Fixer Upper Kitchen Ideas for a Modern Farmhouse Makeover

Ultimate Guide to Designing A Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Inspired Kitchen // White Kitchen Deign with Stainless Steel Appliances // Joanna Gaines Design Style //

How to Re-Create the Joanna Gaines Fixer Upper Kitchen of Your Dreams

Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming about Fixer Upper kitchen ideas? One that combines the best of rustic charm and contemporary style, just like the ones on the show.

Well, your modern farmhouse style dream kitchen is closer than you think! Taking inspiration from Joanna Gaines designs, you too can transform your old kitchen into a warm, inviting space that also feels fresh and modern. 

Your kitchen is the heart of the home. But kitchen renovations are overwhelming. That is until you discovered this guide!

Designing a new kitchen using inspiration from your favorite fixer upper kitchens just got a whole love easier. No design degree required—let’s get started!

Just a friendly reminder: This tutorial and any opinions or recommendations are genuinely mine, but this is not a substitute for consulting a professional. I also use affiliate links to earn a commission.

Kitchen Cabinet Ideas from Fixer Upper

Ultimate Guide to Designing A Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Inspired Kitchen // Dark Kitchen Island with Butcher Block Counters White Farmhouse Apron Sink // Joanna Gaines Design Style //

When you step into a Fixer Upper kitchen, you can’t help but notice the warm and inviting cabinets that set the tone for the entire space. Joanna Gaines has a knack for choosing cabinets that perfectly balance that farmhouse charm with a modern touch. 

When it comes to Fixer Upper kitchens, cabinets aren’t just practical storage space; they’re an essential part of the design puzzle. They work as the backdrop for everything else – from hardware choices to countertops and backsplashes.

By sticking to a blend of classic styles, natural materials, and neutral colors, Joanna Gaines creates cabinets that embody that modern farmhouse aesthetic we all adore.

Here what you need to know about picking kitchen cabinets using inspiration from Fixer Upper:

Fixer Upper Kitchen Cabinet Style

Think simple, yet classic. Joanna often goes for cabinets with clean lines and straightforward designs. You’ll frequently spot Shaker-style cabinets in Fixer Upper kitchens. These cabinets have a timeless appeal that bridges the gap between traditional and contemporary styles.

Fixer Upper Kitchen Cabinet Material

Wood is the name of the game. It’s all about that natural, down-to-earth feel. Oak and pine woods take center stage, offering a canvas that can be stained or painted to create different looks. You’ll notice that the wood often features distressed finishes, giving the cabinets a charming, well-loved vibe.

Fixer Upper Style Cabinet Color

Neutrals rule the roost. White cabinets are a Fixer Upper staple that give even a small kitchen a bright and open look. Light grays and soft beiges also make appearances, adding a cozy touch. These neutral tones let other design elements shine while ensuring the kitchen remains timeless and inviting.

Cabinet Hardware Ideas

Joanna Gaines knows that these little details can make a big impact on the overall look and feel of the space. She often opts for cabinet hardware that strikes a balance between vintage charm and modern simplicity.

You’ll want to use hardware pieces with clean lines and classic shapes, such as cup pulls, knobs, and handles. 

The hardware isn’t meant to steal the show; rather, it adds subtle elegance to the cabinets. These pieces serve as functional accents that tie together the cabinet design with other elements in the kitchen.

Use finishes like aged bronze or brushed nickel to complement the rustic farmhouse vibe without overwhelming the design.

Kitchen Island Ideas using Inspiration from Fixer Upper

One of the signature design moves that Joanna Gaines often incorporates in her Fixer Upper kitchens is the use of a contrasting color on the kitchen island. This technique adds depth, visual interest, and a touch of drama to the space. 

Here’s how she does it:

Warm Wood Accents

In many of her designs, you’ll notice that Joanna loves to introduce warm wood tones through the kitchen island.

Whether it’s a reclaimed wood or a richly stained finish, a wood island becomes a focal point that stands out against the surrounding cabinetry.

This adds a natural and cozy element to the space, contributing to the overall farmhouse aesthetic.

Sleek and Striking Black

Another favorite contrast option is a black kitchen island. This bold choice creates a stunning visual impact, especially when paired with lighter cabinets.

Rich colors like deep green, navy, or black not only serve as a statement piece but also provide a sophisticated and modern touch to the kitchen.

