Joanna Gaines' latest home makeover proves that small spaces can still be spectacular

The Magnolia designer reminds us all that 'fast, minimal work can make all the difference' – and lead to unbelievable results

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

Joanna Gaines, star of HGTV's Fixer Upper is certainly no stranger to large-scale renovation projects. These impressive transformations are the very basis of her work on the show, after all. However, despite her affiliation with some of Waco's most unbelievable projects, the designer understands the power of a small makeover – and how their versatile decorating ideas can translate to almost any home. This was the catalyst behind her most recent work – that the Magnolia founder completed in a matter of days.

'I recently helped a couple with a simple home refresh. We had a tight construction budget and less than a week to complete. I love flips like this – approachable, fast, and minimal work but still high impact,' Joanna Gaines says. 

On her blog, Joanna shared a look behind the short (but very sweet) renovation process that required no demolition, unlike her usual fixer-uppers. The designer hoped the process would highlight how minor adjustments can make a powerful difference – and of course, her first 'mini-reno' didn't disappoint. 

The home belongs to a young couple who were yet to move in – meaning Joanna and her team were working with a blank canvas. They updated three spaces: the living room, the main bedroom, and a dining area –  with only one week to complete the project.

'The whole thing was fast and furious,' Joanna writes. 'We did some cosmetic updates and brought in some beautiful furniture and accessories. I’ve been designing homes for the past 20 years, and one thing I know to be true: Sometimes all you need is a few days or a few key pieces to turn a room into a space you love.'

The home has much to admire – from her use of textiles, lighting, and houseplants to her bold paint ideas (exhibited above and below). 

In the living room, the designer carried the cocooning green wall paint (Cottage Grove from Magnolia, naturally) onto the ceiling. This gave the space a color-drenched aesthetic that contrasts the cream-toned soft furnishings. And it's a look that is easily replicable – if you dare. 

Joanna's dining room color ideas are equally as noteworthy. In this space, the designer wanted to add a 'unique play on texture and design for the ceiling' – so she installed 1×6 boards and crown molding painted in Magnolia's Drawing Room gray (with a satin finish). 

'I had initially planned to replace the existing door for the HVAC closet with an antique door to create more of a focal point but to save on money and time, we added a simple trim detail and painted the door the gray as the ceiling,' Joanna adds. 

While we are (of course) eternal fans of Fixer Upper, we can't help but admire Joanna's first 'Mini Reni.' Joanna has taught us that even small changes are indisputably influential – and it's possible to transform your home on a small budget – even when working against the clock. 

'My hope is that you’ll walk away not only inspired but empowered with practical ways to transform your own space,' Joanna adds. 'It’s amazing how far small adjustments can go to make a space feel more like home.' For more advice from the professional, you can shop her book below. 

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave | $20.79 on Amazon

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave | <a href="" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$20.79 on Amazon

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
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.