Projects & Improvements

Before and After: HGTV’s “Fixer to Fabulous” Gives a ‘90s Living Room a Timeless Makeover

published Dec 9, 2022
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Credit: HGTV

Although Stacey and Karen McGhee had planned to remodel their Arkansas home several years ago, life prevented them from being able to do so. Now, after living in the 1,500 sq. ft. home for 17 years, the couple is finally able to tackle a renovation. In the latest episode of “Fixer to Fabulous,” the McGhees called on Dave and Jenny Marrs to help them bring their home into the 21st century.

Credit: HGTV

One of the most important parts of the renovation was the living room, which was an open, outdated space. Built in 1999, the room was stylistically behind the times but structurally up-to-date. The room was very dark, with harsh wood floors and a notable lack of natural light. The furniture was mismatched and the large back wall was filled with random photos and frames. The existing fireplace was aesthetically appealing and the only thing that the McGhees requested was that the team find a way to get it working. Stacey and Karen were seeking a timeless look that could last another 20 years, so Jenny vowed to “give this whole space a cozy, kind of curated, modern-meets-vintage feel.”

Credit: HGTV

The front door opened directly to the living room, so Dave and Jenny quickly decided that they needed a new door. Karen had recently found an antique front door, so they were able to resize it and use it in the renovation. The wooden door featured a glass oval, which helped bring additional natural light into the space. The team removed the picture frames from the large wall and instead added a raised panel, which provided a simple focal point to the room (while also concealing the door that led to the garage). 

Credit: HGTV

The team ripped up the old, dark flooring and brought in flooring with a warmer tone to help make the room lighter and cozier. They painted the shelves next to the fireplace white and crafted an arched wooden feature to complete the built-in look. Jenny placed several pieces of Stacey’s coffee mug collection on the shelves for a personal touch. She also added stylish lava stones to the fireplace for a cool, modern look and incorporated a few evergreen accessories throughout the room. They completed the space with timeless furniture (including a brown couch, neutral chairs, and a wooden coffee table). 

Jenny wanted to do something special for Stacey, who had given back so much to the community through his breast cancer awareness work, so she decided to install a stealth ice cream cabinet in the living room. The light wooden cabinet featured an ice cream machine, toppings, bowls, and cones. The doors shut, so the machine could easily be hidden away or put on display for company.

Credit: HGTV

“…[It’s] just an ode to the fact that this house has been with you guys for so long, and you knew it was your house but it didn’t feel like your house,” Jenny said. “And I hope that now it really feels like you guys.”

“Fixer to Fabulous” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV and discovery+.