Why Fixer Upper's Chip Gaines Is A 'Snob' About This Feature (& Should You Be Too?)

Maybe you can't think about farmstyle houses without thinking of HGTV's Chip and Joanna Gaines, the reigning couple of home-reno fame. The couple's passion for modern farmhouse decor is evident on "Fixer Upper," their long-running HGTV show, which tracks the Gaineses as they find and renovate the perfect homes for their clients in Waco, Texas. Indeed, it's rare to watch an episode without hearing some mention of statement antiques, shiplap, or sliding barn doors (though they may be going out of style) — and everything always comes together beautifully in the end! On the show, Joanna is the queen of colors and interior design, while Chip knows his way around a saw and sledgehammer. "Demo Day" gets him hyped like few other days on the job.

Viewers might see the most of Chip during "Demo Day," but he's still picked up a thing or two from Joanna about interior decor and what not to do. In a 2016 interview, HGTV's funnyman shared his passions for landscaping and flooring. He said the first thing he notices when he walks into someone else's home is the floor and what materials they've chosen to use. "I'm sort of a flooring snob, so I love to see high-quality products, whether it be tile or hardwood floors. Those are the things that jump off the page when I walk into any project," he told House Beautiful. And he's not wrong about the appeal of flooring; an icky carpeting or a poor choice of flooring can be the make-or-break when trying to sell a house.

Flooring done right

Chip Gaines opts for natural, unvarnished hardwood floors over stained floors. On "Fixer Upper," he's often checking to see whether dated wall-to-wall carpeting might hide some hardwood underneath. And in 2021, when he and Joanna Gaines were laying down flooring in a church, Chip put his foot down at the mere mention of varnish. Joanna is well aware of her husband's knack for restoring flooring, which comes to him naturally. "Flooring runs in the family, my dad and mom own a flooring company," Chip said on the Discovery+ special "Breaking New Ground: Expanding the Silos." "For me, there's something about hardwood [flooring] that does something to my soul, in a positive way."

Unlike his wife, Chip prefers hardwood floors to be as natural as possible. "I see those natural hardwood floors and my heart jumps out of my chest," he said. "Don't put too much makeup on those babies, let's just let 'em fly." His advice for homeowners: Put down the gloss.

While the color of your hardwood floors is a personal preference, there are major pros to choosing hardwood floors. Not only can wood floors make your home feel bigger and more open, but they're also easy to clean and maintain. Additionally, they're durable — which is great if you have children and pets, like the Gainses — plus, they can improve your air quality! Unlike carpets, which trap dust and dirt, wood floors are the best choice for any allergy-sufferers in your household.

Maximize outdoor spaces

As well as flooring, Chip Gaines has a love for landscaping — and he knows that while you can't judge a book by its cover, it certainly doesn't hurt if the cover is pretty. "I joke that if I only had $1,000 to spend on a client's project, I like to surprise them before they've even walked in the front door," he said in a 2016 House Beautiful interview. "A lot of times [that] might look like shutters, or fresh landscape, or one of those simple DIY projects." Joanna Gaines also believes in the benefits of an outdoor space. Even if you live in a big city with limited room, carving out a little slice of the outdoors — be it on a balcony or a rooftop garden — is important. "I think creating these outdoor moments really gives us life, whether you're on 40 acres, or you're in a tiny apartment," she told House Beautiful.

In order to maximize your outdoor living space, incorporate pieces that are highly functional. For example, consider a table with enough space for your drinks that may also double as a cute planter. Or how about furniture with built-in storage? You'll want one or two items that do the most, rather than trying to cram a table, chairs, bar cart, and sofa on a tiny patio. And of course, incorporate plants wherever possible! You may even want to think about vertical plants or a trellis to really get the most out of your space.