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Tag Archives: HGTV

The Virtual Showroom- modernize your sales process to close more deals

2020 2020 DESIGN, 2020 FUSION, UPCOMING WEBINARS DESIGN, UPCOMING WEBINARS FUSION, WEBINARS

 

2020 Design: The Virtual Showroom

Eligible for NARI & NKBA CEU credits*

The Virtual Showroom- modernize your sales process to close more deals


For Kitchen and Bath showrooms, changing styles can be a six-figure problem each year. Design trends change on a dime with the Internet, HGTV, and Pinterest. How do you keep up? Let us show you the virtual showroom. Sounds expensive right? WRONG! This will save you in your showroom replacement expenses as well as help you lock that customer in with expectations that wont’ kill your profit margin at the end of the job. We will discuss how inexpensive this process is as well as how to design your showroom to get the most out of it.

Let’s dive into the details of the virtual showroom. Learn the secrets for shopping for technology elements. We will discuss what the key parts are to this process and what you need…. and more importantly what you don’t need. This is not just about gadgets, this is about getting the right tools to close more deals, adding more to your gross margins, and eliminating those mistakes that can make a department bleed money with every sale.


*This webinar is eligible for 1 NARI CEU credits and 0.1 NKBA CEU credits.

         

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Meet the presenter:


Eric G,
Certified Kitchen Designer & Host of Around the House with Eric G

Eric G is a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) through the National Kitchen and Bath Association and has been active in Kitchen and Bath design throughout the northwest since 1993, with over a thousand kitchens designed and completed. As the Northwest’s Home Improvement Expert, he has been featured on HGTV and the USA Network when living in the Puget Sound area. Eric Hosts the “MORE DIY” Segment each week on KPTV’s #1 Rated “MORE good day Oregon” morning show. That segment is used Nationally in Meredith Corp’s “MORE” local lifestyle shows.

Each Saturday from Noon to 2:00, on FM News 101 KXL and on the Radio Northwest Network, he helps listeners throughout the Northwest tackle their home improvement goals by offering advice on maintenance, repair, and designing for remodeling or renovation of their home. With Eric’s vast knowledge of the construction field he can get any listener headed in the right direction. Tune in to Around the house where we make that DIY Project fun!

For More information check him out at www.aroundthehouseonline.com or email eric@famacreative.com for details about his show.

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Designer Health: Meeting the Demands of Luxury and Lifestyle

2020 2020 DESIGN, 2020 FUSION, RECORDED WEBINARS DESIGN, RECORDED WEBINARS FUSION, UPCOMING WEBINARS DESIGN, UPCOMING WEBINARS FUSION, WEBINARS

Designer Health: Meeting the Demands of Luxury and Lifestyle

Eligible for NARI & NKBA CEU credits*


Health is the ultimate luxury. The discerning client of the present and the future is redefining the luxury lifestyle. No longer about mere beauty, the most successful and sought-after projects are now designed with health and well-being at the center. Premium materials with healthy finishes that are responsibly sourced are increasing in demand, and clients are willing to pay a premium for them. Like their organic, non-GMO groceries, the homes of today’s luxury clientele need to take care of them from the inside out.

Key Learning Points:

  • Discover the importance of incorporating healthy products into your design
  • Explore emerging materials and methods to effectively design for a health-conscious client
  • Recognize advantages of health-conscious design by reflecting on projects that have successfully employed these objectives

*This webinar is eligible for 1 NARI CEU credits and 0.1 NKBA CEU credits.

         


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Meet the presenter:


Lauren Levant

Lauren Levant is an emerging leader in the luxury kitchen and bath design industry. She has been named among HGTV’s top 10 American Designers under 35, and selected as Designer of the Year by Viking Appliance. In the past five years, her distinctive designs have claimed more than twenty international, national and regional awards. Her projects have been featured widely in Elle Decor, Architectural Digest, Home & Design Magazine and the Washington Post, as well as in hardcover publications such as The Kitchen Bible: Designing the Perfect Culinary Space. www.laurenlevant.com

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Vern Yip: What’s next after white subway tile?

April 19

Everywhere you look, in practically every American neighborhood, there is a visible thread of continuity that once culturally galvanized us: white subway tile.

It seemed that everyone, at one time, agreed that white subway tile (whether plain, crackled or hand-molded) was the clear, de facto choice for any renovation requiring wall tile.

As a result, for the past decade, it multiplied faster than rabbits. White subway tile, after all, was considered that magical combination of being both fresh and timeless. Now, after a decade of near-universal agreement that it would never go out of style, there are distinct rumblings for fresher alternatives, prompting design enthusiasts and weekend warriors to ponder: What’s next?

As it turns out, there’s a lot to talk about because there isn’t just one answer. As homeowners have steadfastly moved toward embracing individuality, and tailoring their homes to fit their specific functional and aesthetic desires (in lieu of accepting a “no-fail” standard), the demand for a broader spectrum of tile sizes, shapes and colors has dramatically risen.

Luckily, industry innovations in manufacturing — and increased accessibility to global artisans and materials — have translated to a never-before-seen array of new, beautiful tile offerings.

“Advancements in technology and our processes have allowed us to push the limits of what is possible with tile,” said Mara Villanueva-Heras, vice president of marketing for Emser Tile, one of the nation’s leading tile resources. “From intricate mosaics to thinner, large panel formats to easy-maintenance porcelains and ceramics that look identical to natural wood and stone, the options we can offer have never been greater.”

