Nov 30, 2015

The Fixer Upper Phenomenon with Joanna Gaines

          Perhaps you've followed Joanna Gaines from the beginning on her hit HGTV show Fixer Upper, or maybe you've found yourself binge watching the last 2 seasons in one week while sitting on the couch with your newborn.. oh wait... that was me! Either way you found her... you just fall in love with Joanna's design style and the on screen antics of her hubby Chip. I personally am constantly amazed at the changes they make in the dilapidated Fixer Uppers and I instantly want to take a sledge hammer to a wall in my own home. Her decorating style is delightfully southern, comfortable, and easily obtainable in almost any price range. It's easy to see that Joanna is the newest powerhouse in the world of decorating and her influence can be seen in all of your favorite home stores. Her trademark rustic style consist of over-sized Vintage Letters, Magnolia Wreaths, Inspirational Quotes as art, Open Concept Floorplans, and last but not least Shiplap!!! Here's a breakdown of how you can easily recreate Joanna's style in your home! 

1. Simple Colors: 

Joanna certainly isn't going to produce a space with lots of bold colors. You'll have to leave that to Jonathan Adler. Instead JoJo uses blushy colors and adores shades of white and gray. So don't be afraid of white: white trim, white walls, white ceilings. Layer shades of white & creams. Add in unexpected elements like metals and reclaimed wood. When she does use color, it's typically pale and provides a soothing feel to the space. Opt for chalk, flat or eggshell finishes.
White Shiplap walls, open concept greatroom, Joanna Gaines Kitchen
Photo Credit: Molly Winn Photography for Country Living 

2. Woods... Reclaimed and Distressed:

Shes known for grabbing that rustic board and with the help of Clint of Harp Design Co, she turns it into a gorgeous farmhouse table. Joanna also loves wall to wall wood floors instead of carpet, giving the space an open continuous flow with fewer transitions in materials. This helps smaller spaces feel larger and is perfect for open concept spaces. Her combination of wood, metal, and painted surfaces stay casual yet very beautiful.   
White tile backsplash, rustic wood hood, Kitchen makeover, Open concept, kitchen shelves
photo credit: HGTV Fixer Upper

3. Metals: 

One of my favorite episodes was where Joanna took on Mid Century Modern. It's a design style every designer secretly wants to tackle at least once in their career... and I'm still waiting on my chance. Joanna still kept true to her southern style and gave us a home to die for! Throughout the home as well as many of her Fixer Uppers, she incorporated metal. There's some shapes that wood just can't create, that's were metal comes in. Whether its in a thin streamline application of a coffee table leg or as an eye catching chandelier, metal is always appropriate. Don't be afraid of mixing metals and woods. The wood will balance it and make it feel more rustic or contemporary, depending on its finish, grain, and texture. To me, the piece will reflect the style, but if your having trouble understanding where to start try these tips: 

  • Chrome, Polished Nickle, Brass, or Brushed Brass- For added glam and opulence
  • Choose black or bronze- for a more rustic feel
  • Choose Brushed Nickle or Stainless Steel for ease to match up with everything
  • Some metals cost more and some are not as easy to find. 
Midcentury modern dining room makeover, retro chandelier, leather dining chairs
Photo Credit: HGTV Fixer Upper
Mid century Modern Great Room, Retro Fireplace, Mod Furniture, Open shelves kitchen
Photo Credit:

4. Unexpected Art 

I love it when Joanna takes the unexpected item and turns it into 3D art! To me it adds such flavor to a room. A real one or a kind element that gets people talking. Now not all of us are going to be able to get away with putting a windmill blade on the wall. So when picking out this item... think about something that might fit your area, your personality, or something you enjoy. My tip: Go big or go home. All too often I see the mistake of too small of are for the wall. That's what makes the windmill so impressive. The scale is substantial enough to fit the console beneath and the wall its against. 

Here on the coast you may opt for: 
  • a collection of vintage boat oars
  • framed vintage swim suits
  • shadow boxes of shells and beachcomber finds
  • heirloom fishing rods, clam rakes & other fishing collections
  • sail cloth and nautical flags
Joanna Gaines picks art. Windmill wall art, farm reclaimed decor, souther style decorating
Photo Credit: HGTV Fixer Upper

5. Re-imagined Elements

Kind of a similar topic as her use of 3 dimensional art. Joanna always thinks outside the box and will come up with a new way to use something like a boat as a bookshelf or galvanized exterior awnings on the inside in place of window coverings.  

