The 10 Greatest Things We Learned From Chip and Joanna in 2016

We've already tried #5 at home (and you should, too!).

chip and joanna gaines
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Shiplap, cupcakes, and broken-down homes: These are a few of the Gaines favorite things. As longtime viewers, this isn't exactly news to us, but we were delightfully surprised by a few other tidbits of advice and wisdom the duo d with us this year — including how to score our own fixer upper and more.

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1 Knee-jerk reactions won't get you a fixer upper.

Coming soon to your living room #fixerupper #seasonthreeiscoming Dec 1st

A post d by Chip Gaines (@chipgaines) on

Instead, of focusing on the foul smell or drab green carpet, you should imagine what the home could look like with a fresh lemon scent or hard wood floors. You should make sure the foundation is solid and keep in mind all of the places you will save when picking out a home, too.

2 Everyone needs a doggy spa.

This went from a dirty workroom in the garage and turned into a mudroom/laundry room/doggy spa! #fixerupper #reinvisionyourspace @hgtv 🐶

A post d by Joanna Stevens Gaines (@joannagaines) on

Just ask homeowners Brittany and Andrew Chapman. Joanna designed one in their new home with subway tiles in a previously dated mud room. Cue instant envy.

3 People really do notice landscaping.

How did y'all like the Whyte house reveal?! @rachel_whyte is one of our main photographers so we loved getting to work on this home for her and @luke_whyte ! Such great people. #fixerupper @magnoliahomestx @hgtv

A post d by Joanna Stevens Gaines (@joannagaines) on

Or, at least Chip does. He says this is a passion of his, so it's what he notices as soon as he pulls up to a home for the first time. And once he steps inside, he looks straight down to the floor.

4 Frosting cupcakes is an artform.

At the Gaines' bakery, Silos Baking Co., it's all about the swirl and lift.

5 Leftover basil should be a flower staple.

Leftover basil makes for a good filler in a summer arrangement and it smells so fresh!

A post d by Joanna Stevens Gaines (@joannagaines) on

Instead of tossing it out, Joanna likes to tuck this herb into an arrangement to add fullness and a fresh scent.

6 Spring cleaning requires tons of trash bags.

The girls have been taking sewing lessons for a year now and for the last few weeks they have been talking about a surprise they are making. They finally finished this week and I just love this quilt and so do their "students" they are reading to! Hello weekend, I'm thankful for you.

A post d by Joanna Stevens Gaines (@joannagaines) on

According to Joanna, the best thing you can do is identify things you don't need anymore and throw them away for good. "I can't stress this enough — your whole family will feel the benefits of rooms and spaces that can breathe," she wrote on her blog.

7 Shiplap really does work everywhere.
Magnolia Market

Even in a sixth grade classroom. This year, the pair partnered with Wacoan to give a teacher's room a makeover, complete with shiplap, flower boxes, and organizational units.

8 Novice gardeners should start small.

Designed this fun indoor herb garden for today's #fixerupper reveal #eatyourgreens #greenisgood @recklessironworks @blackoakart

A post d by Joanna Stevens Gaines (@joannagaines) on

Apparently Joanna didn't always have a green thumb, but she learned on easy-to-care-for plants. "Herbs really don't require much care and are great for beginners," she said on her blog. "Just start with one or two that you love in the kitchen windowsill, where they'll get light and you won't neglect them because they'll be there every time you go to the sink."

9 Even tiny New York City apartments have potential.

But an open-floor concept is crucial.

10 Mistakes happen.

Tonight's tiny house was a huge mess. #demoday photo courtesy of @Hgtv @rachel_whyte

A post d by Joanna Stevens Gaines (@joannagaines) on

Even to the Gaines. Once Joanna decided to spend $11,000 out of a $20,000 budget on paint. But after it was too late, she discovered what she thought was buttercream yellow was actually bright school-bus yellow. It might have been rough at the time, but now they laugh at it, because, well, it happens sometimes.

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