Has Joanna Gaines...Changed Her Style?

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In 2016, when somebody said Joanna Gaines, it was like Elvis had just entered the house of interior design. The whirlwind rise (and recent fall) of the modern farmhouse trend has been bittersweet; nowadays, people would rather be caught dead than with the Fixer Upper star’s signature shiplap shelves and neutral gray hues. That said, Jo seemed to be feeling the same sense of egress as her fans: “I found myself in this place late last year (2021). Unbalanced by how much I was pouring out without being poured into in the ways I really needed,” she wrote in a blog post (right around the time trends like maximalism and Coastal Grandmother were taking off). “So I got curious… I considered what I’m already drawn to, what I already know wakes me up and brings me life—nature, the garden, being in my kitchen and the peace that meets me there—and I leaned in. For weeks, I pored over books, threw my hands into the soil, and filled every surface of the house with jars for canning just about anything. My family joked that I’d gone a little extreme, but for the first time in a long time I felt full, truly full. And at the end of those days, I was bursting with so much more to give.”

And as is turns out, Jo’s stint in soul searching has led to an overhaul of the modern farmhouse style that put her on the map. Not only are we seeing moodier, more nature-inspired tones (in lieu of boring neutrals), but the shiplap details are being put to rest for more character-infused moldings and textures that aren’t afraid to make a statement. Below, see a breakdown of new design choices (and must-have products) in her latest Waco, Texas flip

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Less Gray, More Green

In a series of blog posts, Jo writes, “I had less than $5,000 to spend in this space on construction and had to decide between replacing the flooring OR repainting the walls to give this den an updated look…Annnnd, I chose paint!” More specifically, a moodier hue of navy and green on the walls and ceilings that would make the space feel dramatic and cozy all at once. “I chose furniture with neutral colors to create contrast against the walls and make the space feel more casual and comfortable,” she adds. Jo also mentions: “What I love about this room is that in the end, the dated tile isn’t even something you notice and by choosing to paint the room, we actually came in under budget! The walls and the texture of the existing ceiling stand out visually and make such a statement.” Translation? Original details, moody hues and contrasting neutral furnishings can create a cozy yet dramatic vibe.

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Texture on the Ceiling, Not the Walls

“The original dining room was essentially a plain, white box [and] I wanted to add a unique play on texture and design,” Jo says in the next post of the series. She did this by installing boards and crown moldings to the ceiling to add character with paneled trim details on the door to create a focal point. Then, to draw visual interest, she painted the door and ceiling in a soft, inviting gray—specially designed to be “simple yet timeless”—with a fresh coat of warm white paint with a light beige tint to brighten the walls (which had an older texture). “Lastly, we installed a new chandelier to center the space and hung velvet curtains that helped give the room a more finished look and tie the design together,” she summarizes.

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Big Clocks are Out, Subtle Wallpaper is In

Finally, in a post outlining this boy’s room, Jo says she wanted to show how “how a little creativity and a few simple updates really can go a long way.” Mainly, this was executed with small details—like wallpaper with a subtle pattern and matching trim on windows and walls—that serve as a foundation for a layered yet simple look. “I wanted to add a masculine color in here while not overpowering the room, so we installed this navy wallpaper to the lower half of the walls and painted the upper half white,” she explains. Then, she also adds: “We installed a chair rail and made the trim a little deeper so it could serve as a photo ledge that would help personalize the space even more. We updated the hardware on the existing built-ins to tie into the chrome accents on the ceiling fan.” However, it’s also worth mentioning her note: “If you’re new to installing wallpaper, a pattern like this may be challenging to keep the grid straight. Hire a professional or opt for a more organic pattern.” 

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Why You Should Trust Us

Sydney Meister is PureWow’s Assistant Lifestyle Editor. Along with covering the latest interior design trends and home hacks, she writes about everything from relationships to travel, must-have wellness products and what's happening in the world of celebrity design. Before PureWow, Sydney worked for various interior designers across NYC—primarily as a content creator focusing on trend forecasting and reporting. She's a go-to resource when it comes to interior styling tips and product recs to keep your home looking au courant (hint: it's time to ditch the modern farmhouse look).

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Assistant Editor

Sydney Meister is PureWow's Assistant Editor, covering everything from dating trends and relationship advice (here's looking at you, 'soonicorns') to interior design, beauty...