Nautical Decorating ideas Boat shelf for books, Joanna Gaines unconventional Art
Photo Credit: HGTV Fixer Upper

Galvanized awning style interior window covering. Window treatment southern style

6. The JoJo Touch 

Joanna has several trademark accessory touches when it comes to staging her homes. She loves to add antique finds and use them in unconventional ways. She adds earthy touches in the form of magnolia wreaths or vases of cotton stems. Shes quick to snatch up vintage metal letters and spell out words on the wall. So when shopping for her look, don't pass up on ... 
  • Galvanized Anything: buckets, signs, lights and more
  • Glass Vases, bottles & Jars: 
  • Cotton Stems, Magnolia Leaves, and  Yellow Almond Sprays
  • Vintage Books: She is gaga over old books
  • Old Windows with lots of character
  • Weathered Candlesticks
  • Trays & Crates in wood or metal
  • School Desk & Church Pews
  • Industrial Lighting

7. Shiplap

Lord... that girl loves Shiplap. It's a bit harder to find here on the Outer Banks but if you are lucky enough to come across it in your renovating- Save it! More commonly we see flat 80's paneling or Tongue and Groove Juniper or Pine paneling. Well Joanna would certainly slap paint on it in a hurry. It quickly brightens a room and changes the look. She loves to see walls covered in wood, beadboard, and/or some sort of siding. If your home or budget can't lend itself to wall-to-wall wood, then try an eye catching accent wall instead. A great place to start might be on a wall with a fireplace or behind the master bed. Or opt for a wallpaper application like I did for my son's nursery. There are all sorts of textured and/or printed wall papers that look like rustic barnwood. Find what fits your style, timeline, and budget. 
Shiplap painted Joanna Gaines trademark decorating element
Photo credit: HGTV Fixer Upper

#Shiplap T-shirts
#shiplap tee's from

8. Hometown Support

I don't know about you, but I had never heard of Waco Texas before Fixer Upper. Joanna Gaines has certainly put her town on the map, and that goes for the mix bag of characters who work with her.  Like Clint- the master craftsman behind many of Joanna's beautiful farmhouse tables, or Jimmy Don who takes sheet metal and JoJo's words of inspiration and creates art. Chip and Joanna have accumulated a group of craftsman and entrepreneurs who help her be as creative as she is. Which brings me to my next tip- support your local economy whenever possible! Perhaps because I grew up on an island and larger corporate store influences aren't as big her on the Outer banks, but this just seems like a no brainier. Who doesn't love hometown pride? It's what can make a purchase special and memorable. So before you run off and buy cookie cutter mass produced items from the closest big box decor shop, stop and look up local artisans who can help you create what you are looking for. I promise you- you will have such a fun time designing what you need and also its great to support folks in your area.  

HGTV Fixer Upper
Joanna Gaines & Clint creating Fixer Upper magic. 

Joanna Gaines & Jimmy Don's Word art on metal
Joanna Gaines & Jimmy Don creating words of inspiration.

9. Open Concept

One of my favorite episodes is the season 2 finally- "The Asian Ranch." Joanna took on a dated ranch and had Chip tearing down walls faster than you can say Demo Day. The end result was a beautiful French Country styled home with a spacious Open Concept that is perfect for entertaining. The idea of open concept floorplans really gets tongues wagging with love or hate discussions. Open concepts are all the rage already on the Outer Banks in the modern reverse floorplan homes, which have wide open sightlines within the great rooms to enjoy coastal views. Even if you don't have a million dollar water view, an open concept may be just what you need. Here's how to tell if an open concept is right for you...
  • Do you love entertaining?
  • Do you wish your small home felt larger?
  • Do you have a large family?
  • Do you wish you could be a part of family instead of chained to the kitchen alone each night? (Can you tell which one strikes me?)
Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images HGTV Fixer Upper
Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images HGTV Fixer Upper

10. Family

On a personal note: Joanna Gaines has really become such an inspirational woman to me this year. Its a rare occurrence to see interior designers/moms. I don't know why, but out of all the woman I have worked with over the past 8 years, none of them have children. So I was beginning to wonder if motherhood and interior design go together.... but boy has Joanna proved that one wrong. So not only has she become an inspiring designer, she also has inspired me to passionately pursue interior design. Sure I often think... I'm exhausted and can't think of one artistic vision... but hey JoJo did it with 4 kids. 

