Chip and Joanna Gaines on ‘Fixer Upper’ 10-Year Anniversary Special ‘The Lakehouse’ and Weirdest Things They’ve Found While House Flipping

Chip and Joanna Gaines’ beloved home renovation series “Fixer Upper” is turning 10 and the couple is celebrating with the launch of a new special edition season, “Fixer Upper: The Lakehouse.”

Premiering Sunday on the Gaines’ Magnolia Network (part owned by Warner Bros. Discovery) and HGTV, the original home of the “Fixer Upper” franchise, and streaming same day on Max and Discovery+, the six-episode “Lakehouse” follows Chip and Jo as they take on a unique mid-century modern lakehouse flip near Lake Waco, a new neighborhood for the home reno couple based in Waco, Texas.

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“Chip found a set of plans in this lakehouse that showed the house was built in 1965 and the husband loved mid-century modern style and the wife loved that Spanish revival style,” Joanna Gaines tells Variety. “And you see this blend of them trying to work it out. There was something about that, me thinking about going back to the ’60s, that this husband and wife were really trying to go out with different opinions and create this interesting little baby. And then there had been a renovation in the ’90s where you see a lot of the mid-century elements were removed and it got more contemporary. So for me, the challenge was getting it back to that ’65 look and that couple’s look. That was my favorite thing about this project.”

The original “Fixer Upper” debuted on HGTV in 2014 and ran for five seasons, becoming the top unscripted show on cable. It aired its final episode in 2018. The show was rebooted as “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home” for the launch of the Gaineses’ Magnolia Network in 2021 and later two new seasons: “Fixer Upper: The Castle” in 2022 and “Fixer Upper: The Hotel” in 2023.

Hosts, Chip and Joanna Gaines discuss the progress of staircase, as seen on Fixer Upper: The Lakehouse.
Chip and Joanna Gaines on “Fixer Upper: The Lakehouse”/Magnolia Network

“We’ve gotten a lot better. Before, we were not in control of the circumstances, and rightfully so,” “Chip Gaines says. “They found us, they said, ‘Hey, do these things, show up at this time, what would you do next?’ So we were in control of the circumstances in regards to we were going to do that particular day under those circumstances, but there were people in the background catching what they thought was interesting. And what I didn’t know about television and construction is they’re not terribly compatible.”

The Gaineses have now produced many varieties of unscripted shows alongside Magnolia Network president Allison Page for their linear channel and for streaming via Max, while also building out their Magnolia home goods and kitchenware brand, a magazine, plus their shopping and dining attraction The Silos in Waco.

“When you think about the original ‘Fixer’ and the template of around 17 episodes a season and they were hourlong episodes and you’d get this reno within that hour, that’s TV gold,” Joanna Gaines says. “And we did that for five seasons and we worked our butts off for it and when we look back, we don’t know how we did it. It was so much going on, because not only were we doing the show and these renovations, we were doing other renovations, and doing Magnolia, which is the retail side and growing that business as well.”

Chip Gaines adds: “There are easy things to put together, like when Jo goes and does a cooking show, it’s been beautiful to watch. That’s a compatible source; you can take this thought and you can take this industry, which is the TV side of the business, and you can put those together fairly seamlessly. With construction and real customers and real timelines, these are complicated oil-and-water realities to mix together. We were the tail and there was a dog wagging us, years and years ago, and it was fine. And it worked out and by the grace of God, we learned a lot and we all made it out alive.”

Fixer Upper The Lakehouse
“Fixer Upper: The Lakehouse”/Magnolia Network

As their five children grow up, with three now ages 16 and up, Joanna Gaines says the couple is thinking about “what we really focus on in this season of our life.”

“The reason why ‘Fixer’ looks different now and how these seasons have evolved is these seasons truly are this one house where we take it a little slower,” Joanna Gaines says. “I’ve found that when you do these episodes where it’s one show, I can actually think as the designer and the contractor and the production side, take it in and enjoy the process. Before, you didn’t get to stop and enjoy anything, you just kept moving. It’s ‘Fixer,’ it’s just ‘Fixer’ evolved. And who knows, maybe one day we’ll be back doing it that way.”

After all these years of fixer-uppering, the Gaineses have encountered some strange situations in the homes they renovate — and what they see in “The Lakehouse” is no different. As a teaser, in one episode, Chip comes across a large column standing squarely in the middle of the master bedroom, with a kind of marble patterned material wrapped around it, and no indication why it was placed there because it is not a load-bearing column.

But that’s far from the weirdest thing they’ve ever seen during a flip, according to Joanna Gaines.

“It’s always in the primary bedroom. You wonder what filming has taken place in there,” she says. “Some of those things I block out. It is typically things we find in the bedroom that we may not even show because we like to keep it family friend. But I think in every house, you find something that you’re like, what do you do with that? But it makes me so happy when people just do things to their home, from a design standpoint, if it makes you happy and it makes sense to you.”

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