Dave and Jenny Marrs Share What It’s Like Being HGTV Stars, Why You Shouldn’t Be So Obsessed with Resale Value, and More
Dave and Jenny Marrs didn’t have their sights set on becoming HGTV stars.
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In fact, the Arkansas couple needed a little convincing to let TV cameras into their world. Cut to the present day, and they’re the stars of HGTV’s “Fixer to Fabulous,” their home renovation and design show. In a new story for Better Homes & Gardens, the duo open up their home, sharing what it takes to become a renovation powerhouse all while raising five children.
As parents to twins Ben and Nate, 12, Sylvie ,11, Charlotte, 8, and Luke, 3, the Marrs are constantly on the move. Whether it’s feeding their farm animals or getting the kids off to school, there’s an element of chaos from the time they wake up. Add in the camera, and things can get extra wild.
“It’s insane,” says Jenny. “And there’s a lot of editing involved. But it’s our normal. It’s our job.”
A lot of planning work happens at night, around their kitchen table. With Dave making dinner, the couple will come up with “a plan and a story for each house.” Soon, they’re driving the kids to and from sports practices, but the family reconvenes for dinner together each night. While working with your spouse is certainly a challenge, the Marrs are used to it. But ultimately, they know how to keep it in perspective: “We just look at each other and say, ‘Remember your why,’” Dave says.
Already on the way to becoming household names, the couple has taken on plenty of new challenges, whether it’s developing their line for Walmart or committing to their philanthropic work. Still, they have no regrets.
“We never could have planned it this way,” says Jenny. “It can be crazy chaos, but we’re so grateful for how it worked out.”
When it comes to remodeling, the couple has some wise words for anyone tackling a project. They advise you to always use an architect, and then take the plans to contractors to see who’s the best fit.
If you’re looking to buy a house, never do it without getting the inspection done. Skipping that process, which can cost a few hundred dollars, is never worth the hassle of finding out something is wrong. “Even though I’ve been doing this for 20 years, I still want another set of eyes on a project,” says Dave.
As for the design element, Jenny suggests designing a room around some bigger ticket items, like a beautiful range for the kitchen. You can also often find lower prices, if you’re willing to take the time and dig. Finally, Jenny suggests ignoring the trends and going for a design element that speaks to you. “You want your home to reflect what you love, not what other people are doing on Instagram,” she notes.
And then there’s that thing everyone’s always thinking about: resale value. Don’t let your worries about resale value stop you from creating a space that fits your family, the couple advises.
“People are so afraid to take risks in their home because they’re overly concerned about resale value,” says Jenny. “It’s OK to make your home yours. Go ahead and take a few design risks if they make you happy. Especially if it’s paint. You can always paint over it when you eventually sell the house, but enjoy it while you live there.”
The April issue of Better Homes & Gardens is available on newsstands March 17.