5 design lessons we learned from Joanna Gaines' Airbnb – Hillcrest Estate in Waco, Texas

The Chip and Joanna Gaines-owned property epitomizes their farmhouse aesthetic – here's how to replicate its style at home

Hillcrest Estate designed by Joanna Gaines
(Image credit: Courtesy of Magnolia)

Chip and Joanna Gaines's label Magnolia is synonymous with rustic, farmhouse style – an aesthetic that has gained widespread admiration following HGTV's Fixer Upper.

However, while the couple is recognized worldwide, they are best known in their home (and Magnolia's headquarters) in Waco, Texas. So, it is only fitting that this city plays host to their latest venture, Hillcrest Estate. 

The historic home bought and renovated by Chip and Joanna is a trove of quintessentially Magnolia decorating ideas – from its versatile color scheme to the stylish storage ideas in the kitchen. 

So, if you're looking in particular for farmhouse decor ideas, you will love, as we did, these five essential features. 

1. Glass-fronted wall cabinetry is better than solid

A white, tiled kitchen with eggshell colored, glass front cabinetry

The kitchen

(Image credit: Courtesy of Magnolia)

Glass-fronted cabinetry can divide opinion, primarily because it can be hard to ensure it remains 'clutter-free.' However, with the correct planning and containers to organize kitchen cabinets, this kitchen storage idea can offer a sleek, neat look that is entirely Magnolia-approved. Plus, it can make a small kitchen feel larger by allowing the eye to travel to the depths of the cabinetry while the glazing bounces light around for a brighter space.

'I've found that when things are out in the open, and you have cute containers to contain the mess, it actually makes it clutter-free,' Joanna explains in a video for HGTV. 'The more storage options you have, the better.' 

The grey kitchen's glass-fronted cabinetry in Hillcrest Estate offers further inspiration on how to showcase your kitchenware – from its neatly piled crockery to the curated cookbooks that bring a hint of color to the neutral-toned space. 

2. Large furniture can work in small spaces

Dark blue dining space with large circular table and brown leather chairs

Dining space

(Image credit: Courtesy of Magnolia)

Hillcrest Estate's dining room is the perfect place to see Joanna Gaines' space-enhancing tip come to life. The dusty cobalt blue space is situated in a cottage, so the space is understandably small in places, but the choice of furniture elevates the corner instantly. 'In tighter spaces, people think you have to go smaller, but I always like to go the opposite,' Joanna instructs in a video

Despite its juxtaposition, this tip accentuates the dining space while offering a comfortable place to eat, drink and unwind, the Joanna Gaines way. We love the color drenching in this small dining room, too. Perfect for creating a cozy feel.

3. You can combine antiques with contemporary furnishings

Neutral toned entryway with a modern chandelier and various antique style pieces


(Image credit: Courtesy of Magnolia)

When decorating with antiques, you could do far worse than following Chip and Joanna's lead. The couple blend various eras throughout the home, but their entryway is one of our favorite examples of how to bring exclusive pieces up to date. 

Talking about a vintage toolbox she restored, Joanna shared how the antique piece had a story but 'you're just giving it a new purpose'. This is the case with the repurposed seat and wall hanging which brings a raw, industrial look to the otherwise minimalist space. 

These pieces are especially impactful when paired alongside modern lighting ideas, such as the contemporary chandelier that hangs as the centerpiece of the space. 

4. Every room needs greenery

Two white chairs and a coffee table with flowers in a glass vase

Seating corner in the living room

(Image credit: Courtesy of Magnolia)

When looking for the best indoor plants for your space, it is natural to begin with large statement pieces (such as a Swiss Cheese Plant or Kentia palm). However, while these plants will always have their place in the home, Joanna recommends adding a personal touch to your space by introducing greenery from your garden. 

'As the seasons change, you can still use that same idea of going out in the front yard to find greenery for your table, she says in a YouTube video

In the living room above, the designer has placed a plentiful selection of flowers in a vase on the coffee table – bringing a sense of the season outside inside

5. Color drenching with cocooning colors is a must

Blue, color drenched bedroom with white bedsheets and a small house plant

Main bedroom

(Image credit: Courtesy of Magnolia)

Color drenching – the act of painting all surfaces the same color –is one of the biggest paint trends of the moment. However, as this trend is a feature of Hillcrest Estate, we expect it will endure for many more seasons to come. 

Here, Chip and Joanna Gaines have painted the bedroom walls, window frame, and bedside table a cocooning dark blue: a color that psychologists suggest is a suitable choice for a therapeutic space. 'Cooler colors, especially the less vibrant shades of blue and purple, help us to destimulate and start to switch off while offering a feeling of stability,' says psychologist Lee Chambers

The expert adds that blue is perfect for promoting a relaxed, serene room where you can unwind no matter how stressful your day has been. This shade is, therefore, an apt choice for an Airbnb – and even more suitable for your home. 

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.