‘Fixer Upper’: 3 Easiest Joanna Gaines Design Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank

Joanna Gaines taught the design world a thing or two about home décor.

She certainly wasn’t the first interior designer to experiment with a modern farmhouse aesthetic on the hit HGTV series Fixer Upper. But her technique of combining country-inspired accessories with minimalist furniture and industrial accents created a true design sensation.

Fixer Upper fans are eager to copy Gaines’ methods in their own homes. However, most are not working with $50,000 budgets like the clients she features on Fixer Upper. Here are some of the cheapest, easiest ways to create a Fixer Upper look just like the one on the show.

Rip out upper cabinets like Joanna Gaines does on ‘Fixer Upper’


There’s a bit of good news for any Fixer Upper fans who want to renovate their kitchens. Because Gaines rarely uses upper cabinets in her designs, it’s possible to spend less on new cabinetry while still achieving that coveted farmhouse look.

Instead, most episodes of Fixer Upper show Gaines utilizing open shelving in place of upper cabinets. This creates a more open, spacious feel plus forces homeowners to keep their dishes nice and organized. It’s a win-win situation.

Add some live plants to make a home renovation feel alive

RELATED: Why Joanna Gaines Doesn’t Film ‘Fixer Upper’ At Her House as Much Anymore

Gaines has many talents beyond interior design including cooking and gardening. The 42-year-old mother of 5 even picked an organic flower farm to be featured on her lineup of programming on Magnolia Network. The show is called Finding Floret.

So it’s no surprise that one of her most common, cheap tricks for design includes greenery. Gaines incorporates living plants into her final staging efforts and always groups the potted beauties in twos or threes. This is a simple way to make a room feel upscale and special for a very small price.

Joanna Gaines uses what she already has to accessorize

Joanna Gaines attends Build Studios book event
Joanna Gaines | Rob Kim/Getty Images

It can be tempting to run out and buy everything brand new during a renovation. But Fixer Upper episodes prove that old treasures can find new life with a little bit of imagination.

Gaines is notorious for utilizing unexpected items for storage, like old crates for shelving or hanging up old ladders for coat racks. She often saves treasures from antique stores or flea markets for future projects and sifts through them while planning her final design.

Not only is this approach less wasteful, it’s also cheaper.

‘Fixer Upper’ doesn’t follow any formal design rules

One reason fans love Gaines’ look so much is it looks different compared to more traditional design plans. The Fixer Upper host notoriously didn’t go to design school and has no formal training. Her background allows her to take risks and pick what looks best without sticking to a formula.

Fixer Upper showed HGTV viewers that it’s ok to mix styles, like traditional with farmhouse, and modern with industrial. There’s simply no hard and fast rule when it comes to creating an HGTV-worthy home.

Gaines is expanding her repertoire even more on the reboot of her hit series, which is called Fixer Upper: Welcome Home. New episodes will be available this summer exclusively on discovery+.