Why We Love Fixer Upper

fixer upper

There is something about Waco and cults.  The first go round with Waco and a cult was back in 1993, when the nation watched in horror as the cult Branch Davidians had a standoff for 50 days that ended in terrible tragedy. And now a new cult has emerged and is going strong.  It began May 23, 2013: the following of Fixer Upper.  Chip and Joanna Gaines have made us all fall head over heels in mad love with them and the houses they renovate on HGTV.

We have gone crazy for shiplap!

What is it about this show (besides the shockingly low sticker price of these amazing homes) that has us all considering a move to Waco?  It is not like this is the first home renovation show on HGTV or any other network, but it is hands down a favorite. One interesting factor may be that it is the only show that is without drama or tension.  Watch any other HGTV show, and they usually all play out the same.  There is a project, there is an unexpected problem in the project, someone is angry at someone about the problem, and there is some sense of competition in the project.

These shows can be entertaining, but they usually feel campy and staged.  While the design can sometimes be interesting and the transformation usually dramatic, the forced drama usually makes it uncomfortable to watch for long and hard to really care about the designers/realtors.


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Fixer Upper is totally different.  No drama or tension.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Chip and Joanna Gaines seem to really care about creating a home for the families.  They spend time discussing what the family will need, how to represent the family personality and honor their history.  This key element makes us wish that we could be on Fixer Upper.

The connection that we have to our home is an emotional one, and hopefully, one that comes with a sense of safety, security, calm.  How we see the Gaines take care of these families make us trust them, and we love them for their kindness and honesty.

Another obvious reason we love this show is Joanna Gaines style.  What she does to the homes that she renovates is new, yet familiar at the same time.  Her style is a fresh and interesting mix of the farmhouse, French country, shabby chic, vintage yet modern all at once. I’m surprised that there has not yet been a term coined to describe her specific style.  Whatever we eventually name her style, it will certainly go down in history as a distinctive trend for this era.  The Fixer Upper craze for décor is very similar to the Anthropologie craze in the fashion world.

Stepping back to look at this trend, it speaks to an emotional need that is a sign of the times.  In a world where our pace of life keeps quickening, where we are becoming more disconnected through technology and feeling the pressures of keeping up with the Jones, Joanna Gaines creates space that feels like a nesting spot, a refuge.  This style screams comfort and nostalgia. It reminds one of simpler times, when what was important was family, community, and spending time with those you loved.

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Her homes make us feel like we are stepping back in time to our romantic notion of our grandparent’s farmhouse. Only this is not your grandma’s farmhouse.

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It is not just the décor that makes us dream of living in these homes.  Fans are also in love with the entire Gaines family.  The show gives us teeny glimpses into the personal life of this family of 6 (soon to be 7!), and we love what we see. Let’s start with the love story that is Chip and Joanna.  On screen they are a powerful team.  They are so respectful of each other, and they demonstrate how to treat someone with love.  Chip is Joanna’s biggest fan, and we love to see him boast to everyone how amazing his wife is.  We especially swoon when he sings her praises to their kids. They are playful with each other, and they laugh together at their unique quirks.  There are not many couples on television who display such a healthy relationship.

Gaines party of 7.. (If you’re still confused.. WE ARE PREGNANT) @joannagaines

A post shared by Chip Gaines (@chipgaines) on

Their affection is not cheesy, annoying, or flashy.  It is simple and lovely.  Theirs is a love story we all want for ourselves. We get excited when the kids come and say goodnight to their mom when she works late getting ready for the big reveal. They seem like such sweet kids, and we all wonder how on earth Chip and Joanna look so rested, peaceful and happy with FOUR children close in age.  Many fans swoon over this family because they are truly living the dream.  They are grounded, valued, good people who love each other more than anything else and love being together.  And they manage to do amazing work as a solid team which makes for a complete package.

Fans cannot seem to get enough of Fixer Upper.  Thankfully, they are finding ways to satiate our appetite.  Even though their show is in its final season, they have loads of other ways for us to learn more about them and bring their style into our life.  The word you need to know is Magnolia.  This year they opened a huge store built in silos called Magnolia Market, complete with bakery and bed and breakfast.  Start planning your girls’ weekend reunion trip now.  Don’t worry, if a visit to Waco isn’t in your future, they have online shopping.

With their magazine launch, Magnolia Journal, and their book “The Magnolia Story,” you can always stay updated  If following all of them on Instagram or their blogs is not enough for followers, you can now buy Joanna’s paint collection, rug collection, and furniture line at retailers throughout the country.  People have created Pinterest pages that help you dress and cook like Joanna! Maybe with this understanding of why this show has us all ga-ga for the Gaines, we can find inspiration and all do a little fixing up in our own homes. The more understanding we have of why the pull to join the Magnolia Cult is so strong, the better we can feel about drinking the Kool-aid.

Go ahead and cover your living room with burlap and shiplap, you won’t regret it!


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