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Top 5 Design Elements of Fixer Upper Style and How to Get the Look in Your Own House

Top 5 Fixer Upper Design Elements

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year or two, you’ve likely heard of HGTV’s Fixer Upper show and its superstars, Chip and Joanna Gaines.

Personally I’ve never watched the show – GASP! – because we don’t have cable (there’s more than enough to watch on Netflix). But I’ve certainly heard of and read articles about them, their fixer upper style and their faith.

I like to think of Dean and I as kindred spirits with Chip and Joanna. We share a faith and a business plan that is very similar to theirs. Although they’re much further along in the business department than we are. Oh and they’re on TV.

Which we are not.


In one very brief Q&A that I read recently, Joanna shared her top 5 Design Elements of Fixer Upper Style. I thought it would be fun to expand on that a little and add some resources so you can get the look in your own house as well!

Top 5 Design Elements of Fixer Upper Style and How to Get the Look in Your Own House

1. Apron Front Sink

Fixer Upper Style - apron front sink

Apron front sinks. The things of farmhouse kitchen dreams.

White ones, steel ones. They’re all beautiful and seem to be the epitome of fixer-upper kitchen style.

If you aren’t doing an entire kitchen makeover, you can still add an apron front sink. Just buy one of the slide in types that has a lip that covers the edge of you countertops. Then all you have to do is cut the countertops and modify the lower cabinet a little. Which is easier than a whole new countertop!

You can find apron front sinks at the following places:

2. Shiplap

 Fixer Upper Style - shiplap

Shiplap is the most popular wall treatment right now.

Okay, maybe it’s not. But it sure seems like it.

There are many DIY Shiplap tutorials including these ones by Table and Hearth, Bless’er House and Remodelaholic.

3. Natural Light

Spring Home Made Lovely Dining room

Having a home filled with natural light is something everyone longs for. If your house doesn’t have a lot of it and you’re not willing to do a major reno to get it, I’ve still got a few ideas for you.

Our house is about 40 years old. When we moved in all the windows had dark wood trim. Not the nice wood trim you find in even older homes, mind you. Rather the thin ugly medium dark-toned trim that was the norm in the sixties and seventies.

So I painted it. I went around the house painting all that ugly dark trim a nice crisp white. And any dark wood blinds that were here were also switched out for white ones.

I can’t tell you how much of a difference that made in the brightness of each space.

The change was amazing.

4. Neutral Color with Lots of Texture

Home Made Lovely Dining Room in the Spring 2016

This is something we do well at our house.

Because I’m home all day, working and homeschooling the kids, I find neutral colors to be very relaxing versus large amounts of color.

But to make up for any lack of visual interest I tend to use lots of different textures – jute rugs, wool and faux fur blankets, linen and canvas throw pillow covers, wood flooring, rattan and metal chairs, etc.

To get this look in your own house simply start with a neutral base with the biggest pieces – the couch, rugs and tables. Then build on it with textured pillows, curtains and throws in various fabrics and shades of white, cream and taupe.

5. Wood Floors

Neutral living room cream couch board and batten

This is one of those “if your house has them (or you’re willing to add them)” big bang for your buck fixer upper design elements.

Your floors are one of the biggest visual spaces in your house. And wood floors are absolutely a necessity in modern farmhouse, fixer upper style.

Don’t worry you can totally cheat like we did and install laminate too!

So that’s it. Joanna’s Top 5 Design Elements of Fixer Upper Style and How to Get the Look in Your Own House.

Do you have any of these five elements? Is your house a fixer upper in progress still?

I'd love it if you'd share:

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I found my style and was able to bring our small space together by creating a cozy and inviting home...

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Your explanation of paint colors was the light bulb moment for me! Your explanation would have saved us from painting...

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