If you are a Fixer Upper super fan then this post is for you! As most of America has heard by now, Chip and Joanna Gaines are the sweethearts behind the HGTV show Fixer Upper where they show how to transform your home with the help of shiplap, french doors and farmhouse tables. You may think I am joking but seriously – that is their recipe for success and when something ain’t broke, don’t fix it 🙂
I have blogged about this power couple before that seemingly does it all while still looking fabulous, cooking with their four kids and manages to find time to open their brand new shop in down town Waco Texas. I am such a huge fan! I love that they work together and so happy to watch their heart toward fixing up older homes! So it was only natural for me to twist Jeremy’s arm into visiting their new Magnolia Silos during a recent trip to Texas.
Now that I am back and downloaded the 1.3 million photos of The Lone Star State, I can’t wait to share the details of our recent trip and give you the low down on this particular stop!
If you follow Magnolia store on instagram, then you have seen the photos before but honestly it did not prepare me for what was actually there. In reality, the store wasn’t huge….and that is the only area that was open to the public. You don’t actually do anything with, in or on the silos themselves. So that was something to note. They are there just as sort of a large landmark right now.
The number one question I have gotten so far whenever I tell family and friends we visited is “did you see Chip and Joanna?”….um no. They weren’t there. They don’t work behind the counter. And if my friends are any indication of how super fans act – they should probably go into hiding because people are NUTS about this couple! If I did see them, I probably would have gotten all fan-girly myself and asked for JoJo to autograph my bra or something.
Anyway….back to the point….
The coolest thing about the entire place was that just beyond the store (the white building above with the words MAGNOLIA on it) is that there is a giant ‘lawn’ area. It is evident that they were trying to make this area as family friendly as possible and still be able to transform it into more because there is nothing better than a wide open space for kiddos to run, jump and play.
They even had these large storage bins next to it that held a bunch of toys and balls and corn hole game boards.
You can see how close the lawn is next to the silos here…
And after driving the 45 minutes to visit, the kids were so happy to see a place where they could go nuts!
And Grammy did too 🙂
The best part about the lawn is that it was fake grass….and so literally we could roll around in it and nobody got dirty or messy or ended up with a bunch of grass in their mouth. I’m talking about Max but sometimes it happens to Jeremy too 🙂
Hands down that was the best part of the trip and the venue. I bet in the future, they will use this for other things as well, but I like to pretend that JoJo and I were having telepathic conversations about being moms of four kiddos and the need for indoor-outdoor grass 🙂
Also having conversations about the things our husbands do that make us laugh 🙂
Also as far as I know (I scour old episodes of Fixer Upper for details on the building), the offices for the Magnolia Homes stuff is up those stairs behind Grammy…I didn’t want to embarrass anyone so I didn’t attempt to go up there 🙂
And of course, my little Munchkin had to challenge the status quo and found some dirt to play in while still obeying our instructions of ‘stay in the grass’.
Okay – so this is what it looked like from the other side.
Just beyond the grass are some tables to eat at and then around the edge of the property is space for food trucks to come in and park and provide lunch.
Out of seven food trucks, there were very limited options when it came to kid-friendly items. I don’t know if it was because we went on a slow Monday morning or what but a lot of the food trucks didn’t even have their full menu. Jeremy ended up getting a burger at Milo’s and that was the only meat item they had available. Also nobody had french fries, nonspicy chicken in a sandwich or burrito or anything, and we were limited to drinks of water, Diet Dr Pepper or Diet Coke. We also were surprised that nobody served Gaines’ favorites like ham sandwiches, cupcakes or shiplap. Point being – I think we just went on an off day and if you have a picky palette then just bring a lunch 🙂
Jeremy did say that his burger with an egg on top was delicious 🙂 And I had a stir fry dish that was strange and amazing at the same time.
On the far corner of the property was a quaint little garden area with an outbuilding.
I don’t really know what this space was for exactly but it was well-kept and looked nice and LJ loved the little wooden mushroom house…
Isn’t he just the cutest?!
Grammy said “Look they don’t even have weeds in their gardens!” which I feel is a pretty accurate representation of what the show is all about. But it did get me thinking….like yeah, the gardens are beautiful and I want raised garden beds with winter greens growing perfectly spaced out and without weeds but….isn’t that what Fixer Upper is all about? Taking an unused space and turning it into something beautiful? But really, who is gonna harvest and eat all those heads of cabbage?
