Joanna Gaines’ Best Advice for Designing a Relaxing Master Bedroom Retreat

Unless you live near Waco, Texas, you’re unlikely to get a renovation request fulfilled by Chip and Joanna Gaines. But that doesn’t mean you can’t emulate Joanna’s signature farmhouse chic style where it matters most — like in your master bedroom.

Bedroom renovations may be less popular than kitchens and bathrooms because they are usually less labor intensive. However, the easier nature of renovating the place you lounge, sleep, and relax is precisely why you should undertake this weekend project.

It’s a lot less expensive to completely transform your master bedroom into a tranquil paradise. Even amateur renovators can make a huge impact in a short amount of time, provided they follow Joanna Gaines’ simple rules for creating a restful, relaxing master retreat.

1. Start with a neutral canvas

Bright bedroom Fixer Upper

Joanna appreciates a light and airy color palette. | HGTV

Gray and white aren’t the only paint colors that Joanna Gaines uses on walls, but they are the most common options. That’s because these shades make an ideal backdrop for just about any decorative elements you add later, and the lighter the walls, the more open and spacious the room will feel.

But don’t just pick up a can of stark white paint from the shelf. Even white paint can have undertones of gray or yellow, which makes the hue appear more visually appealing and provides a good contrast against bright white trim.

Not sure what color paint to buy? Check out Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Home paint line for colors you know she’d approve of for your master suite.

Next: Never buy this one item.

2. Skip buying a headboard

Fixer Upper bedroom headboard

Think beyond the basic headboard. | HGTV

Joanna Gaines doesn’t always use a pre-fabricated headboard in the master suite. Instead, she’ll often take found items and mount them on the wall, creating a one-of-a-kind bedroom.

In one episode of the hit show Fixer Upper, Joanna takes an old door she found at an antique fair, removes the door knobs and hardware, and turns it on its side to create a unique king-sized headboard for her clients.

Instead of spending hundreds or even thousands on a bedroom set, think beyond the ordinary and try to repurpose something you already own to create a headboard. Or build one from lumber and paint it any color you want. You’ll save money, and your room won’t look like everyone else’s.

Next: Don’t skip this crucial room element.

3. Incorporate natural elements

Fixer Upper bedroom with rug

Try beautiful flowers on your bedside table. | HGTV

Just try to find an episode of Fixer Upper where Joanna Gaines doesn’t add some variety of live plant — it’s not possible!

Plants can — and should — go beyond just your kitchen window sill. Try incorporating small, easy-to-care-for succulents or flowers on your bedside table or dresser, or even include larger potted plants in the corner of your room. They look good and can even make you feel happier. Especially when they’re the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning.

Next: This is how you make any room look bigger.

4. Focus on natural light

Fixer Upper white wallsFixer Upper white walls

Natural light will make everything feel more spacious. | HGTV

No matter how big your room is, maximizing the amount of sunlight coming in will make everything feel more spacious. Achieve this by avoiding heavy drapery and adding floor lamps or table lamps in any dark corners.

Joanna Gaines usually sticks with white curtains on the windows or skips them entirely and never blocks the light coming in. Another great tip for maximizing the light is hanging a mirror directly opposite your windows to reflect the light and make the room appear larger and brighter.

Next: Joanna picks this item before anything else gets decided.

5. Create a focal point

Shiplap in a home on HGTV's 'Fixer Upper'

Shiplap walls are her signature. | HGTV

Whether you copy Joanna Gaines’ penchant for adding a faux fireplace or you install an entire wall of shiplap, it’s important to create just one focal point in your master bedroom to add depth without causing visual chaos. All of your subsequent design decisions should center around this main focus of the room.

Next: Here’s how to tackle the floor.

6. Go natural for the flooring

Magnolia Market farmhouse bedroom

She incorporated flooring that matches the rest of the house. | Magnolia Market

Joanna Gaines incorporated existing wood flooring into the master bedroom addition in her own farmhouse to match the entire look of the house. For clients, she often uses natural material rugs such as wool or jute.

Remember, your master bedroom is usually the first place you’ll step with your bare feet in the morning. Choose luxurious flooring that fits with the overall design scheme, but keep it comfortable, too.

Next: Joanna reveals the one thing you should never do.

7. Choose decorative items that mean something

Pick items that have personal meaning. | HGTV

Joanna Gaines can’t stand when people decorate a room quickly just to get it done rather than taking their time to build up the room with items that have real meaning.

“Let your house tell your family’s story. Don’t rush to decorate just to have it decorated. Take your time and collect pieces that mean something to you and your family,” she tells People.

Go ahead and leave a few bare shelves for weeks or months following your master bedroom renovation and wait to “finish” the room. You may be surprised by the things you find to fill those spaces if you give yourself the chance to discover just the right accessories.

Read more: Chip and Joanna Gaines Want You to Stop Making These Bad Design Mistakes

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