Home Improvement

Chip and Jo 2.0? Dave and Jenny Marrs Launch a Familiar Venture

On “Fixer to Fabulous,” Dave and Jenny Marrs have been making over their hometown of Bentonville, AR, one house at a time. Now they’ve stepped it up and are revitalizing the whole town.

In the latest episode, “Historic Bank Into Mercantile,” they revisit Centerton. In this neighboring town, the couple have purchased a former bank built in 1905, for $130,000. They’ve already spent $100,000 converting the upstairs level into a chic apartment and office space.

Now, it’s time to tackle the first floor, spending $100,000 to transform it into a store called “Marrs Mercantile,” where they’ll sell baked goods and lifestyle items handmade by local artisans.

Remind you of anyone … or place? Sounds a lot like how Chip and Joanna Gaines of “Fixer Upper” fame morphed Waco, TX, into a tourist destination with a full slate of stores, restaurants, and attractions. It’s certainly a smart way to revitalize a sleepy downtown, and the renovations could apply to an assortment of spaces—residential, commercial, and otherwise. Check out how this latest project unfolds, and snag a little DIY inspiration.

Play up a building’s history

This old timer enjoys the specially commissioned vault door, because he remembers when the building was a bank.
This old-timer enjoys the specially commissioned vault door, because he remembers when the building was a bank.


If you live in an older building that has been converted into a residential space, why not pay homage to the structure’s past? So many 100-year-old (or older) buildings are being turned into condos and townhouses these days.

Since this building was formerly a bank, Dave has commissioned a bank-vault door for the bathroom, which can be seen behind the checkout counter.

Whether your property was a mill, a barn, or a brewery, clever design that nods to its original purpose will elevate your appreciation of the space even more.

Paint the pipes on the ceiling

Ceiling pipes painted black
Ceiling pipes painted black


When Jenny comes by to check on her husband’s progress, he says, “I got the pipes painted. It looks very iron-ish now.”

Dave is talking about the exposed metal piping near the ceiling. Whether you’re going for the old-timey steampunk vibe or industrial modern, shiny aluminum pipes and ducts near the ceiling can spoil the effect. A quick, black paint job will make those pipes look timeless.

Add an Instagram-worthy mural

Hand painted mural
Hand-painted mural


Keith Bynum [of HGTV’s “Bargain Block“] is an artist, and he is here to help us make a beautiful mural on the wall of the new store that we’re building,” says Jenny. “So that everybody that comes will see this beautiful mural, and they’ll be able to take pictures in front of it, and it will make them smile.”

If you’re into Instagram-worthy backdrops or just enjoy colorful decor, consider brightening up a dull wall with a hand-painted mural. It looks so much more attractive than a blank wall of stucco, plaster, or brick. It could make your space a popular standout.

Aluminum pergolas are low-maintenance

Aluminum pergola
Aluminum pergola


“Outside, we’ve got a brand-new, aluminum pergola going up in a light-wood color to really highlight the tones that Keith and Evan used on their mural,” says Jenny.

If you’ve been considering a pergola outdoors but are worried about staining and painting it every few years, try one made of aluminum. It’s super low-maintenance and stays in great shape much longer than wood.

If the floor pops, go neutral on the walls

Bright bathroom floor with neutral walls
Bright bathroom floor with neutral walls


Jenny has picked out some extraordinarily authentic-looking, custom tile for the floors throughout the building, and she’s especially crazy about a colorful fan motif she’s selected for the bathroom.

“In the bathroom, this is what I’ve been really excited about, because this bathroom tile is really fun, very funky, and bold,” she says. “I went really light and neutral on the walls, because I knew this tile was coming.”

In other words, “busy” walls would have distracted from the beauty underfoot. Choose one focal point to avoid overwhelming the eye.

How does Dave and Jenny Marrs’ renovation turn out?

Completed Marrs Mercantile
Completed Marrs Mercantile


The store’s grand opening draws a crowd, and shoppers line up to buy various locally made goods.

“Something that we’re really focused on doing in the Mercantile is highlighting local artisans and having their products in our store,” says Jenny.

The couple seem pleased with the community’s response, as this is something they’ve wanted to do for downtown Centerton since they bought the property.

“We have said it so many times—we really want this whole store and the property to be an experience,” says Dave. “To be a place that families want to come and spend time.”

Source By https://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/are-dave-and-jenny-marrs-copying-chip-and-joanna-gaines-look-and-see/