On “Fixer to Fabulous,” Jenny and Dave Marrs have gained a devoted following who adore their home makeovers, so it’s no surprise that they’ve branched out to vacation homes, too.
On their new four-part miniseries, “Fixer to Fabulous: Welcome Inn,” they have purchased a fixer-upper in Rogers, AR, for $225,000. They hope to spend about $200,000 to turn the space into a bed-and-breakfast.
But things don’t go as smoothly as you might expect from these veteran renovators. For one, the house is riddled with problems, from crumbling columns to an infestation of bees. They end up spending a hefty $515,000 on renovations and repairs.
They also realize that their vision of a multiguest B&B isn’t feasible, so they change it to a single-guest vacation rental and event space.
In the end, “right now, it doesn’t look like a smart investment,” Dave admits. Still, they’re proud of their work.
“It’s not always about dollars and cents,” Jenny says. “It’s about the impact that we have in this world and in our community.”
Though this renovation wasn’t a clear win for Dave and Jenny, it’s nonetheless a lovely property and a good learning experience. Check out what they do to the place, which might inspire some changes around your own abode, too.
French doors and shutters are a charming touch
To start, the HGTV stars pour a lot of time and money into curb appeal. They replace the decrepit columns with new steel ones, add a new roof and siding, and lay down new brick pavers. They also turn the front windows into French doors, creating some valuable indoor-outdoor flow to the building.
“We took what once were windows and created French doors,” Jenny says. “And we’re going to add floor-to-ceiling shutters to those French doors.”
Jenny paints the shutters blush and adds gas lanterns to the porch ceiling. These details make a big difference in creating Jenny’s “quintessential Southern home.”
Wainscoting adds elegance
Inside the house, Jenny and Dave want each room to look and feel elegant. And while they must start from scratch in most of the spaces, they want the design to look original to the home.
In the dining room, Jenny removes the old wallpaper and replaces it with intricate wainscoting.
“We added all the trim to the wall, so it gives it some texture and architectural detail and makes it feel a little more sophisticated,” Jenny says.
Add a pop of color and imperfect details to a kitchen
In the kitchen, the team installs new cabinets, a handmade mosaic tile backsplash, and a beautiful blue range, which is “the focal point of the room,” Jenny says.
Indeed, this stove’s rich blue color gives the whole space a homey feel, which is accentuated by the imperfect handmade tiles. These details give the kitchen character.
Commission custom wallpaper for the right look
Jenny loves the existing pink wallpaper in one bedroom, so she has an idea to replace the pattern with a fresh and modern wallpaper of her own. She asks a wallpaper designer to paint a custom look that she knows will pop in the room.
“I can just order wallpaper, of course, but I just think it goes along with everything we’re doing in this home,” Jenny says of her decision to commission an original design. “It’s all about artisan-made pieces. I have an artisan making these things the way it used to be done. I really want to restore this to the way it used to be. So this wallpaper is going to be an actual work of art.”
In the end, the custom wallpaper is worth the extra cost. While any wallpaper can bring color and personality to a room, this elegant pink design gives Dave and Jenny that classic look they crave.
“This is my favorite room,” Jenny says when the space is done.
Brick tile flooring adds old-world charm
Before renovations start, this house has a creepy, cramped basement. And while this space doesn’t seem usable at first, Jenny and Dave see potential. They put in oak beams to support the first floor, then build in wine storage and lay brick tile flooring.
“We put in some brick that we wanted to look old,” Dave explains.
They “really wanted it to feel like an old-world cellar but also very sophisticated at the same time,” adds Jenny.
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