The dizzying array of options in the marketplace certainly underscores that there is seemingly something for everyone and for every style.

So for those feeling lost in a post-subway tile world and looking for direction, what is the latest and greatest? Though there may be limitless, new tile options, trendsetters are helping to advance a few ahead of the pack.

Whether you’re contemplating a renovation, or happen to be building from scratch, here is some insight into the most exciting tile developments to assist you in making your kitchen and bath spaces perfectly tailored to you:

Color: It’s hard to imagine that white tile will ever go out of style. After all, white typically signifies cleanliness, a quality most of us unequivocally seek for our bathroom and kitchen spaces.

More and more, however, other tile colors have been surging. Warmer toned neutrals, in particular, have risen dramatically in popularity. Warm gray, which has dominated the paint space for years because of its chameleon-like ability to accommodate any style, has now become a hot tile color as well.

Even having it incorporated into the veining of marble tile, or ceramic tile that emulates marble, is popular. Shades of beige, last seen many decades ago, are also in demand but in updated tones, new shapes and with new textures which up their freshness factor and add visual interest.

And for those wanting more definitive hues, a wide breadth of blue and green tiles (navy, turquoise, emerald and olive are sought after), in line with the blue and green kitchen cabinet and bathroom vanity trend, are available to infuse a pop of color as an accent or to help create a bolder, monochromatic look through an overall application.

Pattern and shape: Of all the areas of change, shape and pattern are perhaps the most visually impactful. Though the timeless rectangle (which gives the subway tile its identity) installed in a classic “brick pattern” will never be retired, newer shapes and patterns are helping to redefine the next generation of bathrooms and kitchens.

From simple hexagons, diamonds and triangles to more intricate arabesque and lantern shapes, creating a bold design statement through tile has become a practical way to simultaneously introduce art and durability.

In fact, intricate, full-room installations, showcasing honeycomb, herringbone and fish-scale tile patterns, have been dominating the Pinterest pages and Instagram postings of many design influencers. And in virtually every shelter publication, the presence of expansive top-to-bottom tile installations, featuring graphic shapes and overall patterns, further underscores that all-encompassing tile has emerged as one of today’s biggest interior design trends.

Size: As it turns out, bigger really may be better, especially when it comes to tile. Dramatically bigger tiles (imagine one big enough to cover your entire kitchen island) have begun to alter how and where it can be used.

At Emser Tile, large porcelain panels (each one measures 63 by 126 inches) in looks that are virtually indistinguishable from natural stone, represent one of their biggest areas of growth.

“The large panels have a thinner profile, which allow for more creative designs and installations,” Villanueva-Heras said.

“Additionally, the dramatically bigger size means that grout lines can be greatly reduced, or possibly eliminated, leaving you with an expansive, seamless surface,” she added. “This makes porcelain panels an excellent option for floors, walls, countertops and even islands that incorporate beautiful waterfall edges. You can even install them over existing surfaces for an easy way to remodel a home.”

The days of cookie-cutter kitchens and bathrooms are, gratefully, behind us. Embracing our individuality has seemingly supplanted our desire to have what the neighbors have.

Like a suit that’s been tailored specifically to your body, bathrooms and kitchen designs are now being tailored to uniquely support us and reflect who we are and what visually delights us.

And, judging by the endless variety of what’s available, the tile industry is fully on board. Undoubtedly, there is life after white subway tile.

Vern Yip is a TLC/HGTV interior designer and host and author of the book “Vern Yip’s Design Wise: Your Smart Guide to a Beautiful Home.” Originally from McLean, Va., Yip is based in Atlanta and New York. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (all @VernYipDesigns). He writes occasionally for The Washington Post.

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AMERICAN BARNS ARE BEING PILLAGED BY THIEVES WITH A TASTE FOR RUSTIC CHIC

Barns are under siege. The theft of weathered timber planks has been reported around the US from Montana to South Carolina.

The phenomenon is especially pronounced in one state. ”Kentucky is a veritable hotbed of barnwood purloining,” the Associated Press reports.

Just as thieves strip copper wiring and tubing from abandoned buildings and catalytic converters from cars to harvest the palladium, they’re cruising the countryside with hammers and crowbars, keeping an eye out for barns to pillage. Depending on the condition and color of the planks, wholesalers will pay up to $2 a board foot, the AP said. Authentically worn barn doors also fetch a premium.

Local sheriffs believe that a new demand for reclaimed lumber is driving the crime spree. Rustic chic, a look that favorites open-floor plans, farmhouse sinks, and tastefully rusted antique planters overflowing with greenery, often incorporates weathered wood on floors and walls, in soft, earthy shades of brown and gray. In one episode of Fixer Upper, the immensely popular HGTV show, Chip and Joanna Gaines convert an actual barn into a home, with many of the interior walls clad in barn boards. One of Joanna Gaines’ signature looks as an interior designer is to hang a vintage barn door on a sliding rail system, as a room divider.

The rough-hewn, mason-jar-full-of-wildflowers look has also driven a trend of barn weddings, invoking the long history of barn dances and rural community gatherings—and inspiring some barn owners to jump into the event industry.

Despite what your Instagram account might show, even as their rough-hewn aesthetic proliferates, barns are disappearing from the American landscape. “There are all kinds of obvious threats to barns—weather, fire, age—but the biggest is not having a purpose,” Kelly Rundle, director of the documentary The Barn Raisers told City Lab. The National Barn Alliance estimates that there are close to 1.5 million barns on farms in the US, a far cry from the more than seven million believed to have existed in 1935. Many now are in serious states of disrepair.

