HGTV’s Power Couple Spill Budget-Friendly Tips to Transform Any Space

Dave & Jenny Marrs share how to love your space, even on a budget

Dave and Jenny Marrs

Courtesy of Dave and Jenny Marrs

A creaky floorboard in the living room, a dripping faucet in the kitchen—it can be easy to tally up the parts of your home that need fixing, and with many tally marks comes a larger-than-life renovation budget. But, we have good news: you don't need a lofty budget or a whole crew of renovators to create the space of your dreams.

Fixing homes in small ways can still be fabulous, and that is exactly the mission that drives Dave and Jenny Marrs. The beloved design duo, who you know from HGTV, turn run-down spaces into homes their clients will forever treasure. And this doesn't happen just by completing a renovation (somehow in 45 minutes) on TV, but by bringing in special elements and reminding clients that there is so much to love about their spaces.

The couple chatted with us about budget-friendly ways to upgrade your home, how to love even the pain points of your home with simple upgrades, and how to work in tandem with a partner or family to complete an amazing home project—which, as we know, they're truly experts on.

Meet the Expert

Dave and Jenny Marrs are the talented design duo behind HGTV's "Fixer to Fabulous," a home renovation show focused on restoring historic homes in Northwest Arkansas.

Jenny's Favorite Budget-Friendly Home Upgrades

There has to be a way to take a space in your home from drab to fab without breaking the bank, right? Jenny Marrs confirmed there is, and we got her take on the best budget-friendly ways to give your home a refresh. Turns out, there are more than we thought.

“One thing we always suggest is painting—it’s a super budget-friendly project that really does change a space,” Jenny Marrs says. “You can really change your entire space with a can of paint. Whether you want [a space] to be lighter and brighter or you want it to be more moody and dramatic, painting can make that change.” 

The often overlooked details of your home could be great candidates for upgrading too, like lighting or hardware.

“You can swap out hardware or faucets without doing a total overhaul of a kitchen, but you can really make a big impact with those kinds of things,” Jenny Marrs says. 

Even just identifying which spaces need the most help can help give you a clean start when prioritizing home upgrades, which in turn, saves you time and cash.

“When you think about what dates at home, it is the kitchen and bathroom,” Dave Marrs says. “In your kitchen and bathroom, paint can change things really quickly. Changing out the jewelry, like the lights the hardware, makes a big difference, too.”

Bright kitchen with sage green cabinets.

Michelle Berwick Design

How to Love Your Home, Even If It Isn't "Perfect"

No home is going to be perfect, and Jenny Marrs admits that it's completely fine to accept this. She notes that even after completing a renovation, you could always find something else to adjust.

“Your home doesn't have to be perfect—every house needs work," Jenny Marrs says. “But, bringing in items and pieces that you love will make your home a place that reflects who you are. If you don't love something, don't bring it into your home, and if it's already in your home, get rid of it. Adding pieces with meaning helps you really feel like, ‘This is my home. It reflects who I am.’”

Adding pieces with meaning helps you really feel like, ‘This is my home. It reflects who I am.'

Dave Marrs admits social media could be to blame for the lack of love you may feel for your home. "You see all these perfect homes on social media, and even on our show—we complete a whole house in 45 minutes, which doesn’t actually happen,” Dave Marrs says. “People are so busy looking at that, you forget to love what you have.” 

He echoes Jenny’s suggestion of bringing in all the meaningful pieces you can get your hands on to make your home really feel special and personalized. “Adding one thing can completely change the room," he says. "It could be one amazing fixture or one amazing piece of furniture—it doesn't have to be the entire space.”

Fun white kitchen with lots of decor and fresh flowers on countertop.

Blue Copper Design

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work When Renovating

Nothing brings a couple or family closer together than ripping up dusty carpet or accidentally falling into a tray of paint. The Marrs' had great advice for those working on projects together, and to summarize: start small and keep things tidy.

“Don't dive in too deep into renovation projects—start small,” Dave Marrs says. “Find out if you and your partner are good at working with each other under renovation conditions. Tackle little things together and let that grow into other things. Oh, and get a lot of cleaning products, because renovating can be a total mess." In fact, the Marrs’ recently partnered with the classic cleaning brand, Arm & Hammer, to encourage DIYers that effective cleaning doesn’t have to break the bank.

Dave and Jenny Marrs in kitchen with Arm & Hammer products.

Courtesy of Dave and Jenny Marrs

Something that helps the duo while they’re working on a project together is allowing each other space to thrive in their specialties. 

“We know what we each do best, and in doing that, we value each other without undermining each other,” Jenny Marrs says. “I can leave things to him and not have to worry about it. He also is receptive when I say no and pause a project to redo some things. You figure out what each of your strengths is and use those strengths to make the project better.”

“Doing it together is the best part,” Dave Marrs says. “We do everything with our family, whether it's outside, a project inside, in the garden, or on the farm. Whatever or wherever it is, we do it as a family. It may not be perfect, but we do it together—and we often get a story out of it, which just makes it more enjoyable.”