It's been nearly a decade since Chip and Joanna Gaines first delighted viewers with dramatic renovations (and husband-wife banter) in their hometown of Waco, Texas on the runaway hit Fixer Upper. Fans were heartbroken when the couple announced the end of the show in 2017, but since then, the de facto royal family of Waco has kept us captivated with home decor collections, a restaurant, magazine, children's books, and of course, their ever-expanding empire at the Silos (to name just a few projects). Their biggest project, though, is undoubtedly the launch of their very own TV network. Magnolia Network—officially debuting July 15—will include the couple's return to the silver screen in Fixer Upper: Welcome Home, as well as Jo's cooking series Magnolia Table, plus programming featuring a wide array of beloved and rising stars in subjects ranging from food to gardening to, of course, renovation (the series will also be available on discovery+). Ahead of the premiere, House Beautiful caught up with Chip and Jo to hear more about the slated shows, their journey to TV stardom, and what life was like chez Gaines during the pandemic.

"We don't want it to be about Fixer Upper forever."

First things first, Chip clarifies: "We don't want it to be about Fixer Upper forever. We hope that this second chapter is about us highlighting stories that touch you like Fixer Upper, but that are about completely different folks from all over the world."

Love knowing what your favorite HGTV stars are up to? Let's keep up with them together.

very outdated kitchen turned into a modern beautiful one
A kitchen renovation by the Gaineses.
Magnolia Network

On their journey to success:

"If anybody were to have gone beyond the behind the curtain and seen our lives back in the early days of Fixer Upper, we were sincerely risking at all," says Chip of the couple's decision to put everything into their fledgling business and accompanying show. "In any of those moments, all those things could have come crashing down and none of this would exist. But they worked out and I think people kind of saw those bets that we were making really in some ways on ourselves, and they saw those bets being cashed in, and our hope is that people saw that and thought, you know what, I want to do that; I want to bet on myself."

On the spaces they valued most during lockdown:

"I think creating just these more intentional spaces that work for your family is so important," says Jo. "And I think every season you have to reevaluate that because as humans, we're always evolving. We're always taking on new things, we're shedding old things. If you think of our home as a place that actually needs to function and work well for us and our family, you're always tweaking or changing to make sure that this house is holding the most sacred thing that we have which is our family, and that it's functioning well. Because at the end of the day it's not the beautiful stuff on the walls or the pillows and all that, it's those moments in that room that you'll remember forever."

"Home is a place that sets you up to conquer the world."

On how home layouts have changed over the last year:

She may be known for knocking down walls to turn cramped rooms into airy, open spaces, but this year, even Jo has seen the limitations of the open floor plan. "It just shows how design is ever evolving," she says. "You go from really open spaces to now people are thinking, maybe I want to work from home, and if I do work from home I need this carved out space over here." Either way, she says, it's about making it personal: "I think it's just kind of fun when you start looking at your house and your home as a place that can really work for you and make life better for you," she says. "It's not just a place where you sleep and eat; it's a place that sets you up to conquer the world."

joanna gaines cracks eggs with son crew gaines during magnolia table
Joanna Gaines on set with son Crew.
Magnolia Table / Youtube

On their homes when they first met:

"When Jo and I first got together, I really just thought of home as a place to go and sleep," confesses Chip. "I was a workaholic and Jo was kind of too. All I did is work so I was just like, 'Listen, I'm not going to spend a lot of money on this house; I just need a place to crash and then where all the action happens was outside the home.' When Jo and I got together, it took us a minute to realize that this space needs to be a place that gives us energy and it refills our tanks. Our home should be like where a Tesla goes to recharge."

On the most valuable element you can add to any home:

When asked about worthwhile additions, Jo looks beyond the home's walls: "I like the idea of thinking outside of the home," she says. "Even if you live in New York City and you just have a little balcony, what can you create on that balcony that feels like a retreat, as you step out there? I think creating these outdoor moments really gives us life, whether you're on 40 acres, or you're in a tiny apartment. How do you step out and make that extension of your home intentional and beautiful?"

"We get to tell the whole story in its most authentic form.”

On favorite colors right now:

“I’ve leaned into paint color more than ever because that’s such a subtle way of soothing our souls," Jo reveals of her design decisions over the past year. "Color really plays a powerful role, and when you look into it, people use color for therapy. One of the things we’re seeing post pandemic is that’s an easy way to get this therapy at home: How does this room make me feel? Is this color soothing? I’ve been drawn to more saturated, richer colors. They offer stability. And as humans what we’re needing is stability. Green is always my favorite color but early on I was always doing light green and now I’m loving deep, rich greens.”

chip joanna gaines
The Gaineses on a media appearance.

On their unshakable affiliation with shiplap:

While Jo has earned a status of somewhat of a shiplap queen, she swears she’s not as obsessed with the material as everyone thinks. “The world captured our journey with this farmhouse in 2012 and I’d never used shiplap before,” laughs Jo. “It was authentic to the farm and so I used it. And what happened is a lot of people saw the farm and said, ‘I want shiplap in my house,’ and at the end of the day because we truly do this for a living, I give my clients what they asked for. Of the five seasons we did of Fixer Upper it was definitely the most requested material.”

And once that happened, Jo found, it was hard to stay away from it! “In this latest season, I tried to use a little less and no one asked for it,” says Jo. “But you know who did ask for it? The viewers. When we released our first four or five episodes of Fixer Upper Welcome Home, people were like, ‘Where's the shiplap, Jo? Go back to your roots!’ So we had to find some shiplap. But it’s funny to me that I got stuck in that farmhouse shiplap trend, because I think of my style as ever-evolving.”

On their hopes for Magnolia Network:

Though the network will launch with a robust offering, the Gainses tried to stay away from the pressure to complete series on a deadline, instead giving enough time to tell full stories: "There are stories here that won’t be done by the July 15 and thats OK, because that’s not how authenticity works," says Jo. "There’s no cut and paste to these stories; they’re all very unique stories and humans, but the payoff is great: We get to tell the whole story in its most authentic form.”

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.