This is not the first time enterprising thieves have plundered rural barns.

“In the case of Old Homestead Farm, which is owned by Dennis and Elaine Thomas, the police said the thieves might have used climbing gear to scale the barn, remove the horse-shaped weather vane and replace it with a duplicate,” The New York Times reported in 2006, about antique. weathervane thefts around New England. “I just screamed, ‘That’s not our horse,’ ” Ms. Thomas said. “I knew instantly.”

Continue reading AMERICAN BARNS ARE BEING PILLAGED BY THIEVES WITH A TASTE FOR RUSTIC CHIC

I’m Over Open-Concept Design

CreditTrisha Krauss
Image
CreditCredit

 

At some point, the previous owners of my house decided to take down the wall separating the living room from the dining room, creating an open space that, in theory, was a good idea. But in reality, it seemed to me, it didn’t make any sense.

The dining room felt like an awkward, disjointed extension of the living room, not quite private enough to be its own space, but not fully integrated, either. And with the living room missing a key wall, figuring out how to logically furnish it was no easy feat.

And so, about a month ago, I hired a carpenter to restore part of the wall. By partially closing off the space, I aimed to create a separate dining area with its own mood, and to restore the original dimensions of the living room.

When I told the carpenter what I wanted, he stared at me blankly, like he’d heard me wrong. “But people like the walls open,” he said.

In the weeks before the work was done, I avoided telling friends, worried that they, too, might think I was nuts. The few I did tell mostly seemed confused. In the age of open-concept design, who builds a wall?

The trend toward an open-concept floor plan — where few, if any, walls separate the spaces where we eat from those where we lounge — has become so commonplace it’s hard to imagine an alternative.

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The idea of togetherness drives the design, creating a setup where a parent can simultaneously make an omelet and watch the children play in the living room because, apparently, no one wants to be alone. Or guests can move freely from the giant kitchen island to the living room sofa, unencumbered by obstacles like doorways. The design style has become the liturgy of home-improvement shows, with HGTV stars like Joanna Gaines catapulting to fame largely because of her uncanny ability to transform rundown farmhouses into loft-like showrooms.

In the city, that ethos translates easily because space is tight and lofts are a genuine home style. Remove the walls in a galley kitchen and suddenly a tiny cooking space can feel larger and lighter. With an island instead of a wall, you might actually have a place to sit. New developments are invariably designed with open floor plans, a trend that’s reinforced by ever-shrinking apartments. Without any walls, a prospective tenant might not realize how small the space really is.

Developers claim the tenants like it. “Many new renters and buyers are embracing the open concept,” said Chris Schmidt, a senior vice president for Related Companies who oversees the developer’s rental portfolio. “It allows, certainly, the flexibility for entertaining and cooking.”

Mr. Schmidt pointed to millennials in particular as a “generation who crave that social interaction,” and so “are going to crave that open concept versus walling everything off.”

Owners of older apartments also see the potential in a sledgehammer, with an enthusiasm fueled not only by HGTV, but by home-improvement design websites like Houzz, which features endless images of Instagram-ready open living spaces.

“People walk into every space, regardless of the condition, and want to make an adjustment,” said Sydney Blumstein, an associate broker with Corcoran. People “feel like they must personalize a space to make it theirs, and that goes beyond home décor.”

And what better way to personalize than to make yours look like everyone else’s?

The fixation with openness extends to the suburbs, where buyers eagerly take down walls in the kitchen and living room, and widen doorways. “People are definitely looking at the floor plans,” said Judith Daniels, a sales associate with Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, who works frequently with first-time buyers moving from the city to Summit, Short Hills, Maplewood and South Orange — New Jersey towns with large, colonial homes that weren’t originally designed to look like lofts. “They’re looking for openness that’s already there or the ability to do it, just by opening the wall.”

But do we really need so much togetherness? That fabulous dinner party where guests wander endlessly from the kitchen to the living room feels far less glamorous with everyone staring at a sink full of dirty pots, or smelling the burned soufflé in the oven. Sure, the idea of watching your children play while you make dinner sounds great, but only until you’re trying to listen to Terry Gross on NPR while an episode of “Peppa Pig” blasts from the other side of what used to be a wall.

Then, of course, there are all those Houzz pictures. None of them show what it’s like when you haven’t tidied up in a week and you’re left staring at the living room clutter while you eat breakfast. With no walls, there’s nowhere to hide.

“It went so far about opening everything up,” said Jade Joyner, the chief creative officer of Metal + Petal, an interior design firm in Athens, Ga. “There’s something nice about privacy and having your own space.” In the last year, she’s noticed the beginnings of a pushback against the doctrine of openness. Clients have been asking for media rooms, libraries and playrooms set off from the main living area. A quiet den means you can come home from work and not immediately join the family, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “It’s been indoctrinated that walls are bad, but they’re not,” Ms. Joyner said.

A home designed for entertaining does not necessarily take into account that most of the time you’re not entertaining. Mostly, you’re just living there, trying to read a book while your son practices the piano.

It also can be difficult to decorate an endless expanse of space. “My biggest issue with an open floor plan is lack of wall space. Where do you hang things?” said Abbe Fenimore, a Dallas-based interior designer who otherwise embraces open concept.

