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Tackling a home renovation project can be challenging, especially if it’s a big makeover, but Joanna Gaines has an easy tip for making the process more manageable. The Fixer Upper star shared the “key” to staying motivated with any home project, big or small.

Chip and Joanna Gaines smile with Chip wearing a dark button down shirt and Joanna wearing a green top on The Today Show
Chip and Joanna Gaines | Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Joanna Gaines shared her home renovation wisdom

Chip and Joanna Gaines answered audience questions during an April 2022 appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show. One person asked if they had “some tips to stay motivated and get things done” on home renovations.

Joanna shared an easy approach. “I always say, just start small,” she explained. “It’s kinda like anything in life — like you can dream really big but to really start getting things moving and make things a reality, you just gotta kinda look at the smallest thing. Tackle that. Then go to the next thing and just start getting your rhythm.”

She offered up one example. “So for people that are trying to tackle, say, a kitchen, you know it’s like, ‘Hey, start with your backsplash or start with new hardware.’ Like you don’t have to do the full renovation,” Joanna explained.

“And, sometimes, the greatest joy is when you don’t do the whole thing and you do just a few tweaks and it changes the space on a really great budget,” she added. “So I always say start small and work toward the bigger picture. But don’t try to get it all done at once.”

Barrymore agreed. “That’s really, really smart,” she said. “Hardware can change everything.”

Chip and Joanna Gaines said they hope to never see 1 design trend again

Chip and Joanna were also asked about past trends. “What is one design trend from the past that you hope never returns?” an audience member asked.

The couple agreed that popcorn ceilings is a no-brainer. “Popcorn ceiling’s an easy one,” Chip said. “Unanimous in that sense.”

Chip wondered if shag carpet would be another design element from the past that shouldn’t make a comeback but Joanna made a case for it. “Now you’ve got some really amazing shag rugs … the texture,” she explained.


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Joanna didn’t have her design aesthetic figured out on their first project

Chip then shared how Joanna wasn’t always in the zone with her decorating skills, as he reminisced about their first project.

“I’m gonna rat Jo out here for a second, if I might,” Chip said. “The first project we ever did was this great little house over just on the other side of town. And it had four or five kind of like major areas to the house. Jo had not found her design aesthetic quite yet.”

He continued, “And Jo literally went through that project and each room was like walking into a brand new different themed … Joanna said yes to a different theme in every room in that first house.”

Joanna shared how the experience informed the next project. “I was like, ‘What room do I love the feeling of the most?’ And then our second house, then that became three out of the five rooms.”

She added, “But I was just experimenting as we were going. I’m still trying to figure out what went really well.”