An illustration of a woman with blonde hair in front of a collection of white flowers

Illustration by Babeth Lafon

Storytelling has always fueled Grace Mitchell’s creativity. Before she became an HGTV star, the Fort Worth interior designer was a teacher and language therapist for deaf children. In 2011, the Arlington native and TCU graduate began her blog, “A Storied Style,” and started writing for home design magazines, including Better Homes & Gardens. Her approach to creating spaces infused with personal stories gained traction, and she began serving clients in 2012.

Now the proprietor of Storied Style Interiors, Mitchell’s work is chronicled in the HGTV series One of a Kind. The cameras follow along as she coaxes stories out of her clients and builds upon their collectibles and personal treasures to design customized rooms. When someone confesses to only bringing out the good china and crystal for special occasions, she’ll ask them, “What are you saving this stuff for? Every day is special.”

Mitchell and her husband, Dr. Kent Mitchell, met at church after they graduated college. They married and made occasional medical missionary trips around the world as part of Kent’s residency. Upon settling in Fort Worth, Kent began practice as an interventional pain doctor, and Grace worked on her doctorate in audiology. Their family grew quickly—today their four kids are 11 to 14 years old. “We joke that we have Irish quadruplets,” she says.

The past year, Mitchell has been working on a new HGTV project in Fort Worth—the details of which haven’t been made public—and she’s always updating her signature Grace Mitchell line of home décor for the retail chain At Home. And she’s done it all while her family of six has lived in an Airstream trailer for two years during the construction of their new home. “I’m always open to new things, so I knew we could do it,” she says.

TH: How did blogging lead to a TV show?
GM: In stories on my blog and for magazines, I wrote about work on our century-
old home in Fort Worth and places I was traveling to find things for the house and for [clients]. In 2018, a production company pitched me. Forty-eight hours later, they came up here from Waco after wrapping up some Fixer Upper shooting. We did a pilot in one of my clients’ homes, and it went straight to series. Three episodes in, the producers said they wanted a second season. It takes almost a year to film a whole season, and then COVID hit when we were ready to start the third season. But I did go to Atlanta and film a few episodes with Ty Pennington for his HGTV show, Ty Breaker.

TH: What are you working on now?
GM: We’re working on a new design show, but it’s too soon to talk about. It’s here at home. I’m all about Fort Worth. I drive my kids to and from school, and we do homework and have dinner together. At some point, I’d love to do something in the kitchen. I’ve done a few things in the past on Food Network, and I love cooking, so I’d welcome an opportunity there. It’s a completely different kind of work. Design work can be dirty because you’re on construction sites so much. I mean, I love what I do, but food TV is a lot cleaner!

TH: Last spring, you did a pop-up event for four days at Round Top. What draws you to Round Top antiques shows?
GM: I love going to Round Top because I can decompress there. I come away so inspired and refreshed. There should be a whole series there, and I would love to film it. I love flea markets, but Round Top is the best. There are great dealers at Marburger [a Round Top antiques show]. Another favorite Round Top destination is Blue Hills, in the barns at Carmine, and especially the barn where East End Salvage out of McKinney is found. I love how their European salvage pieces are styled. Excess 1 and Excess 2 are fields where I’ve found vendors with such variety, like the old sinks and tubs I love, at pretty good prices. That’s just the start; there are so many more.

TH: Where else spurs your design imagination?
GM: I love any spontaneous road trip. I like to just get in the car and go places like Forney when I have a weekend to roam around the antique barns. McKinney has great shops, too, and there are finds in the Dallas Design District. Last year, I took the kids on an architectural salvage tour of the southeastern U.S. We looked like the Clampetts when we drove back home. I found a canoe to turn into a light fixture and tied it to the top of the car. If I see something on the side of the road anywhere, my kids know to scooch over because I’m putting it in the car with us. There’s something very spiritual about that, finding something old and giving it new life. It fills my soul.

TH: Where do you find treasures in your own backyard?
GM: Here at home, the best is Old Home Supply. We’ve even filmed there. I’m also a big fan of estate sales, and we have so many good ones in all the great Fort Worth neighborhoods. It’s how I use any leisure time. I’ve found things everywhere from Salvation Army to Berry Good Buys. I have a vast collection of jadeite [opaque milk glass dishes from the 1940s], and this was before Martha Stewart posted about it and jadeite went to five times the price it used to be!

TH: Where do you and the family go for downtime?
GM: Just outside Longview, there’s a farm that’s been in Kent’s family for generations. He proposed to me there, and it’s a very special place for us. We go out there a lot just to explore and spend time together.

TH: Tell us about building a new home for your family.
GM: Our old house sold in three hours, so we had to move somewhere. We had a 1969 Airstream redone by an outfit in College Station called Trailer Trashin. We lived in it for almost two years—two adults, four kids, and our two Pyredoodles, Belvedere and Birch. I can make some magic in that 5-foot kitchen; I’m really good at one-dish meals. We had Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners there, thanks to a huge griddle and outdoor firepit. The Airstream was right on the property where we were building in a neighborhood near the Trinity. Though we built from the ground up, the house looks like it was built in 1915. All the doors and floors in it are old, the fireplaces are old, and there’s a lot of vintage lighting, tiles, and glass. It’s like a science lab: We figured out what works and what doesn’t. Since my whole career has been about renovating, I’m focused on finding beautiful, practical solutions. It’s creating a story in a different way.

TH: What makes Fort Worth special for you?
GM: It’s the perfect big small town, and I get a lot of energy from that. We are so lucky to live in a place that is so culturally rich with music, theater, museums, and now with the film industry. We have all these wonderful old neighborhoods, and each one has a real community feel. I joke that we are living in Mayberry, where all our neighbors know my kids. And there’s a special entrepreneurial spirit here. I feel like Fort Worth celebrates people’s dreams. I had a dream, and it’s grown bigger than I ever imagined. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Follow Grace Mitchell on her Instagram, @astoriedstyle.
Watch for updates
from HGTV on the debut of her upcoming show.

From the April 2023 issue

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