It was announced last month that the fifth season of the popular HGTV show Fixer Upper will be its last. And you could hear hearts breaking across the country. Over the past four years fans have come to love stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, and the glimpse into their life and design process the show gave. Each episode started with the pair showing one couple three potential homes for sale in central Texas, each of which requiring a varying amount of repair or renovation. Once the couple chooses their home, Joanna designs it while Chip is the lead contractor. Through the course of the 61 episodes of the show we’ve learned a lot about design and renovation, so to celebrate the show before its final season airs, we’ve decided to look back at some of our favorite takeaways.
Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover
If you’re looking for a house to renovate, you can’t let its current state turn you off too much. Obviously be wary of major structural issues, but if it’s just dirty, drab carpeting and peeling wallpaper making you question a home’s suitability, don’t let that sway you from giving it a chance. Try to imagine what the space will look like with new flooring and fresh coats of paint. Or even with an entirely new layout if you really want to go all in. As long as the foundation is solid, if you have the budget, anything is possible.
You’re going to run into a lot of frustration when renovating a home. Some days it might feel like nothing’s going right. So it’s good to remember that mistakes happen, even to the pros. Joanna once spent over half of their budget on paint, just to discover the color didn’t look anything like she was expecting. And Chip once knocked down the wrong wall! And while it may have caused some stress at the time it’s things they can look back at and laugh about now.
Don’t Be Afraid to Combine Styles
Renovating a house to live in (not just to flip) is all about making it really your own. So don’t be afraid to mix styles. If some styles have to blend to tell your story there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The Gaines’s somewhat signature style itself is a hybrid of farmhouse and industrial that’s helped lead to the popularity of modern farmhouse.
Use the Unexpected
If you’re spending a lot of money updating a house, sometimes you need to get creative when it comes to the small details. That’s where using things in unexpected ways comes in. Joanna is always upcycling and using unique things for storage like shipping pallets for wine racks, soda crates for pillows, and vintage trolleys for plant display. You don’t need to limit this creativity to storage options though! Always be on the lookout for everyday things that can be used in new ways.
Encase Beams in Natural Wood
Joanna regularly enhances joists with the addition of natural wood casing because it’s a fabulous way to get a rustic but polished look. If you don’t have any exposed beams to do this with you can use the same technique on mantles, pillars, and pergolas for instant rustic charm. Highlighting architectural features like this will add character and charm to any room of the home.
Create A Focal Point
Every room should have a focal point and Joanna has a knack for creating great ones. While some of her choices may be a bit bold for your personal tastes, you can turn anything into the focal point of a room. Graphic wallpaper, backsplashes, built-in shelving around a fireplace, or statement lighting can all easily become the focal point of a space.
Shiplap is Everything
No list involving Chip and Joanna would be complete without the inclusion of shiplap. If the Gaineses have taught us anything it’s that shiplap can work anywhere. From staircases to classrooms there’s no place that can’t be spruced up by a bit of shiplap. While shiplap was already commonly used as exterior siding for residences, barns, sheds, and outbuildings, the Fixer Upper duo lead to the skyrocketing popularity of shiplap being used in interiors as well.
The show will be missed once it’s gone, but fans can still have some Chip and Joanna in their lives by following all their various other projects and collaborations. If nothing else you can have a bit of Joanna’s style in your home by getting one of her rugs, pillows, or throws.