After the carpenter rebuilt my wall, I painted the dining room a deep teal, and the living room white. The two spaces, which once felt like they competed with each other for attention, now seem more defined. If the children’s homework is spread out on the dining table, I don’t have to look at it from the sofa anymore and wonder when it will get finished.

As for my friends, when I had a few of them over for dinner to celebrate the redecorated space, no one even noticed the wall. It was like it had always been there.

For weekly email updates on residential real estate news, sign up here. Follow us on Twitter: @nytrealestate.

Correction: 

An earlier version of this article misstated the name of an interior design firm in Athens, Ga. It is Metal + Petal, not Petal and Metal.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page RE4 of the New York edition with the headline: I’m So Over Open-Concept Design. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe
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Neutral walls, color accents best for waiting room

ATLANTA – “Create a neutral envelope and keep it monochromatic,” when it comes to the optometric practice waiting room, according to interior designer Vern Yip here at SECO’s MedPro 360.

The HGTV Trading Spaces and Design Star celebrity told attendees at the program, which was partially sponsored by Healio, that the darkest surface should be the floor, the next darkest should be the walls, and the lightest should be the ceiling.

Continue reading Neutral walls, color accents best for waiting room

The untold truth of Fixer Upper

 

HGTV’s Fixer Upper is our favorite home improvement show to marathon on a lazy Sunday, and that’s thanks, in large part, to the dynamic husband-and-wife duo of Chip and Joanna Gaines. He’s goofy and lovable; she’s laid back but all business. On every episode, Chip combines his real estate and construction know-how with Joanna’s eye for design (and shiplap) to transform dilapidated homes into real estate and reality TV gold. That’s lovely, but let’s mine for the lesser known details about this record-breaking series and the couple who makes it all happen.

What is Joanna’s ethnicity?

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Let’s go ahead and get this one out of the way. At some point while watching Fixer Upper, you’ve probably wondered about Joanna’s ethnicity. Is she Native America? Asian? Both?

You’re not alone in your curiousity. Joanna gets asked about her background so much that she decided to set the record straight on her blog. “I love hearing all the guesses,” she wrote. “Although I did play Pocahontas in high school, I am not Native American. My father is half Lebanese/half German and my mother is full Korean.” Now you know. Don’t you feel better?

They met because Chip needed his brakes fixed

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Chip first set eyes on the love of his life in a family photo her father hung behind the counter of his automotive repair shop. “I knew I’d marry her one day just by the picture on the wall,” he told Popsugar, but he needed an excuse to make his move. One day, Chip reportedly came into the shop to have his brakes fixed. Joanna was working in the office.

“We met in the waiting area and hit it off immediately,” she told Popsugar. “He was genuinely engaging and he had such a sincere smile.” While Chip was smitten, Joanna said she took a few months to let her guard down. “At first, I couldn’t believe how kind Chip was—he had kind eyes, and made me laugh a lot. I knew he was the one because I knew I could trust him,” she said. Oh, Chip, you sly dog.

Fixer Upper wasn’t Joanna’s TV debut

Clearly, Joanna’s fresh-faced beauty and friendly demeanor factored into HGTV’s willingness to center a show around her, but they weren’t the first ones to have this thought. As we previously mentioned, Joanna’s dad owned an automotive repair shop and cast her in commercials for the store. It’s easy to see in the above clip that Joanna is a natural in front of the camera, even if she is talking about tire warranties instead of open floor plans.

A blog post was their lucky break

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Fixer Upper’s big break began in January 2012, when the Design Mom blog published a post titled, “Living With Kids: Joanna Gaines.” A production company reportedly saw the blog, liked a photo of one of her and Chip’s designs, and reached out. “They called us and just said, ‘Hey, we love that you guys do real estate and you guys work together, that’s intriguing,'” she told Glamour. “From there, that’s where the whole courtship began.”

Fun fact: Joanna was a communications major. Her first design project was the fixer upper she and Chip bought the first year of their marriage.

Chip’s surprise houseboat purchase landed the show

chips-surprise-houseboat-purchase-is-what-landed-them-the-show-1503065427

It may have been their designs that attracted the attention of HGTV, but when the camera crews first showed up to see if the Gaines family had what it took for reality TV stardom, things didn’t go so great. According to the couple’s memoir, The Magnolia Story, both Chip and Joanna choked big time in front of the cameras for the first time.

“The crew had me stand in the kitchen and try to make pancakes with the kids hanging off of my legs while Chip was basically sucking his thumb over in the corner,” Joanna writes, adding, “I certainly didn’t feel natural, and it definitely wasn’t fun.”

But things took a turn when a massive houseboat arrived, which Chip had purchased unbeknownst to Joanna with the intention of fixing it up and moving the family into it. The ensuing argument over what Joanna described as “the ugliest, rundown-looking, two-story shack of a boat” she’d ever seen was all caught on camera. But so was their quick reconciliation. Joanna soon changed her mind about the boat and starting to rattle off design ideas for its renovation. In that moment, the couple’s passionate dynamic and its penchant for risk-taking and creative genius became clear to HGTV. And yes, because we know you are wondering, Joanna floated the idea of using shiplap on the boat. Seriously.

What’s the deal with ‘Magnolia’ anyway?

