Joanna Gaines's Newest Obsession Is Actually Kind of Controversial

From double French doors to happy-hued kitchen islands, we’ve amassed a lot of crowd-pleasing design ideas from Joanna Gaines. But her latest trick? Definitely divisive. 

When faced with the task of creating a hybrid den, laundry and study this season, Jo threw out the idea of a “pony wall” to delineate the spaces. Originally used for—yup—keeping horses in in their stables, a pony wall is basically just a short, freestanding wall—which in this case, was topped off with ceiling-height bookshelves. 

Jo proudly shared the space-savvy innovation not once but twice on her Instagram handle, echoing Fixer Upper's larger season five trend of breaking up open-concept formulas with interesting barriers (see: these rad peep-through bookshelves).  

In our opinion, pony walls can definitely read a tad awkward and clunky. But when given a specific purpose, they can be a pretty refreshing use of space. (We dig ’em as an entryway divider with a built-in bench or in place of a handrail on a staircase landing.)

Love it or hate it, buckle up: If Jo’s magic touch is any indication, these puppies ponies are going to be everywhere soon enough.  


Home Editor

From 2014-2019 Grace Beuley Hunt held the role of Home Editor covering interior design, styling, trends and more.