Few figures are as influential as Joanna Gaines—the HGTV star, Magnolia empire co-founder, and interior designer who’s probably already influenced the way you think about decorating.
Joanna is a leader in all things neutral – mainly showcased by the unmistakable modern farmhouse color schemes she is so well known for. So it was perhaps only inevitable that her interview with H&G focused on her expertise in this subject.
When it comes to decorating with neutral colors, Joanna is a master. But how does she choose color schemes for her projects, whether for her own home or for clients? And how can you be sure that these colors will work in your space? Joanna shares her coveted neutral room ideas and reveals her color scheme secret.
How to choose color schemes – according to Joanna Gaines
When choosing colors for your home, Joanna asks you to start with the following questions: ‘What should this space become? What is the story I want to tell in this space?’
And her first decision is always: ‘What color am I going to do in this space?’
But her color choices are mostly prompted not so much by a scientific approach to decoding the color wheel, but by how a color make her feel.
‘For example, in my library it’s dark and moody, but in other spaces it’s nice to move from that darker moody atmosphere to that light and open space,’ says Joanna.
Think about whole house color schemes rather than just one area at a time, your neutral choices will begin to complement what you want from every room in your home, says Joanna.
‘I feel like there was a time when you would assume, “my whole house should be neutral” or “my whole house should be colour”. I do feel there is room to do both, depending on what you want to feel in each room.’
The conversation around color schemes has never felt so appropriate as Joanna recently launched The Castle Collection (opens in new tab) in collaboration with KILZ.
“If I want a room to be open, light and inspiring… the palette is neutral, and my mind can really think,” adds the designer. ‘It’s like a great template. But then, when I want to walk into a space where I really want to feel like a hug – like it’s cozy – and I want to stay, and I want to linger – this is where I bring color.’
Joanna can be instantly associated with her neutral paint palette, but as the designer explains, you don’t have to limit yourself to these timeless shades. Instead, she recommends using neutrals alongside more vibrant hues to balance a specific emotion in any given room.
‘Color can do that to a space. If you want to stay there, it can make you feel comfortable in a way where it’s intentional, it’s thought-provoking,’ explains Joanna.
“I feel like there’s so much that color does mentally, so for me it provides both of those spaces in a home, depending on whether you’re working from home or if your kids want to play in the playroom. Colors really do evoke a certain emotion. You can do warm neutrals, but you can bring in those richer colors, and it’s a beautiful balance of both.’
Fixer Upper: The Castle first premiered on October 14 at 9/8c on Magnolia Network, HBO Max, and discovery+, and the Castle Collection premiered on October 28. You can explore the collection via KILZ (opens in new tab)now.