So I thought I should give you an encouraging speech right now…..please excuse my soapbox moment…..Those homes at the end of the episodes are staged to look beautiful and new but those furnishings don’t stay there. That isn’t a knock on Fixer Upper….they do a great job to produce a final beautiful product for television. But in reality, six months later those homes do not look the same. They might have mismatched decor and have non-Magnolia-approved art up and gasp! WEEDS! And that is OKAY! Your homes do not need to be perfect or live up to anyone else’s tv standards. I think it’s a wonderful thing to be inspired….to feel like you can transform your home into a safe haven….but not at the expense of joy! Don’t let someone’s lack of weeds make you feel less than. Because they might be growing something you don’t even love. I mean seriously….nobody eats that much sauerkraut. Long story short – and I think Joanna and Chip probably feel this way too – let Fixer Upper & Magnolia inspire you with great ideas but never let it make you fall into the comparison trap. Ok. Preachin DONE. Let’s move on.
I’m obsessed with this large wood branch chair. Seriously Jeremy this is now on my Christmas list 🙂
All this garden bed talk has me thinking that I need to go get some seedlings started! Mama needs her Georgia peppers!
And some more gratuitous shots of that little outbuilding….
So that is whole outside area. The area right in front of the silos they had roped off and were constructing a stage. I imagine that Waco probably could host some pretty cool outdoor concerts with an area like this. Also – there is a bakery going into a little tiny white building that is next to the silos but it wasn’t open yet and they were still doing a lot of repairs on it. I seriously watched this short dude repoint bricks for a solid thirty minutes just so that I could learn his technique. It was amazing.
Now the store!
When I first went in, I was surprised by the size. I seriously thought that this thing would be a million square feet but I would say that it was similar to the size of a large Old Navy store.
I could also tell they took a lot of cues from stores that boast cool displays like Anthropologie and Pottery Barn. The displays were great and fun too! Just check out these books that look like butterflies 🙂
The majority of the space had very limited decor items and it was priced similar to a Pottery Barn or Anthropologie. It’s not a Home Goods. Keep that in mind. Like you can buy one of the ship-lap tshirts and it will cost $28…which I think is a little high for a tshirt. Or you can buy a faux flower bloom for $12-$28. Like I said…a little pricey but beautiful.
Some ideas that were adorable were the lampshades with the moss on them. I love that for event decor! Also – I love that they did glass mirror type panels on the walls. It did make the space feel bigger and brighter.
Another idea I loved were these wood dividers that held displays and could change the paths inside the store. It was great for holding items like these blooms and you can set up a display table of goods in front and make an entire moveable wall.
I didn’t get a ton of time to shop but there was one area that the items were mostly kitchen related. This seemed like the area most people were in and had the most breakable things so we tried to keep the kids out. Someone said that most of the items in this section are also available online at the Magnolia Market website.
The check out area was great – they would wrap your items for traveling and the employees were all really nice!
Jeremy found Chips corner which I thought was hilarious and awesome. I didn’t even see the hardware behind Jeremy’s shoulder until I downloaded these photos so I was bummed I didn’t get to sort through it all!
The best thing about the entire store is that you can go into the back area where they have more of those movable display walls and you can shop through the DISCOUNT ITEMS.
You know me. I wasn’t about to pay full price 🙂
So some of the items were 25% off and some were 40% and I was attempting to find something small, metal and unbreakable to take home (let’s just say that I packed too many shoes!).
In the end, I settled for a slew of these metal numbers. They also had letters but since nothing was sorted, I couldn’t find anything quickly! I am planning a cute little simple craft and I think these are adorable! I paid a couple bucks a pop 🙂
In the end, we are super glad we went…it was worth the drive if not just to play on that big faux lawn 🙂
And if you do end up going – go shopping first….they gave us a receipt and told us that you can get 10% off your food truck order with it!
Now you can officially say that you virtually visited the Magnolia Market & Silos 🙂 And stay tuned for more Texas adventures because dude – I am obsessed and literally ready at any moment to turn my four boys into little cowboys boots and all 🙂
How cool that you were able to visit the Silos! I like your honest explanation of what it’s like…I often build my expectations up a bit too high when getting ready to visit a place.
