Joanna’s Design Tips: DIY a Rustic Dining Room

Editor’s note: Do you love Fixer Upper star Joanna Gaines’ style as much as we do? She’s offering up her design tips to help you get the rustic Magnolia Homes look she created in the dining room of this 1962 "Shingle Shack."  

When we first walked into this home’s dining room, it lacked interest and character. (See before and after photos here.) The tiles and basic beige made the room feel cold and bland. But, I knew it had potential to hold more than just a table and chairs. Here’s the finished product: 

The Dining Room After the Renovation

The Dining Room After the Renovation

As seen on Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna have updated the dining room with a new redwood mantel, farm table, dark metal chandelier and black accents that offer a contrast against the white brick.

From: Fixer Upper

Want to recreate this room at home? Here are 3 tips to get the look.

Add Architectural Interest

You don’t need a large-scale art piece to make a big impact. Head to a salvage yard to find an old architectural piece, like the window frame on this wall, for the room’s focal point. I love how this window’s weathered wood stands out in contrast to the freshly-painted wall. The window and wreath add dimension to the wall, which makes the room more warm and inviting.

Add Color, Naturally

We kept this room’s palette neutral, adding color through natural accents. We added texture and greenery on the wall with a faux magnolia wreath, filled a white vase with flowers on the mantel and added a pop of color on the table with a wooden tray covered in bright green pears. 

Antique Books as Place Mats

Antique Books as Place Mats

As seen on Fixer Upper, Joanna used antique books to serve as placements for this table setting to tie in the antique, rustic feel that she has created throughout the house.

From: Fixer Upper

Try Unexpected Place Settings

Elevate the room’s design by creating custom place settings you can pull out when friends and family are on the way. We topped distressed white wooden chargers with aged books and white plates adding subtle texture.

See more photos of this gorgeous makeover here:

A Fresh Update for a Family Home

See All Photos
See how Chip and Joanna made a bland “before” into a stunning “after.”

Curb Appeal Renaissance

Chip and Joanna Gaines transformed a bland and dated brick house into this striking neighborhood gem.

Kitchen Love

The kitchen went from plain, white and ordinary to dramatic and inviting.

More Pancakes, Please

French doors, floor-to-ceiling windows and a stylized chandelier bring loads of light into the breakfast room.

Decidedly Casual

Exposed beams, built-in bookshelves and a revitalized fireplace highlight the newly renovated den/family room.

Meet the Homeowners

Brandon and Kristen Haire were in search of a first home that would be ideal for raising their two kids. They settled on the established Western Hills neighborhood near Lake Waco.

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/ Getty Images

BEFORE

Chip and Jo prepare to pull back the big photo banner showing the Haire's house "before" the transformation, and reveal the newly completed renovation.

Photo By: Jennifer Boomer/ Getty Images

AFTER

The worn brick and wood shingles have been replaced with new siding and light green exterior paint. The facade gets a makeover with a new porch, wood posts and new exterior lighting.

Entryway, BEFORE

The old entry was narrow and tight, and the walls made the space inside the front door feel closed off.

Entryway, AFTER

Chip and Joanna opened up the entry hall and added a functional custom bench with handy storage compartments. The bench was designed by carpenter and furniture artisan Clint Harp. 

Entryway, Detail, AFTER

This handcrafted bench was custom cut to conceal an existing drain pipe that could not be relocated.

The Den, BEFORE

As seen on HGTV's hit show Fixer Upper, the Haires' house contained dated shelving and brick, as well as a less than stylish fireplace.

The Den, AFTER

The new den has exposed wood beams and reworked fireplace, mantel and shelving. The original wood floors are now newly sanded and refinished.

The Den, Detail, AFTER

As seen on Fixer Upper, the Haires' living room gets a redwood mantel to match the one in their living room, tying the rustic look through the whole house.

The Den, Detail, AFTER

As seen on Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna mixed natural elements with black accents to make the new rustic look stand out.

The Den, Detail, AFTER

As seen on Fixer Upper, antique candle holders add character to this formal living room.

The Den, Detail, AFTER

As seen on Fixer Upper, a detail shot of the book shelves in the renovated family room that contain antique books and an antique drawer for decoration.

Dining Room, BEFORE

As seen on HGTV's hit show Fixer Upper, the Haires' dining room, with its outdated tile, was closed off from the rest of the house, but Chip and Joanna will open it up to make it more inviting.

