new project… that’s going to literally feel 100 years old,” she said.
3. Plan ahead and keep everyone up to speed.
Save time and money by finalizing the salvaged materials (and clueing in your contractor!) early on. Joanna said she often challenges Chip with new elements at the last-minute, but we aren’t all married to our contractors. "Sometimes I say, 'Oops I just found these and you've already framed up this wall!'" she said. "He never gets upset." Lucky lady.
4. Renters can live out their Fixer Upper-dreams too.
“Even though it's not a final home, it can still feel like home,” Joanna said. You may not be able to change the light fixtures or hardware, but you can still decorate with meaningful objects. Repurpose furniture from your childhood home, hang old family photos on the walls, and work meaningful quotes into the decor.