'It sets the tone for the entire room' – how Jenny and Dave Marrs transform a space for under $50

It's budget, it's quick and makes a huge change': The duo turns to this design tool to create 'happier' spaces rooted in personality

Jenny and Dave Marrs
(Image credit: Courtesy of Jenny and Dave Marrs)

With over 300 renovated homes to their name, we could do far worse than follow advice from Jenny and Dave Marrs when it comes to a redesign.  

The Fixer to Fabulous duo may be known for their large-scale renos – but their experience naturally covers more toned-down projects, many of which we can hope to replicate, no matter the size of our space. And this is certainly the case with their most recent space-enhancing tip.

'Paint is the most impactful way to elevate a room because it's budget, it's quick and makes a huge change,' Dave says in an exclusive conversation with H&G. 'The great thing about paint is that it makes a room feel happy, it can make a room feel light, or it can make a room dark and moody. It sets the tone for the entire room, and it only costs $50.'

Green dining room, wooden dining table, colorful seating, artworks on walls

(Image credit: Valspar)
Dave and Jenny Marrs
Jenny and Dave Marrs

Designer Jenny and expert craftsman Dave Marrs are the stars of HGTV's Fixer to Fabulous and Almost Home. Jenny also appears on Rock the Block (alongside designers including Jasmine Roth and Leanne Ford) and Design At Your Door (with Tamara Day and Tiffany Brooks). They currently live in a restored farmhouse in Northwest Arkansas.

The question of how best to elevate a room inevitably covers impactful renovation ideas – in this case, the indisputable power of paint. However, Jenny explains that we can also accentuate our homes by filling our spaces with personal possessions with a deeper meaning.  

'I agree with Dave on paint, and I also think that bringing personality to a space doesn't have to involve a renovation. Instead, it comes down to the things you love and the pieces holding stories,' Jenny explains. These pieces can be anything from family heirloom antiques to vacation souvenirs, as is the case in the Marrs' farmhouse.

'We're sitting in our room right now, where we have a bookshelf and an old wooden bowl full of rocks,' Jenny says.

'Every time we travel, we collect a rock as a family, and we always inscribe the date and the place. Every time I look at that bowl, I smile. It makes me happy, it brings me joy, and it costs absolutely nothing. It makes the space personal, and it's a story of our family and our life.'

While we may sometimes consider hiding our personal possessions away in the name of minimalism, Jenny reminds us that these pieces will not hinder our space's style. Instead, they will only accentuate them further.

'Often, if people have a collection similar to that, they may put it in the closet in a box – but I say, if it’s something you love, then bring it out and display it,' she says.

'If you've got a painting, hang it up on the wall. Don’t be afraid to decorate with art or bring out your things and tell your story in your home – these pieces really do change the feel of a space. And if your home doesn't feel like you, this is your cue to add more character and some life.'

For more advice from Jenny, we're picking up a copy of her new book, available via Amazon below.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.