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AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Design tips from The Ivy House

December 5, 2017

Rustic Coastal design tips from Joanna Gaines

Rustic Coastal design tips from Joanna Gaines

Thank you for watching episode 3 of Fixer Upper with us! It’s hard to choose a favorite room of the Ivy House house, so I’m technically choosing two. I’m giving design tips from the living room and the dining room. These two actually feel like one cohesive room, just with two sides, and I love how open and airy they feel together. Read the “why” behind a few of my favorite design tips from these spaces below!


If you’re looking for a way to open up your floor plan without knocking down walls, adding in an arched cased opening creates a larger entrance between two rooms, while still keeping them defined as separate spaces. This room had a large enough wall to add two arched cased openings, and it gave a dramatic effect that makes the two spaces feel like one.


A fun way to add some unique flair to your fireplace while keeping in mind practicality is incorporating a way to hold firewood. For an easy take on this, simply add in an interesting piece to hold your firewood, like a larger basket or cool bucket. But, if you’re looking for a more in-depth or permanent facelift for your fireplace, try built-in cubbies like these or think outside the box and get creative!


You’ll see a few different iterations of this parquet-style flooring inlays throughout season 5. Each one has a different design purpose and for this home, I was looking for a way to define these two spaces apart from one another. This rug-shaped inlay is a visually interesting way to draw a distinction between the two rooms, while still keeping them feeling unified. Not only is it unexpected but it also removes the need for a rug, which is always a plus underneath a dining room table.


If you’re looking to incorporate fresh greenery into a centerpiece, your local nursery will typically have a bigger selection than a flower shop. For this house, I wanted greenery that was more tropical, which is hard to find in Waco, so I picked up a potted Caladium plant and just trimmed off a couple of stems to drop in vases on the table. Using what you have growing in your garden or front yard is also an easy option that you don’t even have to leave the house for.


It’s all about encompassing a blend of natural textures like linen, raw wood and woven design elements. To finish off the looks, use simple clear vases and fresh greenery to bring life to your home.


Check back next Monday with a more in-depth look at the design details and before and after pictures from the Ivy House house!


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  • Mike
    5:17 pm, March 18, 2018
    Where do I find the chandelier you used in the dining room?
  • Dara
    12:17 pm, March 1, 2018
    What kind of flooring was used and what color in Rustic coastal home Ivy home
  • Jesse Parker
    8:19 pm, January 30, 2018
    Anyone know the color of the floor.
  • Dina
    5:04 pm, January 25, 2018
    Can you please tell me your favorite whites to combine for walls and trim to keep it from feeling to stark or gray? PLEASE?!
  • Emily
    10:18 am, January 25, 2018
    I have a small master bedroom and it's a stark, sterile (Rental) white. I would like to have an open, airy room, as although we only have one window in our room, it's large and allows a lot of natural light to come through. I have 4 post king size bed that I will be painting "Graphite" and making my own bedding and curtains out of drop cloths, but I need something warm, and neutral, yet light in color. I am quite partial to beige, grays, and antique white.
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