We Rated the Top 10 Houses From HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper’
After 79 episodes of HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper,’ we’ve seen a lot of what Chip and Joanna Gaines have to offer. Typically: a big, open-concept floor plan; a kitchen island; exposed brick and beams; barn doors… and shiplap.
Lots of shiplap.
The transformations make for good TV, but a few homes truly stand out. Here, an un-scientific list—in no particular order—of the 10 best houses from the five-season run of “Fixer Upper” (from a fan whose taste leans a bit more modern).
The Shotgun House
Season 3, episode 14
It’s just 720 square feet, but bold design choices—like the floor-length windows, loft, and the brilliant ship-ladder staircase—make this space feel much, much larger. Of the lofted office space, Joanna says, “This space took the whole project from tiny house to practical home.” True. Also, who doesn’t love a Smeg fridge?
The Bells bought the shotgun-style home—one of only two in all of Waco—for just $28,000 and listed it for $1 million a year later.
Little Shack on the Prairie
Season 4, episode 16
The season four finale featured none other than Michael Matsumoto, the executive producer for “Fixer Upper”—this time, on the other side of the proverbial camera. The home is pitch-perfect Joanna Gaines. Shiplap: Yes. Kitchen island: Yes. Exposed beams: Yes. The strong black-and-white palette and adorable kid-friendly touches in the bedrooms make it a chic, yet family-friendly home. But it’s the before-and-after shots that are so totally shocking. Bonus: You can now rent Matsumoto Farm on Airbnb.
Season 3, episode 6
The Mid-Century Modern Home
Season 2, episode 9
The Pick A Door House
Season 4, episode 6
This is industrial chic by way of downtown Denver—and it’s one of the most modern transformations in “Fixer Upper” history. Joanna used plaster to bring to mind concrete walls and created a truly unique passthrough between the kitchen and living room, where chopped wood becomes its own rustic design element.
Season 5, episode 1
You can tell that this 1930s cottage was pretty charming at one point, with lots of great original details. It just became a little… drab. The new interior à la Gaines, with its deep teal dining room and dramatically dark kitchen, is a real stunner—and who doesn’t love the inclusion of hand-done woodwork by one of the owner’s grandfathers?
The Faceless Bunker
Season 2, episode 12
The heart of the transformation is the use of iron railings and steel cable instead of white wood railing throughout. The home just opens up.
The Holmes Home
Season 5, episode 7
This 750-square-foot cabin at the end of a dirt road feels more Portland, Oregon, than Crawford, Texas, with savvy, modern choices like a floating staircase, triangular picture windows in the master, and passthrough windows that give the outdoor patio a bar-like feel. And then there’s the sexy black siding.
All this was intended for the 20-something son of Jimmy Don Holmes, a metalworker and frequent “Fixer Upper” collaborator. It’s currently available for rent.
The Double-Decker House
Season 4, episode 9
A houseboat?! Yes! And this one went from junkyard fodder to a modern, masculine, 43-foot floating masterpiece. The end result feels more like a chic boutique hotel in Manhattan than a houseboat on Lake Waco. Plus, there are bunk beds.
The All-American Farmhouse
Season 5, episode 13
A feel-good episode, if there ever was one. TJ, a vet who lost his leg while in serving in Afghanistan, met his girlfriend Stephanie while rehabilitating. The pair moved to Waco so that TJ could finish up a degree at nearby Baylor University. Their future home—formerly a pole barn—was a mess, with an odd floor plan built around telephone poles. But the community came together to donate time and materials to make the transformation happen.
The space itself is classic Joanna Gaines, but the real stunner is the ample outdoor space—and the thoughtful touches in the master bath, including the mantra, “Every step of the way.” And I won’t spoil the special finale.