Elaine - visual meringue says
Fun! Thanks so much for the ‘tour’ :). Cool to be able to say that you’ve been there.
So jealous!!! We love Chip and Joanna, too.
Thanks for your rant. I’m very OCD and feel like my house has to be perfect before guests can come over. I really need to live more in the moment and be alright with some messes and imperfections. Kids are only small once. I worry I’m going to miss things because I’m too busy cleaning! 🙂
Your boys are precious!
Amanda | Love & Renovations says
This would be about an hour-long drive for me – I definitely need to check it out! It looks gorgeous and I’m always down for any place that has food trucks. How embarrassed should I be to admit that I haven’t seen Fixer Upper at all? I keep hearing everyone raving, but I haven’t seen a single episode!
ROBERTA CORDELL says
Be glad you went on an off Monday. We live in an independent senior living place and went this last Tuesday. Note to self and all others, spring break is not a good time to go! We stood in line outside for 2 hours and when we got to the door had to wait for people to come out so we could go in. A lot of us were on walkers or using canes and we were tired. Inside the store it was so crowded it was hard to look at things, I did find a couple of things I wanted but the line to check out was an hour long and by then I was just ready to sit! Thank goodness for walkers with seats. The green area was very neat and there were tons of kids and Dad’s playing there. Our line went back and forth in front of the silos, all the way around the green and then under the tent where they once again had roped off going back and forth. We entered by going up on the steps behind your Mom. It was still fun and I will go back. I told my girlfriend that a good time to go would be on a rainy day. I do enjoy reading your blog…your announcement about your last pregnancy was adorable.
Preach! Thank you for your soapbox moment. It is tough to “keep up with the Joneses” and we beat ourselves up too much when we compare our lives to others.
So fun! I love Magnolia. I went to Baylor and lived in Waco for 4 years (and now my sister in law and her family live there…she’s actually met Chip twice and they did a house on her street for the show!) I love seeing everyone enjoy a town that I love so SO much!
I can’t believe what a big deal this is! Well, I can because Chip and Joanna are the bees knees but I had no idea that they were this successful! This place just got written onto my bucket list!
Evelina @ Fortunate House
The Magnolia concept looks interesting. I couldn’t tell from the photo, was the stage large enough for entertainment? Or maybe auctions? The green Stanley Thermos in Chip’s corner caught my eye! I’ve had mine forever. I never take a road trip without it … even a short day trip. Ok, every time I see Max I see your Mother, Katie. I just think he’s the spitting image of her Maybe it’s the eyes. Does anyone else?
Allison Cooley says
We were there in December and we didn’t get to meet chip and Joanna either. We actually were taking to the cashier and she said that she hadn’t even met them either (I guess they don’t go there often). There weren’t food trucks when we were there either so I’m guessing since it was so new that they are slowly making it bigger…I was kind of shocked by how small it was as well. At least we can cross it off of our bucket list right?!
Yeah I definitely loved visiting but for whatever reason I did expect it to be bigger. Maybe we are just those people that visited too early and one day it will be expanded and shockingly huge! Haha!
xo – kb
So jealous! And as for the garden…..I read an article where they had partnered with some organization to donate the food they grow.
Wow! Sounds like a completely packed house! So glad that its a huge hit!!!
xo – kb
Oh yes! It was huge! I think it would be definitely be big enough for a band and lighting and the whole shebang! And yes, other people think of my mom too! They must have the same placement of features!
xo – kb
Really?! That would be awesome! I kept thinking that maybe it was for the food trucks? And I kept on wondering who did the gardening because that would be a full-time job!
xo – kb
I get your “statement” (I do), but I’ve gotta say, I have never once watched this show and thought “this is real life”. It’s very clearly staged at the end (they use the same products so I thought it was obvious). But I also feel like you sort of dogged them with a lot of odd, backhanded compliments. It seemed like a legit review in some areasbut it really came off as a note to yourself that YOU don’t have to try to be perfect and like them. It just felt like you’re the one most sensitive about it and doing the comparisons, you know?
You get loads of sponsors and free products galore and you are hard to relate to for many of us so I think some transparency on your part really would have made this feel more sincere. It just really came across like “I love them so much, but they arent as amazing as we all think, and I’m going to tell you why they are all smoke and mirrors and the rest of us are normal”.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
thanks Katie, I love Jo and Chip, and the show, so really enjoyed your virtual tour of Magnolia Silos from Australia. x Glenda
Love your review. I live in Fort Worth and I am finally making the trek down to Waco next month. I can’t wait to see what you do with those metal numbers!
