Meet the Hosts of HGTV's 'Open Concept' + Steal Their High-End Style on a Budget

Get to know the duo behind the new HGTV series 'Open Concept.'

You might rightfully observe that of late HGTV seems to be riding on the wave of the dynamic duo. Think about it: the Property Brothers, the Kitchen Cousins, Chip and Jo, Hilary and David, Tarek and Christina. I could go on, but you get the idea. To that end, if you missed the recent premiere of the promising new renovation series Open Concept, allow us to introduce to you Whitney and Ashley -- cohosts (and siblings) Whitney Gainer and Ashley Turner, that is.

Open Concept : HDSIS101H

Open Concept : HDSIS101H

Whitney Gainer (left) and Ashley Turner (right) of HGTV's Open Concept .

Whitney Gainer (left) and Ashley Turner (right) of HGTV's Open Concept .

Girls on a Mission

These Fort Worth natives have forged a reputation and a following by designing and building custom furniture pieces, then writing about it and sharing photos and tips on their design blog, Shanty2Chic. What's more, they provide free plans for their custom creations so that their fans, should they be so inclined, can replicate the pieces on their own. The mission seems to be helping folks with champagne taste and draft-beer budgets fulfill their design and decorating ambitions. The tagline on their website is "Turning Shanty to Chic one bargain at a time."

And more recently, their ambitions have expanded and their business has grown to encompass whole home renovations. "We turn boxy houses into open-concept homes," says Ashley, "and then we build furniture to fill 'em."

The Chemistry Thing

Open Concept : HDSIS101H

Open Concept : HDSIS101H

Ashley and Whitney collaborate in the workshop as work gets underway on the custom dining table featured in the premiere episode of Open Concept .

Ashley and Whitney collaborate in the workshop as work gets underway on the custom dining table featured in the premiere episode of Open Concept .

Whitney is a wife, a mother of five and a fearless DIY'er with an unabashed affinity for power tools and working with raw wood. Ashley is married and a mother of three, and her passions include seeking out vintage and trash-to-treasure finds and incorporating them into creatively crafted interiors. Combine those and what you end up with is a critical mass energy and inspiration, a talent for finding hidden potential in ordinary homes and a penchant for fueling each other's ideas — not to mention finishing each other's sentences. It's a recipe that draws on talent and expertise, but it's also about interaction, humor and that special on-screen "something".

Open Concept : HDSIS101H

Open Concept : HDSIS101H

Whitney takes homeowners Dack and Brooke Nicholson on a tour of their newly renovated home.

Whitney takes homeowners Dack and Brooke Nicholson on a tour of their newly renovated home.

As creative partners, Whitney and Ashley essentially do two things exceptionally well. First, they can look at a dysfunctional, poorly laid out home and envision a way to transform it into a functional and beautiful space. Second, they have an undeniable knack for creating original and unique furnishings from scratch — using simple, inexpensive materials to fashion pieces that look like top-of-the-line manufactured pieces.

The Nicholson Project

Open Concept : HDSIS101H

Open Concept : HDSIS101H

The newly reconfigured living room and dining area features all new furnishings — including the custom built dining table and other handmade pieces.

Photo by: Wade Griffith

Wade Griffith

The newly reconfigured living room and dining area features all new furnishings — including the custom built dining table and other handmade pieces.

In their first HGTV reno project, Ashley and Whitney took on a suburban '70s home with a segmented layout and a bit of an identity crisis. They knocked down walls and merged what had been four smaller rooms into one massive, multipurpose space that's both family friendly and ideal for entertaining. They furnished the newly reconfigured space with no fewer than sixteen custom made furniture and decorative pieces that they created themselves.

Steal These Looks...

Open Concept : HDSIS101H

Open Concept : HDSIS101H

Wood beam mantel and custom flower box

Photo by: Wade Griffith

Wade Griffith

Wood beam mantel and custom flower box

The Nicholson's living room had a fireplace that had a plain drab look and absolutely no mantel. Ashley and Whitney gave the fireplace a fresh look with whitewashed brick and a substantial wood beam mantel. The mantel gets topped off with a decorative wood flower box in distressed finish that was custom built by Ashley. 

Open Concept : HDSIS101H

Open Concept : HDSIS101H

The custom storage hutch and blanket ladder are two statement pieces featured in the new living space.

Photo by: Wade Griffith

Wade Griffith

The custom storage hutch and blanket ladder are two statement pieces featured in the new living space.

Also featured in the living room is this rustic wood locker cabinet in lightly distressed gray finish with barn-door inspired front and black hinges and hardware. It's an ideal storage solution for the space and includes hooks on the inside for the Nicholson kids to hang jackets and backpacks. Find out more about this piece, and download the plans

Open Concept : HDSIS101H

Open Concept : HDSIS101H

The new dining table and custom centerpiece are illuminated by a contemporary industrial chandelier with vintage-look filament bulbs.

Photo by: Wade Griffith

Wade Griffith

The new dining table and custom centerpiece are illuminated by a contemporary industrial chandelier with vintage-look filament bulbs.

The highlight of the new dining space is this vintage-look pine wood dining table. This beautiful rustic table is easy and affordable to build, seats eight to ten comfortably and was inspired by high-end furniture store designs. Find out more about this piece, and download the plans

See the Before and After...

Boxy to Beautiful Bungalow

See All Photos

Shop This Look

Check out this 36-image gallery to see the complete renovation from the premiere episode of Open Concept.

Keep Reading

Next Up

7 Times Fans Surprised HGTV Hosts With Sweets

See what cakes, cookies and candies fans have made for HGTV show hosts.

9 HGTV Hosts Who Love to Instagram Their Pups

Check out some of the cutest Instagrams HGTV hosts have taken of their adorable puppies.

Before They Were HGTV-Famous: 5 Hosts and Their Past Entertainment Gigs

See which hosts made cameos on popular TV shows and music groups before landing shows on our networks.

Make Pretty + Delicious Sugared Cranberries

Snacking on cranberries? It's better than it sounds. Get the recipe for these addictive (and pretty!) sugared cranberries that are sure to be a hit at your next holiday party.

Meet Jillian Harris' Newborn Son, Leo

Congrats to the 'Love it or List It, Too' host and her growing family! 

Perk Up With Pretty Paper + Office Supplies

Time to buy that fancy ballpoint pen. 

Congrats + Welcome to the Real World, Grad!

Here are some gifts to make the transition a little more fun.

Nicole Richie's Stunning Backyard + Outdoor Party Tips

If her irreverent personality and great fashion sense weren’t enough to make you love Nicole Richie, just look at her backyard!

HGTV Editors' Favorite Holiday Flicks + Recipe Pairings

See what's in our editors' holiday movie queue, plus grab 15 delicious recipes for your marathon watch parties.

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