AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Episode 01 - The Little House on the Prairie

November 11, 2015

Chip and Joanna were thrilled to work with their favorite local coffee shop owners for this home. The clients’ coffee shop, Common Grounds, is strategically placed on the edge of Baylor University’s campus and is a popular Waco favorite. This hip young couple was excited for their first home together and wanted to preserve the character of their house while incorporating modern updates and design in “The Little House on the Prairie.”

The “Little House on the Prairie” was originally a farmhouse, but over the years the character and charm of the home was lost. Chip and Joanna’s main priority was to recover the beauty and purpose of this old farmhouse. Instead of designing something brand new, they hoped to highlight the design elements hidden within the structure of the home. First, the exterior of the house was updated with all new siding, a fresh coat of paint, cedar beams, and new trim. Joanna designed this modern porch railing and fencing to draw the house out and give it that unique feel the owners were hoping for.

Inside, the clients wanted to open up the living room and kitchen create a nice flow when they entertain their guests. Joanna created a new archway in the kitchen, making the kitchen and dining room more cohesive. The floating shelves in the dining room were designed by Joanna using reclaimed wood and plumbing pipe that she spray painted with a flat black paint. In the kitchen, Chip and Joanna installed all new cabinets and countertops, and Clint from Harp Design Co built the custom island for the couple. The countertops installed were called “Super White” and for the backsplash Joanna used white subway tile with natural gray grout.




Chip uncovered layers of materials on the fireplace and took out both walls to open up the living and dining, leaving only the natural brick fireplace exposed. This fireplace is now the focal point of this house- it’s a piece of history right in the middle of their living room. Joanna updated the built-ins in the living space with shiplap to tie into the shiplap chair rail that went around the entire room.  The chandelier in the living room became the inspiration piece for the whole room. This was one of several eclectic pieces chosen to complement the soft walls and natural wood elements used within the living room. The color used in the living spaces was a warm grey.

In the bathroom, the Gaines tore out the wall to extend the space and installed a wood tile in herringbone pattern. The owner purchased three old windows she wanted the Gaines’ to add to the bedroom and bath. It’s pieces like these that make the space feel original, warm and inviting.

Joanna created a larger closet in the master by closing off the dead space in the kitchen, and she designed sliding doors to add interest to the bedroom. In the end, the house became a blend of the electric style of the new owners and the original charm of the old farmhouse; the perfect new space for the newly married couple.


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  • Cori Romenesko
    10:44 am, September 19, 2017
    Loved the tree branch wall decor on the episode (Little House on the Prairie). Is there a picture of it that you would share so that I can make my own? Thanks!
  • Cheryl Gretok
    2:09 pm, August 15, 2017
    Where can I get the chandelier in Little House on the Prairie?
  • Mary
    3:07 am, August 9, 2017
    I love everything JoAnn does because each house becomes a home with one of a kind theme. I love how she uses antiques or unusual things and turns them into useful , fun and decorative items that adds so much to a very personal look. She remembers the likes of each of her clients and always remember to add that to the design of each house. which turns it into a home. She is so clever , so resourceful, so talented so terrific.
  • David
    11:13 am, August 5, 2017
    Absolute genius. Amazing talent.
  • Donna
    8:34 pm, August 2, 2017
    Love your show such a refreshing change of pace and your creative ideas are amazing.
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