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Even occasional watchers of Fixer Upper will quickly notice a reoccurring theme: magnolia. The couple’s real estate business is named Magnolia Realty, and its property renovation company is called Magnolia Homes. The gated community they’re building is known as Magnolia Villas, and Joanna’s retail store is the Magnolia Market. Their bakery? Magnolia Flour. Their 40-acre home sweet home is called Magnolia Farms. Their bed and breakfast is the Magnolia House. It’s safe to assume the word bears significance.

“When we were just dating, I would pick these blooms from Magnolia trees,” Chip told Glamour. “If you’ve ever seen them, they are almost just bowl-like, and that whole thing just always inspired us. So when we had the opportunity and were trying to figure out what to name her little boutique, Magnolia Market just stood out to us.”

Now that you are fully prepared to answer Fixer Upper trivia questions about Joanna and Chip, let’s talk about some things that happen—or don’t happen—on the show itself.

The furniture leaves when the cameras stop rolling

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At the end of each episode, homebuyers experience the big reveal—their completely renovated dream home filled with gorgeous furniture. The buyers love it! The audience loves it! But the bookkeepers? Not so much. The furniture on the show is for staging purposes only. If you want to keep it, you can always take out a second mortgage, but we suspect most clients beat feet over to the nearest IKEA.

HGTV doesn’t fund renovations

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Unlike ABC’s former behemoth, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, nobody on Fixer Upper is donating their services or materials to the show. However, HGTV might throw in some money if the property lacks curb appeal. According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, the show, “doesn’t fund the renovations, though producers may throw in some extra landscaping or design flourishes.”

You need at least $30K in your pocket

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Fans of the show know the format: Chip and Joanna show homebuyers three potential properties; the buyers fall in love with one; the co-hosts work their magic. If it seems very storybook, and that’s because it is. According to the Hooked on Houses blog, Fixer Upper prefers “you already have a fixer upper before applying to be on the show. That means the house-hunting we see in the first half hour is probably just for entertainment purposes.” As for the renovation itself? The blog said homeowners must be prepared to invest at least $30,000 in the project and follow the Gaineses’ lead.

Fixer Upper is fixing Waco, TX

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When most people think of Waco, Texas, the first image that comes to mind is the U.S. government’s 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound. During the siege, 76 followers of cult leader David Koresh died in a fire that was broadcast live on television. You may also recall the 2015 biker shootout that left nine dead. The city’s battered image may be improving thanks to Fixer Upper. In a 2016 article in the The Dallas Morning News, residents of Waco credited the show’s popularity with rejuvenating the community’s public image. “…all around the world, you can say Waco and people automatically have images.” said Baylor Professor Robert Darden. ” I think, now, there’s more Fixer Upper than David Koresh.”

Chip’s former business partners sued him

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Though the Magnolia brand has become a juggernaut in the home and living space, it was not solely the brainchild of Chip and Joanna. In fact, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald, the entire thing started out as Magnolia Realty, a teeny tiny real estate firm founded by Chip, his lawyer buddy, John L. Lewis, and another friend, Richard L. Clark. That’s cool, right? A small business hit it big with a lucky break on a reality TV show. But ask yourself this: Have you ever seen Lewis or Clark on Fixer Upper? Right.

According to Chip’s former business partners, that’s because the Waco construction guru allegedly bought them out of the business—for $2,500 each—just two days before the announcement that HGTV had picked up the show, and despite allegedly negotiating with the network for more than a year. Four years later, Magnolia Realty, as we’ve previously mentioned, has ballooned into Magnolia everything, leaving Lewis and Clark feeling like they were left in the dust.

The result of the falling-out is a lawsuit filed by the jilted Magnolia partners. It names “Chip Gaines; Magnolia Realty; Scripps Networks, the company that owns HGTV; and High Noon Productions, the company that produces Fixer Upper,” and seeks more than $1 million in damages. As of this writing, there hasn’t been much movement on the suit, but Gaines’ attorney has dismissed it as “meritless” and claimed it’s just a product of “people try to take advantage of the hard work and success of Chip and Joanna Gaines.”

Controversy over their “anti-gay church”

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In November of 2016, Buzzfeed ran an article titled “Chip And Joanna Gaines’ Church Is Firmly Against Same-Sex Marriage.” The article centered mostly on a 2015 sermon by Antioch Community Church Pastor Jimmy Seibert delivered shortly after the Supreme Court’s reversal of DOMA, which effectively legalized same-sex marriage in the United States. In his remarks, Seibert claimed the church’s position aligns with that of the Bible, alleging that “marriage is between ‘one man and one wife.'” Buzzfeed reported that Seibert advocates for so-called “conversion therapy”—the controversial practice of faith-based counseling to reverse homosexuality. Given their connection to the church, are the Gaineses against same-sex marriage?

The backlash to the story was immediate. Conservative-leaning media outlets slammed Buzzfeed for shaming HGTV’s famous hosts over their alleged religious views. HGTV issued a statement saying they “have a crystal clear, consistent record of including people from all walks of life in its series,” and there is no discrimination against the LGBT community in any of its shows.

As for Chip and Joanna, they never publicly responded to the article. Chip, however, did respond to the general controversy in a post on the couple’s At Home blog in January 2017. He wrote about his and Joanna’s desire to “help initiate conversations between people that don’t think alike,” adding, “Disagreement is not the same thing as hate, don’t believe that lie.” He also stressed that they “operate from a position of love in all things [his emphasis],” but that they “are not about to get in the nasty business of throwing stones at each other.”

