12 Genius Fixer Upper Storage Ideas We've Seen From HGTV's Joanna Gaines

As an interior designer, entrepreneur, show host, producer, wife, and mother of five, Joanna Gaines is truly an inspiration. With myriad matters to juggle, the busy celebrity must really know how to stay organized. That is a life skill reflected in her fabulous home decoration projects. If you are a fan of her show, "Fixer Upper" on HGTV and the Magnolia Network, you have probably seen glimpses of the organization and storage solutions that she incorporates in her designs.

Together with her husband, Chip Gaines, the couple has helped many property owners achieve their dream homes through their awe-inspiring renovations. With the striking beauty of these residences, it is easy to oversee the designer's practical ingenuity. Today, we're looking at her most impressive storage ideas — from simple boxes and baskets to specially constructed fixtures. If you are looking for decluttering inspirations to improve your home, our list of hand-picked "Fixer Upper" storage hacks is worth reading.

Floating shelves over the kitchen island

Our first item is a kitchen storage solution that we saw in the Season 4 finale. Chip and Joanna Gaines reconstructed a broken shack for show producer Michael Matsumoto and his family. From the ceiling, they suspended a steel-framed linear-style shelf coated in black paint. They placed it right above the kitchen's five-seater island. It has two levels and is open on all sides.

Now, we have seen the cast apply industrial-style shelves in many of their projects. However, most of them are wall-mounted. This floating version is therefore a novelty to many of the show's fans. While the special feature provides more room for storing items, it also serves as an ideal place to showcase decorative pieces. It demonstrates smart usage of an otherwise blank space. Moreover, having plenty of kitchen storage can potentially increase the resale value of your home. If you want to replicate this "Fixer Upper" shelf, check out this similar product from Amazon. It comes with both the planks and brackets, which are available in either black or gold.

A staircase that is also a bookcase

Here is a hack we have seen them do on several occasions: using the space under the stairs as storage. Most times, Joanna and Chip Gaines build a mini library underneath the stringer. They can also turn the stairwell space into a study or a reading lounge such as in the case of the "barndominium" project back in Season 3. This is the episode where they converted an old horse barn into a modern family home.

This is an excellent demonstration of how you can use the space under the stairs as storage. It utilizes an area that is often left unused. Additionally, it makes the room safer since leaving an awkward void underneath the stairs is a hazard. Many houses use the space as a cupboard, which is also an effective solution. However, you will have the advantage of aesthetics, homey charm, and additional structural support if you turn it into a bookcase instead. In some of their projects, the cast used a combination of open shelvings on the upper part and pull-out drawers for the bottom sections.

A built-in cabinet that doubles as a reading nook

When it comes to designing spaces, the "Fixer Upper" team surely has a knack for combining functionalities. That is something seen in their built-in cabinets that also double as reading nooks, a feature they did in multiple projects. One memorable instance was in the kids' playroom of the European cottage-style home that the Gaines built from the ground up in Season 5. They created a bookshelf covering an entire wall section of the room. However, they left a portion of it as a recessed cove with a bottom drawer doubling as a bench. They decorated the backside with horizontal fluted wood paneling and installed a pulley-operated light. A cluster of pillows was thrown in for added comfort.

Not only does it look amazing, but it's also a tremendously clever use of the space. By using the cabinet components as a reading bench, they created more seating without consuming floor area. This allows more room for other items in the adjacent playroom, like the wooden kiddy table. The nook also used the wall as a backrest, giving ergonomic purpose to a structural element.

Drawers underneath window seats

A window seat creates a lovely setting for reading a book or sipping a warm drink while enjoying a view of the outdoors. Our network star takes it up a notch by incorporating storage into it. In multiple episodes, Joanna Gaines designed window-side couches with pull-out drawers underneath. The seat is typically built onto the wall, rising just a few inches below the window sill. Pillows and cushions are put on top while drawers are fitted below within the space between the floor and the bench seat.

This is yet another multifunctional design that utilizes consequential spaces, giving storage functionality to nooks and crannies formed as by-products of another feature or structure. The elevation from the floor line to the seat base (referred to as the apron) leaves a substantial allowance for bulky articles such as photo albums, winter boots, stuffed toys, or yoga equipment. If you have a window seat at home with an empty lower section, you can convert it into fashionable storage by filling it with good-fitting baskets or crates.

Mixing up enclosed and open storage

In almost all her projects, Joanna Gaines combines covered cabinets and open shelvings in the kitchen. At times, she would even use more open shelvings than covered. We have seen her apply the same style in other areas such as in living rooms and family rooms. Gaines also takes advantage of this combination to create a contrast of elements. While the cabinets wear clean and classic surfaces, the shelves would have a more rustic character of wood with steel brackets.

While considered less conventional, having pockets of open shelving does have its advantages. They provide an easily accessible perch for frequently used items like condiments, spices, chopping boards, and jars. They also have aesthetic contributions, since they are ideal for holding decorative pieces such as indoor plants. In some cases, the HGTV host opts for open shelvings to emphasize the texture of the wall behind it. Nonetheless, she always ensures that plenty of cabinets with doors are available to keep stuff out of sight.

Pegs for grab-and-go items

Just like open shelvings, Joanna Gaines recognizes the convenience of accessibility when it comes to storage. One of the ways she displays this is with her use of pegs and hooks. We commonly see these near entryways and in the mudrooms of the homes she decorates. You might recall one example in the Season 5 episode where they renovated their first downtown loft apartment and managed to pull off a modern industrial look. However, they still infused their rustic flare, evident in features such as the fireplace wall with wood panels and pegs.

