Joanna Gaines Gives Gallery Walls A Modern Twist & Tips To Achieve The Look

Joanna Gaines Gives Gallery Walls A Modern Twist & Tips To Achieve The Look

Whether you follow Joanna Gaines on social media or have watched her hit show “Fixer Upper,” you can tell she has an exceptional eye for detail. Combine that with her love of styling gallery walls, and it’s no surprise she’s always coming up with new and unique decorating ideas. That’s exactly what she did when renovating a lake house in her newest spin-off series, “Fixer Upper: the Lakehouse.” Using books, shelves, and texture, the renowned designer put together a floor-to-ceiling display in the home’s library. The result has us gallery wall-a-holics swooning.

“But wait,” you say, “aren’t gallery walls out of style?” No, we’re not talking about the overdone 2010s layout with many identical picture frames on a blank wall. We’re talking about a gallery wall that has evolved in style tremendously. “We say gallery walls are not restricted to, well, walls,” Gaines shared on her blog Magnolia. Hence, she turned to open shelves this time for added dimension, personality, and, best of all, flexibility.

Instead of simply loading up the shelves with art and calling it a day, Gaines pulled out her secret weapons — layers and natural textures — for a high-end look. She started with a gridded, cherry wood shelving unit and backed it with paper weave wallpaper. To finish it off, Gaines added slender brass rails in each cubby, giving the setup a more cohesive and put-together feel while also securing trinkets in place.

If you’re keen on recreating this look on a budget, know that you definitely don’t need a wall-spanning bookcase. But feel free to build a library wall with IKEA storage units if you have a knack for DIY. If not, even a small unit, like this mid-century modern George Oliver Bookcase for about $100 on Wayfair, will do the trick. Just don’t forget to deck out the backdrop in textured wallpaper (you can get a peel-and-stick roll for under $30 on Etsy) and include brass bars on the front edges (available on Etsy as well, for as little as $5). These small but thoughtful details make all the difference between a tacky gallery wall and a tasteful one.

Now that we’ve established how Gaines is fearlessly modernizing gallery walls, it’s time to give it your personal touch. For instance, maybe a bookcase is too bulky for your space. Why not use floating shelves instead? One great (and on-theme) option is this $47 Wade Logan Modern Wall Shelf Set on Wayfair — it already comes with rails as a bonus. Stack the shelves on top of each other in an awkward corner, or better yet, in a wallpapered/painted alcove to turn the space into a stylish focal point.

Moving onto the fun part: decorating the shelves. Because Gaines designed the accent wall in a library, it makes perfect sense that she chose to display books. However, there are plenty of other pieces you can highlight on your gallery wall shelf. Vinyl records, paintings, plants, treasured photos, decorative vases, sculptures, and candles are but a few. Hot tip: don’t be afraid to switch things up as you go, and remember, a layered arrangement gives the eye a lot to admire. Luckily, this gallery wall idea makes it super easy to do so.

Fans of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” will know all about Joanna Gaines, the reigning queen of modern farmhouse style. Best known for her starring role on “Fixer Upper,” Gaines is also an interior designer, author, and co-founder of the Magnolia lifestyle brand. Along with her husband Chip, she has been renovating homes in Waco, Texas, for the past 12 years. With just a little TLC, maintenance work, cute decor, and some new coats of paint, the couple can make an old and run-down house look fresh as a daisy.

Gaines’ passion for modern farmhouse decor started plenty of design trends over the years. A combination of sleek, contemporary lines and cozy, old-fashioned rural decor, the modern farmhouse aesthetic takes cues from country living but gives it a fresh twist, according to Homes & Gardens. Some of Gaines’ favorite home design elements include rustic shiplap walls, sliding barn doors, fresh flowers, and statement antiques. Here are some ways to decorate your living space and give your own home a Gaines-approved makeover.

Open shelving is a great way to showcase your unique personality (and favorite dish collection) in the kitchen. Unlike traditional wall cabinets, these open shelves put everything on display, making it easy to access items and save some space. Gaines is definitely a fan of the look, incorporating many open shelving concepts into her “Fixer Upper” designs, per YouTube. In her Magnolia blog, the designer says that open shelving adds dimension to any room and can help create better organization.

However, before installing open shelving in your kitchen, there are some downsides to consider. Be careful not to overload shelves since they can quickly appear cluttered and disorganized. Unlike regular cabinets, you can’t just close a door on your messy Tupperware collection. To avoid dust, it’s best to put the dishes or items you frequently use on lower shelves, per Merry Maids. Since you are moving them in and out daily, you will not have to worry about dust building up. You can store decorative items like plants, cookbooks, and glass jars on the upper shelves.

