Dave and Jenny Marrs of “Fixer to Fabulous” have done countless renovations over the years, but the pressure is on when they’re tasked with fixing up a home owned by none other than Jenny’s parents.
In the Season 2 episode “A Life-Changing Renovation,” Jenny and Dave help Jenny’s parents, Joan and Steve Smith, renovate their new house in Rodgers, AR, not too far from the Marrs’ farm. Dave and Jenny hope to give this property the cozy feel of a grandparents’ home along with a more modern vibe.
Read on to find out how they make this house feel both classic and contemporary, and get some ideas for how to make over any family home, even your own.
Steve and Joan love their new house, but they agree that the style is a little dated. On the exterior, the home has some stone accents that may have been popular when the home was built in 1994, but just look tired now.
So Jenny and Dave decide to replace the stone with some brick, which they know will give the house a fresh, modern style without looking too stark.
However, Jenny tells Dave that they can’t use just any old bricks on the house.
“I don’t want just a red clay brick that is mass-produced,” Jenny says. “I want to use a vintage brick that’s come off of an old building.”
She ends up finding old, light-colored brick that looks kind of worn. This brick, when used on the porch steps and house skirt, gives the home a rustic look.
Watch: Fix Your Own Garbage Disposer—Without Calling the Plumber
In the end, it’s clear that Jenny’s careful selection pays off. She proves that getting just the right color and style is imperative.
Joan and Steve are excited to get rid of the dated stone on the home’s exterior, but they also want to make some structural changes to their front entrance. So Jenny and Dave take out the dated walkway and build out a porch, then they focus their attention on the doorway.
“We were able to get them this beautiful double door, and it has an arch top,” Jenny says, “so adding an eyebrow arch to the front of the house, it’ll mirror the door, and it’ll tie it together and look beautiful and welcoming.”
They use cedar, which matches the new siding, to create a curved structure that will go right above the porch steps. The extra detail matches the elegant front doors, just as Jenny expected, and it brings some character to the front of the house.
It’s a small feature, but it makes a big impact.
Unfortunately, the inside of Joan and Steve’s house is just as dated as the outside. The space is like a ’90s time capsule, and the dated stone fireplace doesn’t help.
“The stone followed us inside,” Steve says of the gray stonework.
Jenny and Dave know they’ll need to update this fireplace if they’re going to make the space feel more modern, so they remove the stone and simplify the feature. With a smooth white face, a wood mantel, and a small spot to store wood next to the firebox, the new, smaller fireplace looks much more modern.
Joan and Steve’s kitchen is dated, so Jenny and Dave make a plan to completely redo the space, putting in new appliances, installing new cabinetry, and even knocking down a wall to open it up. However, once renovation begins, they realize that they can’t take down the wall.
Thinking fast, Jenny and Dave make the best of the situation by using this extra space to put in a coffee bar. Jenny says her parents always start the day with coffee, so a coffee bar is the perfect consolation for the slightly more closed-off floor plan, and one renovation they’ll appreciate every morning when they wake up!
“At first I was really upset ’cause we couldn’t take out this post,” Jenny tells her parents when the house is finished, “but I think it worked out for the best because we could give you the coffee bar.”
With a beautiful coffee bar in the kitchen, Dave and Jenny are inspired to create a space for Steve and Joan’s other favorite beverage: wine.
They get to work installing some wine storage on one wall of the dining room, giving this otherwise empty space a fun feature while also providing storage for Joan and Steve’s wine collection. It a great blend of fun and function.
When Jenny and Dave are finally able to show off the wine rack, Dave admits that there’s one small problem: It’s much bigger than expected.
“When I built it I didn’t realize that it holds, like, 600 bottles,” Dave says. We guess his in-laws will have to work on building their collection!
When the renovation is complete, Dave and Jenny are able to present the Smiths with a one-of-a-kind house that’s made with love. It’s a great blend of modern and classic, making it the perfect spot for two fun grandparents to live out their retirement.