This assembly is perfect for hanging coats, scarves, bags, hats, keys, and other items you frequently need before you head out of the house. The celebrity designer would normally line pegs in one of two rows. In some cases, she uses wall-mounted racks with artisan metal hooks. You can find similar products online such as this vintage-style coat rack from Amazon. This storage solution also works in other parts of the house such as the kitchen, playroom, bathroom, or laundry room.

This bunk bed slash bookcase slash toy shelf

We have been impressed by many of the kids' bedroom designs from "Fixer Upper." However, there is a particularly memorable one from Season 4 where the cast built a bunk bed for the Morgan family kids. This custom-built feature was surely more than just a pair of sleeping pads. Two of its posts served as a ladder-style shelf for the children's toys. On the other side, a mini library and a study were constructed underneath the stairsteps leading to the upper bunk.

The brilliant design not only merged multiple functions into one structure, but it was also an effective space-saver. And of course, it gave a fun and unique look to the room. Although the show version was a custom job, you can find modular types for sale to steal this storage solution for your home. This loft bed from IKEA comes with a wardrobe and a work table, a perfect bedroom piece for a high schooler or a busy tween.

Multifeatured lockers for a big family with kids

In one episode, Joanna Gaines remodels a house for her sister's family moving back to their hometown. She had to give extra attention to organization and storage to make the place livable for her nephews and nieces — that's a total of five children with another one on the way. One of her treats for them was a customized locker dressed in an elegant peacock blue hue. The top and bottom parts had cabinet doors with brass handles. Meanwhile, the middle section was open, like one large cubby, boasting a diamond pattern wallpaper covering the back wall.

The Gaineses placed the lockers in the family room, right next to the car park. That way, the kids can easily pack and unpack their stuff before and after trips. The lockers also have multiple storage options to accommodate different items. A sizable hook is ready for holding bags, jackets, or hats, and the cabinets provide covered compartments for more private possessions. The pull-out baskets are great for small random articles like winter gloves.

Baskets and crates in strategic locations

Another brilliant storage solution and an iconic feature among the Gaineses' home renovations is the bedside basket. However, it is arguably one of the most underrated. In every single project, the decorators place baskets in select locations around the house. We've seen them beside couches, near fireplaces, or next to the bed. The baskets are usually wicker-type, woven, or steel wire mesh. In some cases, they use wooden crates or metal buckets.

The lid-less containers provide easy-access storage for items such as linen, pillows, toys, and firewood. These alternatives to furniture are not only cheaper, but they are also visually lighter and more flexible. You can move them from one place to another as needed. Their appearance also adds a rustic touch to the room. There are similar products available online if you want to replicate this hack in your home. Check out this stylish woven jute basket on Amazon, or look at this simple circular seagrass design at IKEA.

The signature blanket ladder

A ubiquitous sight in all Gaines-decorated homes is the blanket ladder. Although not a frequent highlight, this underrated, thoughtful storage hack is definitely worth citing. You can find them leaning subtly on the walls of living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Unlike regular ladders used for climbing, blanket ladders are shorter, usually wooden, and have crosspieces (or rungs) that are amply spaced, often more than a foot apart.

While they are called blanket ladders, these mobile racks are also used for towels, napkins, scarves, and similar items. It is a useful way of hanging cloth materials, as it makes them less prone to creases and wrinkles as opposed to folding them into piles. It is also a good opportunity to display your beautifully patterned household linen. Moreover, it protects them from moths that might harass any blankets you put in storage. Aesthetically, the wooden structure adds a homey, old-soul character to the room. Blanket ladders are plentiful on shopping sites online, like this one from Walmart that features a natural wood finish.

Indoor firewood storage compartments

Rather than stashing firewood outside the house, why not use it as a display item indoors? Multiple times, Joanna Gaines came up with clever ways to store firewood while using it as decor. She and the crew would build compartments recessed into the wall where logs could be stacked. With their cross-section facing outward and rings exposed, the wood piles create neat visual mosaics.

This storage trick showcases the distinct charm of natural wood, adding a nostalgic appeal to the room. At the same time, it provides a convenient location for these chunks of lumber. If you have a built-in shelf near your fireplace, you can apply the same technique by filling one of its compartments with chopped firewood. Even if you have a faux or gas fireplace, you can use wood piles for purely aesthetic purposes. This is especially helpful if you are short of decorative pieces to place on your shelvings.

A hanging pot holder for your indoor herb garden

Do you remember this special wall-mounted herb garden rack? Back in Season 3, Episode 17, the team built it for a city-dwelling couple who decided to move back from Houston to Waco. Joanna Gaines had it customized with the help of a local potter and a welder. The hanging planter was made of steel brackets coated in black with nine herb pots held by metal rings. The plants were lined up in three parallel rows so water could drip from the top pots down to the ones below.

Cultivating indoor herbs in your kitchen ensures you have a fresh source of ingredients for your delicacies. The pop of greenery is also a joyful sight, adding life and vibrancy to the space. However, plant pots can sometimes be challenging to store, especially if you want to grow more than two or three herbs. Joanna Gaines' pot holders effectively solve this issue, setting them out of the way of kitchen traffic while keeping them securely in place. If you have an herb garden at home, you can create your own hanging rack with these wall-mounted pot holder rings from Amazon.