Here’s Where ‘Homebody’ Joanna Gaines Goes When the World Is Too Much


Even after the end of her HGTV show, “Fixer Upper,” Joanna Gaines has a ton on her plate: her new baby, Crew; her big kid of a husband, Chip; a holiday decor line for Target; and much more. So we had to wonder: When it all becomes too much, where does she flee to unwind and recharge?

The answer is found in her latest book, “Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave” (HarperCollins, $40). She retreats not to a spa or some fancy soaking tub in her master suite, but to a place that seems far more mundane—her garden shed.

“I have a beautiful and useful garden shed beyond what I could have dreamed of,” she writes in her new book, “filled with inspiration for what my work and life need from me.”

Fixer Upper

Chip and Joanna Gaines’ new garden, garden house, and chicken run

Jennifer Boomer / HGTV

Long before she had a garden shed, though, Gaines made sure to carve out a nook for herself in many of the homes she inhabited.

“Before there was a garden shed, I had an outdoor garden at the farm where I’d retreat in moments when I felt like I was running on empty,” she writes. “Before that, it was, quite honestly, my laundry room, never to actually start a load, but to simply sit with a cup of coffee and the scent of my favorite candle.”

In all, “these spaces have taken different forms and sizes, but they’ve all served me equally well as the one place where I can really feel the stresses of the day begin to fall away.”

From there, her book goes on to help readers carve out their own home getaway, regardless of limited square footage or budget. So if you’re needing your own “take me away” place, here is Gaines’ advice on how to carve out your own retreat.

Break free of notions on what a room is ‘supposed’ to be

“What often ends up stalling these projects is a resistance to the idea of changing a room from what may be its originally intended function,” Gaines writes.

So stop thinking of your garage as a place for your car when it could be better used as your workout room. Ditch the notion that your dining room is only a place for formal meals if you’re dying for a crafting area. Focus first and foremost on what you need.

Joanna Gaines' new book, "Homebody" from HarperCollins

Joanna Gaines’ new book, “Homebody”


Make use of wasted space

Do you assume you lack the space in your home for your own retreat? Try looking for pockets of wasted space—say, a corner where a credenza could be replaced by a small desk. In Gaines’ mind, all you really need is an empty wall, a floating shelf, a reading lamp, and a comfy chair—and then you’re all set!

“Having a place to retreat to may seem like a luxury, but it doesn’t have to be,” Gaines continues. “In some of the houses I’ve lived in, this place for me has simply been an oversize chair in the corner of a room.”

Tune in to your needs

The bottom line: Your personal retreat will vary based on space and your own personal needs. But whatever it is, it should “facilitate something you love, like journaling or crafts, or support a need that your family may have in this season, such as a work-from-home desk built into a small office nook. It can even look as simple as a hammock strung between two trees where you can enjoy your coffee without interruption,” Gaines writes. “With a little creative reimagining, these spaces can actually be pretty simple to carve out.”

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Source: Housing Trends Feed