Joanna Gaines gives TODAY a look inside her family's farmhouse

Joanna Gaines is known for the warm and welcoming home designs she creates for other people. She recently shared some of her tips for creating memory-making spaces when she opened up her own home to TODAY for an exclusive tour.

"This is going to sound so dorky, but it's like a big hug," the "Fixer Upper" star said, explaining why she loves her Waco, Texas, farmhouse so much. "I just love being home. I feel like everywhere I look there's a story or there's a memory."

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10 facts you didn't know about 'Fixer Upper' stars Chip and Joanna Gaines
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10 facts you didn't know about 'Fixer Upper' stars Chip and Joanna Gaines

They both attended Baylor University, but the two actually didn't meet in school! 

Jo's father owned tire shop and he saw a picture of her hanging behind the store counter. He convinced himself he was gonna marry Jo even before they had actually met.

(Photo: Getty)

Jo was a communications major at Baylor University and she had dreams of becoming a broadcast journalist. 

Before getting her big break on "Fixer Upper," she actually appeared in commercials for her father's tire shop. Chip eventually used the commercial in a pick-up line when they first met ... and the rest is history!

As for Chip, he had other aspirations, like being a baseball player or politician. 

If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Chip stays loyal to his favorite clothing brands. In fact, he's worn the same style of jeans and boots since they got married in 2003 -- Gap 1969 standard-fit jeans and Ariat boots.

His ladylove, on the other hand, prefers Citizen low-rise skinny jeans and Frye boots. 

As you can probably tell from all their renovations on "Fixer Upper," Jo loves to decorate with pretty blooms and greenery. Her favorite flower? Pink antique roses.
Chip and Jo's Pinterest-perfect farmhouse sits on 40 acres of land, which is just big enough for their 60 animals to roam around in.
Jo knew the value of hard work even when she was very young. Her first job? At an all-you-can-eat buffet. To this day, she says still appreciates buffet lines, but her husband has different thoughts on the matter.

The couple's first fixer-upper home? Their very own abode that they started working on soon after their honeymoon. The 1,700-square-foot Victorian home they currently live in is the ninth home they've lived in and renovated together.

The name "Magnolia," which they named all their businesses after (Magnolia Homes, Magnolia Market, Magnolia Farms) holds a special meaning. When they first started dating, Chip would bring blooms from Magnolia trees to Jo.

The Gaines family doesn't own a television! They go over to a friend's house every week to watch their own "Fixer Upper" episodes or in their hotel room during trips.

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Joanna said the trick is to create spaces where everyone feels welcome and at home. She said she learned a lesson early in her career that eventually helped her develop the simple, elegant but functional style that has made her famous.

"I was trying to create these perfect spaces for my clients but then even perfect spaces for me and my home. And I realized really quick that you can't live in that. That's not real life," she said.

Joanna Gaines house tour

Joanna said making people feel welcome starts with greeting them outside with small things, like potted plants, sconces or even a doormat

"Little things that feel intentional," she said.

The first steps inside her farmhouse are into a carved entry space filled with plants and large mirrors. But you don't need a designated room to feel like you've stepped into a home, just some purpose, she told TODAY's Jenna Bush Hager.

Joanna Gaines house tour

"And so even if that means a table. It doesn't have to be this grand foyer. It's just the idea that, 'Hey, I can set my keys down.' It's just that nice, warm welcome," she said.

Joanna, who describes her designing tips and philosophy in her new book, "Homebody," said she considers her family's living room the heart of the home.

"I didn't have a ton of space to work with, but there's something about that that I love," she said. "The pieces in here are really special."

Joanna Gaines house tour

Among her favorite pieces are vintage street signs she and her husband, Chip, found in New York on their honeymoon. Another is the huge timepiece that hangs on the wall.

"This old clock, one of my favorite pieces in the house," said the mother of five. "I think anytime I'm home with the kids, time kind of stands still. And I feel like just always remember just what a gift time is."

Joanna Gaines house tour

And while the room's color scheme is kept in simple black and white contrasts, there's one standout: a large green piano.

"Something about that piano — there's a playful vibe to that," she said. "So I felt like that was a fun thing to incorporate."

Joanna Gaines house tour

Another room Joanna showed off during her tour was what Jenna called the "woman cave." It also happens to center around two appliances: the washer and dryer.