Chip and Joanna put family first! Joanna has mentioned that the farmhouse was completely designed to be family friendly. As we all know... when flipping through magazines, pinning on pinterest, or watching home shows...there is always a difference in homes that are family friendly and homes that are not! With Joanna's designs its hard to determine a difference. They are all beautiful but I especially love that she creates room for children in homes. I know all too well now how kids take over a home. I have dedicated baskets for my son's toys in the living room and plan on adding a cabinet/mini room for him under the staircase. Kids are a part of your life and it's just such a short time, so enjoy it! Come up with creative ways that incorporate your children into your home. Here are some ideas...
  • Have a chalkboard wall
  • Give them a table in the kitchen for crafts or a place to do homework 
  • Give them a kitchen cabinet(perfect for little ones to rummage through)
  • Scan a piece of the kids art and have it printed on pillows or framed
  • Opt for kid friendly fabrics, rugs, and wall paint 

Photo Credit: Hooked on Houses

Check out Chip and Joanna Gaines on HGTV Fixer UpperSeason 3 starts Tuesday December 1st!

Aug 30, 2015

Rustic Shelf for keepsake baby items.

How I turned a garage find into a rustic shelf for my boys nursery. 
Pick the top, bottom, and back. Then add hanging hardware. I also added the little ring screw from a picture hanging hardware pack. I want to hang a few outfits on the underside.
That's it! Instant shelf to hold keepsake outfits and shoes he's outgrown. Now I get to see them a little longer. 

Jul 14, 2015

DIY Kids Teepee

This was such an easy part of my boys room. Using a few maple saplings and canvas painters dropcloth I was able to put this together in a few hours... with a newborn.

Tools & Supplies:
- saw of your choice(miter saw shown)
- drill
- drill bit
- tape measure 
- marker/pen
- sewing pins
- scissors
- sewing machine
- neutral sewing thread
- 5 saplings or post (5'-0" min)
- drop cloth
- a sting of choice(I used garden twine)

First choose your poles:
In keeping with my rustic theme I used maple saplings that my husband brought home. I cut them down to size. I cut all the post to 5 feet for the teepee height.
Then I measures 8  inches down on one end of the post and marked with a dot. This will be where I thread the twine.
Next drill through the mark you made on your poles. Try and stay on center. I used an 11/64 bit, but any size will do so long as it's not too big for the post but big enough for the twine and the toothpick.
Here I taped the twine around one end of the toothpick to use as my needle to pass through the drill hole. I pulled the string tight in the post came together.
The base spacing can vary and this will affect the height of your Teepee. I spaced the base of each post around 30 inches apart from the next post.
I used a 9x12 size because that's the only size my store had. It left me with plenty and some left over for other projects. I liked the pale color of this cloth.
My project moved inside for the evening and I began to drape the canvas. My dropcloth had a seam running down the middle which I opened up about center to allow for the post to come through the top. I laid the existing seams along the post then pulled the fabric tight to the next post and pined all the way down before cutting away the excess. I cut halfway up to make a door and pinned back the edges. Then I trimmed and pinned hem. 
Time to get sewing and then your basically done. 

Jun 28, 2015

Guest room and Art Studio get a makeover

I've been busy in mommy land since the birth of my son 3 months ago, but that hasn't stopped me from fixing up my guest room/art studio into a functional space.
My upstairs bedroom has been a lot of things over the last 5 years. It's obviously a catch all room, holiday decoration storage, art studio, and guest room. I've always had poor organization due to lack of shelves. My desk was left over from when we moved in and was falling apart. 
I had stacked books from college and bins of art supplies everywhere. All of it drove me crazy!!! I hated having to hide my clutter when company came. I hated that I couldn't even enjoy the space to paint in. I felt like the room looked like it should be on the hoarding show "Buried Alive"
So I set aside a bit of a budget to turn this room into an organized space with a new desk, large containers to hold holidays decorations, and bookshelves. I made about $200 in an online yard sale which helped eliminate some clutter and paid for my new desk. 
I ordered my desk but had to wait a bit for it to come in. It was worth the wait, I love this desk. It's L-shaped and can be reversed to a mirrored configuration if you want. I ordered it from my work through a brand called Coaster. Item#800516 It also comes in black and a dark stain. 
Just For Fun:
While I was pregnant I craved Lucky Charms so ahead of time I decided I'd turn the boxes into magazine holders. With just a coat of paint I transformed the  boxes and I'm so pleased.