Dining Room, AFTER

The dining room gets updated with a new redwood mantel, farm table, dark metal chandelier and black accents offering contrast against the white brick.

Dining Room, Detail, AFTER

As seen on Fixer Upper, Joanna used antique books to serve as placements for this table setting to tie in the antique, rustic feel that she has created throughout the house.

Kitchen, BEFORE

As seen on HGTV's Fixer Upper, the Haires' original kitchen was old and and outdated, but Chip and Joanna will open it up and renovate the cabinets to make this kitchen a statement piece for the home.

Kitchen, AFTER

The remodeled kitchen has raised cabinets, a large island, new crown molding, pendants and new recessed lighting.

Kitchen, Detail, AFTER

As seen on Fixer Upper, this brass faucet compliments the tile backsplash that appears in this kitchen.

Kitchen, Detail, AFTER

As seen on Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna added unique lighting to the kitchen to help give the room character.

Kitchen Pass-Through, AFTER

Joanna and Chip opened up a kitchen wall, providing a pass-through opening onto the den.

Kitchen, Detail, AFTER

The new homeowners were particularly pleased with the kitchen's distinctive tile backsplash.

Living Room, BEFORE

Before Chip and Joanna renovate the Haires' living room, the space is closed off and dark with very little natural light and outdated wood floors.

Living Room, AFTER

The living room provides a formal seating area but Joanna furnished and decorated the space to retain a relaxed and comfortable feel. 

Living Room, AFTER

With plenty of natural light, and the wall between the living room and stair removed, this space now feels far more bright and open.

Living Room, Detail, AFTER

As seen on Fixer Upper, this antique clock helps to tie together the antique, rustic look that Joanna was going for.

Living Room, Detail, AFTER

As seen on Fixer Upper, the living room of the Haire house gets a rustic, natural remodel with elements like these natural windows and antique books and bottles that pull the look together.

Bedroom, BEFORE

As seen on HGTV's hit show Fixer Upper, the small windows and poor lighting make this master bedroom feel small and stuffy.

Master Bedroom, AFTER

The renovated master suite has wood floors, a rustic wood bed frame and headboard, new crown molding and newly enlarged windows to provide plenty of natural light.

Master Bedroom, Detail, AFTER

This chair in the master suite is one of a pair that were $40 flea-market finds that Joanna had restored and recovered.

Master Bath, AFTER

The renovated master bath has a glass enclosed shower and double vanity as well as this freestanding tub and an adjacent walk-in closet.

Master Bath, Detail, AFTER

As seen on Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna completed the Haires' master bathroom with chrome fixtures to help accentuate the natural look throughout the rest of the house.

Master Bath, Detail, AFTER

As seen on Fixer Upper, this updated bathroom includes brushed silver fixtures and accents as well as a vase with flowers to bring some natural elements into the bathroom.

Master Bath, Detail, AFTER

The back splash in the Haires' master bathroom adds a focal point to the neutral colored tile in this space.

Home Exterior, Detail, AFTER

Joanna accented the home's front exterior with this antique mailbox.

Behind the Scenes, THE REVEAL

As seen on Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna Gaines lead the Haire family, with their eyes closed, to see their renovated house for the first time.

Behind the Scenes, THE REVEAL

The Haires prepare to get their first look at their newly renovated fixer upper.

Behind the Scenes, THE REVEAL

As seen on Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna Gaines reveal the renovated house to the Haire family for the first time.

Behind the Scenes, THE REVEAL

As seen on Fixer Upper, the Haire family's initial reaction to their renovated house is one of extreme surprise.

Behind the Scenes

As seen on Fixer Upper, the Haires tell Chip and Joanna about their favorite aspects of their newly renovated home.

Behind the Scenes

As seen on Fixer Upper, the Haires and the Gaineses share a few laughs before filming.

Behind the Scenes

As seen on Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna Gaines enjoy their time with the Haires before they talk about their favorite aspects of their newly renovated home.

Behind the Scenes

As seen on HGTV's Fixer Upper, the production crew prepares to begin filming as Joanna and Kristin discuss some of the finer points of the house.

Keep Reading

Next Up

28 Signs You're a Fixer Upper Fanatic

We asked some of Fixer Upper's biggest fans to share the moment they knew they were officially hooked. Can you relate to any of these?

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts