Exclusive: Joanna Gaines on why neutral rooms are best – but how she's experimenting with moody tones at home
From fall to the festive season – this is how the Magnolia designer uses color to dress her home through the seasons
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It is hard to choose the talent for which Joanna Gaines is best known. Perhaps it is her presenting role in HGTV's Fixer Upper or that she is a New York Times bestselling author. It could be her co-foundations at Magnolia, the global empire known for its recipes and curated homeware collections. Or maybe, it is her distinct (and instantly associable) design aesthetic that celebrates contemporary farmhouse style through timeless neutral hues.
While it is hard to single out one of Joanna's successes, there is one theme at the root of them all, and that is interior design. The designer's home decor ideas are amongst the most sought-after in the industry, so when Joanna Gaines sat down with H&G, we had to choose our questions carefully. The top of our agenda? Decorating with neutrals, naturally.
How Joanna Gaines uses neutrals to change her home through the seasons
While our minds are inevitably focused on fall decorating ideas (and moving slowly to Christmas decor ideas), we were keen to hear how Joanna Gaines styles her neutral-hued home through the changing seasons. Unsurprisingly, the designer suggested that – while neutrals work well at this time of the year – their eternal versatility means they are equally as powerful all-year round.
'These colors [neutrals] feel traditional and timeless and play so well during the holidays – in the fall and going into Christmas because it has that moodier vibe at home. Then, of course, all the colors that naturally happen in the fall with your reds and oranges – those tones play so well with these colors. Then, moving into Christmas – it's richer, it's a little more saturated,' Joanna says.
'What I love is when you move even into the spring and summer, the way you can lighten up these spaces if you decide to go a little darker with the accents. With your throws, pillows, blankets, your florals, whether they be faux or fresh. There are so many ways you can change the mood of a room beyond color with how you accessorize. So, to me, these are year-round colors, but they do play very well because they are so cozy for the holiday season.'
Joanna's enthusiasm for neutral room ideas comes at an appropriate time, following the launch of The Castle Collection (opens in new tab), which saw the designer collaborate with KILZ to curate a palette for the Magnolia Home line. The palette is a selection of 10 traditional colors (from warm neutrals to moody accents) inspired by her historic castle restoration project in Waco, Texas.
Whether you're looking for neutral living room ideas or want to flirt with these earthy hues in the bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen, Joanna offers a way to experiment with color without it feeling too overwhelming.
'If you're not wanting to paint your walls and invest so much in that, you could do your furniture, you could do your cabinets. There are other ways to bring in color if you are nervous about changing your entire space. But I have a feeling that as people step out and they start getting bolder in their choices, it becomes quite addicting,' the designer says.
'At the farm, I started with a darker green on my kitchen cabinets, and I then did darker green in my boy's room, and upstairs I did charcoal. Now, I want these spaces to feel that, in one room, it's cozy, but then in another room, I want to read a magazine; I want it to be lighter. Once you start experimenting and realizing color is fun, you start trying in more rooms than just the smaller spaces.'
Fixer Upper: The Castle first premiered on October 14 at 9/8c on Magnolia Network, HBO Max, and discovery+. The paint collection will be featured in the episode airing October 28th. You can shop for the collection via KILZ (opens in new tab) now.
Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. 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.
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