See Inside Chip and Joanna Gaines’s Finished Midcentury Home from ‘Fixer Upper: The Lakehouse’

For her and Chip’s latest project, a roughly 5,100-square-foot lakefront home near Waco, Texas, and the subject of the latest season of Fixer Upper (airing now), the couple looked to the structure’s original blueprints for clues as to what, exactly, that unique identity should be. “It always starts with the story of the home. How do I unearth that and bring that back to life?” Joanna explains. In the case of the lake house, it turned out that the original owners sought to blend their two favored styles: midcentury modern and Spanish Revival. The key, Gaines decided, was removing its circa-1990s renovations and honoring those original architectural styles from when it was built in 1965. The couple leaned into midcentury modern style furnishings and incorporated plastered walls, arches, and terra-cotta tiles to bring out the Spanish Revival side of the abode. In the kitchen, they chose terra-cotta tiled floors featuring marble starburst-shaped accents that harken to the Atomic Age—a perfect marriage of the two styles.

Cherry wood panels with curved radius accents line the walls of the rec room, which is warmed by a retro free-standing fireplace. Black-and-white checkerboard tiles made of pressed volcanic ash line the floors. Skylights were added to increase the natural light.Courtesy of Magnolia Network

The beauty of the wooded landscape surrounding the property and—most importantly—its panoramic view of Lake Waco served as further inspiration. “My biggest teacher in this project was what was beyond the windows,” Joanna says. “How do I tie everything that’s happening on the interior to the exterior? If I could do that, then I had succeeded.” A triumphant moment in one episode of Fixer Upper: The Lakehouse sees the reno icon holding up a sample of the cherry wood used throughout the home to the backdrop of trees in the yard: It’s a match. In a choice that very much evokes the decade when the house was built, that cherry wood can be found in nearly every area of the five-bedroom dwelling, starting with the bespoke wood-paneled front door. To further emphasize the connection to the outdoors, Chip and Joanna made windows bigger, added skylights, and were careful not to compete too much with nature. In the entry area, Joanna deemed the former patterned floors a distraction from the lake view, opting to replace them with subtle white terrazzo tiles.