Home improvement icons, Chip and Joanna Gaines may be known for sprucing up other people’s homes on their hit HGTV series, Fixer Upper, but they also gave their own home a mega-makeover. Take a look at their 100-year-old, 1,700-square-foot farmhouse that sits atop 40 acres of land. With such a proven knack for design, how does the couple’s own home really look inside?
A mere month after they got married in 2003, HGTV star couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines began flipping houses together. Joanna told HGTV, “Once I caught on to the concept of buying something that is undervalued to then put value into it and sell it for a profit, I was hooked.”
Ever so fitting, the first home they purchased as newlyweds was a fixer upper. And although Joanna cried when they moved in – calling the house “dumpy” because of its bad smell – she said, “Most of what I learned creatively stemmed from this little fixer upper.” After learning how to properly fix a place up, it’s no wonder their new home is a complete dream. But what’s it like on the inside?
In 2012, Chip and Joanna Gaines purchased a Waco, Texas farmhouse dating back to 1895. And what started out as a two-bedroom house without a finished attic took roughly a year and a half to be fixed into what it is now.
The house is the tenth home that the couple have lived in! – but it fulfilled their lifelong dream of living on a farm. Though it was far too small to accommodate their family of six at the time of its purchase, Joanna wrote on her blog that it was the oak trees that made them fall in love with the place. So what would they do to make it the perfect home?
Chip and Joanna Gaines already had a decade of experience flipping houses before they shot a pilot for HGTV’s Fixer Upper. And after the pilot aired in 2014, it amassed over a million viewers, making it clear that the couple had a knack for turning previously uninhabited spaces into breathtaking homes.
They used this knack to reconfigure their own farmhouse. All that was actually added on to the home was a master bedroom, but they used the home’s existing molding and trim, doors, and flooring to preserve the old and timeless feeling of the original house but transform it into something magnificent at the same time. The end result has been nothing less than incredible.
The color scheme the Gaines chose for their home were hues of neutral tones and whites. The reasoning behind this? The couple hoped these colors would help create a calming environment for “when life gets full,” Joanna noted in her blog.
With such visibly drastic changes to the house, it’s no wonder the house took about a year and a half to complete – despite only having added on one room and preserving as many original fixtures as they could. Joanna noted that it was an outside commitments – like other business ventures – that slowed down the farmhouse’s renovation.
One of Joanna Gaines’ favorite rooms in her 100-year-old farmhouse is the kitchen. She said, “It’s the heart of the home for me. 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.”
It’s only fitting that her favorite room would be the kitchen, as she also has a cookbook called Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering and a bakery and restaurant, Magnolia Table. In fact, the bakery and restaurant are so popular that the wait is said to be around three hours. But what else does the crafty couple have in their home?
Father of five, Chip Gaines claims his favorite room in the 1895 Texas farmhouse is the boys’ bedroom, which is comprised of four bunk beds that were custom-made, a sign that reads “adventure,” and a basketball hoop. It seems the “adventure” sign is pretty suitable, as Joanna claims her children “love being outside.”
She adds, “they love farm animals and they are sure to always keep things interesting around here.” And although the boy’s room is Chip’s favorite room, we can assume his wife was the mastermind behind the design, as he jokes that his design style is “whatever Jo likes.”
Chip and Joanna Gaines’ 1,7000-square-foot Victorian-esque home rests atop a 40-acre farm. Thus, their home not only houses their family of seven, but also roughly 60 farm animals! Though farm-living has always been a dream of theirs, caring for the animals has proven to be a lot of work.
In the same fashion of any good farmer, Chip wakes up before sunrise to care for the cows, chickens, goats, pigs, horses, dogs, etc. that live on his property. In his book, Capital Gaines, he wrote, “Getting up at four in the morning to tend the farm while the world is quiet — feeding animals, mucking stalls, gathering eggs, filling water troughs, checking fences, letting animals out into the field — is a high point to my day.”
Although it was through the small screen that America first met and got to know Chip and Joanna Gaines, television doesn’t play a big role in their household. Ironically enough, the TV stars don’t even have one in their home.
Joanna told HGTV, “We didn’t buy a TV when we first got married, and we have yet to buy one.” It seems the couple doesn’t have plans to buy one either, as Joanna told Southern Living’s Jenna Bush Hager that they try to limit their children’s screen time. She said, “Our rule for the iPad is that the kids can use it a certain amount of time every other day. It’s contingent on them doing their chores and homework.”
Though their popularity stemmed from Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna Gaines have also had success in other business ventures. For example, in 2003, Joanna opened up home design store, Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas. But it wasn’t long before Chip joined in to help.
