At the core of the Magnolia brand is the desire to make homes beautiful but with a focus on family and practicality. We want to create spaces that families want to gather in.Joanna Gaines
It’s enough to visit the area known as The Silos of Waco, Texas, where Chip and Joanna Gaines have assembled markets, a bakery, and a fine old chapel right in the heart of the city. Catch it on a temperate day, and you’ll have a shopping experience to remember.
But most of us know the Gaines from “Fixer Upper,” the show that awakened us all to the idea of taking a tired little house in need of repair and transforming it into a special place with sound construction, enhanced landscaping, and designer touches that only Joanna Gaines could imagine. And for that experience in Waco, you need to take a tour.
We can’t comment on the value of one tour over another, since we took the only one available during this time of Covid-19. But we wore our masks, boarded a small van from Waco Tours, and took off to see the Gaines’ handiwork that made “Fixer Upper” so popular.
Most homes in Waco we saw only in passing — homes that we may have seen “turned” on the HGTV show, but didn’t quite remember. That didn’t stop us from admiring the little gems that have made Waco a tourist destination and caused the price of real estate to rise in this fair city.
But we did stop at one of the homes. It was purchased by the tour company, so we were allowed to explore the inside and listen as the guide explained the before and after of the transformation.
It truly is a little gem in this urban neighborhood, and we hoped more homes in cities just like Waco could be salvaged and brought back to life like this one.
Because the guide could tell we were all “itching” to shop, she pointed out in passing Little Shop on Bosque (photo above), a newly re-opened retail establishment in the Magnolia family, and then let us out at Clint Harp‘s place, Harp Design Company. (Clint designed and crafted some of the special woodworking projects on “Fixer Upper.”)
We loved the fall touches and variety of items inside — a treat just to see what’s in style.
Another home renovated by the Gaines sits next door, and, unsurprisingly, it’s owned by Clint Harp. (But not open to the public.)
Our last stop may be my personal favorite. We stopped to see the unique metal pieces crafted by Jimmy Don of JDH Iron Designs, who has been commissioned by Joanna to create special “cut-outs” for clients’ homes. Jimmy Don can take a quote or a song special to a homeowner and make a one-of-a-kind piece for their home.
When I asked if I could pose for a picture with him, Jimmy Don replied that he’d love to hug someone from Tennessee. (Well, who wouldn’t?)
Here’s hoping you’ve enjoyed touring Waco, Texas, with us. If you missed any of our posts, here’s a link that should bring up all of them. We’re pretty impressed with what the Gaines have brought to viewers like us, and they’ve inspired several projects that we’ve tackled after watching their shows. We haven’t looked into a subscription to Discovery +, but we might. The quarantine’s making us crazy, and we’re ready to watch all of “Fixer Upper,” roll up our sleeves, and work that Gaines magic in Knoxville!
Rusha & Bert