Joanna Gaines revives this century-old decor technique to totally transform a dining room – and we're sold

Where 'modern form meets French design' – the designer's latest mini-reni reminds us just how powerful pattern can be

Joanna Gaines
(Image credit: GettyImages)

Joanna Gaines has recently expanded her horizons from full-scale Fixer Upper projects to aptly named 'mini-renis' – refocusing on small design decisions that can transform a space.

Most recently, the HGTV designer showed us what's possible when you experiment with wallpaper – specifically a century-old decorating technique with transformative powers that often goes overlooked: namely, pairing a bold wallpaper with a punchy paint color for trim.

'From an outdated dining room to a lively gathering space with plenty of whimsy,' Joanna shared alongside before and after footage on Instagram. 'With the original built-in as our inspiration, we played up the charm and whimsy in this dining room with floor-to-ceiling wallpaper, fresh paint, and detailed trim.'  

The Magnolia blog explains that the dining room sits right between the living room and breakfast nook, which we featured recently, meaning it was the center of the entire renovation. Joanna and her team wanted the space to reflect the home's 'original charm' – drawing inspiration from the built-in cabinet in the top corner. 'This 1930s cabinet served as a point of reference for design decisions made throughout the entire project,' the team share on Magnolia.

As with all renovations, there were many decisions to consider – from paint to furnishings and accessories. However, we would say that the transition from the glossy blue paint to the whimsical green wallpaper is the most impactful change of all.

Joanna chose Red Barrel Studio's Evergreen Peel & Stick Floral Wallpaper (available via Wayfair below) to serve as the perfect 'garden-esque feel' base. She then painted the trim, baseboards, built-in, and ceiling in Weathered Windmill – a subtle blue paint from Magnolia Home, naturally. This hue is said to pair well with the color story in the statement wallpaper. 

Evergreen Peel & Stick Floral Wallpaper – $1.04/sq. ft on Wayfair

Evergreen Peel & Stick Floral Wallpaper – $1.04/sq. ft on Wayfair
A celebration of nature's fresh foliage and blooms, this Stenciled Floral peel-and-stick wallpaper creates a feeling of serenity in any space –but, of course, our dining room is the natural starting point. 

While the wallpaper does much of the talking, Joanna's choice of furniture (and accessories) is worth an honorable mention. The rounded table and classic spindle-back chairs are contemporary with a traditional French twist, complementing the antique-inspired aesthetic set by the Art Nouveau, William Morris-inspired wallpaper. 

In terms of the tablescape, Joanna arranged scalloped plates and placemats before adding an oversized vessel and white faux floral arrangement that matches the wallpaper, naturally. 

We've found the same table mats and candle sticks (and similar sculpted plates) on Magnolia – so we can all recreate this Jo-approved tablescape in our own dining rooms.  

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.