25 Ways To Add Fixer Upper Style To Your Home

With my favorite HGTV show rising in popularity, people are asking how they can add Fixer Upper style in their home. If you’re not familiar with Fixer Upper, well, that’s a shame. It is truly clean, entertaining, family friendly TV, which is sometimes a rarity today. The best part? It’s focused on home renovation, our favorite subject! Chip and Joanna Gains are a husband and wife team from Waco, Texas. Their goal in the show is to help new homeowners find the perfect fixer upper, for the best price, and turn it into more than a house, but a real home. While this is the premise of a lot of HGTV shows, Joanna has really made herself stand out from the crowd with her fresh, full of character, farmhouse style. She is able to mix old and new in the perfect way, making a space feel homy and lived in while also being brand new. This is not something that many have been able to accomplish. Since the show aired in 2014, they have built a huge following, not just for their show, but for their other businesses. People can’t get enough of the Antique Farmhouse Style, myself included. In this blog, we’ll show you how to add Fixer Upper Style to your home in quick and easy ways.

Fixer Upper Style – Architectural, Cosmetic, & Decor


1. Slap on the Shiplap!

If you’ve ever seen Fixer Upper, you know that Joanna has a slight obsession with Shiplap. Shiplap is essentially wood clad walls. Many homes in Texas were built with wood planked walls, hand driven nails, and loads of character. Its obvious why she would want to expose them ever chance she gets. While houses in my area weren’t built this way (unfortunately) you can still get the look. Check out this tutorial on how to DIY your own shiplap! Fixer Upper Style Shiplap

2. Open Up Your Space

Joanna loves open spaces, and for good reason. It allows natural light to stream through and makes living spaces much for family friendly. Great sight lines help you keep an eye on the kiddos while you’re cooking dinner or hanging out in other areas. With less division, spaces seem bigger and more inviting. Open Concept Fixer Upper Style  

3. Revamp a Fireplace (or create a faux fireplace)

Sometimes it’s as simple as painting your old brick, adding a rustic wood mantle, and calling it a day. Sometimes you’ll need to reface with more classic materials. Or, if you don’t have a fireplace, don’t let that stop you. Joanna has used vintage mantles to create the look of a cozy fireplace with ease. Click here to learn how to DIY a faux fireplace! Fixer Upper Style Fireplace  

4. Simplify with Subway Tile

Joanna loves subway tile, and so do we! Why? It’s so versatile, hard not to like, and very classy. It will stand the test of time. It looks great in so many spaces. Install some subway tile in your bathroom or kitchen for a classic pop! Click here to shop our selection of subway tile. Fixer upper style subway tile

5. Butcher Block Islands (The bigger the better)

Butcher block or reclaimed wood island tops are one of my very favorite things! Wood countertops are so cozy and warm, and give such a great farmhouse vibe to any kitchen. Big islands are one of Joanna’s trademark moves, so if you have the space, go BIG! Wood countertops are durable, long lasting, and will never go out of style. Fixer Upper Style Wood Island Top  

6. Exposed Brick or Stone Look (Just use tile!)

Exposed brick and stone are a great choice to add the antique farmhouse or rustic vibe to your space. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a home that offers real exposed stone or brick, not to worry! We have brick tile and ledge stone that can be installed and imitates the look of pre-existing stone or brick! Problem solved. Fixer upper style exposed brick

7. Create Faux Ceiling Beams

If you weren’t blessed to have a home that includes stunning ceiling beams, don’t fret. You can DIY ceiling beams to get the perfect fixer upper style you’ve been looking for. http://withheart.com/featured/diy-faux-wood-ceiling-beams/

Cosmetic Upgrades:

7. Neutral Color Palettes (Especially white on white)

As shown above, white on white, or white on grey or taupe, are favorites of Joanna. I love these neutral color schemes because their calming, and work with any decor you want! Go bold with pillows, rugs, or other accents. Flooring-Shop-Ad

8. The Perfect Statement Lighting & Chandeliers

Finding the perfect light fixtures is key to getting your fixer upper style. Go with wrought iron, black iron, beaded, wooden, or industrial chandeliers or statement lighting. fixer upper style lighting

9. Industrial Pipe Shelving & Open Shelves

Open shelves are a great way to add that fixer upper style to your home. Using industrial piping adds that extra flair. Simple white plates and cups (another favorite of Joanna) look great exposed on the shelves. It helps the kitchen, or any space you use them in, feel more open and airy. Open shelves are easy to DIY. Learn how here! Fixer upper style shelves

10. Install Sliding Barn Doors

Sliding barn doors have grown immensely in popularity. You can use these on bedroom closets, entry closets, or any other door in your home that has space to the left or right of it. Learn how to DIY sliding barn doors from our knotted pine rustic doors here. You can find sliding barn door hardware in store for $249.99 to add the fixer upper style to every area of your home! Fixer upper style sliding barn doors

11. Add a Farmhouse Sink

Farmhouse sinks are a great way to get some Fixer Upper style. White is a favorite, but you can find wood, quartz and ceramic styles as well!

