When Joelle "JoJo" Fletcher picked Jordan Rodgers on her season of The Bachelorette, her life changed forever. In Jordan she found a partner and true love. Now, a couple of years since she said "yes," it's not just wedding planning that's keeping her busy.
JoJo is working with Marcus by Goldman Sachs, which offers fixed-rate loans up to $40,000 with no fees, and she is passionate about home remodeling. "I got into home renovation at an early age," JoJo told POPSUGAR. "My mom is in the industry and remodeled an apartment complex. When I was younger, I was always kind of around it. It really wasn't until college that I got a little more hands-on, and I helped design the house I was living in. Once I did that, it was just something about being creative in a space that means so much to people, like their home, that I think really continues to draw me toward it."
As an experienced real-estate developer, JoJo sat down with POPSUGAR to talk about her experience remodeling homes, combining decor style with your partner, and DIY tips that will save you some serious money.
Consider Your Finances
Before beginning any remodeling project, it's best first to have a budget and be honest about what to expect. "Always create a budget," JoJo advises. "I always tell people who are planning their budget to account for an additional 15 to 20 percent for unexpected situations to arise. I feel like, for me, there hasn't been one house that I haven't gone over budget on. You just run into problems you don't know even exist."
Prioritize What Fits Your Budget and Your Needs
Once you have your finances in order, it's time to consider what is most important. "After budgeting, it's just deciding what area you want to tackle in your home. Depending on whether you're doing a kitchen renovation or a bathroom renovation, there are always ways you can renovate on a budget. I tell people to keep plumbing and electrical stuff in their relative place that they're in and work the space around it. When you start to go into moving plumbing and electrical, things do add up," she says.
Additionally, JoJo urges people to think about their own personal needs when designing a home. What works for some people might not work for you. "Think about how you use your space. If you're not a big chef and you're not going to be cooking all the time and don't need that much storage, maybe you opt for floating shelves instead of full cabinetry. Those are ways you can cut costs that lets you renovate your space in a really beautiful way," JoJo says.
Know What You're Getting Yourself Into
Remodeling can be tricky and a big project, so JoJo warns that it's best to discover large damage before beginning a full-scale remodel. "I think that first and foremost when I'm looking at a home to do a remodel, I look at the location. I'll drive around every day, in all different sorts of neighborhoods, looking for houses," she says. "Then, if I find a house in a location that I like, then I will look at the bones of the house, seeing if there is a lot of structural damage or if there are big underlying issues. You definitely need to know what you're getting yourself into before tackling a project like that."
Find a Focal Point
"For me, personally, I like to tie in color. I always try to have a focal point in the room, whether it's the sofa, fireplace, or a mantel. I try to pick a wallpaper design that ties in somehow, whether it's based on the same colors or the theme of the room," she details. However, choosing wallpaper is about knowing your own abilities and your own personal needs. "I love wallpaper, but I don't think it's something you should tackle on your own if you've never done it before. In part because it's very hard, so that's something I would definitely hire. There are wallpapers that are easily removable, so if you're worried about damage, there are definitely options for that as well," JoJo says.
DIY Is Great, but Be Realistic
If you want big changes in your home, don't be afraid to roll up your sleeves and work. "I'm a big do-it-yourself person. If I don't know how to do something, I'll look on YouTube and I'll learn it, and I'll practice it. If you have the patience and willingness to learn, there are so many things that you can do. But big things like plumbing and electrical — I would not try tackling that on your own. Things like tile or painting, or even things like refurbishing pieces in your home, I think those are all things people can do if they have the willingness to learn and the time to do it," JoJo details.
Relationships and Remodeling Are About Compromise
Relationships are an important factor when planning a home remodel or designing a room. "I got very lucky to have someone that sees my vision and agrees with me on style. Jordan has been great. We do have similar styles, but he thinks differently than me. It's nice to be able to bounce ideas off of him, and he has been amazing. For couples who don't see eye to eye, there will always be compromising in every part of your relationship," JoJo explains. If a couple can't get on the same page when it comes to design, then she advises that people be given their own space to implement their own creative vision.
Big Changes Don't Have to Be Costly
While the concept of a big home remodel sounds appealing, it can be hard for some people to put that kind of time in. Thankfully, JoJo explains that you don't have to do a lot to really transform a space. "If your kitchen is outdated, I personally love a clean, fresh kitchen. If your cabinets are in good shape and not falling off or broken down, just refinish them. Paint them a fresh, bright white, clean up the space — and little things like replacing the hardware makes a big impact, and it's inexpensive," she advises.
Draw Inspiration From Important Moments in Your Life
While her days as a bachelorette are firmly behind her, don't be surprised if some inspiration from that time in her life seeps into her decor. "I'm so thankful for The Bachelor and The Bachelorette because it gave me this platform to share doing something that I love and am passionate about. I always pull inspiration from different places that I've been or homes that I've lived in. When I was on the show, we traveled all across the country and the world. You see things where you think in the back of your head, 'Oh, I can incorporate [that].' I think in life you're pulling inspiration from the places that you've been and places you go," she explained. However, don't expect to see any red roses in her decor. "No, I think I'm done with red roses for a while."