Waco, You’ve Changed

Photo credit: TownMapsUSA.com

Waco, Texas. What is the first thing you would have associated with it a few years ago, before Fixer Upper and Chip and Joanna Gaines became the cultural phenomena they have?

I would have thought hot, dusty town and wasn’t there a religious conflict there years ago? I certainly wouldn’t have thought design mecca or cool place to go.

[Waco was the site of a siege of a compound belonging to the religious group, Branch Davidians, by American federal and Texas state law enforcement and US military in 1993. Thank you, Wikipedia]

But since the show started airing, Waco’s image has improved dramatically.

The show draws thousands of visitors to Waco see the houses the Gaineses have redone and shop in their Magnolia Market complex. An estimated 15,000 shoppers visit the store each week.

With the popularity of the market, other businesses have opened downtown and residents have moved in above the shops.

Local hotels have reported an uptick in visitors from both coasts and the Midwest.

With the good comes some bad. Traffic and parking around Magnolia Market are now an issue and have necessitated traffic studies.

In more extreme cases viewers are buying houses and moving to Waco. Some to be part of the show, others because they can get more house for their money.

The town has been rebranded and now when someone mentions Waco, Texas, Fixer Upper and Chip and Joanna are what come to mind along with affordable housing and a pleasant town vibe.

Suddenly Waco is cool!

What do you think? Would you visit Waco since watching Fixer Upper? Would you move there?


Weekly News and Links


HGTV has a category called “Fantasy Lifestyle” that includes shows such as Caribbean Life, Island Life, and Hawaii Life and it has ordered nearly 100 additional episodes. That’s a lot of fantasy!

In other HGTV news, the network has landed in the number one spot in cable for women for the last three weeks.

Lots of Fixer Upper news as usual:
How does the show work? Several couples share their experiences of being on the show.
Have you wondered what’s between Chip and Joanna’s legs when filming? I didn’t know this was a thing.
So many people tried booking Magnolia House that the website crashed. BTW, its $695 per night for the whole house.

More backstage info, this time from David Bromstad about ‘My Lottery Dream Home’

Lest we forget about the Property Brothers
Tour their Las Vegas home and find out how they spend their time in Vegas then read their answers to five questions about home improvement.

18 things you may not know about Flip or Flop’s Christina and Tarek.

How Often are the Same Shows On?


As I’ve been putting together each Friday’s post, What’s New Next Week, I’m noticing that not that much is new and in fact there’s not a lot of variety in the weekly schedule either. You’ve probably noticed this too – the same shows seem to be on all the time. The couple of time slots in which the network experiments are early in the morning and sometimes on the weekends.

If you’re a regular viewer you know the top shows right now are Property Brothers, Fixer Upper, Flip or Flop, Love it or List it and the various House Hunters.

So, how often are the same shows on? I looked at Sunday through Saturday this week and here are some answers.

The winner for most showings is…a tie. House Hunters and Flip or Flop will each be on 34 times this week! That’s 32% of total shows this week.

Property Brothers (24 times) and Love it or List (23 times) are next. These two represent 22% of total shows this week.

Just these four shows represent over half of the programming on HGTV this week!

I also looked at the categories the shows fall into – Renovation, House Hunting, Flipping, or Design.

House hunting shows such as House Hunters, Caribbean Life, etc. account for 40% of all programming.
Renovation shows such as Property Brothers and Love it or List it account for 37%.
Flipping shows such as Flip or Flop and 5 Day Flip account for 17% and of course most of that is Flip or Flop.
Design shows (and I was widely inclusive here) such as Ellen’s Design Challenge and Flea Market Flip account for 6% and of course Ellen’s Design Challenge is a limited run show.

What does all this mean for you? For each of us the answer will be different. If you’re a Flip or Flop fan maybe you’ll be thrilled with this week’s programming. I like the show but won’t watch any of the episodes beside the new one. I’m also a big fan of House Hunters and will watch each new episode of it this week. What I miss are the design and craft shows and I’d love to see that percentage go way up. How about you? What would you like to see more or less of?

What is shiplap?

Hooked on Houses

Thanks to Fixer Upper, shiplap has become a household word and the new, have to have it building material to recreate the Waco look. It can add texture and visual interest to a plain wall and help create a warm, rustic look.

But what is it exactly, where did it come from, and how can we create the look?

According to Wikipedia, “Shiplap is a type of wooden board used commonly in the construction of barns, sheds, outbuildings and inexpensive or seasonal homes.”

The key is the rabbets which cause the boards to overlap and create the characteristic shadow line effect.

On the Magnolia website, Joanna Gaines says it’s not hard to recreate the look using tongue and groove paneling. Make sure to use a spacer to create the gap between the boards.

For step by step instructions see this tutorial on Hooked on Houses.