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Karla Walsh
February 01, 2021
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Joanna Gaines
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You might be more familiar with seeing Joanna and her husband/co-star Chip Gaines tackle home improvement projects from the foundation to the roof on Fixer Upper. But the mom of five's favorite place in every home has always been around and near the table.

"With design, when I walk into a house, I have this end goal in mind that I see in my head and until it gets there, I won't stop. When you put me in the food world it is a little looser...I don't want to be a perfectionist in the kitchen. When I come home from work and it is a full day of meetings and design I want to cut myself some slack and just let it be a creative thing that kind of fuels me," Gaines revealed in a recent interview with Architectural Digest.

So as she set up her TV kitchen for her new Discovery cooking show, Magnolia Table (which shares a name with her Waco cafe and 2018 cookbook), Gaines aimed to infuse an earthy, relaxed vibe into the space that's filled with only the essentials. Okay, and a few top-notch appliances to balance out the sparse stone walls...

"The Gristmill, where the show is filmed, is this old piece of history. Late 1800s. For me, when I was thinking about the design, I just wanted it to be completely authentic to what it was," Gaines told Architectural Digest. "All the beams that were painted, we sanded down so you could see the raw wood…and then just updating it with the new cabinets and brass hardware. I wanted it to feel really textural and simple and clean."

With six episodes plus a "making of" edition streaming now and season two already filmed, Magnolia Table is clearly in good taste with fans.

5 Kitchen Tools Joanna Gaines Can't Live Without

Compared to her home kitchen, "the TV kitchen is a lot larger and more organized. When you open up my cabinets, they are all over the map and it takes me 10 minutes to figure out where the salt and pepper is. In the Gristmill it is just lined up perfectly and everything looks just very organized," Gaines admitted. Here, we're highlighting a few of Gaines' tool must-haves for both work and home.

1. A half-apron.

In many scenes of the show, you'll spy Gaines in a simple and chic khaki half-apron to keep her pants tidy as she works on dirty jobs. We found a lookalike with this Chef Works Unisex Austin Half-Bistro Apron in Natural ($26.99, amazon.com).

2. A wooden spoon.

"That is like my comfort thing. I always love to cook with a wooden spoon," she told Architectural Digest. (You can score her design at Target with this Hearth & Hand Acacia Wooden Spoon; $4.99, target.com).

3. A rice cooker.

While she hasn't introduced one onto the Gristmill set yet, at home, a rice cooker might just be Gaines' meal MVP. "I make rice a lot. My kids are only a quarter Korean, but they like to eat like they are full Korean," she said in the Architectural Digest interview. Gaines didn't spill about the exact appliance she owns, but we recommend this Aroma Housewares 4-Cup Professional Rice Cooker more than 21,000 five-star Amazon reviews ($44.99, amazon.com).

4. A stand mixer.

Gaines says, "I feel like I use that every day," and loves the color of the one on the Gristmill set so much, she painted her cabinets to match. Find your own perfect match with this KitchenAid Professional 5-Quart Stand Mixer ($449.99, target.com) that comes in five different hues.

5. A whisk.

While a KitchenAid is an investment, few of Gaines' most-used tools cost several hundred dollars. "I would say the things I use the most are a wooden spoon and a whisk. Just super simple," Gaines told Architectural Digest. Since it's such a staple in her kitchen, Gaines designed three different styles of her Magnolia Stainless Steel Whisk ($14, shop.magnolia.com).