I just got back from a girl's trip to Waco, TX, which is a place I never imagined going for a vacation. There really was no reason to visit Waco before the Fixer Upper craze hit the airwaves. I am pretty sure that tourists weren't coming to see the Dr. Pepper Museum (which is a real thing). As a 60th birthday gift, my sister and I decided to surprise my mom with a trip to see all things Magnolia. While the Magnolia style is necessarily up my alley, I can appreciate what Chip and Joanna Gaines are doing for their community. They truly do strive for quality and are trying to help people with small or normal size budgets obtain their dream homes. I can respect that. They have definitely created a frenzy around their show and their style and I was glad to see it all first hand.
We actually stayed in one of the houses that they worked on back in Season 2 which is now owned by a lady who had purchased half a dozen of their homes. It was a cute little bungalow and it was definitely in an up and coming area of town. It was private and tucked away, so we liked that, but it was within minutes of anywhere we wanted to go.
We did get to dine at their new restaurant, Magnolia Table, and got to see their latest project and its craftsmanship. It was very well done. The food was amazing! They didn't have the smoothies on the menu, as they had mentioned in the episode where they showed the restaurant reveal. We were told they were still perfecting them. We enjoyed the candied bacon and deviled egg appetizer and our breakfasts were extremely filling and tasty!
I loved the floors of the restaurant, they had that old vintage look and the mix with the black cabinetry and gold toe kick was classic, but modern.
We visited all of the typical Fixer Upper spots, the Silos/Magnolia Market, Harp Design and we even ventured out to Crawford, TX to see Jimmy Don's place. We had a treat on the last day that we were there, the owner of the house we rented, also owned the Barndominium property and she let us do a private tour before the next guests arrived! It is a really unique project and I am so glad we got to see it in person. It was done really well, nice quality work. The front doors were amazing and it is a really pretty lot that backs up to a little lake. Gorgeous private lot with beautiful trees.
The extra long table does not disappoint and I can see how it would be really fun to entertain in that space. The bad news is the kitchen is upstairs, so you have to bring everything down to serve your guests, unless you were using the outdoor grill. There are 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, and laundry room, and a living/sitting room with office nook on the main floor. They definitely had the space to put the kitchen on the main floor and I still think they would have had some beautiful views and it would have been a bit more practical for entertaining.
I really liked the kitchen hood detail and the backsplash was fun in the cement tile look. The kitchen was upstairs, but there was a little breakfast area and family room off of the kitchen so that it did have some entertaining space upstairs, but I still think I would have preferred the kitchen on the main floor. There were two more bedrooms and a bathroom up there as well. Another odd thing was that there really wasn't a master bedroom. None of the bedrooms had a attached bathroom so it was set up more like a rental home rather than a family home.
All in all it was a good little getaway and fun for everyone. I am glad I went and saw a lot of things in person. I think that the craze over this show and style definitely centers around the down to earth personalities of the show hosts and the simple, not fussy farmhouse feel that is relaxed and welcoming. I think it is an easy style that many can duplicate themselves and that is appealing. While it might not be everyone's taste, I think some elements are timeless and classic, which will remain long after the trendy shiplap disappears. I applaud Chip and Joanna for building a brand, changing their community, and creating homes that their clients love all in a few short years. That is an incredible feat, especially while raising 4 kids! Congrats to them and I hope it lasts to see them continue to transform the lives of the people around them.