“It’s the heart of the home for me,” said Joanna Gaines when talking about the kitchen in her hundred-year-old farmhouse. Joanna’s love and affinity for a well designed kitchen is evident in every episode of Fixer Upper. From open shelving to pendant lighting, there are several essential design elements that you’ll find in every Fixer Upper kitchen.
Don’t worry if you didn’t take notes during your most recent HGTV binge watching session (Fixer Upper Season 4 please start soon!). I’ve broken down Joanna’s kitchen design formula for you here. Add any of these 6 design elements to your kitchen for instant Fixer Upper worthy style.
6 Design Elements of a Fixer Upper Kitchen
1. Kitchen Island
Has there ever been a Fixer Upper home without a kitchen island? If there has been, I certainly can’t recall the episode. A kitchen island not only serves a design focal point, it also provides practical storage, extended countertop space, and often times an extra built-in seating area. Now if only we could call up Clint Harper to make our kitchen island dreams come true.
You can build an island from scratch, upcycle a dresser, or update an existing island! Click each photo below to see more DIY details and see more kitchen island tutorials and inspiration here.
2. Concrete or White Marble Countertops
Chip and Joanna have made concrete countertops one of their specialties. They’re Chip’s favorite and the style you’ll find in the kitchen of both the Magnolia House and the Gaines’ farmhouse. In recent seasons, white marble has also become a regular choice for kitchen countertops. While replacing your countertops is definitely a large undertaking, either material will give you the Fixer Upper aesthetic you desire.
3. Open Shelves
Open shelving instead of upper cabinets is another design staple of a Fixer Upper kitchen. Whether they’re made of refinished wood or sturdy metal, no Fixer Upper kitchen is completely without expertly styled floating shelves. Use the shelves to display your favorite dishes, pretty canisters, cookbook collection, and more.
Open shelves are an inexpensive and easy way to update a kitchen, especially a small kitchen. Try one of these open shelving styles for your space:
4. Farmhouse Sink
Jojo’s design aesthetic has certainly contributed to the wide popularity of farmhouse sinks–also known as apron front sinks–these days. They’re not just for farmhouses anymore! While some might consider the choice trendy, I think the clean lines and style versatility of a farmhouse sink makes it a timeless classic. If traditional white isn’t your thing, take a page from Jojo’s design book and install a stainless steel apron front sink like the one in the Peach House (Fixer Upper Season 3, Episode 10).
Sorry, there’s not really a way to DIY a farmhouse sink. But you can purchase some of these beauties we found (affiliate links; see our full disclosure policy here)
5. Pendant Lights
Unique pendant lighting is a sure way to add instant style and flair to your kitchen. I love seeing the different types of pendant lights Joanna uses in the Fixer Upper kitchens. Once you’ve narrowed down the style of pendant light to hang in your kitchen, you’ll want to base the number of lights on the size of your kitchen island to ensure the room is well-balanced.
Pendants make for a great DIY project! Using a premade pendant light kit, you can create a variety of pendant lamp styles, like these:
6. Pot Filler Faucet
I admit that until I started watching Fixer Upper I had no idea something like a pot filler faucet existed. What a cool invention? We don’t have the means to add one to our current kitchen, but a pot filler faucet is on my wish list for our next house. Without the hassle of lugging a huge pot full of water to the stove, I’m sure things like spaghetti and mashed potatoes would be more frequent items on our weekly dinner menu.
Sorry, another non-DIYable element! But these beauties are available for purchase and will look amazing in your new Fixer Upper kitchen!