Divorce and show exit rumors

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For anyone who’s seen even a single episode of Fixer Upper, the idea that Chip and Joanna’s marriage is on shaky ground is pretty unbelievable. As is the idea that Joanna would ever leave the show and/or their absolutely thriving array of businesses to hawk some kind of “miracle” skin cream. But regardless of the incredulity of both rumors, fans freaked out at the prospect of their favorite reality TV home renovators parting ways.

The debunking site, Snopes, tracked the origin of the skin cream rumor to two different marketing scam publications that claimed to be featured in People, Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair, and Women’s Health. In response to the uproar, Joanna penned a blog post aptly titled, “Don’t Believe Everything You Read” to shut down several rumors, including one about the couple moving its business to Vegas. “YES! We are currently filming season 5 of the show. No! I am not getting into the business of facial creams. And No! We are not expecting baby #5. And no worries, believing some of these stories happens to the best of us,” she wrote.

As for the divorce rumors, Chip handled those with a single tweet. In response to a fan tweeting about how “sick” she was of hearing divorce rumors, Chip replied, “Won’t ever happen.. you can take that to the bank! #loveOfMyLife.”

They aren’t thrilled that some renovations became rentals

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One of the byproducts of being featured on a reality show is the inevitable heightened interest from fans. In the case of Fixer Upper, this apparently applies not only to the stars of the show but also to the owners of the flipped properties, some of whom, have turned their renovated gems into vacation rentals, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald.

Having your property featured on the show is essentially a free one-hour commercial should you decide to rent it. The problem with that, according to Magnolia spokesman Brock Murphy, is that it goes against “the true intent” of the show, which is “to do remodels for clients’ homes,” not for their investment properties. Murphy also says that while the company has no problems with their non-TV clients turning their renovated homes into investment properties, they do intend to address the issue in “contracts involving Fixer Upper clients moving forward.”

They don’t own a TV

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This is kind of a familiar trope with a lot of celebrities—they have an amazing lifestyle thanks to TV, but they don’t let their kids watch it. It does sort of smell hypocritical, especially in the case of Chip and Joanna, who once told ET, “I tell the kids that you are probably not going to get a cell phone,” to which we can already hear a sassy teen responding with, “Oh really, Mom? That’s cool, because how exactly would you be able to run your fifty thousand businesses without modern technology?”

But there’s also the possibility that the ultra busy family just has no time for binge-watching Netflix. In that same interview, ET visits their 40-acre farm where they keep “everything from turkeys to longhorn cattle.” How they maintain livestock on top of everything else they have going on is mind-boggling. Maybe all of Joanna’s talk about “going outside” and “connecting with nature” is just code for “Those cows aren’t going to milk themselves, kids.”

A Fixer Upper gone bad

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After a drunk driver plowed into Ken and Kelly Downs’ Fixer Upper-featured home, the renewed media interest in the property revealed that the couple wasn’t exactly happy with their dream flip. According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, the homeowners, whose home was nicknamed “Three Little Pigs” on the show, said they “feel deceived by the city of Waco and Magnolia Realty” because of problems they’ve had with the surrounding neighborhood.

Among their complaints, they cite “late-night noise from nearby bars, suspicious activity,” and “anti-Fixer Upper” pushback from neighbors who became upset when Ken and Kelly complained to police. The homeowners questioned “why Magnolia Realty showed them a property in such an area.” Of course, one could ask the homeowners why they didn’t take a peek around the hood before buying the house—after all, a bar across the street should be pretty noticeable—but we’ll leave the witty responses up to Chip and his Twitter account. As of this writing, neither Magnolia nor the the Fixer Upper stars have responded to the Downs’ complaints.

Strange facts about Chip and Joanna Gaines’ marriage

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Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines have one of the most relatable and enduring marriages both inside and outside of Hollywood (or, to be specific, Waco, Texas). But like every couple, they’ve had their fair share of hiccups. From money problems to those two times Chip left his son at home alone, here are all the times Chip and Joanna’s relationship felt like a true, um, fixer-upper.

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The untold truth of Fixer Upper

 

HGTV’s Fixer Upper is our favorite home improvement show to marathon on a lazy Sunday, and that’s thanks, in large part, to the dynamic husband-and-wife duo of Chip and Joanna Gaines. He’s goofy and lovable; she’s laid back but all business. On every episode, Chip combines his real estate and construction know-how with Joanna’s eye for design (and shiplap) to transform dilapidated homes into real estate and reality TV gold. That’s lovely, but let’s mine for the lesser known details about this record-breaking series and the couple who makes it all happen.

 

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What is Joanna’s ethnicity?

Let’s go ahead and get this one out of the way. At some point while watching Fixer Upper, you’ve probably wondered about Joanna’s ethnicity. Is she Native America? Asian? Both?

You’re not alone in your curiousity. Joanna gets asked about her background so much that she decided to set the record straight on her blog. “I love hearing all the guesses,” she wrote. “Although I did play Pocahontas in high school, I am not Native American. My father is half Lebanese/half German and my mother is full Korean.” Now you know. Don’t you feel better?

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They met because Chip needed his brakes fixed

Chip first set eyes on the love of his life in a family photo her father hung behind the counter of his automotive repair shop. “I knew I’d marry her one day just by the picture on the wall,” he told Popsugar, but he needed an excuse to make his move. One day, Chip reportedly came into the shop to have his brakes fixed. Joanna was working in the office.