Balance and Harmony

What’s remarkable about Joanna’s approach is her ability to strike a balance. Whether it’s warm wood or sleek black, the contrasting island never feels out of place. It complements the surrounding elements and ties the entire kitchen together.

This careful consideration ensures that the contrasting island becomes an integral part of the design rather than an isolated feature.

Function and Style

Functionality isn’t sacrificed for style. The contrasting island often incorporates practical features like storage, seating, or additional workspace.

Joanna’s designs prioritize both aesthetics and usability, making sure the island is not only visually appealing but also a functional asset to the kitchen.

>> Want more on how to pull off a Joanna Gaines Fixer Upper Style home? Learn how to seamlessly blend farmhouse charm, modern elements, and neutral colors like Jo right here in this Ultimate Guide to Design a Joanna Gaines Fixer Upper Style Home.

Fixer Upper Inspired Kitchen Countertops

Ultimate Guide to Designing A Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Inspired Kitchen // White Kitchen Deign with Stainless Steel Appliances and White Countertops // Joanna Gaines Design Style //

Countertops play a crucial role in achieving a beautiful kitchen that is both functional and inviting. Joanna often emphasizes the balance between style and functionality. Opting for countertop materials that suit your lifestyle and are easy to maintain are key in a Fixer Upper kitchen.

By selecting the right countertop materials, colors, and patterns you will have a Fixer Upper inspired kitchen in your own home.

Here’s how to select the right countertops to capture Joanna’s design aesthetic:

Joanna Gaines Favorite Countertop Materials

  • Quartz: Quartz countertops are a staple in Joanna’s designs. They offer the look of natural stone but with enhanced durability and lower maintenance. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, making them versatile for different kitchen styles.
  • Soapstone: Soapstone is a natural stone that often comes in deep shades of black and gray. It has a smooth and matte texture, giving it a rustic yet elegant look that aligns with her modern farmhouse style. Soapstone countertops can add a touch of drama and contrast to a kitchen while still maintaining a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.
  • Concrete: Concrete countertops are versatile in terms of design and can be customized with various colors, textures, and patterns to match the overall style of the space. They can provide a sleek and contemporary look while still contributing to the warm and inviting atmosphere that Joanna Gaines’ designs often exhibit.
  • Butcher Block: Butcher block countertops add warmth and texture to the kitchen. They’re often used on islands or specific areas to create a cozy and lived-in feel.

Countertop Colors and Patterns

  • Neutral Palette: Staying true to her signature style, Joanna often chooses neutral countertop colors. Shades of white, gray, beige, and soft tones align with the overall calm and welcoming atmosphere she seeks to create.
  • Subtle Movement: When it comes to patterns, Joanna’s choices are typically more subdued. Countertops with gentle veining or speckling provide a touch of character without overwhelming the space.

Kitchen Backsplash Ideas Using Inspiration from Fixer Upper

Ultimate Guide to Designing A Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Inspired Kitchen // Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Backsplash Ideas // Joanna Gaines Design Style //

Pulling off the perfect backsplash in a Fixer Upper-style kitchen involves careful consideration of materials, colors, and patterns to achieve that modern farmhouse charm.

By choosing the right materials, colors, and patterns for your backsplash, you can capture the essence of Joanna Gaines’ modern farmhouse style. 

Keep in mind her preference for neutral colors, a mix of classic and unique patterns, and the use of natural materials to achieve a kitchen backsplash that’s both functional and visually stunning.

Here’s how to give your backsplash a Fixer Upper inspired fresh look:

Backsplash Materials

  • Subway Tiles: Joanna Gaines often gravitates toward timeless subway tiles for backsplashes. These rectangular tiles, typically a white subway tile or other neutral color, offer a clean and versatile backdrop that works well with various design elements.
  • Handmade Tiles: Handmade tiles add texture and personality to the kitchen. Their imperfect edges and subtle variations in color contribute to a warm and rustic aesthetic.
  • Natural Stone: For a touch of elegance, natural stone tiles like marble or travertine can be used. These materials bring a luxurious feel while maintaining a connection to nature.

Backsplash Colors

  • Neutrals: Staying true to her neutral palette, Joanna often opts for whites, creams, and soft grays. These colors create a backdrop that allows other design elements to shine.
  • Contrasting Accents: While neutrals dominate, Joanna occasionally introduces contrasting colors. A subtle pop of color, such as a soft blue or green, can be introduced through the backsplash to add visual interest.

