Joanna Gaines Transforms Three Rooms With Speedy, Cost-Effective DIY Ideas

Gaines notes that once those key pieces were in place, it was easier to fill in the gaps with the large fiddle-leaf fig tree, the mirror, and smaller decor items. “All of these elements work together to create a natural flow that makes the room feel both functional and beautiful,” Gaines says.  

Create visual interest through texture and contrast

The original dining room, surrounded by white walls on all sides, was sorely lacking in direction.

Photo: Jeff Jones

The original dining room—with its white walls, white trim, and white ceiling—was a total blank slate when Gaines and her team started working on it. One of the biggest transformations they made was installing wood slats overhead (for dimension), adding a four-inch crown molding, and painting the ceiling a soft Drawing Room gray from her Magnolia line. To pull off a similar look in your own space, Gaines recommends using one-inch-by-six-inch boards with a four-inch space between each one and opting for paint-grade wood if you’re on a tight budget. 

A new slatted ceiling painted a soft gray—plus a matching utility door completed with applied molding—keeps this light-filled room from falling flat. Black Hawkins dining chairs and a new lighting fixture overhead dial up the contrast in the space, and the floor-length velvet curtains heighten the sense of elegance.

Photo: Jeff Jones

A tight-turnaround renovation like this one calls for creative thinking when it comes to working around existing design elements that can’t be moved. In this case, the door on the back wall leading to the HVAC closet was an eyesore which Gaines ended up accentuating rather than downplaying. She gave it some character and cohesion with the rest of the space through applied molding and a new paint job that matches the gray of the ceiling. “With it being in direct line of sight, I figured I may as well make it look like it was there on purpose,” she explains. 

Otherwise, Gaines opted for simple elegance with the furnishings, including a long oval dining table with soft curves contrasted with the black Hawkins dining chairs around it. The finishing touches on this elegant dining room are the velvet light-filtering curtains which Gaines calls the “unsung heroes of this space.” She credits them for providing much-needed softness and “luxe texture” to the space, without completely blocking light from seeping in. 

Get matchy-matchy with it

The bedroom was another blank space, with just a ceiling fan overhead and some white built-in shelving to break up the room.

Photo: Jeff Jones

The wallpaper and matching trim dramatically transform the bedroom into a cool and inviting space with character. “Wallpaper always has a big impact, no matter the texture or pattern,” Gaines explains. “Because this grid pattern is subtle, it makes for a good foundation to layer in colors and additional patterns into your space.”

Photo: Jeff Jones

The original bedroom was another white box, which Gaines punched up by painting the window and wall trim with a cool navy hue and installing matching Magnolia (Sunday Best) white-and-navy wallpaper underneath. She explains that “keeping all the trim consistent in color helps to visually connect each wall of the room.” Plus, she notes, coordinating the trim with the navy blue from the wallpaper creates color balance and adds depth to the space.