"What I love about this space is the irony that it's the laundry room, but it's also one of my favorite rooms in the house," Joanna said. "This is where I read. This is where I write. This is kind of my space."

And yes, it's where she does laundry.

Joanna Gaines house tour

"And it smells good. It smells fresh. But I'm like, if you're going to have to do a chore, why not do it in a room that you love?" she said. "Whether that's a chair in the corner, with a little lamp, and a side table, or creating a room that's inspiring to you, I think it's important that we have a space that's ours. At the end of the day, we can kind of go in, and regroup, get re-inspired."

The room many people have paid close attention to lately is the nursery, home to baby Crew, the newest addition to the Gaines family. She and husband, Chip, welcomed their fifth child in June, and she previously provided a peek inside the room of on the pages of her "Magnolia Journal" magazine several months ago. Joanna explained to TODAY some of the reasons she went with a simple, but elegant design when it came to her youngest son's room.

Joanna Gaines house tour

"I love when nurseries can be pretty neutral and soft. I love antiques. I love a little bit of some modern elements. And so that's all kind of tied in there," she said. "And I think the biggest thing is his book wall, with a ton of books from family and friends. The kids love to read to him in this little rocker. So it's just a sweet space."

Joanna Gaines house tour

For her older kids, there's the perfect playroom upstairs. Joanna and Chip converted unfinished attic space into an area where the kids can get creative or just relax, surrounded by bright light.

"Kids love nooks and crannies," she said of the "fun spot" "They love sitting in this little nook."

Joanna Gaines house tour

In the end, Joanna said her goal was to create "intentional" spaces to be filled with memories by her family.

"This wasn't about putting stuff on the walls, and making everything feel pretty and nice," she said. "It was really about trying to create this space where they're thriving, where they feel at home, and that they don't ever want to leave."

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"Rehab Addict" star Nicole Curtis during her high school cheerleading days!

(Photo: Facebook)

No one could rock suspenders like Nicole Curtis!

(Photo: Facebook)

"Fixer Upper" stars Chip and Joanna Gaines look just as in love now as they did back then. This is one of the couple's engagement photos from over a decade ago.

(Photo: Instagram)

Ok, Chip Gaines was quite a looker in his younger days. Anyone else agree?

(Photo: Instagram)

And here's another one from Chip and Jo's wedding day. We want more pictures!

(Photo: Instagram)

Stop the cuteness! The "Property Brothers" stars Drew and Jonathan Scott have grown up into such handsome men.

(Photo: Instagram)

Back where it all started! Drew Scott dressed up and looked spiffy for his high school graduation.

(Photo: Instagram)

The Scott brothers with their infamous third sibling, J.D.

(Photo: Instagram)

We love Jonathan Scott as a scrawny teenager. We don't think he'd be caught in this outfit these days.

(Photo: Instagram)

Daddy's girl! Here's Genevieve Gorder looking totally adorable before going to "Sesame Street Live" with her dad.

(Photo: Instagram)

Genevieve Gorder, host of "Dear Genevieve," was such a cute 7 year old.

(Photo: Instagram)

Carter Oosterhouse, star of "Carter Can," was living his best life in the '70s with some pals.

(Photo: Facebook)

"Flip or Flop" star Christina El Moussa looked just as gorgeous in Jr. High!

Sabrina Soto, star of "The High/Low Project," was all smiles with the Easter bunny.

(Photo: Instagram) 

Josh Temple of "House Crashers" rocked some seriously bleached blonde hair in the '90s!

(Photo: Instagram)

Here is "Property Virgins" star Egypt Sherrod at 15 years old rocking a super red ensemble. Talk about a '90s throwback!

(Photo: Getty)

This photo of Scott McGillivray shows less skin (so seriously what's the point?!) but it did have us feeling nostalgic for frosted tips. 

(Photo: Getty)

Wowza! Scott McGillivray from "Income Property" posted this shirtless photo from back in the day -- and it definitely made his followers happy.

(Photo: Instagram)

I’m extremely lucky to have so many strong, incredible women in my life - including these two... my beautiful mom and my superwoman fiancé, @_lindaphan. ♀️ 💪🏻 #InternationalWomensDay #IWD2018 #TBT
Having been brought up in a loving, supportive household...I’m thankful I was raised to admire and respect women #happyinternationalwomensday #respect #equality #tbt
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