The Best Home Design Ideas We Learned From Joanna Gaines and Emily Henderson
Home design is not what it used to be. As popular looks start to make everything feel the same, it’s becoming harder to stand out, create the right style for your home, and maximize value — unless you know exactly what your house needs. When you have insider knowledge about the newest looks, best technologies, and DIY approaches, home design truly becomes an incredibly rewarding experience.
To help guide you through the process, Chip and Joanna Gaines joined Brit Morin on the First In Line podcast to share their invaluable wisdom and experience, and designer Emily Henderson also joined the chat to walk you through the new rules of home design.
Lesson #1: Trends will become less and less important as homemakers prioritize cultivating a consistent emotional experience within their homes.
"When someone spends time in your space, you want it to feel like home," Gaines told Morin on the new podcast episode. She continued, "A home is an emotional space, allow it to flow emotionally."
In recent years, Joanna Gaines confessed to steering home design clients away from trends and anything that feels too cookie-cutter. "The trends we are headed toward are more individual. [They're] unique styles that you can't necessarily pinpoint as, 'that's modern, that's eclectic, that's farm.' It's more like, 'it feels right,' and it feels right because it's truly the story of the people designing the space."
Lesson #2: If you want to make your home more unique, swap out light fixtures and add thrifted art to refresh your space.
NYTimes best-selling author and design star Emily Henderson has the cheat code to a fast and affordable home zhush: cull Craiglist, Facebook Marketplace, antique malls, and thrift stores for unique light fixtures and wall art to immediately change your space. "As a mom, practicality comes into design. But with art and lights, you can be more free in those areas."
She adds, "Art is personal and it's hard to find. But if you are thrifting or going to flea markets, it is the fastest way to make your house interesting." She shares that during the pandemic, so many of us started buying our home goods from the same websites and brands, and that's given rise to many of us living in pretty generic-looking homes. She cautions that we also might be making design choices that are too safe.
On the topic of art, Morin had to ask, "Are gallery walls still cool anymore?" To which Henderson replied, "If it's good art, it always works."
Lesson #3: As we emerge from the tough season the pandemic carried with it, home design will become more layered and deeply reflective of a moodier turn inward.
"Any time we have hardship, or any time we are pressed, beauty can rise from that. And creativity. When people get pinched, the beauty that comes from that is really amazing and fascinating," Gaines remarked. She predicts we'll start to see moodier home design choices, particularly with color choice. Think navy, deep greens, dark and moody plaids.
Chip Gaines adds, "The whole world experienced a traumatic reality. We've all felt caged up. So I hope this new season we're entering is a return to nature — something truly unifying."
Like fashion, you have to wear your home design choices confidently. Be sure to check out the rest of the episode for even more pro trips and to find out which design rules are meant to be broken. Below, we've shared helpful timestamps for our episode highlights so you can easily find the topic you want to hear most. Don't forget to rate and subscribe to First In Line wherever you get your podcasts!
(04:16) What’s new with Chip and Joanna and why they got into exteriors
(05:53) How Joanna makes rentals and flip homes feel like a home
(09:11) How anyone can now get involved in flipping homes and rentals
(13:19) Why a home needs to flow emotionally and why style should be consistent
(15:10) The most popular exteriors
(16:37) Why Joanna tries to steer her client away from trends
(17:11) The trends Joanna likes currently
(18:19) Why Chip hopes the new season is one that brings us closer to nature
(20:53) How Chip and Joanna started out with renovation and interior design
(23:34) Ways you can dip your toe into the real estate market and why it’s a great time to get involved
(28:18) How Emily got into interior design
(31:04) Emily’s early experiments with design and natural knack for it
(35:59) When to break the rules of design
(38:05) The new rules of design
(40:02) The most expensive choices to reverse
(41:27) Why Emily is a big fan of everything that’s in style now
(44:22) Why theme rooms are not timeless, and why cookie cutter might not last
(47:02) Thinking outside the box when it comes to wall hangings
(49:30) Why redesigning can be a positive for some, but unnecessary for others
(54:10) Why Emily isn’t big into tech in homes
(56:15) Brit’s techy home and features that help conserve water and energy
(1:04:26) Sustainably renovating on a budget
(1:08:23) The pros and cons of investing in a rental home and things to consider
(1:15:46) Emily’s final tips for getting started
Director of Content at Brit + Co. Tar Heel in Los Angeles.