12. Oil Rubbed Bronze Fixtures

Oil rubbed bronze is one finish that really adds the farmhouse look to your space. Not to say that you can get the Fixer Upper look with chrome or brushed nickel fixtures, but ORB seems be a great choice if you’re going for Fixer Upper style. Contact-Designer-Shop-Ad

Decor Choices:

13. Magnolia Wreaths Over Antique Pieces

This is Joanna’s signature, as she owns Magnolia Homes and the Magnolia Shop. This is the perfect way to add some Fixer Upper style! Put the wreath over anything vintage or antique, hang on your wall, or simply hang on your door, and you’re good to go! Fixer upper style wreath

14. Oversized Wall Clocks

Another staple. Joanna is more about THINGS on the wall rather than traditional art on the wall. Oversized clocks are a great way to get the look you want, and make sure you’re never late again! Click to learn how to make your own oversized wall clock. fixer upper style oversized wall clock

15. Vintage Metals EVERYWHERE

Adding metal pieces to your wall is key in getting your Fixer Upper Style. You can pretty much use anything, from anywhere, as metal wall art. Find metal wire baskets, metal tubs and crates, or old metal signs to get the look. Fixer upper style metal wall decor

16. Antique Architectural Pieces for the Walls

The theme here is “art is what you want it to be”. Anything old, that you love the look of, can be your new wall decor. Get creative! Fixer upper wall art  

17. Jars for Vases & Storage

Simple mason jars, glass jars, or metal jars can all be used for storage, flower pots, herb containers or vases. They’re cheap, cute, and give you some great Fixer Upper style. Tile-Shop-Ad

18. Meaningful Wall Quotes

Fixer Upper is full of wall quotes, mostly created from Metal. Find quotes that mean something to you and your family and liven up your wall with them as a constant reminder of the good and beautiful things in life! fixer upper style wall quote

19. Classic, Slip-covered or Refurbished Furniture

New furniture is so last year. Find old pieces with good bones. Paint them, reupholster them, or clean them up. Add slip covers to couches for the shabby chic look. Even with kids and pets, you can throw them in the washer whenever you need to give them a cleaning. It’s much easier than cleaning a regular couch! fixer upper style furniture

20. Foliage For Every Room

Green makes everything better. You can choose flowers, branches, twigs, or really anything from nature to add a touch of the outside to your space. Fixer upper style plants

21. Vintage (Or vintage looking) Barstools

Even in a “new” looking kitchen, the right lighting and vintage barstools can give you the farmhouse look you’re going for. You can find them at an antique or thrift shop, or just made to look old at a place like hobby lobby. fixer-upper style stools

22. Old Book and Candlestick Accents

Old books and candle sticks are the easiest way to add a farmhouse touch to any space in your home. You can find these for cheap in flea markets, garage sales, or in your basement! Fixer upper style candlesticks

Make Sure You:

23. Shop in Unexpected Places

One key factor in getting Fixer Upper style is that most of the pieces are old. If you can’t find what you need at a garage sale, thrift store, flea market, peddlers mall or antique shop, you can buy new that looks old, but half the fun in these pieces is giving them a new life. Knowing they had a story other than yours. The beauty is in the history.

24. Declutter

Joanna’s designs will tell you: less is more. It doesn’t mean you can’t decorate with knick-knacks, but don’t over do it. The less clutter you have, the harder it is for your space to get messy!


25. Personalize

In Fixer Upper, their goal is to give the family a space that is THEIRS. You want your space to be personal. Choose things that mean something to you. Decorate with family pictures. Find things that you will utilize for your specific needs. That’s how you turn a house into a home.  
Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
Written By: Allie Bloyd

Want to learn more about kitchen & bath remodeling?

How To Video: DIY Wood Pallet Shelves

Hi Everyone! This is Allie Bloyd with another awesome how-to for you – wood pallet shelves! As most of us know, wood pallets are pretty incredible. You can make just about anything your heart desires with these versatile boards (and for cheap!). With the holidays coming up, I thought this would be a good project to share. I have made these shelves for gifts, and they were a big hit! The construction is pretty standard, but the fun part is decorating the insides to reflect your personality or there personality of the person you’re giving them too. Lets get started!

