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Homebody Design Tips

The designer says you don't actually need an entire room to make a productive space. 

The designer says you don't actually need an entire room to make a productive space.


By Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful

Permission to refer to Joanna Gaines as the Queen of Transformations? The designer and author earned it—seeing potential where no one else can, be it a decrepit home or a roughed up find at an antique show. Joanna doesn't just transform old into new, but makes something where there was nothing. In her newest book, Homebody, she focuses heavily on meaningful spaces, discussing how to maximize unexpected areas of your home to turn them into personal retreats.

A tiny corner is just as useful as a spacious room.

"Find spots that you can retreat to and then from there, add on to it. I don't necessarily think you need to have an entire room," she says. Maybe it's transforming the attic into an art room, or making a reading spot in the bedroom. "For people who don't have extra space, try making a corner matter," Joanna explains.

When in doubt, build something.

In the Kitchen's chapter of her book, Joanna shares the story of a client's corner at the far end of the room that would become a few feet of empty, unused space. The homeowner decided to convert it into a wooden coffee bar, that now gets morning traffic and is used regularly.


Creatively repurpose areas, like an old closet, into a functional one.

No open spaces? No problem. "Even if you have a budget and can do a little bit of renovation, finding spaces like a closet that you don't need or carving out space under the stairs—I love to do that when we can—put a bookshelf there and make a little library," Joanna says.

A desk can be as functional as an entire room. Seriously.

"What I’ve always loved about design is being creative when you don’t have a lot of space. Being creative and finding that one little spot, and when it works, it’s more rewarding than having a huge room, because you found that spot! There was one time I didn’t have a ton of space for a craft room and I had this fold-out desk and I had designed it so all the paints and all the little things I loved were in it, and it worked for me and I loved it, and when I needed to write or do some art or whatever, it was right there, but when I needed to tuck it away, I could," says Joanna.
Joanna gaines design tips, fixer upper

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Lifestyle Magazine: Homebody Design Tips
Homebody Design Tips
The designer says you don't actually need an entire room to make a productive space. 
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