Getting to Know Kelly Harp of DIY’s ‘Wood Work’


{photo courtesy of Harp Design Co.}

Clint and Kelly Harp had no clue how their lives would change when a certain couple asked Clint to make a few custom pieces for the now hit show ‘Fixer Upper’.  Five seasons later, Clint and his amazing handcrafted wood pieces are a fan favorite on the show. So much so, that Clint and his wife Kelly will appear on the inaugural season of their new show ‘Wood Work’ set to air Wednesday nights on the DIY Network at 9pm central time.  On ‘Wood Work’ Clint and Kelly help clients turn dreams for their existing spaces into reality by incorporating creative, custom pieces hand crafted by Clint, and Kelly’s timeless design. Kelly was so gracious to take some time out of her packed schedule to grab coffee and chat with Waco Moms Blog about mom life, tv life and some of her favorite Waco spots.

photo courtesy of Harp Design Co.

Waco Mom’s Blog: Did you ever imagine that Clint’s carpentry in ‘Fixer Upper’ would turn into  Harp Design Co. being a must-stop in Waco for visitors coming from all over the world and now- your own show?

Kelly Harp:  “Definitely not. Of course we’d had the thought that it’d be great publicity for the shop, but at the time (Season 1) no one knew just how big the show would be and that it would take on this life of its own so to speak.”

WMB: So for those who don’t know your story yet, how did you land in Waco? You are both Baylor grads, correct?

KH: “Yes. We lived several places after graduating Baylor, the last being Houston before we moved back to Waco about five and a half years ago. It felt like such a sweet homecoming and especially when you have kids, you want them to feel a part of the community and you have that here in Waco. We see people we know everywhere we go and it’s really nice.”

WMB: Let’s talk work/life balance. Owning a rapidly growing business with your spouse, parenting 3 kids, filming a TV show, how do you guys find balance?

KH: You constantly have to check in (with each other) and, you know, there are times when there’s just not going to be balance and you have to step back and regroup. You have to give yourself grace. There are seasons for things. When we were filming I had to think of where I could take something off my plate. I love to cook dinner, but that was something I had to let go of for a season, and that’s ok. I can utilize things like Talk More Meals, which have been great.  It’s ok to not do all the things. Just like going into summer, we’ll have to look and think what do we embrace and what do we take off our plates? Balance is tough and we try our best. My mom lives here and she helps a lot so that’s huge. We never want to portray this idea of  “we have it all together and working and having kids is so easy.” Of  course there are so many awesome things, but like everyone else, it’s hard. I don’t think you can have it all at once. I think you can have it all -but different things in different seasons.

WMB: What can viewers expect to see on “Wood Work”?

KH: You can expect some really fun wood projects. We had such a great time creating some of the pieces for our clients’ homes. One of the things I really like about this show is that everyone (viewers) has a project that they’d like to do in their home and I hope that this encourages people to get creative and find a local craftsman who can help them do these things in their own homes. So for the show you’ll see these featured wood pieces but we also style the whole room too.

WMB: What is some advice you’d give to mom’s wanting to change their space up?

KH: I would encourage moms to use slow design. Think about form and function- of course you want things to look beautiful, but do your pieces work well for your family and your lifestyle? We have a tendency to always want the “reveal ready” space where everything is perfect, but when you make changes gradually and really love the pieces you are bringing into your home, you tend to enjoy them for much longer. Pieces are really intentional and meaningful when you use slow design.  And everyone says it but it’s true- a coat of paint can do wonders and is a very affordable way to change up a space. Choose which things you want to invest in- if your kids are older maybe you want to spend more on a quality custom sofa where as someone who has small children may think about getting a cheaper couch knowing it’s going to get more wear for those small years. 

WMB: What’s a go to family dinner for you guys?

KH: I love crockpot meals and lately we’ve been trying to incorporate more vegetables into all of our meals so I really like cauliflower rice. I kind of have a rotation with our kids- they will eat certain vegetables so I like to always have those on hand and we’ve been slowly putting a bigger amount of veggies on their plate and a smaller portion of the other things. We’ll have hotdogs but do sweet potato fries. We also stock up at Trader Joe’s when we go to Dallas. Waco, we need a Trader Joe’s!


WMB: So many people come to Waco in hopes to meet the Gainses, Harps or Jimmy Don so we wanna know- have you had any ‘fangirl’ moments yourself?

KH: Yes. We were asked to do the Dwell on Design VIP lounge in LA last year and we got to meet Nate Berkus! He was so nice. Also, not a celebrity meeting, but Clint was a spokseperson for Citizen watches so we got to go to New York for a photoshoot as part of the campaign for magazines and it was so fun to have a professional hair and makeup artist and stylist for that shoot.

WMB: Let’s do some favorite Waco spots. We’ll start with lunch.

KH: So the storefront isn’t open yet (they currently have a food truck) but Milo for sure, we love Torchy’s, and Shorty’s they have great outdoor spaces.

WMB: Local shopping?

KH: Prefontaine is great for specialty items, Spice of course, Roots, one place I haven’t been that I have been wanting to go is Wildland, and Sironia has had a lot of great things and I like to grab lunch there too. There are so many new places (food and shopping) opening that we need to check out which is so great.

WMB: How about date night spots?

KH: Well when we don’t stay in, which we do a lot when our schedules are crazy, we love Moroso’s and I’ve always loved Ninfa’s.

WMB: Summer Plans. Are you a scheduled summer person or do you wing it once school’s out?

KH: I’m kind of in between. I want my kids to have calm, down time but there is also a need for scheduled time so that I can work so we are working on scheduling that out now. My little sister is having her first baby this summer, so I’m going to go help her out which I’m so excited about.

WMB: When you have an hour to yourself what can we find you doing?

KH: Honestly, if I ever have an hour to myself I have anxiety that I should be doing something productive so I’m trying to practice more to be mindful and to have intentional quiet time. I love to read, so I would hope that you’d find me on a porch or soaking in the tub reading

WMB: We love following you on instagram because you are so refreshingly real so we know Target is a favorite spot. As a mom we know we all go in with three things on the list and walk out with 10. We want to know what department in Target are your impulse purchases from? 

KH: I love to try new snacks so the grocery side, and I also love nail polish, we also love the aisle with all of the kids crafts. 

If you want to see what Kelly is up to follow her on instagram at @kellygharp 

Be sure to tune in TONIGHT (and every Wednesday!) for the premiere of ‘Wood Work’ on the DIY Network at 10 ET /9 CST and you can shop Harp Design Co. here

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Adrienne moved to Waco just before middle school, attended Baylor, married a Sooner and adventured in OKC and Oregon before returning “home” to Waco in 2012. She and her husband Daniel have 3 spirited kiddos Brooklyn (almost 6), Griffin (3), and Dylan (2). She’s worked in various roles in the non-profit sector prior to staying home with the kids once their third was born. Most days you can find her wrangling her 3 kids and running a clothing business from her home. She finds joy in 90’s music, oreos, fall weather and good food. She has a stack of half-read books on her nightstand that she hopes to one day finish. Find her on instagram @adriennehare and say Hi!