Backsplash Patterns

  • Classic Subway Pattern: The classic subway tile pattern is a staple in Joanna’s designs. Its simple layout creates a timeless and versatile look.
  • Herringbone: Herringbone patterns add a touch of elegance and create visual movement. It’s a great way to infuse texture and sophistication into the kitchen.
  • Diagonal Stacked: Tiles stacked diagonally create a unique and visually captivating pattern that adds depth to the space.

Mix and Match

  • Combining Materials: To add dimension and character, consider mixing different materials. Pairing subway tiles with a strip of natural stone or incorporating handmade tiles as an accent can create a unique and personalized look.
  • Contrasting Grout: The choice of grout color can impact the overall appearance. Darker grout can define individual tiles, while lighter grout can create a seamless, monolithic effect.

How to Incorporate Open Shelving in a Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

Open shelving is a hallmark of Joanna Gaines’ design style, and she often uses it to create both functional storage and stylish displays in her Fixer Upper kitchens.

Incorporating open shelving into your kitchen design, following Joanna’s lead, can help you achieve a gorgeous kitchen. blend of functionality and style.

The use of reclaimed wood, metal accents, and neutral colors creates a cohesive and inviting look that reflects her signature modern farmhouse charm. 

Here’s how she incorporates open shelving:

Strategic Placement

Joanna strategically places open shelves in key areas of the kitchen. You’ll often find them flanking a range hood, above countertops, or near the kitchen sink. These locations not only provide easy access to frequently used items but also serve as design focal points. 

Floating and Bracketed Shelves

She uses a combination of floating and bracketed shelves. Floating shelves offer a clean and modern look, while bracketed shelves provide a touch of rustic charm. This mix of styles adds depth and character to the kitchen.

Reclaimed Wood and Metal

Materials play a significant role in achieving Joanna’s modern farmhouse aesthetic.

Reclaimed wood shelves bring warmth and texture, creating a connection to the rustic charm of farmhouse design.

Metal brackets, often in black or iron finishes, provide a contrast that complements the wood and adds an industrial touch.

Neutral Color Palette

Consistent with her neutral color palette, Joanna’s open shelving typically features wood in warm, natural tones. This pairs well with the white or light-colored cabinetry often seen in her designs.

The neutral backdrop allows the items on the shelves, such as dishes, glassware, and decor, to stand out and become part of the overall design.

Styling Open Shelving

Open shelves aren’t just for storage; they also offer an opportunity to display decorative items. Joanna expertly curates these shelves with a mix of functional and aesthetic pieces. You might find stacks of plates, little glass jar, woven baskets, and even potted plants artfully arranged to create a balanced and visually appealing display.

Practicality and Accessibility

While open shelves contribute to the design, they also serve a practical purpose. Having frequently used items within reach adds convenience to the cooking and dining experience. Whether it’s grabbing a favorite mug or finding the right spice, open shelves enhance the kitchen’s functionality.

Fixer Upper Inspired Kitchen Light Fixtures

Creating Fixer Upper-inspired kitchen lighting involves a thoughtful blend of materials, colors, styles, sizes, and strategic placement to achieve that signature Joanna Gaines charm.

The key to achieving Fixer Upper-inspired kitchen lighting lies in striking a balance between rustic and refined elements. Here’s how you can infuse your kitchen with the perfect lighting to emulate her style:

Materials and Finishes

  • Metal: Opt for light fixtures made from metal, such as iron, brass, or bronze, to add a touch of industrial elegance to your kitchen.
  • Glass: Incorporate glass elements, like clear or seeded glass shades, for a timeless and airy look that complements the farmhouse aesthetic.
  • Wood Accents: Integrate light fixtures with wooden accents, whether it’s a wooden frame around a pendant light or a rustic wooden chandelier.


  • Neutral Tones: Stick to neutral colors for the light fixtures, such as black, white, or muted metallics, to maintain the understated elegance characteristic of Fixer Upper designs.
  • Antique Finishes: Consider light fixtures with distressed or antique finishes that evoke a sense of vintage charm.

Kitchen Lighting Styles

  • Pendant Lights: Hang pendant lights over an island or dining area to create a cozy and intimate ambiance. Opt for designs that feature glass shades, metal frames, and perhaps a touch of wood.
  • Chandeliers: Choose chandeliers with rustic or distressed elements for a grand focal point in your kitchen.
  • Sconces: Incorporate wall sconces to add functional and decorative lighting around your kitchen, especially in areas like above open shelving or beside cabinets.

