“Fixer to Fabulous” stars Dave and Jenny Marrs know that a young couple’s first home together should feel special, but what if all they can afford is a small, run-down house?
Dave and Jenny help engaged couple Madison Brittain and Joshua Launch renovate their first home in Bentonville, AR, in the episode “She Said ‘Yes!'” While the young couple are excited to get married, they’re not exactly thrilled about their new house, which is cramped and outdated.
Jenny and Dave have a modest $100,000 budget to turn this unimpressive house into a stunning honeymoon home fit for these two lovebirds (and their dog, River). Here’s how they pull it off with a bunch of low-cost upgrades you might be inspired to add to your own abode, too.
Hide the TV to give your living room a refined look
Jenny and Dave know they need to make the living room look sophisticated enough to work as a semiformal space where the homeowners can entertain guests.
The problem? This room is also where the couple watch TV—and their massive flat-screen is a major eyesore.
The solution, of course, is to hide a TV whenever possible. But how?
Dave builds a cabinet with a special feature where pressing a button brings the TV up out of the cabinet, and back down out of sight once TV time is over. The homeowners are stunned.
“No way,” Brittain says. “That is the coolest thing.”
Build a banquette onto the kitchen island
Brittain and Launch’s living room may be small, but their kitchen and dining space is truly tiny. Jenny and Dave know they can’t fit the kitchen island Brittain wants as well as a dining table, so they get creative.
They build an island, then attach a bench with a table and chairs. This dual island/banquette saves space and gives the kitchen a unique look.
“The space was kind of awkward, and there was no space to have a dining table and an island,” Jenny says. “So we just sort of combined it all so that you have the best of both worlds.”
To further customize this space, Dave and Jenny add a fun food station for River, Brittain and Launch’s dog. The bowls pull out from the bottom of the banquette, providing yet another way to save space.
“That is so cute, I love it,” Brittain says when she sees the dog food drawer.
Use color to bring personality to a bedroom
When Jenny and Dave first see Launch and Brittain’s master bedroom, they find a plain, white room. The Marrses know that to make this space homey, they’ll need to add color.
They add paneling to one wall to give the space some texture, then paint the whole wall navy. The design makes the space look moody and modern.
When Brittain and Launch see the updated room, they like the change.
“I love the navy wall,” Brittain says.
Then, to add another space-saving feature to this house, Dave creates a disappearing dog bed for River. He adds a cushioned, full-extension drawer so Brittain and Launch can pull it out for bedtime and push it in when River gets up for the day.
Now, this small bedroom is filled with both color and convenience!
Borrow space to make a bathroom bigger
Jenny and Dave have to be creative to make space in this house—especially when it comes to the tiny master bathroom. They decide they’ll need to take some space away from the kitchen in order to make this bathroom feel more luxurious.
They add just enough space to provide a longer counter and a new, larger shower with modern tile.
“Your kitchen’s a little bit smaller, but I feel like it’s worth it for this,” Jenny says.
Then they use a portion of the borrowed kitchen space to build an impressive pantry.
Build a back porch with some fun features
Jenny and Dave spend most of their time trying to make the inside of this home seem bigger—but they’re still able to find time to build a new back deck.
While fancy outdoor kitchens, large dining spaces, and impressive fire pits may be popular backyard features, Dave and Jenny know that their young couple don’t need a pricy, elegant space. They just want a fun place to hang out with friends.
So, Jenny and Dave build a deck and paint it black to make it look modern. Then, they add a swing set to make the space feel more fun and youthful.
To continue with the playful theme, Dave builds a dinner table that flips over to double as a pingpong table.
Last but not least, they also include a barbecue and benches that open to reveal small basketball hoops. These fun features are a great way to make the most of a deck entertaining space without spending too much.
In the end, Launch and Brittain are thrilled and excited to live in their fabulous new house—and Dave and Jenny prove that it doesn’t take much money to make a home feel special.