Magnolia founder Joanna Gaines is an expert at making neutrals sing – using a vast range of homey shades to create dream homes (and castles) that she shares with the world. However, while the Fixer Upper star is synonymous with perfectly colored interiors, a look at her back porch shows she's just as capable of designing beyond four walls.
Her monochromatic back porch, located on the estate where she lives with her co-star husband Chip, in Waco, Texas, is a case in point. The space in question exhibits soft white-painted trim against black-framed glass doors and an earthy-hued wooden deck flooring – and, of course, just the right amount of greenery.
The space is as sophisticated as it is welcoming – and as inviting as it is chic: a rare balance that is hard to achieve. But what is Joanna's secret? Experts say it's primarily in her paint choices.
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'Black and white is classic, elegant, and timeless – and it's a bold combination that can be dressed up or down depending on how you style it,' says design expert Raf Michalowski.
You can find Magnolia Home's exterior – and interior – paint colors (as shown in the picture, top right) on the website, including the white, black and gray of the window frames of Joanna's porch (below).
Raf Michalowski is the president of Meble Furniture, a leading e-commerce retailer of contemporary furniture that has operated in New York for over 15 years. His role allows him to observe changing trends and track which furnishings are in demand nationwide.
When styling a monochromatic color scheme outside, Raf says that Joanna has added texture in precisely the right way: with plants.
'I also recommend using plants, an easy way to make a monochromatic look vibrant. Plant containers with black and white patterns add a special touch, while greenery complements the neutral look,' he says. 'This way, you can create a porch that looks sophisticated and inviting' – just as Joanna Gaines has mastered with the hostas and ivy of her containers.
Alongside color, the expert says that adding accessories is another key to creating the perfect monochromatic porch. 'Neutral outdoor furniture, throws, pillows, and hanging string lights, are a great way to get the look,' Raf says. He also suggests investing in an outdoor rug [like this one from Wayfair] for extra texture.
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'If you have a black door and white walls like Joanna, the most effective way to style this is by adding contrast. You can do so by investing in furniture or accessories in a different hue.' He recommends going neutral – and looking for gray and beige pieces that will complement the black and white tones.
'For me, this will add visual interest and bring the porch to life. You can also try to use texture and pattern,' he says. 'Never use too many bright colors or patterns, as this can make the space look cluttered. So stick to a few colors and patterns that match your black and white porch.'
The best place to begin? With these Joanna-designed pieces for Magnolia, naturally. You can shop our three top picks from her summer collection below.
From tools to stools, all of Magnolia's gardening accessories are simple and beautiful, but this classic stool comes out on top. It's impossible not to love its classic and practical aesthetic.
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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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