“We met in the waiting area and hit it off immediately,” she told Popsugar. “He was genuinely engaging and he had such a sincere smile.” While Chip was smitten, Joanna said she took a few months to let her guard down. “At first, I couldn’t believe how kind Chip was—he had kind eyes, and made me laugh a lot. I knew he was the one because I knew I could trust him,” she said. Oh, Chip, you sly dog.

Fixer Upper wasn’t Joanna’s TV debut

Clearly, Joanna’s fresh-faced beauty and friendly demeanor factored into HGTV’s willingness to center a show around her, but they weren’t the first ones to have this thought. As we previously mentioned, Joanna’s dad owned an automotive repair shop and cast her in commercials for the store. It’s easy to see in the above clip that Joanna is a natural in front of the camera, even if she is talking about tire warranties instead of open floor plans.

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A blog post was their lucky break

Fixer Upper’s big break began in January 2012, when the Design Mom blog published a post titled, “Living With Kids: Joanna Gaines.” A production company reportedly saw the blog, liked a photo of one of her and Chip’s designs, and reached out. “They called us and just said, ‘Hey, we love that you guys do real estate and you guys work together, that’s intriguing,'” she told Glamour. “From there, that’s where the whole courtship began.”

Fun fact: Joanna was a communications major. Her first design project was the fixer upper she and Chip bought the first year of their marriage.

Chip’s surprise houseboat purchase landed the show

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Chip’s surprise houseboat purchase landed the show

It may have been their designs that attracted the attention of HGTV, but when the camera crews first showed up to see if the Gaines family had what it took for reality TV stardom, things didn’t go so great. According to the couple’s memoir, The Magnolia Story, both Chip and Joanna choked big time in front of the cameras for the first time.

“The crew had me stand in the kitchen and try to make pancakes with the kids hanging off of my legs while Chip was basically sucking his thumb over in the corner,” Joanna writes, adding, “I certainly didn’t feel natural, and it definitely wasn’t fun.”

But things took a turn when a massive houseboat arrived, which Chip had purchased unbeknownst to Joanna with the intention of fixing it up and moving the family into it. The ensuing argument over what Joanna described as “the ugliest, rundown-looking, two-story shack of a boat” she’d ever seen was all caught on camera. But so was their quick reconciliation. Joanna soon changed her mind about the boat and starting to rattle off design ideas for its renovation. In that moment, the couple’s passionate dynamic and its penchant for risk-taking and creative genius became clear to HGTV. And yes, because we know you are wondering, Joanna floated the idea of using shiplap on the boat. Seriously.

What’s the deal with ‘Magnolia’ anyway?

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Even occasional watchers of Fixer Upper will quickly notice a reoccurring theme: magnolia. The couple’s real estate business is named Magnolia Realty, and its property renovation company is called Magnolia Homes. The gated community they’re building is known as Magnolia Villas, and Joanna’s retail store is the Magnolia Market. Their bakery? Magnolia Flour. Their 40-acre home sweet home is called Magnolia Farms. Their bed and breakfast is the Magnolia House. It’s safe to assume the word bears significance.

“When we were just dating, I would pick these blooms from Magnolia trees,” Chip told Glamour. “If you’ve ever seen them, they are almost just bowl-like, and that whole thing just always inspired us. So when we had the opportunity and were trying to figure out what to name her little boutique, Magnolia Market just stood out to us.”

Now that you are fully prepared to answer Fixer Upper trivia questions about Joanna and Chip, let’s talk about some things that happen—or don’t happen—on the show itself.

The furniture leaves when the cameras stop rolling

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At the end of each episode, homebuyers experience the big reveal—their completely renovated dream home filled with gorgeous furniture. The buyers love it! The audience loves it! But the bookkeepers? Not so much. The furniture on the show is for staging purposes only. If you want to keep it, you can always take out a second mortgage, but we suspect most clients beat feet over to the nearest IKEA.

HGTV doesn’t fund renovations

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Unlike ABC’s former behemoth, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, nobody on Fixer Upper is donating their services or materials to the show. However, HGTV might throw in some money if the property lacks curb appeal. According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, the show, “doesn’t fund the renovations, though producers may throw in some extra landscaping or design flourishes.”

You need at least $30K in your pocket

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Fans of the show know the format: Chip and Joanna show homebuyers three potential properties; the buyers fall in love with one; the co-hosts work their magic. If it seems very storybook, and that’s because it is. According to the Hooked on Houses blog, Fixer Upper prefers “you already have a fixer upper before applying to be on the show. That means the house-hunting we see in the first half hour is probably just for entertainment purposes.” As for the renovation itself? The blog said homeowners must be prepared to invest at least $30,000 in the project and follow the Gaineses’ lead.

Fixer Upper is fixing Waco, TX

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When most people think of Waco, Texas, the first image that comes to mind is the U.S. government’s 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound. During the siege, 76 followers of cult leader David Koresh died in a fire that was broadcast live on television. You may also recall the 2015 biker shootout that left nine dead. The city’s battered image may be improving thanks to Fixer Upper. In a 2016 article in the The Dallas Morning News, residents of Waco credited the show’s popularity with rejuvenating the community’s public image. “…all around the world, you can say Waco and people automatically have images.” said Baylor Professor Robert Darden. ” I think, now, there’s more Fixer Upper than David Koresh.”

