How to Get the Fixer Upper Look for Less


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How to Get the Fixer Upper Look for Less


If you’re a fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ handiwork, you know they can stretch a dollar. The dynamic duo have transformed dilapidated homes in Waco, Texas with their renovation and design skills. Due to the success of Fixer Upper, the reality show following their realty/contractor/decorating business Magnolia Homes, the reclaimed wood industrial style is all the rage. You don’t have to uproot and move to the Lone Star state and buy your own fixer upper to achieve this look yourself. For a lot less, you can put together the fundamental pieces that speak to the warm-yet-still-chic mood.

Industrial Accents

How to Get the Fixer Upper Look for Less

In an early episode, Chip and Joanna used industrial steel shutters as a headboard, adding a bit of interest to a calm space. Photo:

Chip and Joanna love hitting up salvage yards in search of interesting industrial elements they can incorporate into a home. Looking to do the same? Try hanging up reclaimed ceiling tin tiles on the wall as art. Another fun reclaimed find are pulleys. You can incorporate them into a lighting fixture or use them as unique keyholder.

Rocking Chairs

How to Get the Fixer Upper Look for Less

A home renovation from Season 3 of Fixer Upper. Photo:

Nothing says sit down and take a load off like an antique rocking chair. Joanna would tuck a rocking chair right by the front door or perhaps on a porch, paired with a few planters. Just the sight of this petite children’s version will have you feeling relaxed and right at home.

Church Benches

How to Get the Fixer Upper Look for Less

Using a church pew in the foyer in a Fixer Upper episode in Season 3. Photo:

For some good old Southern charm in your entryway, add a church pew. Not only does it add helpful seating to put on shoes, you can stash little necessities like umbrellas or gloves in baskets under it. It’s a Fixer Upper staple.

Vintage Signage

How to Get the Fixer Upper Look for Less

Old commercial signage adds personality to a home. Photo:

The juxtaposition of vintage commercial signage in a modern home is a good one. Old signs are quirky and usually come with a story. They can create a sense of history in an otherwise new space. Sometimes Joanna will pick up individual letters or symbols like an ampersand and group them to spell out a word. If you’re looking to brighten up a space like a small bathroom, use bright gas station numbers to draw the eyes up.

Shutters and Windows

How to Get the Fixer Upper Look for Less

Joanna creates a little vignette with an old window pane. Photo:

When gutting a home Chip looks for items that don’t have to be trashed, saving them to be used in the interiors. Original window frames might make for a drafty home, but inside they’re create for a unique photo display. Shutters like these original ones from a late 1800’s Brooklyn brownstone could be used for a coat rack, shelves, a vanity or even for rolling closet doors. If you don’t have reclaimed shutters, a beautiful chair made with wood shutters captures the same feeling.

Farmhouse Living

How to Get the Fixer Upper Look for Less


The Gaines actually live on a farm with their kids and what sometimes feels like too many animals (no thanks to Chip!). You don’t need an actual farm or even acres of land to get the farmhouse lifestyle. What you do need is one of two items in your kitchen that are big, sturdy and farm-worthy. A good place to start is with a farmhouse style dining table, large enough to fit the whole family and then some. A large kitchen island is also a regular addition in a Gaines renovation, these industrial work tables fit the bill. If you’ve got the room, install a farmhouse sink, extra large and up for random cleaning challenges that come with having your own cattle.

Old Maps

How to Get the Fixer Upper Look for Less

Vintage maps like this one gave a newly gutted home a sense of history. Photo:

For families appearing on Fixer Upper, setting roots plays a big part in finding the right home. To help make the connection with the renovated house, Joanna tends to decorate with vintage maps. Sometimes it’s old maps of the town or sometimes it’s old school maps of the United States, either way it creates history where sometimes there isn’t much. You can also find old maps of where your ancestors came from or something simple like your home states.

Let me know in the comments if you’re a bigger fan of Fixer Upper than I am! How are you copying that coveted Fixer Upper style?


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