Love the photos. I think (either by watching the show or checking out the website) that JoJo mentioned using the grounds to host regular antique fairs and concerts. Kinda make it a public event venue. Big plans. As for the store, it looks very large in your photos..especially compared to their little shop before. I wonder what the actual silo buildings are going to be used for, perhaps storage of building supplies and store inventory? There was also some issue taken by the city about painting or not painting them. I hope they do a silo’s episode on their show. Speaking of which, I do like the show, but notice this season the goofiness seems a bit contrived. Still find their transformations amazing. And, I wondered about that furniture being staged or not. I’d want to buy it all.
This article in Country Living says that they’ve partnered with World Hunger Relief!
That’s awesome! I hope maybe one day I can go back and see how it’s transformed! And painting the silos would be amazing….I wonder how they would do it! I always wonder what they do with all that furniture too….maybe it’s just rented? They have stated so many times that it’s staging and the homeowners don’t keep all that – if they did then I would need to convince the Gaines to do a Georgia makeover for ME!
xo – kb
Heck yeah it was a reminder to myself! We all have to remember that comparison is not good so why can’t I write that?! And majority of my friends agree that they thought the people kept all the furnishings and decor…so of course if you are watching that show you would question your own space! As for backhanded compliments…I don’t think they are smoke and mirrors…that’s just ridiculous….they work hard and produce awesome homes. Please don’t put words in my mouth – that’s not fair. This post is just supposed to be an full review from my point of view and honestly I don’t know how I could be more transparent.
xo – kb
That’s awesome! So glad you shared it!
xo – kb
oh wait – I don’t see that part! Can you share where you read that again? 🙂
xo – kb
Dani @ Danielle and Co. says
I don’t have quite the same style as Chip & Joanna, but do like the show and always thought if I was ever near there it would be fun to stop in to see the place. This was a good synopsis of what to expect! I’m actually more likely to visit after reading this, since now I know there are food trucks! 😉
I love Fixer Upper and it was great to hear what you thought of the Silos! I was surprised to see that someone commented that one of the cashiers hadn’t met them. I didn’t think they were there every day, but I kinda assumed they were in and out from time to time. A friend visited a few weeks ago and JoJo’s mom was in the store helping out and taking photos with customers. I was sad when I read a few weeks ago that the families don’t get to keep the furniture and décor unless they buy the items. Somehow I just assumed that was all included in the budget. Once they said it, it makes complete sense, but I would want it all! 🙂 They should do a real behind the scenes that answers all of viewers questions like that!
Please move to Texas! Austin, specifically, and we can be besties. 😉
Didn’t CheddarBox have it’s full menu? I don’t know about your kids’ picky palettes, but an entire Gourmet Grilled cheese food truck has always been pretty friendly to my Wacoan kiddos’ tummies. It’s a bummer if they weren’t fully open. Co-Town Crepes also have some pretty kid-friendly food in my mind as well.
My favorite has always been Club Sandwich (was that where you got your stir fry?) Their trash can fries are THE BOMB and are apparently also Chip’s favorite dish as well.
It’s listed under #2 and right beneath the 2nd picture.
“Next to the silos: a large green field (with artificial turf) that kids and parents were tossing balls around on. Beyond that: an area with picnic tables and a half-dozen food trucks (more on those in a moment), a little garden (a partnership with World Hunger Relief—a pumpkin patch for now) and a shed with a sign that read NORTH POLE TOY CO. (which you couldn’t actually enter, but which visitors happily took selfies in front of).”
“Next to the silos: a large green field (with artificial turf) that kids and parents were tossing balls around on. Beyond that: an area with picnic tables and a half-dozen food trucks (more on those in a moment), a little garden (a partnership with World Hunger Relief—a pumpkin patch for now)…”
Nope they didn’t. Like I said it must have been an off day but they did have apple slices so I considered that a win!
Thanks! I couldn’t find it!
xo – kb
Pink Camellias says
I’ve never seen the show, as I don’t have cable, but I know about the powerhouse of Chip and Joanna! What they have done is incredible! Who would imagine that two people from Waco Texas could become HGTV superstars! I’ve enjoyed seeing their shop – thanks for sharing!
