Out of all the rooms that Chip and Joanna Gaines renovate in the typical Fixer Upper home, the biggest transformation always seems to happen in the kitchen. There, Joanna jettisons shabby cabinets. She gets rid of outdated appliances. And most importantly, she redesigns cramped layouts and expertly turns the kitchen into the heart of the home. So it comes as no surprise that at the Gaines family farmhouse, Joanna has a gorgeous kitchen.
Recently, Joanna revealed her favorite thing about her gorgeous farmhouse kitchen. Read on to get the inside scoop on the HGTV star’s beautiful home — and to learn how you can apply Joanna’s best design tips to your kitchen, too.
The kitchen is Joanna’s favorite room in the farmhouse
As Architectural Digest reports, Joanna has told fans that her favorite room in the 1,700 square foot Victorian-era farmhouse is the kitchen. “No matter how much is going on, I don’t feel overwhelmed, because the palette is very clean and fresh. I love the farmhouse sink, and I love looking out the window at the animals and cows while I work.”
As the publication notes, Chip and Joanna purchased the 1895 farmhouse in 2012. They have since made numerous updates and upgrades to the house, which you could say is their most beautiful fixer upper of all. It began as a simple two-bedroom home, but now features a grand front porch, an open layout throughout the ground floor, and numerous examples of Joanna’s farmhouse chic style.
Joanna’s favorite thing in the kitchen is her antique island
In many Fixer Upper kitchens, a statement-making island is the star of the show. So it comes as no surprise that Joanna recently identified the antique island as her favorite piece in the whole kitchen, according to Southern Living. She said that she found the islands at an antique store in Waco. But as Today reports, she didn’t buy it right away. “I probably stalked that thing for two years,” she explained.
The piece is actually a Romanesque cabinet with a quatrefoil relief. And according to Houzz, it originally came from a church, where it held a basin for holy water. The Gaineses added a concrete countertop, painted the wood with Sherwin-Williams’ Alabaster White, and turned it into a kitchen island.
‘Fixer Upper’ fans can buy an island that looks just like Joanna’s
If you love Joanna’s antique island as much as she does, you’re in luck! You can purchase your own from Joanna’s Magnolia Home line. As she explained in an Instagram post about the Magnolia Home launch, some of the items featured in the collection “were inspired by antique finds in our farmhouse.”
Though Joanna’s island came from an antique store, Fixer Upper fans can get the same style without having to scour flea markets and antique shops.
Joanna has plenty of houseplants around
Anybody who’s ever watched an episode of Fixer Upper knows that Joanna Gaines loves houseplants. So no HGTV fan will feel surprised to learn that Joanna calls herself a devoted “plant lady.” She has plenty of beautiful greenery around the farmhouse, including many plants that live in her kitchen.
Plus, if you check out her Instagram, you’ll also see the occasional post about some houseplant maintenance. Some of those fast-growing vines need regular “haircuts” to keep them from getting too long or leggy! Plus, the kitchen sink — especially a farmhouse sink like Joanna’s — offers the perfect place to water anything you’ve planted in terra cotta pots.
She loves open shelving
Another Fixer Upper staple you’ll see at Chip and Joanna’s beautiful farmhouse? Open shelving. Many people like stowing everything in cabinets, but Joanna often goes for open shelving instead. Not only does open shelving give you a little bit of extra incentive to keep everything neat, but it also lets you put your favorite pieces on display.
Plants, cookbooks, cake stands, vintage bottles, and anything you’d find at the antique store always look beautiful on open shelves like Joanna’s. We also can’t help but point out the gorgeous vintage (and vintage-inspired) signs that Joanna uses at home and in many Fixer Upper houses. They’re easy to find at antique stores and flea markets, but add a unique touch to your kitchen decor.
She loves concrete countertops
Though many people looking to buy or renovate a house want granite or marble countertops, Joanna favors concrete. She says she loves the “timeless, industrial feel” of concrete. And with four kids in the house, she probably doesn’t mind how well concrete countertops hold up to wear and tear.
Joanna’s gorgeous concrete countertops have taken centerstage in several Instagram shots of the kitchen, including one showing Emmie’s growing bean sprouts in the spring!
Joanna aims for the right combination of ‘pretty and practical’
Practical design tip: I used to have decorative cups and bowls on this rack that I never used. I love baking and it was always a pain taking these large glass containers in and out of the pantry. I finally moved them out front and center. I like the function and simplicity! Make your spaces work for you- you CAN have both pretty and practical!
Everybody wants a gorgeous kitchen. But if you do a lot of baking or cooking, you still need everything to be easy to use and navigate. In an Instagram post, Joanna explains that instead of displaying decorative cups and bowls and leaving her flour and sugar in the pantry, she opted to put the baking essentials on display in her kitchen. They’re right where she needs them, but the pretty glass containers make them look beautiful on the shelf, too.
You can do the same thing by thinking about which items you use most in the kitchen. Then, find a way to keep them handy, right where you need them. Pretty containers can go a long way toward making your most-used ingredients display-worthy. Or, you can opt for open shelving to keep your favorite cookware within easy reach.
She loves chalkboards
Another pretty but practical design choice you’ll see in Joanna’s kitchen? The chalkboard! It’s hung low enough on the wall that everybody can reach it, even the youngest Gaines children. And it’s big enough to keep track of whatever’s on your to-do list, whether that’s the groceries you need to pick up, or which chores still need doing.
Of course, you should keep in mind that placement is everything with a functional item like a chalkboard. Hang it over the sofa or above another piece of furniture that blocks access to it, and it quickly goes from practical to impractical.