By Andrea Garcia
In a world of Kim and Kanye Wests, Chip and Joanna Gaines stand out. The power couple has turned a loving marriage into a balanced business partnership. Four seasons into their HGTV show, “Fixer Upper,” the couple still invites viewers to share behind-the-scenes laughs.
From its first frame, any viewer would fall in love with the harmony of Joanna’s poise and Chip’s goofball personality. Every episode opens with a commentary of the dynamic duo. Odds are, Chip is wearing a baseball hat, repping their alma mater, Baylor University; to match the hat, Chip drops dad jokes leaving Jo rolling her eyes. Nonetheless, their affection shows through the screen.
When they cannot seem to get more in sync, enter shots of them with their picture-perfect family of four kids. The family reaches peak cuteness when the kids get involved with renovations.
To explain the premise: Chip and Jo show clients homes to choose from and renovate. Imagine a hybrid of “Say Yes to the Dress” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Guaranteed, Jo will suggest an open floor plan with crown molding, and Chip will imagine shiplap in the dwelling. Despite this pattern, each home is still unique with quirky moments highlighting each step of the renovation process.
Each renovation begins with Chip’s adrenaline rushing from demolition days. Like clockwork, he tries some potentially dangerous trick and jokes about old age and glory days, cue shots of shirtless Chip referring to his old six pack abs. Chip and his team lay the framework for the home.
Once construction is complete, Joanna channels her prime eye for design. Like a Tooth Fairy of home decor, she turns a house into a home overnight.
She never fails to hit the finishing nail on the head.
Then, it is time for the big reveal. Chip and Jo pull apart split screens in front of the new facade and bask in the surprised reactions of their clients. This leaves another episode in the books for the Gaines and sparks each viewer’s desire to decorate something.
Those who love the show fall in love even more with the roots of their business. This past fall, Chip and Jo have released The Magnolia Story, a tell-all memoir leading to the pick up of the TV show. My favorite sections of the book detail how their happy marriage came to be, from the moment they met in Jo’s father’s auto shop to when Chip asked Jo to design her engagement ring. Readers will envy their relationship as they recount the budding of their business endeavors with a little shop on a country road called Bosque.
Now with a thriving marketplace called the Silos, a bed and breakfast, quarterly magazine and a bakery, Chip and Jo have expanded their business beyond their wildest dreams. Four seasons deep into Fixer Upper, Chip and Jo have announced a spin-off series, “Fixer Upper: Behind the Design.” The Magnolia empire continues to blossom.