How to make a small bathroom feel bigger, according to Joanna Gaines

While we not-so-patiently wait for Chip and Joanna Gaines to launch their new TV network, we have to rely on former videos to get their clever DIY tips. In an older episode of HGTVs Fixer Upper, Joanna Gaines shows viewers how to make a small bathroom space feel much, much bigger. Her tips are surprisingly simple and easy to do if you’re looking to make a smaller bathroom feel even bigger than it actually is.

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7 things Joanna Gaines never passes up at estate sales
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7 things Joanna Gaines never passes up at estate sales

Architectural pieces

If you've watched an episode of "Fixer Upper," you know that Joanna loves adding unique touches to her clients' homes in the form of architectural pieces like old doors, windows or corbels. 

"Anything that came out of an old house or building that's kind of its own story. That's the kind of stuff I'm always looking for," Joanna told Country Living.

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Ornate frames

One of the easiest ways to add that special touch to any room is by using picture frames. Joanna loves using antique frames to display her children's' artwork. 

"It's a fun play when you have your kids' artwork paired with an antique frame," she said.

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Unusual storage

Not only are Joanna's design pretty, they're also functional as well. 

"I'm always looking for storage, so anything that I can put in the living room that we can hide something under that's also a unique piece—[like] old storage boxes and bins," Joanna told Country Living. "And I'm always looking for something you can store toys in but that's kind of cool and unique." 

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Vintage books

A home designed by Joanna is never without a stack of vintage books on a table or carefully placed on a shelf.

"I love antique books," Joanna said. "They're quirky and make [a space] feel not so expected."

Old light fixtures

We think nothing makes a bigger statement than a unique light fixture -- and Joanna agrees!

"Old light fixtures to incorporate in newer renovations. When we're doing these renovations I always want it to feel like there's history there, and one way to incorporate that is using antique light fixtures that you [can] have rewired."

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Knickknacks

Joanna's go-to when it comes to making a home feel "homey" are knickknacks throughout the living space that are special to the owners.

"I love knickknack-type stuff for the bookshelves. I feel like bookshelves and open built-ins can feel a little stale, so for me it's finding these random little things that speak to you. I have this brass mouse that's so random, but to me it's just the cutest thing. It's those things that help tell your story."

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Channel letters

Joanna isn't the only one who's a fan of this decoration. Her husband, Chip, is also a huge fan. The other half of the "Fixer Upper" duo has said he "loves" these letters while antique shopping with JoJo.

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Here’s what Joanna did to the bathroom on this particular episode.

Use lighter materials

In the video, Joanna explains that she uses lighter colored flooring, countertops, cabinets, and paint color on the wall. The tiles and cabinets are white, the countertop is a lighter marble, and the wall is light green. Consider color psychology when choosing the paint for your bathroom and how a color will make you feel.

“It’s really important to make this space feel really light and airy because it’s only 45 square feet,” said Joanna.

She also likes to play with the different colors to give the tiles contrast. Instead of using a white grout for the tiles, she used a natural grey grout. However, with the amount of white she chose for the bathroom, it gives more light and makes the bathroom feel lighter and bigger. The grey grout gives it a nice balance.

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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.

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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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Give the shower curtain some texture

Joanna uses a ruffled white shower curtain for this bathroom, which she points out how this will make a statement in such a small space. However, choosing lighter colors still makes the space feel bigger.

Add extra lighting

One of the things that Joanna encourages people to do is make room in the budget for extra lighting. In the bathroom she designed, Joanna uses a vanity as well as an antique chandelier to give the space plenty of light. And what does light do? “Light makes things feel bigger so that’s the trick,” said Joanna.

Add a vanity mirror

Along with the ruffled shower curtain, Joanna says a vanity mirror can make a huge statement in such a small space. In the bathroom she worked on, repainted an antique mirror she found, leaving some of the wood unpainted to give it the distressed look.

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HGTV stars before they were famous
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HGTV stars before they were famous

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

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No one could rock suspenders like Nicole Curtis!

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"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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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"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.

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

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

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

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

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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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Try a vessel sink

Since the countertop is smaller, Joanna decided to use a raised vessel sink to make the bathroom feel larger. She says this helps to give the sink and counter the illusion that it’s bigger than it actually is. If you’re looking to install a new vanity sink, here’s how.

