Can't get enough of Joanna Gaines's farmhouse-chic decorating style? Good news: her new book, Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, is chock-full of gorgeous rooms you'll want to cozy up in ASAP. We sat down with the design guru to ask about her essential tips for creating your own at-home oasis.
Kids' spaces don’t have to look juvenile.
Gaines, who has five children, dedicated an entire chapter to creating spaces that are family-friendly without being cheesy. (No dinosaur sheets or princess beds!) "I learned early on with my kiddos that they need their own space to thrive, but there's a way to blend pretty and practical," she says. "At the farm, I try to carve out these little nooks and crannies where they can do their artwork or study, even if it's just a table with paper and drawing materials. What makes it a kids' space isn't that it's colorful or over-the-top, it's the function that we created!"
You never know where you're going to find a favorite piece of décor!
One of the most meaningful pieces in Gaines's own home has a pretty unexpected backstory. "Chip and I stumbled across this piano a few years back in a house we were looking at and asked if we could buy it. It was covered in dust, so I thought it was brown, but when we got it home and cleaned it off, it was actually green—one of my favorite shades!" Now, it’s a family favorite. "My kids love banging on it, and I love that it's a little bit more fun and quirky than everything else I have in the house."
Make room for empty space.
In the book, Gaines stresses the importance of making sure everything in your home is functional—but, she tells us, "function doesn't necessarily mean that something has to be there; I always like to have some space where my mind can wander and I can breathe. It's about figuring out where to add things that work for me and my family, but also where to pull back so it doesn’t feel too cluttered."
Design is all about being confident, not Pinterest-perfect.
"I think it's important to be unapologetic about what resonates with you; there's something about having confidence in your own home that people can feel as soon as they walk in," says Gaines. And don't worry about making it Instagram-ready: "I think we have to get further and further away from the pretty pictures and more in tune with what we love, what speaks to us, and what speaks to the people we’re sharing the house with. That's what tells the story of home!”
Not sure where to start? Try hanging some artwork.
If you're struggling to make a space feel cohesive, Gaines suggests finding a special piece of art or an object to hang on a wall as a focal point. "For me, it's that big old black and white antique clock in our living room," says Gaines. "Choose something that you look at and it immediately says, 'This is my space,' and then let everything else play off of that."
Staying in is the new going out!
"I’ve called myself a homebody for years," Gaines tells us of her book's title. "For me, it's about creating a space where you truly love being, but it's where you're also the most known, and it's your safe place." And next time you feel bad about wanting to cancel your plans in favor of a night on the sofa with your favorite blanket? "It's OK!" says Gaines. "Staying home is good for the soul—it grounds you!"
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