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AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Design tips from The Ivy House

December 5, 2017

Rustic Coastal design tips from Joanna Gaines

Rustic Coastal design tips from Joanna Gaines

Thank you for watching episode 3 of Fixer Upper with us! It’s hard to choose a favorite room of the Ivy House house, so I’m technically choosing two. I’m giving design tips from the living room and the dining room. These two actually feel like one cohesive room, just with two sides, and I love how open and airy they feel together. Read the “why” behind a few of my favorite design tips from these spaces below!


If you’re looking for a way to open up your floor plan without knocking down walls, adding in an arched cased opening creates a larger entrance between two rooms, while still keeping them defined as separate spaces. This room had a large enough wall to add two arched cased openings, and it gave a dramatic effect that makes the two spaces feel like one.


A fun way to add some unique flair to your fireplace while keeping in mind practicality is incorporating a way to hold firewood. For an easy take on this, simply add in an interesting piece to hold your firewood, like a larger basket or cool bucket. But, if you’re looking for a more in-depth or permanent facelift for your fireplace, try built-in cubbies like these or think outside the box and get creative!


You’ll see a few different iterations of this parquet-style flooring inlays throughout season 5. Each one has a different design purpose and for this home, I was looking for a way to define these two spaces apart from one another. This rug-shaped inlay is a visually interesting way to draw a distinction between the two rooms, while still keeping them feeling unified. Not only is it unexpected but it also removes the need for a rug, which is always a plus underneath a dining room table.


If you’re looking to incorporate fresh greenery into a centerpiece, your local nursery will typically have a bigger selection than a flower shop. For this house, I wanted greenery that was more tropical, which is hard to find in Waco, so I picked up a potted Caladium plant and just trimmed off a couple of stems to drop in vases on the table. Using what you have growing in your garden or front yard is also an easy option that you don’t even have to leave the house for.


It’s all about encompassing a blend of natural textures like linen, raw wood and woven design elements. To finish off the looks, use simple clear vases and fresh greenery to bring life to your home.


Check back next Monday with a more in-depth look at the design details and before and after pictures from the Ivy House house!


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  • Paula Taylor
    3:07 am, December 16, 2017
    I inherited my mom's house, it's smaller than what I am used to. No closet space, small kitchen that I wish could look more modern with a chic yet home type of feeling and I hate carpet hardwood is the way to go and I wish I could open my bedroom up my son's room as well. There's a patio that could be so useful in creating space. Please help!!!
  • Diane
    1:25 am, December 16, 2017
    Where can I buy the display cabinet in the dining room?????
  • Marie
    6:28 pm, December 14, 2017
    I live in Georgia and just bought a fixer upper on 5 acres. I really wish we had someone like you and Chip in our area. If you have any recommendations please, please pass it along. I am turning 60 this year, not a creative person at all and am really a little scared about what is to come. Need a lot of guidance!!! Thanks.
  • Rose brink
    5:45 pm, December 14, 2017
    I am looking for the furniture you used in the ivy house living fo and dining. I found some in you collection at Jordan furniture. Please list where I can purchase. I live in the Bahamas but if you can let me know the states the furniture is available in. Thanks
  • Debbie Redmond
    2:02 pm, December 13, 2017
    Will you tell us what paint and trim colors you used in each room?
    • indhira
      7:19 am, December 16, 2017
      I would also love to know the color of the wall painting
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