A glimpse inside Joanna Gaines's new boutique hotel shows why it's her most luxurious project yet

Complete with Venetian plaster and green leather banquettes – this is where European-inspired elegance meets Texan charm

Joanna Gaines
(Image credit: Joanna Gaines x Magnolia Home Castle Collection)

Chip and Joanna Gaines have a habit of restoring historic Texan properties – most significantly (to date), their famous castle that received its own Fixer Upper show. However, they're now taking on their 'biggest' project to date, in the shape of a luxury hotel in their hometown, Waco. 

Named Hotel 1928, the building has existed in downtown Waco since, you guessed it, 1928. Designed in the style of an early twentieth-century Moorish Revival lodge, the 50,000-square-foot structure has attracted Texan natives and travelers for nearly 100 years, but it has a new future, courtesy of this HGTV design duo. 

Complete with 33 guest rooms, a dining room, event spaces, a rooftop terrace, and a retail shop (featuring exclusive Magnolia-designed merchandise), the hotel is one of Chip and Joanna's most ambitious projects to date – and a glimpse inside shows why it's also their most luxurious.

In the footage above, Joanna shows off some stand-out design features – all of which foreshadow an elegant European-inspired space that celebrates its history through Art Deco-inspired finishings. 'Some of my favorites – high gloss Venetian plaster, green leather banquettes, double staircase in [the] library, and custom mosaic tiles,' she says.

The aim was to leave as much of the original detail intact as possible – meaning the project required more intention and time than any fixer-upper we've seen Chip and Joanna complete in the past. However, the team at Hotel 1928 says that a well-preserved renovation was significant, not only for the city but for the people who would stay and celebrate within its walls for the next century. 

'If we rush forward without remembering where we have been, it could be questioned whether progress has really been made,' they explain. 

'For us, this project represents everything we are most passionate about – hospitality, restoration, and home,' Joanna and Chip add. 'We've always been firm believers in the value of home, as a place but also as a feeling. Our dream for this hotel is that it would serve as an extension of home to every guest who comes to stay.'

Aside from Joanna's snapshots, footage from the newly renovated hotel space is hard to come by – but sketches shared by the hotel (above and below) offer a glimpse of what more we can expect in the coming months. 

As per their website, Chip, Joanna, and their team made the space 'brighter and lighter' without changing the original site lines. They also saved the stonework, brick, and historic terrazzo flooring (where possible) and revived some exposed beams in some rooms. 

They also renovated the beautiful ballroom, once the setting of galas and soirees, to host equally impressive parties long into the future. 

'When you think about a 50,000 square foot remodel, this is the big leagues,' Chip says in the Fixer Upper: The Hotel trailer. 'This is what you dream about, and I think Jo and I are out of our element to some extent, but we're up for the challenge.

We await any more spoilers before the grand opening in October, but until then, we're reminding ourselves of Joanna's greatest design tips via her book below.

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave | $20.79 on Amazon

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave | $20.79 on Amazon

Joanna Gaines walks you through creating a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there. Using examples from her family farmhouse and a range of other homes, this comprehensive guide will help you embrace your authentic design style. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.