When I tried to “Chip and JoJo” my house

I love Joanna Gaines.  But a week ago or so I had to remind myself that I am not Joanna Gaines.   And, that it’s okay.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Joanna is the peanut butter to Chip Gaines’s jelly on the HGTV show Fixer Upper.  This beautiful couple can transform the most decrepit habitat into a most beautiful home.   And it all happens in one neat hour on Tuesday nights.  (Oh if only it were that easy!)

After enjoying an episode of Fixer Upper, I typically experience a sort of let down for two reasons.  First, I find myself wanting more.  More details, more show to watch, more, more, more.  And second, I find myself wanting to “Chip and JoJo” my house.  Yes, I have made their names into a verb.  I look at my kitchen and think, “hmmm…if I could just tear down that wall, add granite countertops, install some canned lighting, oh and of course put some SHIPLAP over that brick over there…..then my house would be beautiful.”

Recently, the show got me thinking about the colors of my walls.   Maybe I should repaint over the my bright Martha Stewart Yucca Plant (a greener shade of turquoise) walls.   I love the light colors that JoJo often uses.  They make everything look so clean.  So, I started splashing colors on my family room walls.  I used colors that people on Pinterest claim she uses: Sherwin William’s Sea Salt and Comfort Gray.  (Sidenote: Comfort Gray is this soft grayish/blueish/greenish color that reminds me of a pair of cargo pants that I bought in Denmark when I was a teenager.  Oh I wish I still had those pants!  And I have a similar color on the walls of my bedroom.)

After I lived with random swatches of color on my walls for a week or so, I found myself doing something unexpected.  I was trying talk myself into liking these JoJo inspired colors.  It was strange.  I had convinced myself that I would love them, but I didn’t.  What I found was that these colors just did not complement the wood trim that exists on my first floor.  Usually Fixer Upper homes are adorned with lovely white woodwork.  And those light airy colors just pop so nicely against the creamy white borders.  Although, I do not have that type of woodwork in my family room, I sooooo wanted to believe that those airy colors could still work in the space.  But they did not and I was reminded why I had chosen the Yucca Plant turquoise color in the first place.  Not only did this color just make me happy, but it also went well with my family room’s woodwork, brick fireplace and carpet.

I had to remind myself, that just because I love JoJo’s style, I do not have to adopt her style for my own home.  My house does not have to be a Joanna Gaines masterpiece to be beautiful.  It can be an eclectic Courtney Hand masterpiece.  Whatever that means!  (Truth be told, it may include SOME JoJo inspired decor.)  After my mom helped me rearrange the furniture in my family room and after I moved some items on the walls I fell in love with the Yucca Plant color once again.  In this instance, this room was more beautiful to me when I wasn’t trying to make it conform to a style that wasn’t my own.

I think one of the reasons that many of us think what Joanna creates is so beautiful is because, from what I’ve surmised from watching the show, she knows what she likes and she doesn’t second guess her choices or compare them to some other standard.  You can sense the integrity of her choices.  She seems to style from the heart.  By that I mean she lets herself be inspired by her environment while still adhering to her preferred aesthetic.  She is authentically Joanna Gaines.   And that authenticity is so very appealing.

See that little splash of color behind the birthday boy?
Here you can see both Sea Salt and Comfort Gray over the Yucca Plant.
Toys and mess were strategically cropped out of this image to show the beauty I recognized once again in the color I had originally chosen, Yucca Plant.

Confession:  After writing this and looking at the photos, I may be getting the urge to paint again.  Oh no!


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I am a devoted wife and silly mother of three children. Once a Starbucks Tall Soy Misto drinking yuppy living in a big city, I am now a Reheated Coffee From Yesterday drinking homemaker in a little suburb who is just trying to figure it all out with a lot of help from faith in a merciful God.

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