Back in 2018, Chip and Joanna Gaines went on The Tonight Show to announce their intention to create a television network inspired by their whole small-town-and-shiplap vibe. That channel, the Magnolia Network, would take over the broadcast slot held by the DIY Network and was created in tandem with Discovery. Though it was intended to launch in 2020, life and COVID got in the way, and the network officially launched on Discovery+ in 2021 and on cable earlier this year. (And not without controversy!)
Given the Gaineses’ toothy wholesomeness and omnipresent lifestyle brand (see: Target, Living Spaces, the magazine rack at Whole Foods, et al.), it would be understandable to think that the Magnolia Network is all Gaines content all the time. That’s not a bad assumption, really: At least 12 of the network’s 50-plus originals are at least tangentially Gaines-related, whether they’re Fixer Upper, riffs on Fixer Upper, or shows associated with longtime Gaines associates like carpenter Clint Harp and “Christ affirming” folk duo Johnnyswim.
Still, that leaves plenty of other Magnolia content that’s not pre-swathed in a wholesome modern-farmhouse aesthetic. Some of the shows are even good, too. Here are 12 of our favorite shows from the Magnolia Network that have absolutely nothing to do with Chip and Joanna Gaines.
A long-running DIY Network show that was ported over to Magnolia, Barnwood Builders follows entrepreneur Mark Bowe, who owns a company that purchases old barns and cabins with the aim of using the lumber for new construction. The sometimes centuries-old hand-hewn logs go for big money with buyers looking to bring some old-time charm into modern spaces, so Bowe and his West Virginia–based crew have to take special care breaking down the often ramshackle original structures. Much of what makes Barnwood Builders fun to watch is the interplay among the crew, and many of its members have been with the show for its full 13 seasons. Even for those simply into American history, craftsmen, or the economics of home-building, though, there’s a lot to love about Barnwood Builders.
Building Off the Grid
Another DIY original, Building Off the Grid is pretty much what it sounds like. Each episode follows an optimistic and ecofriendly home builder who’s looking to reduce their dependency on traditional energy. Now in its 12th season, Building Off the Grid has followed everyone from Earthship aficionados to tree-house dreamers to marine scientists in Florida who want to build a floating home. There are lots of cabins, lodges, and yurts, too, of course, and each home project presents its own challenges. With interesting building techniques and often surprising materials, even those home-renovation TV lovers who aren’t that committed to cutting their carbon footprint could still learn a little something along the way.
Extraordinary Stories Behind Everyday Things
A show for everyone whose favorite part of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood was always the video about his trip to some factory, Extraordinary Stories Behind Everyday Things doesn’t really break any new TV ground. Still, with its visits to independent American manufacturers that make everything from baseball bats to baby shoes, it’s a reminder both that small business can make a big difference and that watching huge machines repeatedly do cool, intricate stuff is always a great watch. It’s the perfect show for those looking to take an edible, get snuggled up in a blanket, and just watch something pleasant.
A cooking/tourism show hosted by the incomparable Andrew Zimmern, Family Dinner follows the longtime TV personality as he ventures all over the country to have meals with different families. Bouncing around cultures, cuisines, and definitions of family, the show both tantalizes taste buds and serves as a testament to the healing power of a good communal meal. There’s always a little bit of history thrown in as well — Zimmern loves a good lesson about why we eat what we eat — but really, it’s all about the joy of Sunday suppers, holiday brunches, and summer BBQs.
For the Love of Kitchens
A charmingly British entrant into the Magnolia universe, For the Love of Kitchens follows the owners of deVOL, a design company that specializes in kitchens. With showrooms in both the U.K. and U.S., deVOL has created some truly stunning designs thanks in part to its on-site pottery workshop, foundry, and furniture-manufacturing facility. It doesn’t hurt the show’s aesthetic that deVOL’s home base is situated in a refurbished 16th-century water mill set in the English countryside, either. For the Love of Kitchens should wow anyone who stans beautiful custom tile, farmhouse sinks, and elegantly repurposed islands.