While Chip and Jo are definitely a cute couple, the real romance in “Fixer Upper” is between Joanna and shiplap. Gaines’ love for this pine paneling is no secret, and she incorporates the rustic material into many of her renovation projects. Shiplap, which quickly rose to fame after being featured in many episodes of “Fixer Upper,” is a wooden board originally used in the construction of barns, sheds, and other historic buildings, according to HGTV. The material can sometimes be found under existing wall surfaces since it was historically used as insulation.

Thanks to Gaines, shiplap is now a popular pick for home interior finishes. From kitchens and living rooms to bedrooms and even bathrooms, it’s possible to cover any room in shiplap, per YouTube. If you want to bring shiplap into your own home, you can easily install the wooden planks yourself with just a few tools (via Lowe’s). Cover the shiplap in a coat of white paint for a classic look, or if you want to spice things up, Southern Living suggests using a light green shade. The sky is the limit when it comes to decorating your home with shiplap.

Watch “Fixer Upper” carefully, and you’ll quickly notice there’s something Gaines adds to all of her designs — flowers and greenery. From a fresh bouquet on the kitchen table to potted houseplants on living room shelves, Gaines knows how to breathe life into any room with flower arrangements, per YouTube. Not only do flowers smell amazing, but they can also brighten your mood, clean the air, and make it easier to relax, as noted by Romper.

However, not all of the designer’s beautiful flowers are actually real. According to Southern Living, Gaines supports using faux flowers since keeping fresh blooms everywhere can be challenging and expensive. You can find plenty of beautiful faux floral arrangements on the Magnolia website, perfect for those of us who don’t have the time to go out and buy fresh flowers every week. Just add some water to the vase to make them look like the real deal.

Since “Fixer Upper” arrived on the scene in 2013, sliding barn doors have caught on in the world of home design. Whether you own a barn or not, this rustic element is a relatively simple and affordable way to add architectural interest to your home. Gaines often uses interior barn doors in her home designs to separate rooms and add character, as seen on YouTube. Unlike traditional doors, barn doors are hung on a sliding rack and hang against the wall. They take up minimal space and can be easily installed (via Home Depot).

One thing to keep in mind before going barn door crazy is that these doors are typically not soundproof and offer less privacy than traditional alternatives. According to Apartment Therapy, noise travels easily between rooms which can be uncomfortable if you use them for places like your bathroom. It’s a good idea to add a sliding latch to keep doors secure.

One way to effortlessly achieve Gaines’ “Fixer Upper” style is to pay attention to your lighting fixtures. Light can dramatically impact any room by brightening its atmosphere and tying decor together seamlessly. As seen in her family’s living room, Gaines loves decorating with farmhouse-style lighting fixtures, per YouTube. This room features a cool farmhouse chandelier made with bold curves and black metal. According to American Farmhouse Style, modern farmhouse lighting is all about statement chandeliers, hanging pendant lights, and wall sconces.

According to Southern Living, one of Gaines’s best tips is hanging lights in front of mirrors and other reflective surfaces. This trick can help you increase light in dim rooms like kitchens or dining areas that may lack natural light. For example, installing a hanging pendant in front of a mirror will instantly give you two lights for the price of one. How cool is that?

From up-cycled wooden ladders to artfully dated glass windows, Gaines is an expert at flea market style. Per HGTV, Gaines decorates with many thrift store finds and antiqued items in her “Fixer Upper” homes, to stunning effect. Next time you go treasure hunting at your local flea market, keep an eye out for wooden crates, toolboxes, watering cans, glass jars, and old books. These pieces can generally be found at flea markets worldwide and are sure to add some “Fixer Upper” style to your home.

For Gaines-approved antiques, be on the lookout for vintage chairs with beautiful lines and good bones, as seen on YouTube. Even if fabric is ripped, stained, or outdated, you can re-upholster the furniture and give it a modern pick-me-up. According to Architectural Digest, re-covering furniture is simple, and the only thing you need is a staple gun. It just takes a few antique items to give your home a healthy dose of charm and character.

According to HGTV, white subway tiles are Chip and Joanna’s material of choice for kitchen backsplashes. This tile can be glimpsed in many of their “Fixer Upper” remodels, per YouTube, and for a good reason. These rectangular, glazed ceramic tiles are timeless and versatile, making them perfect for most homes. Not only is the material sanitary since it can be easily cleaned, but the polished, glossy finish will brighten up your kitchen and make it a more welcoming place to hang out and cook.

As you might have guessed, subway tiles were originally used in the New York City subway system (via Apartment Therapy). The first station, which opened in 1904, featured the classic 3″ by 6″ tiles. Today, these tiles are a popular interior design trend and come in an endless array of colors and patterns. According to This Old House, prices per square foot start around $2 and can cost up to $50. To ensure you stay within budget, measure your space before starting the project.

Source: Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images, Rob Kim/Getty Images

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