Jenny and Dave Marrs of “Fixer to Fabulous” are always busy making over other people’s homes, but in the latest episode, they get personal—turning their efforts toward renovating their own rental property.
In the Season 2 episode “Boring Turns Into Boho-Chic,” Dave and Jenny learn that their friends J’Aaron Merchant and Jasmine Hudson are moving from New Jersey back to northwest Arkansas. The Marrses decide to fix up their rental property so Hudson and Merchant can move in.
The problem: This rental needs a lot of work, and with only $95,000 and four weeks to finish the project, it’s going to take a ton of clever solutions to get this home fixed up in time.
To make things worse, Jenny and Dave run into issues when they have to decide whether to renovate the house to their renters’ boho tastes (in the hope of encouraging them to stay for a long time) or to give it a more classic look to try to appeal to other renters in the future.
Read on to learn how the Marrses renovate their rental property, and learn how to create a great space for any guest, no matter how long or short their stay.
No cash for real terrazzo? Make your own
The Marrses are determined to polish up the first impression of this home, so they refresh the exterior with white paint and new windows.
These improvements make the house look fantastic, but when it’s time to work on the front walkway, they aren’t sure what to do. Jenny wants to install a terrazzo walkway, but knows they don’t have the budget for such a pricey material.
So they decide to craft their own makeshift terrazzo out of spare pieces of marble.
“We’re gonna take this marble, break it into teeny little pieces, then put it in concrete to create terrazzo steps,” Jenny says.
The terrazzo look-alike has tons of character and gives a unique look to the front of the house.
Lose the closet to make room for a bar
Jenny knows that this home’s entrance is disappointing. The front door opens right into a small coat closet—and while a closet may be functional, it doesn’t give guests that “Wow!” factor.
Instead, she comes up with an idea to turn this closet into an arched minibar area where they can display pretty drinkware on open shelving, while a cabinet below provides useful storage.
“It’s a built-in that’s functional and really pretty,” she says.
Dave builds the bar area, and when it’s finished, it looks amazing. The wood shelves look perfect, and the beautiful blue-green cabinet really makes the feature stand out.
With a rental, it’s OK to take small risks for the sake of style
Jenny wants to give this house a boho-chic look, starting with the fireplace.
“Imagine if the tile had a little bit of these blush tones in it,” she suggests.
Right away, Dave disapproves, objecting that it’s too risky. He feels the design should be a little safer, to ensure that future renters will enjoy the look as well.
Still, Jenny decides to go for the blush tile, which is installed from floor to ceiling over the fireplace.
In the end, it looks great—the look is definitely boho and definitely feminine, but it’s not so wild that a future renter wouldn’t want to live in this space.
Try some flashy fabric at the breakfast bar
Jenny and Dave redo the kitchen with fun colors and a fresh, youthful feel, so when it comes time to design a breakfast table, they want the style to match. Jenny decides to add a fun, flashy fabric to give the space some sizzle.
“I want this dining nook to be a little bit different,” Jenny says. “I want the bench to have a cushion, and then I have a back bolster cushion as well.”
She chooses a blush material for the bolster pillow and a bolder, black-and-white pattern for the seat. It’s a great combo that makes this dining nook stand out.
Repurpose a garage as a workspace by adding a glass door
Jenny knows that Hudson and Merchant both need workspaces at home. While they’re able to turn the third bedroom into an office for Merchant, they also need an art studio for Hudson.
So, Jenny gets an idea to turn the garage into a studio. It’s an easy swap, as long as she can change one feature: the garage door.
“We’re going to replace this garage door,” Jenny says, looking at the old, worn-out door. “Instead of replacing it with just a normal garage door, what if we replace it with a glass garage door, so that it lets in natural light and this becomes her studio?”
While a glass garage door can be expensive, Jenny and Dave spring for the update and are able to give Hudson a stunning studio.
It’s the perfect solution for anyone who needs a home office but who has assumed that the garage would be a no-go because of the lack of light.