Chip’s former business partners sued him

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Though the Magnolia brand has become a juggernaut in the home and living space, it was not solely the brainchild of Chip and Joanna. In fact, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald, the entire thing started out as Magnolia Realty, a teeny tiny real estate firm founded by Chip, his lawyer buddy, John L. Lewis, and another friend, Richard L. Clark. That’s cool, right? A small business hit it big with a lucky break on a reality TV show. But ask yourself this: Have you ever seen Lewis or Clark on Fixer Upper? Right.

According to Chip’s former business partners, that’s because the Waco construction guru allegedly bought them out of the business—for $2,500 each—just two days before the announcement that HGTV had picked up the show, and despite allegedly negotiating with the network for more than a year. Four years later, Magnolia Realty, as we’ve previously mentioned, has ballooned into Magnolia everything, leaving Lewis and Clark feeling like they were left in the dust.

The result of the falling-out is a lawsuit filed by the jilted Magnolia partners. It names “Chip Gaines; Magnolia Realty; Scripps Networks, the company that owns HGTV; and High Noon Productions, the company that produces Fixer Upper,” and seeks more than $1 million in damages. As of this writing, there hasn’t been much movement on the suit, but Gaines’ attorney has dismissed it as “meritless” and claimed it’s just a product of “people try to take advantage of the hard work and success of Chip and Joanna Gaines.”

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20 STATEMENT KITCHEN RUGS THAT WILL COZY UP YOUR COOKING SPACE

kitchen-rugs-03-1510671027EVORA RUG

If you don’t have space for artwork on the walls of your kitchen, opt for a rug that is worthy of being framed, like this colorful modern design.

5′ x 8′, $269, One Kings Lane

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NATURAL FIBER JUTE RUG

Made of biodegradable jute, this square-shaped fringe rug adds a textured, natural element to your modern space.

6′ x 6′, $435, Safavieh

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OMBRÉ RUG

This plush, ombré rug puts the fun underfoot with a soft blend of pastels and playful tassels.

4′ x 6′, $249, Lorena Canals

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SCROLL WOOL RUG

If you love antique rugs but don’t want to rummage through estate sales, this hand-loomed wool rug was inspired by vintage patterns and is sure to give your kitchen some design character.

4′ x 6′, $789, Surya Home

kitchen-rugs-04-1510673721SILVER/SUNSET BRUSHTSTROKE RUG

Who knows kitchen decor better than Joanna Gaines herself? This collaboration between the HGTV star and Loloi resulted in a line of colorful, quality carpets — and this one is our absolute favorite.

Contact for pricing, Magnolia Home for Loloi

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COLOMBE WOOL RUG

You can’t go wrong with a comfy wool circular rug if you’re looking to add a relaxed vibe to your kitchen.

62″ diameter, $495, Olli Ella

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MAZE RUG

Drawing from ancient Egyptian art, this oval-shaped rug is stunning in both color and pattern

6′ x 9′, $499, West Elm

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PHOENIX RUG

A little bit bohemian, a little bit classic — this rug will give your kitchen the relaxed look it needs.

2’6″ x 8′, $350, Lulu & Georgia

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RYLAND WOOL RUG

Don’t let the Scandinavian trendstop at your rug choice: this wool design is a minimalist dream fit for a contemporary or rustic-style space.

2′ x 3′ $198, Serena & Lily

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HANDWOVEN LORNE RUG

Give a cold, contemporary spacean organic element with this flat-woven rug.

4′ x 6′, $148, Anthropologie

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PAINTED DESERT RUG

Bring the spirit of the southwest to your home with a colorful tribal-inspired motif.

2’6″ x 8′, $268, Lulu & Georgia

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GJS7 CARPET

This geometric statement piece was handmade in Nepal by artisans who use traditional methods to knot Tibetan wool by hand.

55.12″ x 118.11″, $5,920, George J. Sowden

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CALI WOVEN RUG

Add a California vibe, no matter your geographic location.

5′ x 8′, $499, Urban Outfitters

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GYPSY STRIPE WOVEN COTTON RUG

The perfect blend of mustard yellow, denim blue, brown, and ivory.

4′ x 6′, $172, Dash & Albert

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SEA POTTERY BRAIDED ROUND RUG

This traditional American rug features classic Capel braids in a beautiful array of blues.

5’6″ diameter, $261, Houzz

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NEMA KILIM RUG

Despite its soothing neutral palette, this abstract rug attempts to capture the beauty of a rising sun.

40″ x 56″, $299, Olli Ella

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HVI01 GREEN

This handmade rug is petite in size and can fit in practically any kitchen, no matter how small!

2’3″ x 3’9″, $39, Loloi

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ODEN RUG IN BLUE

Made from recycled yarns, the Oden rug is handwoven on a Punja loom that allows for a soft weave, giving it a laid-back look.

3′ x 5′, $159, Pottery Barn

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FRINGE MOROCCAN RUG

It doesn’t get more textured than this! The pops of yellow look especially stunning against a muted backdrop, like light wood or concrete floors.

2′ 3″ x 3′ 9″, $49, Levtex

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BLUE HERON STRIPE WOVEN RUG

Lightweight and made from cotton, this woven piece is a modern take on classic design.

4′ x 6′, $122, Dash & Albert

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Ceiling Decor: Yeah, It’s a Thing Now

Consider the large, uninterrupted blank canvas that is your ceiling. Now channel your inner Michelangelo. That’s right, this “fifth wall,” as interior designers are calling it, can make a sty-lish impact when decorated in hues or patterns that complement a room’s furnishings.

Continue reading Ceiling Decor: Yeah, It’s a Thing Now

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