On “Fixer to Fabulous,” Jenny and Dave Marrs are known for their family-friendly renovations, but can they do a party house?
In the Season 3 episode “Funky Modern Home With a Pool,” the HGTV stars help Paul Walker, who is divorced. He hopes to turn his dormlike bachelor pad into a unique place where he and his friends can kick back and have fun. With a healthy $150,000 budget, Jenny and Dave deliver with a colorful entry, in-house speakeasy, and even a genius bathroom idea we can’t believe isn’t more common already (particularly for homeowners with pools).
Read on to see how Jenny and Dave create the perfect bachelor pad and get tips to make your own home party-ready.
Black paint makes a statement—but don’t go all dark
Walker wants his home to look modern. But with lots of red brick and spun-wood porch railings, this ’70s house is far from Walker’s style. So Jenny and Dave put a lot of work into this home, removing the railing, updating the landscaping, and giving the exterior a dramatic new color.
Jenny and Dave’s team paints the dated red brick black, giving the home a much edgier look. Still, Jenny avoids painting the whole house dark, realizing that the white parts could be a big asset.
“I know you wanted to go really modern with this house, and that’s what we tried to do,” Jenny says when Walker finally sees the finished exterior. “We gave you some contrast with the color, though, instead of just fully dark. It’s modern but it also just feels warm and welcoming.”
An entry should set the tone for a home—and provide storage
Inside the house, Jenny and Dave find a large living room, but no coat rack or closet for guests. Jenny borrows some of this space for a new laundry room, leaving just enough for a mudroom-type entry. Then she gets to work designing a unique built-in that’ll provide function for guests as well as a fun first impression.
“I want it to be an asymmetrical, unique built-in with a fun color, just to really set the tone for the entire house, which is going to be kind of funky and eclectic and just fun,” Jenny says.
To finish the built-in, Jenny has it painted a vibrant green, which looks great next to the wood front door.
“Now you just have this really defined entry, and [a] nice place to have storage, but then also just a really great statement piece,” Jenny tells Walker.
You don’t need an open kitchen to entertain
Many homeowners want to open up their kitchen to create a dual cooking and entertaining space, but Walker doesn’t see his guests gathering around a kitchen island. While he knows his kitchen is relatively small, he likes its functionality and wants to keep it as is.
“Paul was really specific: He likes the footprint and the layout of his current kitchen. He did not want that to change,” Jenny says. “So we have to get creative.”
Walker and his adult daughter, Erin Brelsford, mention that they’d like to see some color in this kitchen, so Jenny decides on beautiful blue cabinetry and a modern gray countertop.
“Erin and Paul both really like color, and so I feel like this is a chance to give ’em some color,” Jenny says.
To finish the space, Dave builds a simple steel wine rack for easy access at any angle. This feature adds industrial-modern style while also giving the kitchen some much-needed storage.
Have extra space? Install a speakeasy
While many homeowners would appreciate a large laundry room with plenty of storage, Jenny and Dave know that a bachelor doesn’t need that much room for this.
“This whole space is very underutilized,” Jenny says of the laundry room. “But it’s a nice, big space, like, we should do something with this.”
So they come up with a fun use for the old laundry room: a speakeasy!
Jenny gives this space a moody upgrade with gray-blue walls and cabinetry, then Dave and his brother Matt build a custom bar to match the steel wine rack in the kitchen.
“I love the dark color that Jenny picked. The cabinets are dark as well, and now it’s got an amazing steel shelf,” Dave says when finishing up the bar feature.
While the steel bar feature is similar to the wine rack in the kitchen, it does have a more rustic look.
Dave explains that getting this look was easy: “Jenny wanted something that looked aged and old, so Matt and I welded that up and I sat it out in the yard for about four weeks.”
Add direct pool access to a guest bathroom
Walker loves his pool, but he would like a convenient way for guests to shower and get ready after a dip without tracking water into the house. So Jenny and Dave add an exterior door to the guest bathroom, so visitors can step directly into the shower from the backyard.
“Paul loves this house because of the pool specifically,” Jenny says. “Now he essentially has a pool bath, so you can just walk right into the bathroom and right out.”
Jenny finishes the design with modern blue shower tile and a stone shower floor. When Walker and Brelsford see the upgraded shower, they’re thrilled.
“That’s next level,” Brelsford says. It’s a gorgeous shower with a smart solution any party host would appreciate!
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