• Kristin Johnston

Chip and Joanna Gaines' Magnolia House

What is it really like to stay at Chip and Joanna Gaines' Fixer Upper Bed and Breakfast? The Magnolia house is a beauty and we have all seen the amazing work that they do on their show, but stepping foot into one of their properties and getting to stay there was pretty much a bucket list dream come true for me and my family this past weekend!

As we pulled up Friday afternoon after a flight in from Atlanta to Dallas and then a 2 hour drive to Waco, we were a little confused to see a small crowd gathered outside of the front of the house. Of course my first thought was that it had been somehow double booked, but as we got out of the car we were greeted by Rob, one of the hosts for the b&b. He quickly introduced himself as others stood there smiling. The excited group of women asked me "Are you staying here this weekend?? Do you need help bringing in your luggage??" I soon found out that this place really is a stop for fans who come to Waco to visit the Magnolia Market and Bakery - we saw numerous people throughout our visit stop in front of the house to take pictures and see the house for themselves, and this initial group of women were just that - happy and excited fans who wanted a glimpse of the place. In a way it made us feel a little bit like what celebrities must feel like - having people stop by to check out your house! Luckily there are signs asking people to respect guests' privacy and to not enter the property and we only had one person who was crazy enough to come to the front door to ask if she could come in!

Stepping in to the house was a little overwhelming - I was simply in awe of all of the beautiful details that instantly made me feel like I was home. I pretty much asked Cody if we could just move in I was THAT in love with the place! The downstairs is so welcoming and cozy - blankets and pillows on the sofa and chairs, beautiful flowers and greenery thoughtfully placed on tables and shelves, and SHIPLAP everywhere!

Getting to the house first, we did a run through of all the rooms and I swear I felt like I was on MTV's The Real World! It was hard to not run from room to room because there were so many things to take in in each room of the house! Downstairs has 2 beautiful bedrooms, one with a queen size bed and outside entry to one of the house's 3 porches, and another room with 2 twin beds and the most adorable bedside tables! If I didn't have a wild toddler I would probably be trying to install bedside tables just like this in my guest room!

Also downstairs was a beautiful bathroom complete with a claw foot tub I enjoyed a bubble bath in on the first night!

Not like you will be watching much TV, but we were there on a big football weekend for our schools - Virginia Tech and Georgia - so we did want to spend some time watching those games! I was curious how they would work a TV into their design because they don't even have a TV themselves, would they see that most people enjoy this amenity? No fear my couch potatoes - they DO have one, and there are many channels and movies to choose from. Where did they have the TV? Well in the elevator of course! It was kept on a rolling cart to be put away and out of sight when not being used. This was actually a design I suggested to my husband when we moved in to our current house but that idea was shot down quickly haha!

Heading upstairs, I noticed the beautiful way the iron handrails mixed with the original hardwoods and shiplapped walls and ceilings - the mixture of textures and colors was stunning!

Upstairs is a beautiful lofted space with a queen sized bed, two nooks each with a twin bed, a bathroom, and probably my favorite space inside the house - the upstairs coffee nook (because who wants to have to go downstairs to get coffee and doesn't want it 10 feet away early in the morning?)! Over the bed you can see another beautiful signature that Joanna was here - the magnolia wreath! I loved these so much on the show and in this home that I had to order one as soon as we returned to Georgia!

Can I have a coffee nook in my forever home please? :) Since we had our little boy with us, we opted for the upstairs space so that he could have his own little room with the pack and play that Rob and Marianne provided for him! Once the rooms were decided, we ventured back in to the common areas. It really is a toss up between the coffee nook and the kitchen as my favorite areas! The concrete counters and floating wooden shelves decorated with Mason jars and Magnolia Market coffee mugs were so charming, but the cutest thing I saw was the delicious assortment from The Magnolia Bakery! We had various cinnamon rolls and sticky buns to choose from and after seeing the super-long line at the bakery the next day, I was so glad to have these delicacies delivered and waiting for us at the house! They were so yummy - if you stop at The Magnolia Market, you must get something from the bakery!

As welcoming as the space was inside, the yard areas outside, the 3 porches, and the adorable gazebo were all just as inviting!

Everything about this house was beautiful and amazing and if you are a fan of the show like we are, you have got to add it to your bucket list! How did we manage to secure a weekend at the house when it books within 4 minutes for the 6 month blocks they open? Well I have some tips that worked for us that I am going to share with you now!

- Get on the email list for The Magnolia Market - you can sign up here. They open slots in blocks of 6 months at a time, so if you miss out on the first try, you can try again a few months down the road! The last few times they have opened these up in February (for July - December bookings) and August (for the following year's January - June bookings). If you are on their email list you will get an email giving you a heads up that the bookings are coming up! Also, if you follow them on instagram @magnolia they will share the post there as well!

- Get READY. The day of make sure your computer is good to go because you don't want to miss this because you are waiting for it to boot up or connect to your neighbor's wifi. The slots book in minutes and the weekend slots book even faster than that! You may even consider calling your CC provider to pre-clear the transaction charge!

- Have the website up and ready to go at least 5 minutes before the bookings open and be sure to notice the time zone that they are referring to when they open the slots!

- Hit refresh until you see the bookings pop up. Don't do like I did the first go around and check the world clock in one tab and then wait for it to hit 7pm exactly - just hit refresh, you never know at what second they will open and believe me, every second matters.

- Select a weekend or 2 day time period and think ahead - is this going to be a high demand holiday weekend? Try to plan around that if possible. The minimum time to stay at the house is 2 days so go ahead and get thinking on when you want to go! Once you have that secured YOU ARE NOT ALL SET. Y'all this is where I made my mistake the first time - you have to click every little check box that say you agree to all terms, etc. Scroll all the way down and click all those boxes! I missed one or two and when I went to pay the weekend I thought I had secured had been booked and paid for by someone else. I am talking about a time frame of 10-15 seconds here!

- Are you at the payment screen? PAY UP aka #shutupandtakemymoney at this point. This is where having more than one credit card handy is helpful in case you get declined the first try. My expenses are usually at Kroger, Target, and Amazon so I am guessing the random high charge at a retailer out of state set off a red flag. Luckily we had another card handy and...

- BOOM! CONFIRMATION! I swear Cody and I sat and stared at the screen in disbelief that we had successfully booked it! We kept asking each other - "Wait, so what does that mean? Did we get it?"

- Jump up and down in excitement and start planning your trip! See my next blog post about our fun itinerary we had while there and the places you can't miss!

Whew - that was probably my longest post ever! Sorry not sorry? Gotta give these Fixer Upper fans like myself just what they want ;) What are the things that surprised you about the house? What are some things you want to do on your trip to Waco?

Much much love!


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