As no doubt one of the most popular flower farms on Instagram, Floret has made a name for itself with stunning pictures of fields of multicolored dahlias, beautifully composed bouquets, and flower varieties most people didn’t even know existed. Growing Floret takes viewers into the world of that farm and its owner, Erin Benzakein, who’s constantly trying to balance customer demands, book commitments, and hone the somewhat unpredictable art of actually cultivating and growing plants. Couple that with a desire to grow her business and expand into a newly purchased 24-acre plot, and you’ve got a pretty solid premise for a reality show. Growing Floret can take a second to get into — it can occasionally be weirdly intense for a show about pretty flowers — but once the show gets its beautiful tendrils around a viewer, it doesn’t really let go.
Inn the Works
The idea of Inn the Works — millennial maker buys downtrodden hotel with the intent of turning it into a mid-century hideaway for hip young tourists — might seem a little hokey, but somehow subject Lindsey Kurowski makes it work, using her genuine charm and enthusiasm to move both the show and whatever project she’s working on along. Kurowski has bought both of the hotels the show has featured in its two seasons with her own money, too, which can make viewers feel like she actually has some skin in the game as far as renovation quality, durability, and style go. She also often uses her family as labor, which can add some fun sibling dynamics to the mix.
Mind for Design
A new show from longtime TV-design guru Brian Patrick Flynn (Movie and a Makeover, Decorating Cents, and beyond), Mind for Design follows the personality as he tackles interior projects all over Atlanta. Flynn’s style is colorful and traditional, but his work is occasionally a little bit “seat of his pants,” and Mind for Design doesn’t shy from showing that. Still, with the help of his talented design team, Flynn always gets the job done, whether it’s designing two new kids’ rooms for his very pregnant sister or making sure to capture everything he does for his flourishing social-media accounts. (One of the most annoying elements of the show is its tendency to frame Flynn’s interview bits as Instagram Lives, but they’re easily skippable.) Mind for Design isn’t reinventing the décor-TV wheel, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still a solid watch.
Now in its fifth season after initially launching on the DIY Network, Restored follows intensely committed preservationist Brett Waterman as he takes on historic home-reservation projects around California. Waterman sets himself apart by often living on-site while he’s working on these restorations, and that commitment can lead to him uncovering some rather charming details, like original paint, blueprints at a nearby library, or even a suggestion of what the home’s original owners were like. Waterman’s renovations are always thoughtful and thorough, meaning they’re also probably not cheap. Indeed, that’s part of what sets Restored apart: the knowledge that both the homeowners and Waterman are committed to seeing their home brought back to its original glory, no matter what.
Another convert to the Magnolia Network, the long-running reality show Salvage Dawgs follows the colorful personalities working out of the Roanoke, Virginia, warehouse of Black Dog Salvage. A major architectural-salvage reseller, Black Dog has spent years carefully extracting architectural elements from homes and buildings slated for demolition. Each episode presents the crew with a series of unique challenges, whether it’s removing a box window from an old home or figuring out how to reuse an unfashionable old iron stove. Salvage Dawgs has been on for over a decade, and it’s easy to see why: The crews are fun, funny, and good at their jobs, and the show offers an intimate look at a job that’s practically a treasure hunt.
One of Magnolia’s brand-new originals, Super Dad offers a fun twist on the traditional home-renovation show. Host and star Tyler Calmus uses his construction skills to create amazing tree houses, backyard forts, and outdoor spaces for kids. While Calmus’s builds aren’t all that different from each other — every kid wants a hideaway, a swing, and a slide, after all — he manages to add some individual spin every time, whether it’s a supercool dome shape to a playhouse or a rocket tower on a swing set.
Another renovation show with slightly limited parameters, Van Go follows Austin’s Brett Lewis, owner of Chewy Design Co. An expert at turning Sprinter vans into something oddly livable, Lewis tackles a new project with new challenges each episode. He handles it all with a wide range of dad jokes and beard riffs that can get a little corny, but it’s still interesting to see how Lewis manages to pack four different beds into the back of a single van or how he turns a boring old metal box into a bespoke mobile recording studio. Van Go is great for lovers of the road life, to be sure, but it still delivers even for viewers who might rather stay at home.