I used to watch the show and read the blog for a short time. I think they built that big area for a huge grand opening celebration dance with live music on the stage? I think Chip rappelled down a silo as his grand entrance, or something.
You said the homes don’t look like that six months later. Heck, six minutes later. They film the reveal then it all goes back into warehouses to be trotted out for the next makeover. It was too repetitive for me.
I actually think you did a great job of reviewing your experience. And honestly, I think if I went to Magnolia, I would expect all sorts of huge/large/giant “things”. Be it expectations or sheer size. Chip and Joanna Gaines are CRAZY awesome and from everything I’ve read, people who know them say they are exactly the people they portray themselves to be. I obviously think they are great! But the truth is, I think they are great at home re-do’s and staging those homes. I didn’t know until recently that the homeowners do not get to keep the furnishings. And let’s be real…no one living in the homes the Gaines’ have done are going to look that way with their own stuff in them. My husband and I remark all the time that we bet the home looks totally different once the people put their own furniture in the rooms.
I thought your review was totally honest and actually very informative. For example, I’d be in a dang sweat if I had my own 4 kids at such a place and found out there wasn’t exactly kid-friendly food or that I had to spend my shopping time making sure nothing got broken that I didn’t want to buy:) I suppose if you didn’t go to Magnolia with 4 kids and instead went on an adult only trip, things would be a little different. But the fact of the matter is, you DID go with 4 kids, you did have to entertain them while you were there and you did have to stress about what in the world they would all eat while there (picky eaters and all!).
So your review was YOUR review. I guess what I’m trying to say in this now almost a novel comment, is….do YOU Katie. Joanna Gaines is pretty awesome. But so are you and so is everyone else who is decorating their home and trying to put their mark on each room they have; be that 20 rooms or 2! You review was great. Keep doing and being you.
And while I love what Joanna does in each house, I think we can all agree that she definitely has a style. I happen to love her style (lots of white, beachy, with wood mixed in) but some people don’t. And that’s ok! I’m not sure we will ever see Joanna Gaines pulling off a super modern style or anything. And some of those homeowners might just have turned Joanna’s beachy living room into a bright red modern room with purple leather couches!
Thanks Julie. That was so encouraging!
xo – kb
Marie H says
It’s too bad that the space for the market is kind of small. I went to the American Pickers store in Nashville and it was tiny! It was pretty disappointing. And $28 for a thin, thin T shirt. I kind of feel like the stores are just a marketing genius.
As far as your review; you were honest and stated your opinion. Isn’t that what a blog is all about? We all do comparisons. I’ve been doing a lot of work on my house and I read blogs to get ideas and hopefully freshen up my style. I know I tend to stick to my old style and I compare what I’m doing to others. Why shouldn’t you be allowed to say that then?
I enjoy your blog; and honestly I KNOW it’s a lot of work to document what you do. Taking pictures of everything and writing posts is not easy. So, if you get some free stuff; I think it’s GREAT! You earned it.
Thank you Marie! That’s so sweet of you to hear. I love this job and honestly the free stuff is just icing on the cake!
xo – kb
Hi Katie, thanks for the tour! I’m glad you pointed out details about the food trucks, prices, etc. Thought you might enjoy this post by Holly Mathis – you can compare the Fixer Upper version of the house to what it looks like now: http://www.hollymathisinteriors.com/2016/03/favorite-fixer-upper/
So interesting! Love that we get the inside peek!
xo – kb
Oh wow, I just love being able to read all about this place. Now I don’t have to pester my husband to take me to Texas to see the store. We’re going to Hawaii (Aulani) in May and then on to Norway and several other countries in September so squeezing in a trip to Texas was pushing it. I’m so thankful you took those great pictures and told all about it. I’m not entirely sure that decorating style is mine no matter how much I love the show and the finished houses. Good job!!!
Thank you for this report on the “Silos”. It was exactly what we were looking for. Good reporting. Never let sour grapes upset you because you write what your see feel and think.
Thank you for the virtual tour. I do have a question, if the houses are staged and they don’t get to keep the furnishings what about the furniture chip designs for the space?
I’m not 100% sure about the logistics….but I know that Chip doesn’t design – Joanna does and so does Clint Harp – her carpenter. I think there is an article though where they explain the details….I’ll link up to it if I can find it again.
xo – kb