I know I’m not alone in being sucked into hours of Fixer Upper marathons on HGTV. What is it about Joanna Gaines and her signature modern farmhouse decorating style that has us all dreaming of shiplap walls, distressed furniture and subway tiles? I have a few thoughts on the topic (imagine that?)! Here goes…
Joanna creates livable spaces. Nothing is too perfect or extravagant. We can picture ourselves actually living there. We imagine Sunday afternoon naps on the sofa and entertaining friends without fear of spilling a glass of wine! Our homes should be “our soft place to land” at the end of a long day. I’d imagine that when homeowners walk into their home, after Joanna has waved her magic wand, they exhale. They enter their sanctuary. Their “quiet” in the crazy, loud world we live in. Don’t we all want that? So, how do we achieve a bit of this popular farmhouse style in our own homes?
Incorporate colors like white, gray, black, muted teal, neutrals and navy. To avoid having a palette that feels washed-out or cold, you must add texture. Rich wood tones, furry throw blankets, baskets, galvanized bins, wrought iron and sisal rugs, just to name a few. Pair these with simple greens in a mason jar, open shelving, inspirational wall art and a chandelier, and you just might qualify as Joanna’s next design assistant!
Design your home with intention. Use items that are meaningful to you. Don’t get bogged down by design “rules”, because there really is no such thing (check out my blog post “Rules Smules” to see how I feel about design rules). When purchasing furnishings, make sure they are not only pretty, but cozy, comfortable and functional.
Think about how you are going to use the space. You ARE going to live there after all. I’ve had clients tell me that they want their home to look like “a model home.” I then remind them that, nobody ACTUALLY lives in that model home. Try not to rush. We all tend to, “Just want it done” and then wonder why our space doesn’t feel like “us.”
Add to your home one truly loved piece at a time. Let go of the pursuit of perfection. It doesn’t exist. On Fixer Upper Joanna does this very well and I believe it’s why so many of us are drawn to the homes she designs. Your home should tell your story. In my kitchen, I have a shadow box which displays recipe cards that were hand-written by family members along with family photos of big holiday meals enjoyed together.
Hanging in my living room is my late father’s baseball cap. One he often wore as he worked as a general contractor. It’s old, faded and still smells of the remnants of sawdust. The point here is, look at the everyday items you already own with a fresh set of eyes. You may find there is beauty hiding in places you never thought of.
Fill your home with meaning. Surround yourself with the story of your life, your family, your home. It’s a story worth telling. It’s yours.