You know her: the queen of home makeovers who can take a house that seems beyond all hope, and transform it into a beautiful space that anyone would be proud to call home. Along with her husband, Chip, Joanna Gaines’ design adventures on the HGTV show Fixer Upper have captivated, entertained, and inspired countless homeowners to look at their home with renewed pride.
Joanna has achieved great success not only because she has an amazing intuition for what turns a space into a room, but because of the way she approaches interior design. With an emphasis on the subtle, but endearing, Joanna is able to craft a room that invites you in without feeling overwhelming.
Her design sense is on full display in her Magnolia Home Collection, and you can use these same techniques to enrich your home, no matter your size or budget.
Joanna Gaines Design Philosophy
Joanna’s design philosophy is based on the idea that there are timeless choices that will remain beautiful and relevant, no matter how many years pass. She seeks to make what was old new again, seamlessly incorporating rustic themes in a modern way. To get an idea of how Joanna makes this work, take a look at the rug designs from her Magnolia home décor.
Rugs featured in Magnolia lines are all inherently different, but unified by some common themes that allow them to fit a wide variety of homes. You can see that the colors are soft, warm, and subtle. When we think about home, we should feel welcome, safe and comforted. By intentionally using subdued shades of color, these rugs are inviting without overwhelming the senses.
When you enter a room in your home, you want to feel relaxed; the soft tones don’t envelop you, but instead are easy on the eyes, gently washing over you. Bright colors and tones demand your attention, filling you with a sense of urgency, almost like a call to action. At the end of the day, you want a sense of relaxation, and these softer shades go a long way towards setting you at ease.
Also notice the patterns: they’re simple, but unique. Patterns are key in establishing a sense of order and synchronization; patterns create a sense of the familiar that sets us at ease, as opposed to chaotic, which makes us anxious or unsure. When you look at these patterns, they’re natural, handwoven shapes with smooth curves interlaid with perfect angles, almost as if they were drawn by hand onto the rug. They’re also rustic and exotic, which helps to give them a sense of history, inviting us to imagine the people who designed them and the time in which they lived, which helps connect us with our own memories of home and family.
What endears people to Magnolia’s decorating ideas is how they create a sense of warmth and comfort, while at the same time, applying vintage themes with a contemporary philosophy. These unified themes of comfort and timelessness form the basis of Joanna’s design method, and by using them as the pillars of your own design, you can create a home that makes you feel amazing as soon as you step through the door.
Single Collection Vs. Mixed Collection Décor – Which is Best for You?
One decision you’ll need to make before you begin shopping is whether you’ll stay with one collection or mix and match as needed. As we discussed with Joanna’s Magnolia home décor, the recurring elements of subtle colors and rustic patterns create a feeling of warmth and comfort. Sticking with a single collection will often ensure that your pieces compliment one another, and are unified under a common theme that reflects your own tastes.
However, if you restrict yourself to one collection, you run the risk of limiting your options. Though you may love the cushions a collection offers, the drapes just don’t appeal to you at all. Certain collections can also be expensive, and if you’ve got to have that perfect rug, you may not be able to afford the other pieces of the collection. If you want to ensure unity in your pieces, and have an ample budget, stick with a single collection.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, choosing from different collections opens up a realm of possibilities that a single collection may not offer. If you want to consider mixing from collections, you’ve got to have your theme already clearly established. If not, you run the risk of grabbing pieces that look wonderful individually, but when tied together, clash and result in a loss of harmony. Consider shopping from multiple collections only if you’re sure of your theme, have a good sense of design, or need more variety in pieces or price.
Four Tips for Finding Your Style (and the Perfect Décor!) for Your Space
Before you can even begin to decide if you want to stay within a single collection, or explore different options, you need to determine your style and preferences.
If you’re not sure of what your style is, or know what you want, but not how to articulate it, that’s okay! Use the following suggestions to help you determine your style and design your perfect home.
Consider a Room’s Purpose
The way you use your space will play a big role in determining how you want to design it. For example: your living room is a place where you and your family can relax together in your PJs, but also where you can entertain guests after dinner. Your living room needs to be both relaxing and casual, but also well organized so that people can move about freely. The purpose of your room can help you determine how much space you want to keep open, and what pieces to use.
Determine Your Theme
Your theme is the overall impression you want to create when a person walks into a room. It can be relaxed, exciting, casual, formal or any variety of ideas. A good example to use is a game room: playing foosball with friends, or watching your team score a touchdown, creates a sense of excitement, and you should consider bright or team colors, coupled with game memorabilia and furniture, that enhance that excitement.
Set a Budget that Works For You
Budgeting for home design can be tricky. On the one hand, you can’t spend money that you don’t have just because you want to, but on the other, you’re not being realistic if you think you can transform a home with just a few hundred dollars. When you are ready to buy, think long term and how buying a quality piece will save you money in the end and outperform a discount store purchase.
Additionally, think about where you want most of your money to go. If you can just find better furniture, without repainting or using a cheaper brand in your color, do so.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Not everyone is naturally great at home design, and even if you’ve had some experience, you may not feel comfortable tackling an entire project by yourself. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Whether you need to consult an interior designer to determine what colors work best for your theme, or a professional carpenter to help expand your living room, if you need help, get it. You can always just ask a friend as well!