Jenny and Dave Marrs handle a lot of home challenges on their HGTV show, “Fixer to Fabulous,” but in the latest episode, they’re tasked with a doozy: turning a run-down cabin into a comfortable and truly livable house.
In the Season 2 episode “Rustic to Contemporary,” Dave and Jenny meet John and Dana Lawrence, parents of two who recently survived a house fire. The fire left John, Dana, and their kids pretty shaken up, so Jenny and Dave want to make sure this family’s new home is safe as well as beautiful. They have a healthy renovation budget of $215,000.
Read on to learn the clever ways Dave and Jenny make this rustic home work for this family of four, which might inspire a few upgrades around your own home, too.
A glass railing shows off a great view
When Dave and Jenny first see this house, they’re most impressed by the location. Not only is the house surrounded by abundant trees, but it also has a great view of a nearby lake.
Jenny and Dave capitalize on the picturesque surroundings by building a large deck—and ensuring every spot on the deck has a great view.
To open up the space, they replace the original railings with glass ones. These are modern, simple, and clean, allowing maximum views of both the greenery and the lake.
“This is amazing,” John says when he sees the new railings. “Nothing’s blocked.”
Build a concrete fireplace outdoors
After a terrifying house fire caused by a faulty fireplace, John and Dana don’t want a fireplace in the house. Understandable! However, they are interested in a fun outdoor fire feature to make their new deck feel homey.
So Jenny and Dave design a cozy outdoor living room with a fireplace made of concrete. The concrete looks sleek and modern, but it doesn’t compete for attention with the tall trees surrounding the home. Plus, Dave points out that it’s sturdy and safe, which gives Dana and John much-needed peace of mind.
Use paint to conceal too much wood
While the exterior of Dana and John’s lakeside oasis is beautiful, the interior is definitely dated. In the living room, Jenny and Dave are shocked to see the entire room covered in pine.
John and Dana say they like the look of wood, but they’d rather it be more of an accent than the main feature in a room.
So Jenny paints the room white, which she knows will make the space look bigger and more welcoming. Then, to give the room the warmth of wood tones, Dave uses some reclaimed wood as stylish ceiling beams.
When John and Dana finally get to see the room, they’re impressed. The white paint makes the living room bright and welcoming, and the wood beams bring back that warm, natural style—without overwhelming the space.
“It looks completely different,” John says.
Turn a closet into a bathroom
This new house is a bit tight for John, Dana, and their kids, but these homeowners are determined to make the space work.
Jenny and Dave know that adding a bathroom will make the home feel a bit more functional, so they get to work turning a closet into a new bathroom.
Jenny decides to go with a modern design, with clean lines and light colors that will make the space feel larger.
Jenny even designs an open shower, with no door. This design is unique and stylish, and it saves space.
Shiplap with tile can give a bathroom personality
With one bathroom looking totally modern, Jenny and Dave decide to give the other bathroom a more contemporary design. Dana and John say they like blues, so Jenny uses blue tile and some shiplap to give this lakeside bathroom a nautical look.
In the end, the mix of tile and shiplap look great. The tile brings some color to the space, while the shiplap makes it feel homey.
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