As fans of home-renovation power couple Chip and Joanna Gaines can tell you, there is a particular aesthetic that screams Jo Gaines. While the Fixer Upper star may have brought shiplap into the pop culture vernacular, more broadly she’s known for her penchant for neutral color palettes; cozy, inviting entertaining spaces; and clever uses of pattern mixing.
But for their first, soon-to-open hotel project, a historic 33-room property in downtown Waco, Texas, called the Hotel 1928, Joanna is proving that she is as adept at creating sleek and dramatic spaces as she is her trademark farmhouses. “I just kept thinking of 1920s glam,” Joanna tells AD of her design inspiration, over Zoom from Waco. “That Art Deco, more saturated feel.”
[...] The project may be the most ambitious of the couple’s career. “It wasn't like our typical jobs, where it’s an office or it’s a restaurant or it’s a home,” says Joanna. “This was a bunch of different things happening in one building." Further complicating matters? Construction began in 2020: “So then we stopped construction because it was 2020,” she says.
But once work was able to resume, the duo and their business partner Ben Weprin, founder and CEO of AJ Capital Partners, moved along speedily, finishing the entire renovation in about two years.
“History is the greatest designer and architect. The opportunity to restore and revitalize this beautiful Middle Eastern and Moorish jewel box, which had been neglected for years, was very appealing,” Weprin tells AD. “The challenge and opportunity were equally alluring, and working with Chip and Jo made it even more meaningful and rewarding.”