Interior Design

Joanna Gaines reveals the surprising inspiration behind her signature style

This is the image the interiors guru has in mind when she shapes her schemes

Beige living room designed by Joanna Gaines
(Image credit: Courtesy of Magnolia Network)

Joanna Gaines has gained global acknowledgment from her series Fixer Upper, but there is one thread that runs behind all her successes. 

Joanna, who is known for her contemporary industrial style, revealed her interior design tips, where she shared the story behind all her home remodels. The memory, Joanna shares, dates back to New Mexico, where she found her signature style whilst traveling with her husband Chip. In her blog, Joanna described the picture she always has in her mind when designing.

‘Ten years ago, Chip and I were taking a road trip to New Mexico. My Magnolia Boutique was up and running, and I distinctly remember trying to figure out what my specific design style was. I found what I was looking for when Chip and I stopped in a small town on our way to the mountains of New Mexico,’ Joanna shares. 

Living room with large white sofa designed by Joanna Gaines

(Image credit: Courtesy of Magnolia Network)

The designer continues: ‘I saw farmland and silos – the lush green fields combined with the industrial galvanized cylinders, and chippy white paint spoke to me. From that point forward, everything I did from a design aspect was inspired from that picture in my mind’. 

Touches of Joanna’s farmhouse style are visible in almost all of Joanna's designs, including in this rustic-chic living room from Fixer Upper (seen above). Many of Gaines’ designs include monochromatic wrought-iron light fixtures and hardware features that are a signature of the Waco-based expert. 

These modern farmhouse ideas make for a striking contrast to the magnolia color palette Joanna favors, and pay homage to Joanna's memories of New Mexico. 

However, while the designer revealed that memories of traveling sparked her living room ideas, she is not alone. 

Kit Kemp for Andrew Martin

(Image credit: Kit Kemp for Andrew Martin, Wychwood Provencal Yellow Wallpaper, £60, Cushion in Psycho Sprig Tropical Yellow Fabric)

Martin Waller, Founder of Andrew Martin, similarly shared an experience close to Joanna’s. While Mrs Gaines found her design inspiration in New Mexico, the founder of the global design label found his further east in Thailand. 

‘Design has always been about more than just attractive patterns. It is about reflecting a personal view on a subject,’ Martin shared. 

‘For me, this has often been about describing a love of various places or people. It was in Thailand that I first saw the miracle of silk yarn production and the laborious work of Ikat weaving, which can take a day to produce just a single meter,’ he adds.

These escapist decorating ideas will bring hints of faraway shores to your living room, wherever you are in the world. 

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.