Joanna’s favorite gift is sentimental and thoughtful—no surprise here.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated May 05, 2018
Mireya Acierto

When it comes to gift-giving, we’re always looking for inspiration—and an excellent way to be inspired to find the perfect gift for someone is to find out what gifts are the most meaningful to others. When Real Simple had the opportunity to sit down with Joanna Gaines at the launch of her new cookbook, Magnolia Table, we needed to know: What is the best gift she has ever received?

Unsurprisingly, the Fixer Upper star, design maven, mother of five, and Waco, Texas, hometown hero had an answer that didn’t disappoint. The best gift Gaines has ever received is a set of vintage maps of New York City, and the story behind them is absolutely heart-warming:

“When I lived in New York my senior year in college, I lived around midtown, and a good friend of mine found four vintage maps that were of all those streets [near where I lived],” Gaines said. “I came to New York City for broadcast journalism, but while I was here, I kept dreaming about owning a boutique one day. That’s where I feel like all these dreams were started.

“Obviously I love anything vintage, I love maps, and it was really specific to where I lived, so it was a reminder to me about dreams,” she added. “That was 20 years ago, and sometimes it takes a while for these things to come to fruition.”

Vintage maps are a recurring design theme in the homes Gaines re-makes on HGTV’s Fixer Upper, so it’s no surprise that she loves the look of them in her own life, as well.