Maximize your space

Joanna points out that working with a smaller vanity means not being able to fit all of your bathroom items within one space. She says the trick is to try and maximize your space by containing things in a creative way. One of the ways she did this is by hanging a small basket above the toilet. This basket holds extra hand towels, jars that have Q-tips and cotton balls, and a small floral decoration. On the floor opposite of the toilet, there’s a small white wire basket to hold the extra toilet paper. Steal these tips from personal organizers for more decluttering know-how.

Keep the counters clear

This goes with her last point about maximizing space, but keeping the counters clear and the bathroom tidy will help to give that bigger illusion you’re going for. Smaller objects could be placed in jars, which can go in hanging baskets, and hand towels could be hung by a ring holder or a bathroom towel bar next to the vanity. Still feeling cramped? Try out some of these 19 other design tips to make a small bathroom feel bigger.

The post How to Make a Small Bathroom Feel Bigger, According to Joanna Gaines appeared first on Reader's Digest.

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10 best cooking shortcuts from Joanna Gaines
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10 best cooking shortcuts from Joanna Gaines

Stock up on crescent rolls

To get that homemade feel you don’t always have to make everything 100% from scratch. In Magnolia Table, Joanna relies on refrigerated crescent roll dough for a few tasty recipes, like her quick orange-walnut sweet rolls and her classic chicken potpie. This cuts the prep time down significantly, and the results can taste just as good as something made all by hand.

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Save time with rotisserie chicken

While everyone loves a perfectly roasted chicken for dinner—and then the leftovers used in tasty dinners all week—it can be hard to find the time to roast one on a busy evening. That’s why Joanna grabs a grocery store rotisserie chicken to use in a handful of recipes, like her cozy chicken potpie.

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Turn tricky dishes into casseroles

Have a favorite dish that you always order at a restaurant but is just too tricky to make at home? Joanna says turn those into a casserole! She explains in her book that Chip loves eggs Benedict, but making individual servings at home can be a real hassle. So to get that same flavor with less work, Joanna turned it into an easy-to-make, easy-to-serve casserole. Genius! 

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Use store-bought crust

Pie crust serves as the foundation for so many of our favorite dishes—pie (obviously!), quiches and tarts—but making your own crust from scratch is sometimes too time-consuming. According to Joanna, don’t worry about it! She writes in Magnolia table that she subs store-bought crust for homemade all the time, especially when she’s whipping up a tasty quiche.

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Refrigerated biscuits are your friend

We all know that Joanna is a true Southern gal with an authentic recipe for buttermilk biscuits (you can check out how to make them right here), but we also know she’s a busy woman! That’s why when it comes to chicken and dumplings, Joanna says that you can easily substitute packaged biscuits for her biscuit and dumpling recipe.

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Focus on the main dish and take shortcuts on the sides

In Magnolia Table, Joanna explains how enchiladas are a family favorite in her house. The cheese-filled chicken enchiladas are the star of the show and the side dishes—beans and rice—are just supporting players. So when time is tight, focus on the main, and used packaged rice as a quick substitute. Joanna prefers Knorr brand Mexican rice mix.

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Transform your condiments 

We love our sandwiches layered with flavored aiolis, but we never think to make those fancy types of mayonnaise at home. After all, mayonnaise from scratch can be a real chore. But to get that same effect, Joanna takes her favorite mayonnaise (she says she prefers Hellman’s) and stirs in a handful of herbs and spices. For her version, add chopped chives, garlic, dill, parsley, paprika and a bit of lemon juice. Feel free to add your favorite flavors to dress up your sandwiches.

Have a boxed pancake mix on hand

While Magnolia Table has an exceptional recipe for fluffy pancakes, Joanna writes, “I always have a boxed mix in the pantry for when I just don’t have the time.” It’s always smart to have these backup plans, plus boxed mixes serve as a great foundation for all sorts of recipes like these pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes and even this five-star breaded catfish.

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Use basics as a base

Even the most unassuming ingredients can turn into a craveable snack. In Magnolia Table, Joanna describes how her friend makes the tastiest seasoned crackers, perfect for parties. Try our version with these seasoned crackers—only four ingredients!

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There's always pizza

No matter how carefully you plan or how carefully you read a recipe, sometimes dishes can just go wrong. If something goes wrong and your dinner flops, take this advice from Chip and Joanna from Magnolia Table, “there’s always pizza.”

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