‘Fixer Upper’ Star Chip Gaines Shares His Best Small-Space Renovation Tips
For the last five years we’ve followed along with Chip and Joanna Gaines as they renovated under-appreciated homes on their HGTV hit Fixer Upper. And even though the duo broke some hearts when they ended the show’s five-year run earlier this month, their new series, Fixer Upper: Behind the Design, premieres tonight to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at Joanna Gaines’ process. And of course, the Gaineses are keeping the construction biz that started it all, Magnolia Homes, in full swing. But you don’t have to live in Waco to bring that Magnolia magic to your own place. Chip Gaines is spilling his top tips to remodeling the home of your dreams. Spoiler alert: His advice will leave you inspired. Scroll down to hear more from the remodel pro, (new) restaurant owner, and soon-to-be father of five.
1. Embrace your small space. Having a small apartment or house is actually an advantage, Gaines says. You can make big impacts without dropping big bucks. One of the couple’s earliest projects was retiling their 800-square-foot then-home. “We had this teeny, tiny bedroom, so going to the tile store, Jo and I went kinda crazy. We would buy the nicest tile we could afford,” he says. When you don’t have to purchase much, “you can get a lot more bang for your buck.”
2. Get some distance. Gaines emphasizes the importance of not settling for cookie cutter when it comes to tackling a project. To brainstorming unique ideas, he says, hit the road. Visiting a place outside of your suburb or city is a surefire way to come back with all-new inspirations. “Creative and unique neighborhoods are the most inspiring,” he says.
3. Be yourself, not your Pinboard. On that same note, Gaines advises anyone looking to do a remodel to find their own style, and not just copy the trends they see on social media. “We all aspire to be like someone else, or to replicate something we’ve seen,” he says. But use the rooms and trends you love — shiplap, anyone? — as a starting point, not an ending place: “I encourage people to let [other visions] be an inspiration, but don’t let it box you in.”
4. Play with paint. If you’re renting, Gaines has two words for you: Use. Paint. “It’s a fun way to experiment,” he says. And nothing beats it as a way to test out colors and find a style you love without a pricy commitment. “Paint is a great way to make a huge impact,” says the spokesperson for KILZ paint, which boasts the 150-color Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines paint collection.
5. Just do it. Don’t get stuck in the dreaming phase. “Planning and preparing are the most important part of the process, [but] at some point, you have to take that first step,” Gaines says. And while having a timeline is critical, be ready to be flexible. Build in time to “adjust for mistakes you make along the way,” he says. And for the record, that’s advice he has to take himself. “We’re experts, and our projects are 80 percent set in stone, but we respect the modification that occurs in our universe,” he shares.
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(Photos via KILZ)