Nicknamed the “Little Shop on Bosque,” it originally sold housewares and decor. And although the business was thriving following its opening, the couple closed it three years later to focus on their family and on building a construction company. Its closing wasn’t final, however, and in 2014, they reopened Magnolia Market’s doors. The shop was so successful that in 2015, they expanded and relocated to the Silos.
Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Market would prove to be a lot more than just a place to buy discounted home goodies. As Joanna herself admits, it was where her design career really began. The designer wrote about the significance of Magnolia Market on her website.
She said, “I developed and sharpened my design style and skills, grew as a business owner, and gained much-needed confidence in Magnolia Market and myself.” You go, girl! It’s incredible to think Joanna was able to pull this off without any prior design experience. In fact, the television personality’s educational background wasn’t even in anything design-related.
Joanna Gaines graduated from Baylor University in 2001 with a degree in communications. Following her graduation, she left her home and university in Waco, Texas to travel across the country and intern at CBS’ 48 Hours in New York City.
The television and radio experience she gained there while working with Dan Rather helped her get comfortable in front of the camera when it came time to film for Fixer Upper. Not only that, but she also had prior practice filming TV commercials for her father’s auto repair business in Waco, Texas. As for her path to design – that came about after she was inspired by NYC’s “off-the-beaten-path boutiques” that “felt like home.”
New Mexico-born Chip Gaines grew up with aspirations of becoming a professional baseball player until he didn’t make his college team at Baylor University (that’s right, he and Joanna went to the same school but didn’t meet until after they both graduated) and gave up on his dream.
At Baylor, he studied marketing in the university’s Hankamer School of Business. This helped fuel his entrepreneurial spirit, as evidenced by the many small businesses he opened. To name a few: he started a laundry service, fireworks stand, and a number of landscaping companies. From washing and folding to landscaping, it seems Chip could do it all. But where did the couple get their start?
Though it’s not easy to imagine Chip and Joanna Gaines as anything but successful, that was the case when they first started flipping properties together after they walked down the aisle in 2003. In fact, the couple claim to have been broke.
Joanna explained their predicament in an interview with People, saying, “The only money we had was what was in Chip’s pocket.” That was how the couple paid for both their groceries and their bills. They also received some backlash from Joanna’s family about their unconventional lifestyle of flipping homes. Chip said, “Her dad spent the first two years of our marriage asking me if I was going to get a job…I was like, I have a job and I like it.” And that wasn’t all.
Fixer Upper was not the Gaines couple’s first rodeo in the business of home renovation – nor was renovating the first home they purchased together. In fact, Chip got his start flipping investment properties way before then. He began flipping properties back in college!
Speaking to Glamour of this experience with his wife, he said, “When she started watching me do what I did… she got kind of curious and interested. I love what I do from a construction standpoint, but in regards to interior design and colors, forget it. I would lean on her – what color do we do this wall? How can we do this floor plan?” … And we suppose the rest is history. But that’s not the couple’s got working for them.
As legend has it, it isn’t easy for couples to work alongside one another. But as fans of Fixer Upper can so clearly see through the TV screen, Chip and Joanna Gaines seem to do it so effortlessly. What, then, is their secret?
In an interview with the TODAY show, Joanna said of working together, “It was one of those things where God knew we had to work well together just because of the nature of our business.” She added, “I think that we both understood each other’s strengths” and how “to stay in our lanes.” Chip chimed in, saying, “Early on, I realized if I didn’t work with her, I would definitely implode; my business would probably go down in some sort of a ball of flame.”
Fixer Upper may have made made Chip and Joanna Gaines famous – and helped them acquire an estimated $18 million net worth according to Business Insider – but this has not been the couple’s only income stream over the years.
Along with Magnolia Market, the couple also have their own magazine, Magnolia Journal, which is a lifestyle magazine meant to provide fresh new inspiration for people’s lives and homes. It is released through quarterly subscriptions and as Joanna says, it is meant “for you to be inspired, confident and empowered to try something new.” And like the go-getters they are, this isn’t the only side hustle the pair have apart from Magnolia Market and their famous television show.
Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia empire is comprised of a number of business ventures: from a market, magazine, furniture line and Target line, to a restaurant and cookbook, the power couple really seem to do it all. While their furniture line, Magnolia Home is curated all by Joanna and spans paint selection, rugs, and wall coverings, their Target line – Hearth & Hand with Magnolia – offers office supplies stamped with their signature farmhouse design.
So what’s all this “Magnolia” business about anyway? Chip told his kids in a Fixer Upper episode, “You know what’s interesting about a magnolia tree? One of mama and I’s first dates, I climbed up a magnolia tree and I pulled her off a magnolia bloom and I gave it to her.” Someone pass the tissues!
