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AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Taking a Risk

April 9, 2014

For nearly ten years before I got married, I worked in an office for my dad’s company. I learned all about management and business and I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world. I remember I would sit and draw up business ideas and plans and dream about starting something but the one thing that was missing was risk. I wanted to play everything safe and not take any chances that could lead to failure. Then I met Chip. The riskiest son-of-a-gun you will ever know, he encouraged me to take my dreams from a notepad to reality. In the first month we were married, we purchased a small building and I decided to turn it into a retail store. I was honestly terrified because I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to sell but I saw the potential in the building and knew it could be cute. I toyed around with the idea of a flower shop, a bakery, or a home store. The only problem with all of those is I had no experience with any them. This was going to require risk.

We settled on the idea of a home store and this is where Magnolia got its start. Chip and I would stay up late at night and get the shop ready. The more and more I would be in there, the more I felt inspired to create an atmosphere of a quaint cozy shop. It’s important to note that it didn’t come natural, it came with practice and a lot of trial and error (I have pictures to prove it). The biggest inspiration for me was when customers walked in the store and their eyes lit up. I knew they were getting ideas for their own home. I met so many clients who would come in to the shop and say they didn’t know what to do in their own home and they needed help. This is when I started developing a passion for helping people within their homes. To me, the home is where life is lived and love is shared so by default it should be a priority to create an environment that is intentional and well thought out.


If you struggle with decorating your own space the first thing to change is your thought processes. Design and decorating did not come natural to me, I honestly never cared about it until I was forced to when I opened my store. Stop saying you can’t and start trying. I want to share a few things to help you develop your own style for your home. We all have different styles and inspirations and the key is knowing what works for you and those you share your home with.

You must first take a risk. This could be in a purchase, a paint color, or by moving your furniture around. You may flop a few times but failure only make you wiser and better in the end.

Be unapologetic. If you love it and it speaks to you, then don’t apologize or try and explain yourself to every person that walks in your home. Be confident because it is your space and no one else’s.

Research. Use sources like pinterest and magazines to really try to pinpoint styles you like and dislike. It is okay to use these as a guide but branch out and add your own twists and character to your rooms.

Personalize your space.. Frame pictures in a fun collage. Or if you have a motto, or a favorite number or letter, or saying, use it on the walls and the shelf.

Use color that speaks to you. Find tones that make you feel comfortable, don’t always go with the latest trends.

Blend. Blend some old things with new. You want your space to feel comfortable and inviting so make sure to incorporate pieces and items that have a story. You can find this stuff at antique stores and flea markets.

Be content. Try and not compare your space to someone else’s, instead make the best of what you have been given. Your house will never be perfect, and you don’t want that because people won’t be able to relax.

Function. Remember it’s not all about pretty, there has got to be function and purpose to the space so  be aware of that while designing the space.

Be confident! You can do this because it is your space. Stop feeling crippled and start getting inspired to make your home a place where you and your loved ones thrive

Take a risk today and do something outside the box. Just evaluate your house one room at a time and have fun with it! Once you are done, don’t over evaluate it but instead start enjoying your home.



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  • Sandy Troutt
    1:36 pm, October 5, 2014
    Tippin Joanna I absolutely love your show! I love your decorating style it just speaks to my soul! So gorgeous!
  • Christine Peters
    6:05 am, August 12, 2014
    I truly love your show...I have them all taped...and I watch them over and over...I am so excited to see what the new season will bring! You have a wonderful talent...thanks for sharing with us❤️
  • Sylvia Fuentez
    9:27 pm, June 6, 2014
    I love the show! It encompasses and embraces vision, design, family and most of love, all the ingredients for a home. I called your store about CC BANKTRUPTCY after I saw all the neat shelves selling for 15.00 each. Your show helped me envision a 2 tiered coffee table with tree trunks as the base ! Thanks for turning on the lightbulb of creativity for me...... !
  • Susan Kocian
    8:37 am, May 28, 2014
    First of all, I love, love, love your show! We have a house in West that was damaged by the blast. It belonged to my husband's grandparents and will be 100 years old next year. The only thing that saved it from being a total teardown was the ship lap construction. Because of the sentimental value of the house, we were fortunate to be able to preserve the structure, but had to repair and remodel the entire interior of the house. I wanted to keep the remodel consistent with the age of the house. Through the years, the walls had been covered with Sheetrock. The blast literally blew the Sheetrock off the walls, as well as the windows and doors. I never thought about leaving some of the ship lab exposed. I wish that I had known about Magnolia Homes before we started the repairs!
  • Bambi Leo
    7:36 pm, May 21, 2014
    After I saw your first show, I admit, I was hooked! Your design sensibilities and your interaction with family are very special. Good luck with the show and all your future endeavors.
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