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Fixer Upper Season 5, Episode 2

by Joanna Gaines
Published on November 29, 2017

Episode 2 is in the books! Thank you for gathering your friends and family and taking time to watch. My favorite room from this Fixer Upper is the living room. It’s a very traditional room, but with a lot of interesting pieces and layers. Read the “why” behind a few of my favorite design tips from this room below!


The Focal Point

Before I start remodeling a room, I take notice of the focal point in the space and find ways to really draw that feature out in the final design. Because the original coffered ceilings in this living room almost serve as grid lines, drawing your eye directly to the fireplace, I really wanted to focus my attention on making that back wall the main showstopper. In order to get the most out of the budget, I highlighted the area by adding a marble surround to the fireplace and some simple beadboard for subtle texture. By replacing the original built-in bookshelves that flanked both sides of the fireplace with windows, we were able to bring some added light to the back wall. These two changes allowed for the mantel to truly become the centerpiece of the entire room.

Multifunctional Elements

Something I learned when my kids were young was that you really can have a beautiful and functional family room. I’ve said this before, but, back then, I spent a lot of time telling the kids not to touch this or that, until I finally realized that I needed to make our family room a place where they felt at home, too. So, when I’m designing a room for clients that have children, I really try to cater the design to fit the stage of life that they’re in. Because I added those two windows to either side of the fireplace to enhance the focal point, I also wanted to add in some bench seating so the girls could have a space of their own in this room. These two little seats, with custom-sized cushions made by a local upholsterer, create quaint and unexpected nooks for the girls to sit and read or do homework. And for the sake of practicality, I incorporated drawers underneath the benches to provide extra storage space for pillows, throws, toys, or games for family game night.

Oversized Accents

It’s not often that a room allows for large scale decor, so when it does, go big. This living space is unique because not only is the room large to begin with, but it’s made to feel even larger because of all the natural light. This means there is plenty of room to play up large pieces, like this rug, sofa, and coffee table. It’s important that the scale of your furniture is proportionate to the room, so that the space feels full and thoughtfully put together. And as far as rugs go, I typically go with a larger one when I can - they make the room feel anchored, pulling all of the design elements onto one playing field and making the room cohesive and cozy.

Warm Layers

I love the combination of wooden Roman shades and airy curtains. This layered look brings extra warmth and texture to this living room and makes it feel more complete.

Pieces That Make the Space

Since we removed the original built-ins next to the fireplace, I felt like the room still needed some sort of shelving so that the walls wouldn’t feel flat. This bookcase is a perfect play on modern and traditional without feeling overpowering or heavy in the space. I love when I come across pieces like this that carry out the renovation style of the home through decor.

Here's a peek at more photos and details from The Mountain House!