Wood Pallet Shelves Materials:

For this project, you will need

  • A wood pallet
  • A hand or circular saw
  • Your stain of choice
  • Wet wipes or disinfectant spray and rag
  • Sponge for your stain
  • Screws
  • A drill
  • 1/8 bit
  • Measuring tape
  • Knobs of choice (optional)
  • 1 yard of burlap
  • At least 4 decorations. I go for 2 picture frames and 2 other objects.
  • Safety Glasses

Wood Pallet Shelves

How to build your Wood Pallet Shelves:

Step 1: Cutting your wood pallet

First of all, you need to select a wood pallet that has some character but is still in pretty good shape. We can sell them at Builders Surplus for $9.99 if you’re looking for one. You are then going to need to use a saw to cut it. If you are not comfortable using a saw, I recommend that you find someone who is to help you. Safety first. If you are using the saw yourself, get your safety glasses on. You are just going to make a straight cut right above the second board from the top and bottom.

Step 2: Cleaning your Wood Pallet

After successfully cutting your pallet, you will need to clean it to make sure there is not dirt, grime or cobwebs on it (depending where you get it, you never know what you might find!)
I used some simple disinfecting wipes. I brushed off all the big stuff first and went back and got the smaller particles. It is not going to mess things up if you have a bit left on there like it would if you were painting, which is nice. Stain is much more forgiving, and with a rustic look, old dirt can sometimes work for you!

Step 3: Staining your Wood Pallet

I used Minwax ‘Weathered Oak’ for my stain. It is a nice compliment to the natural color of the distressed wood pallet. I took my sponge, and went over both pieces of my pallet. You don’t have to do this perfectly, the imperfections make it beautiful. The stain is to give it a more uniform look all over, but it is not required, just my personal preference!

Step 4: Cutting your Bottom Boards

This next step also requires a saw, so again, use safety and your best judgement. Take your measuring tap and measure the full width of your wood pallet as well as the width of the bottom opening. One side of my pallet was cracked and missing (which I love!) so I opted to do two separate pieces on the bottom, to make sure I lined it up in the right spot, but most of the time you can just use one solid piece. Outline on your plywood the length and width that you need (2) times, for both of your shelves. Cut them out stain the edges of them with the sponge you used on your wood pallet.


Other versions of wood pallet shelves


Step 5: Securing the Plywood To The Wood Pallet

Now, you will attach your plywood to turn this wood pallet into shelves! Take your drill & screws and secure all 4 corners of your board or boards onto the bottom opening. If you need to touch up any stain, now is the time to do it.

Step 6: Adding Decorative Knobs & Decorations

After step 5, your wood pallet shelves are technically complete, but not in my mind. These shelves are about more than storage, they are about charm and character. I love old rustic knobs, so I took some that I found and spread them out evenly over the front of one of my shelves. Three to the left of the center board and three to the right. I took a sharpie and measured the spaces, and then marked the spots that would make it a proper distribution. Switch your drill to your 1/8 bit and pre-drill all 6 holes. Then, take your knobs and screw them through the holes. Attached your washer & bolt to the back to secure it.
Now, I will position my decorations in my shelves. I like having 2 picture frames to help with the personalization, but you can choose whatever works best for you or your home! I also chose two other decorations, and for these shelves, that was a burlap flower bouquet and a cardboard & sign that I painted with white acrylic paint.  I think one large item in each of the “pockets” works well, but again, you can mix it up how ever you like!
After I’ve positioned my wood pallet shelf decorations, I will break out my burlap. I my yard into 4 strips of my desired width. I like to place the burlap behind the items and spread it out to give it a more cozy look.
Below is another set of shelves that I created, where I took wooden letters and used hot glue to cover them in moss. I decorated with some flowers and an old door knob. The options are unlimited!
For more amazing wood pallet projects, check out our Pinterest board, Wood Pallet Wonders!
That’s all on our How-To Tutorial For DIY Wood Pallet Shelves! I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Please check back to see more how-to’s on decorating, installation, crafting, and more! To see how to build a leaning shelf set out of an old door, check out this tutorial!
Builders Surplus is a full service remodeling company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, which comes as a free service to our clients. We sell building supplies ranging from unused surplus, to first quality in stock, to high end custom order and everything in between. We also provide measurement and full installation services (in our Louisville Location, partial in our Newport Location). Our core products consist of kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities (single vanities and double vanities), interior doors, exterior doors, sinks, faucets, granite countertops, quartz countertops, laminate countertops, windows, and more! If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. Happy Remodeling!
Written By: Allie Bloyd