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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  • Robin
    4:51 pm, May 24, 2017
    I am interested in the chandelier in the kitchen and dining room.
  • Amanda
    3:10 pm, May 3, 2017
    Where can you get the chandelier in the living room?? Obsessed!!
  • Ana Maria Sinopoli
    1:16 pm, May 2, 2017
    Omg! I absolutely love how you design. I'm moving into a country home that is empty and needs renovating. LOVE the farmhouse style (going to try to go with modern farmhouse ). Can you suggest a designer in the Oakville, Burlington, Toronto area in Ontario Canada who designs like you. (And budget conscious ). Thank you!
  • Elizabeth Arroyo
    9:14 am, April 7, 2017
    What color was used for the outside of this home?
  • Sharon
    6:42 am, March 27, 2017
    The light over the dining table is fantastic and I love everything you guys did in their small old house charming CHEERS!
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