Light Fixture Sizes and Placement

  • Ensure that the size of the light fixtures is proportional to the space they will illuminate. Overly large fixtures might overwhelm a small kitchen, while too-small fixtures might get lost in a larger kitchen. 
  • Task Lighting: Place pendant lights or a linear fixture above the kitchen island to provide focused task lighting for food preparation and cooking.
  • Ambient Lighting: Install a chandelier or semi-flush mount fixture in the center of the kitchen to create overall ambient lighting.
  • Under-Cabinet Lighting: For added functionality and visual appeal, consider adding under-cabinet lighting. This not only enhances task lighting but also adds a warm glow to the kitchen.

Do you have low ceilings and wonder what to do about your lighting? Check out these 14 best kitchen lights for low ceilings.

Incorporating Accent Walls and Wooden Beams

Ultimate Guide to Designing A Modern Farmhouse Fixer Upper Inspired Kitchen //  Wood Beams in a White Kitchen with Black Accents // Joanna Gaines Design Style //

Incorporating accent walls and wood beams inspired by Fixer Upper into your kitchen can instantly elevate its charm and create a space that resonates with Joanna Gaines’ signature style.

The combination of textures, materials, and thoughtful placement will transform your kitchen into space that encourages everyone to gather.

Here’s how you can achieve this look:

Kitchen Accent Wall Ideas

  • Shiplap Magic: Install shiplap on one wall to achieve that classic farmhouse vibe. White or light-colored shiplap can provide a clean and timeless backdrop for your kitchen.
  • Bold Backsplash: Consider extending your backsplash all the way up to the ceiling for a stunning accent wall. Subway tiles or patterned tiles can add visual interest and texture.
  • Cooking Area Emphasis: Consider placing your accent wall behind the cooking area. This draws attention to the heart of the kitchen and can be complemented by stylish open shelves or hanging utensils.
  • Pantry Door: Create a subtle yet distinctive focal point within your kitchen by incorporating a vintage pantry door. Opt for a door that is carefully chosen for its intricate details and aged paint or wood. You not only infuse nostalgia and character but also create a conversation piece that reflects the essence of your modern farmhouse transformation.

Wood Beams

  • Exposed Ceiling Beams: If you have a high ceiling, consider exposing wooden beams for a dramatic effect. These beams can run parallel to the length of your kitchen, adding character and depth.
  • Faux Wood Beams: If your kitchen’s structure doesn’t allow for exposed beams, you can opt for faux wood beams. These provide the aesthetic without the need for major structural changes.
  • Wall Casing: Using wood beams to frame an archway brings a touch of timeless elegance and a cozy rustic vibe to your living space.

Modern Farmhouse Features to Also Consider

As you work to capture the inviting modern farmhouse vibe in your kitchen space, there are some additional key elements to think about that resonate with the Fixer Upper style.

These include incorporating a classic farmhouse sink, choosing flooring that pairs best with light colored cabinets, selecting paint colors that complement a white kitchen, and adding kitchen decor pieces to give a personal touch.

Together, these elements contribute to the cozy and welcoming ambiance that defines the modern farmhouse look.

For a more in-depth explanation of each of these features, take a closer look at the posts I linked to each modern farmhouse-inspired element.

Incorporating these Joanna Gaines-inspired Fixer Upper kitchen ideas into your own space is an exciting journey. By carefully selecting cabinets, countertops, lighting, and accents that resonate with the modern farmhouse aesthetic, you can create a kitchen that exudes warmth, character, and functionality.

From the charm of open shelving to the rustic elegance of wood beams and the practicality of a farmhouse sink, each element plays a pivotal role in crafting your dream kitchen.

Remember, the key lies in achieving balance and harmony between these features, making your kitchen not just a place to prepare meals but a hub of comfort, style, and family connection.

With a touch of creativity, a dash of inspiration, and a lot of heart, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a kitchen space that captures the essence of Joanna Gaines’ signature design.

>> Want more on how to pull off a Joanna Gaines Fixer Upper Style home? Learn how to seamlessly blend farmhouse charm, modern elements, and neutral colors like Jo right here in this Ultimate Guide to Design a Joanna Gaines Fixer Upper Style Home.

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