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Joanna Gaines converted a sitting area into a butler’s pantry – and it's a lesson in how to perfect modern farmhouse style

The Fixer Upper star created the perfect entertainer's kitchen in a historical setting – here's what the process involved

Joanna Gaines
(Image credit: GettyImages)

Fans of Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper may already know about Cottonland Castle (affectionately known as The Castle) – the couple's most significant renovation to date. 

Located in Waco, Texas, the early twentieth-century stone manor house (modeled from a small German castle along the Rhine River) has a permanent place in the local history books. It is only fitting, therefore, that Waco residents, Chip and Joanna, were the ones to restore its former majesty. And naturally, they delivered. 

While there is a lot to love about the Castle, you would be forgiven for favoring the kitchen, shown below. From the contrasts in the countertops and cabinets to the enviable storage solutions, it's hard to pick a favorite feature. However, we admit Joanna's pantry ideas are hard to rival. Why? Because the space used to be a sitting area

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'From the beginning, I always felt the castle was made for hosting. That meant we needed to move the original kitchen from the basement onto the main floor to be in the center of the home,' Joanna says. Therefore, 'to provide additional prep space and storage for the kitchen, we converted a former sitting area into this butler's pantry.'

The pantry, best seen in the third photo on the image carousel, masters the art of kitchen storage – from the (almost decorative) weighing scales and chopping board to the decanted goods that give the space a seamless, regimented aesthetic (while making grocery shopping easier). 

Joanna pained the pantry in Cottage Grove (opens in new tab) – a moody yet earthy shade from her design empire, Magnolia. The hue is a blend of navy and green that shifts in tone depending on the lighting – creating drama and coziness' all at once,' Joanna says in her blog (opens in new tab).

'The contrast of the dark cabinetry, bright marble countertops, and original windows creates a cozy, moody look that I just love,' she says. 

Joanna Gaines

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

Inevitably, working on a landmark such as Cottonland Castle raises many an opportunity to honor its history, which was the reason for Magnolia’s Castle paint collection. 

'It honors the history of the castle with rich, unique colors that would complement its grand and traditional aesthetic while still creating a timeless palette for any style of home,' Joanna says. So, whether you're painting your sitting area or a new (or old) pantry – you can rest easy knowing an earthy tone such as this has Joanna Gaines' approval. For more tips, you can shop for her best-selling book below. 

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave | $20.79 on Amazon (opens in new tab)

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave | $20.79 on Amazon (opens in new tab)

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
News Editor

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.