The Multi-functional Room:
The room has multiple uses now. It functions well with all of my art materials and I feel I can welcome guest without having to clean and hide clutter. I always had the bed under the window before. It took up the only wall that didn't have the attic crawl space doors. So for a change I moved it to the opposite wall in order to make room for the shelves to lineup under the window. I measured my height from floor to window trim and the length. I searched my sources through work but had no such luck. I then found these short inexpensive shelves that fit my height and width requirements perfectly. Later I will find the time to trim the bookcases to look more expensive and built in. 

Mar 20, 2015

My Little Boy's Nursery: Rustic Outdoors

It's March 20th and I'm closing on my 9th day overdue with my first child, a son. I've received word that there are all sorts of weather and solar things happening... so maybe something will happen tonight. In the meantime I'm so excited to finally share my first Nursery Project. I was so excited oddly enough to loose my fab Tiffany Closet and transform it into a classic Rustic Outdoorsy Nursery for my little boy.
Camoflauge, Rustic Wood, Green, Outdoorsy Hunting Nursery, Boys Nursery

  • My Glider: is from Manteo Furniture & Appliance of course. Its by Best home Furnishings Natasha Glider in fabric Natural #21737
  • The Crib: Bertini Pembrooke Crib in Natural Rustic from Babies R'Us
  • Walls: green paint is Valspar (from Ace Hardware) Tea Party VR074D 
  • Closet Walls & Bed: dark green paint is Valspar  (from Ace Hardware)Mountain Moss VR074A
  • Accent Wall: Wall Paper Brewster White Faux Weathered Wood Wallpaper PUR13282
  • The Twin Bed: A Free Find Vintage Jenny Lind
  • The Book Shelf: homemade reclaimed wood and Manila rope shelf
  • The Rug: Surya... sorry it was recently discontinued
 The Lanterns are one of my favorite features. They are functioning LED lanterns which I think may come in handy for late night diaper changes. The Lanterns are under $12 each, and the garden hooks around $6 each.
 This lamp was actually from my grandma and was in my nursery.
I used my Granny's curved front Dresser as a changing table. It was an orange oak finish until I distressed it to match the crib. More on how I did this later. My hubby was sent to fetch me multiple saplings for the nursery projects and found one with a buck scrape. We decided we needed a height marker and thought it would be a perfect way to save the scrape. Instead of marking on the wall we plan on notching it with a knife and marking the date as he grows.
I handmade the rope handles out of Manila Natural Rope and Eye Bolts.
The Antler Bud knobs are resin and were purchased from Etsy. 

Special Thanks to Suppliers:

An extra special thank you to all my friends & family who have showered us with love, support, and the cutest baby essentials I have ever seen. I must thank my parents for helping with the wallpaper installation. To my supportive hubby who put up with my frantic nesting habits. He was also very helpful on so many task. Thank you so much and I love you all!!!

Feb 6, 2015

Shell Art

When you work in a place that has Shellprint fabric everywhere and you're constantly doing coastal Decore, it becomes something you don't want to see all the time. That being said I love the coastal touches of shell art that I used in my bathroom. Let me show you how to display that shell collection you pick up with friends and family on the beach and incorporate it into your space. 

My bathroom features a collection of corbel shelves in various styles. Each corbel has a different collection of items on display.
I liked using shells as well as my collection of vintage basis and shades of aqua.
Some of the vases even held a cluster of shells pouring out of them. Remember to use various heights and textures to create interest.
Still need to find some more corbels but I'm almost there. I added a painting and I just can't decide if I'm going to change the matting and frame or not. 
The natural shells give my bath spa like feel. It's the perfect place to escape after a long day.
I love decorated vanity with a lovely picture and decorative glass.
Surprising addition to my bathroom display was Driftwood which I used as a structural art element to display beside my tub. It's a perfect contrast of twisting weathered wood against the glossy white tub.
my favorite piece has to be the newspaper letter tray that is now my shell shadowbox. I picked it up for me yard sale and promptly fill it with meaningful shells and corks and hot glued them in place.