Joanna Gaines' outdated mid-century modern kitchen remodel is the best example of 'old money' style I have ever seen

Chip and Joanna Gaines take on a new project to celebrate their 10th Fixer Upper anniversary, and it is their best one to date

Joanna Gaines lakehouse kitchen
(Image credit: Courtesy of Magnolia Network)

Chip and Joanna Gaines' design prowess is evident for the world to witness. Their juggernaut HGTV home renovation show is always a must-watch, and the 10th-anniversary episode of Fixer Upper was always going to be something special, and it certainly did not disappoint. 

In Fixer Upper: The Lakehouse, the Gaineses renovated an outdated mid-century modern home near Lake Waco in a neighborhood they’ve never worked in before. The property highlights the exceptional talent of the team, in which, at least for me, the kitchen is the true star.

The quiet luxury kitchen is a fine example of an 'old money' style aesthetic – an interior design trend that beautifully emphasizes a warm, subtle way of decorating and styling.  It's a movement that prioritizes simplicity and refinement, creating serene, calming spaces that reflect a sense of sophistication without ostentation. Arguably, it is one of the most understated trends of the year – and has been perfected by the Gaineses in their latest kitchen remodel.

Joanna Gaines Lakehouse mid-century kitchen

A bespoke-built powder-coated green island takes pride of place in the center of the kitchen, which also features a marble countertop, plastered walls and a brass vent hood cage

(Image credit: Courtesy of Magnolia Network)

Above all, a family kitchen should be a functional area that makes the best use of space, while ensuring it is elegant and sophisticated. It is also crucial to adapt this function depending on who is going to be using it. For this kitchen in their Lake House home, the Gaineses wanted to blend their two favorite design styles; mid-century modern and Spanish revival, but also ensure the space remained relevant for family life. So, when considering the kitchen layout, Gaines also wanted to include an island to make it a more convivial and relaxed space.

The cherry wood used for the cabinet units and the custom-built kitchen island act as a material link throughout the house, creating a cohesive aesthetic. The timber brings a warm element that also lifts the light in the space, making it cozy yet bright. It acts as a neutral base allowing other elements, such as the eye-catching stone, avocado green metal island, and brass vent hood cage to stand out and make an impact.

For this project, the Gaineses wanted to bring the outside in and combine materials that reflect the beauty of Mother Nature. The raw qualities of the terra-cotta tiled kitchen flooring and luxurious richly-veined marble on the counters complement one another. Equilibrium is also key. The intensity of the green – Remote Trail from Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines® – and the marble is balanced by the subtle, plasterwork walls and terra-cotta floor, which act as a neutral without distracting or overwhelming the space.

Joanna Gaines Lakehouse kitchen

Richly-veined marble beautifully graces the kitchen backsplash, counter, and the top of an avocado green metal island

(Image credit: Courtesy of Magnolia Network)

The beauty of the Texan landscape surrounding the property and its panoramic view of Lake Waco served as inspiration for the kitchen color scheme. A poignant moment in one episode of Fixer Upper: The Lakehouse sees Joanna Gaines holding up a sample of the cherry wood used throughout the home to the backdrop of trees in the yard: It’s a match, she delights.

'The decline in cold, minimalist design reflects our ongoing desire to make our homes, in which we’ve all come to spend more time, feel special, layered, and intrinsically linked to our environment,' says Anthony Barzilay Freund, 1stDibs’ editorial director. 'Comforting colors, particularly those that evoke nature and warmth, are visually interesting and also feel emotionally reassuring.'

For the Gaineses, it was important to honor the original legacy of the home, tell a story, and ultimately, turn this dwelling into something to marvel at.

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Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.