Despite being a sleepy little Texas town, Chip and Joanna Gaines both wanted to plant their roots in Waco, Texas, according to an interview with the TODAY show. And as it turned out, they did more than just settle down there; they turned the town into a tourist mecca.
As stated by the New York Times, “The number of tourists to Waco has tripled in the four years since Fixer Upper first aired, with some 1.7 million people visiting in the first seven months of 2018 alone.” With travelers coming in from all around the globe, local businesses have flourished and the impact on Waco’s economy has been coined “The Fixer Upper Effect.” Everybody wants a piece of the Gaines’ style, as demonstrated in their own beautiful home.
Surprise, surprise: reality television shows aren’t actually all that based on reality after all – and HGTV’s famous Fixer Upper isn’t any different. Rumor has it that homeowners have already purchased their home prior to the moment cameras begin rolling.
But that’s not all. Participants of the show have claimed that producers get them to film multiple takes of shots from different angles. That, and the participants aren’t able to keep all the decorations and furniture that’s staged in their home following the big reveal. Unfortunately, that’s all put straight into a moving truck the second the cameras stop rolling. Did that contribute to the show’s ultimate cancellation?
After five incredible seasons of home beautifying, Fixer Upper came to an end in 2018. And while fans across America mourned the end of the series, Chip and Joanna claimed it was the right decision for them to make – though it wasn’t an easy one.
In their blog, the couple wrote, “Our family has grown up alongside yours, and we have felt you rooting us on from the other side of the screen. How bittersweet to say goodbye to the very thing that introduced us all in the first place.” They added, “This is just us recognizing that we need to catch our breath for a moment. Our plan is to take this time to shore up and strengthen the spots that are weak, rest the places that are tired and give lots of love and attention to both our family and our businesses.” We can definitely understand why they’d want to spend more time in their beautiful home. But the handy couple’s adventures didn’t end with the show’s cancellation.
After reaching such great success, it is easy to wonder how Chip and Joanna Gaines have used the money they have amassed. Admirably, the couple have donated to a number of charities like St. Jude and the Tim Tebow Foundation. But that is not all.
They’ve also set up their own charity, the Magnolia Foundation. According to its website, the Magnolia Foundation aims to “restore lives and restore communities” through focusing on four key areas: family housing, community restoration, youth development, and orphan care. Its help transcends the borders of Waco, Texas and reaches all corners of the world. Seriously, what doesn’t this couple do?
Though it seems Chip and Joanna Gaines already do it all, they’ve got even more in store for the future. That’s right, this dynamic duo are set to open their very own coffee shop that is inspired by libraries in 2019.
Located in their beloved Waco, Texas, the coffee shop will sport an old-fashioned, industrial design vibe and offer a full-service coffee bar, along with teas and freshly-baked pastries. And while its name, Magnolia Press isn’t too much of a surprise considering the couple’s growing Magnolia empire, what is surprising is that the shop is connected to an empty space which Joanna says will be “something really fun.” We can’t wait to find out what it’ll be!
Though America fell in love with Chip and Joanna Gaines thanks to their HGTV series, Fixer Upper, the couples’ love story began long before then. In fact, it was not flipping houses that brought the two together, but instead an auto repair shop owned by Joanna’s father.
In an interview with Pop Sugar, Chip admitted that it was love at first sight for him. He said, “Her dad made the mistake of putting a pic of the family behind the counter at his [automotive] shop. I knew I’d marry her one day just by the picture on the wall.” Apparently, he was right!
After seeing Joanna in a photo at her father’s auto shop, Chip visiting frequently in hopes of getting to meet her in person. Recalling this time in his life, he said, “My buddies used to always joke that no one could get their brakes done as often as I got my brakes done.”
Thankfully, the fateful day finally arrived and Chip met his future wife in the waiting area of the office. Joanna told Pop Sugar that the two “hit it off immediately” but while it was love at first sight for Chip, Joanna admitted it took him some time to win her over.
Soon after meeting for the first time, Chip and Joanna Gaines started dating. And just as Chip knew Joanna would be his wife after seeing a photo of her in her father’s auto shop, the couple wed in May of 2003. They have since introduced a lot of mini-Gaines into the world.
In late June, 2018, Joanna gave birth to Crew Gaines, bringing them to a total of five kiddos! Despite their big family, the couple haven’t ruled out the possibility of having more. Joanna told People, “I joke with my friends that I’m going to be that 45-year-old who’s pregnant.” Their start in flipping houses was just as big of a decision.
Sources: Magnolia, YouTube, Insider