We followed — and loved — JoJo Fletcher on season 12 of The Bachelorette. And while she’s no longer divvying out roses to eligible men (she’s still tied to her beau and final pick Jordan Rodgers) she followed her heart to another passion — home renovations. The current ambassador for Marcus by Goldman Sachs is in the process of updating her fourth adobe, which has given her an arsenal of insight when it comes to tacking all types of projects around the house. We picked her brain on some top-of-mind subjects (like how to create a swoon-worthy backyard) in an effort to tackle our own to-do lists for that outdoor space. Scroll below to get her all her inspo in the most dramatic decor interview you’ve read yet.

JoJo Backyard 2

Brit + Co: What’s your inspiration and design strategy when it comes to creating the perfect outdoor living space? Are there any trends you’re loving right now?

JoJo Fletcher: I get inspiration from so many different places, from magazines to television or even friends’ houses! No matter what, before starting any project I always create an inspiration board to help visualize how I want the space to look and feel. As far trends, I’m really into outdoor fire pits. Whether you DIY one or buy it, they are a great focal point in any backyard and add such a cozy ambiance, especially when entertaining guests.

B+C: What tips do you have for designing an area that’s both pretty and multi-functional?

JF: I always try to make any areas that I am renovating or designing cohesive! Whether it is tying in similar patterns or sticking with a color palette. Blues are my favorite, so I try to pull those elements into each area, whether it’s towels for the kitchenette or pillows for the seating area.

Backyard Setup

B+C: How about the most common decorating problems you run into?

JF: It’s so easy to get excited about your home renovation project and all the fun décor. And the budget is the first thing to go out the window! Things often end up costing more than anticipated, and through my renovations, I’ve learned that proper budget planning is key. It’s important to shop around for the best ways to maximize your dollars. This is why I’m working with Marcus by Goldman Sachs. Their home improvement loans give homeowners the flexibility to use funds as they like, without the need to borrow against their home.

JoJo Backyard

B+C: Are there any must-have products you’re lovin’ RN for your backyard?

JF: I am all about DIY, so hardware and craft stores really come in handy! Since summer is the best time to entertain friends and family, I love incorporating handmade pieces into my outdoor space. With some plywood and chalk paint, you can make a fun menu board that adds charm to your outdoor kitchenette. I’m also a big fan of oversized pillows and throws for the seating area. I always want my guests to feel cozy.

B+C: Many of our readers have tiny patios and outdoor areas. Do you have tips geared toward them?

JF: Of course! A favorite home improvement project of mine is adding greenery, and with small areas, it’s important to get your garden off the floor and onto the wall! Vertical gardens or “living walls” are great for maximizing space. Living walls are a great DIY project you can tackle on your own, and it can be completely customized to your preference whether you want to incorporate succulents, herbs, or even roses!

JoJo_Kitchen

B+C: If you could spend an afternoon in your backyard with any one person, who would it be and why?

JF: Can I get a 2 for 1 deal?! Jordan and my pup Jackson for a fun family night!

What tips from JoJo are you taking to your own backyard? Tell us @BritandCo.

(JoJo Fletcher photos via Marcus by Goldman Sachs; Lifestyle photos via Getty)