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story.lead_photo.caption Sean Clancy, Paper Trails columnist

The latest TV show about fixing up old homes has an Arkansas twist.

HGTV's Fixer to Fabulous, which debuts at 8 p.m. Tuesday, stars husband and wife Dave and Jenny Marrs of Bentonville. She handles the design, he takes care of the construction and together they make old Northwest Arkansas homes like new again.

The TV thing is new, but the Marrses have been remodeling houses in that part of the state since 2004.

They have five children, ranging in age from 4 months to 9-year-old twins, and also operate a berry farm.

Dave grew up in Colorado, where his father was a builder. Jenny is from Florida. They met while working for Rubbermaid.

Fixer to Fabulous came about when an HGTV executive reached out to them in 2016.

"She has a friend who lives here and she was interested in the area," Jenny says.

A pilot was filmed in summer 2017 and aired that fall.

The season features 10 episodes, and starts with the Marrses transforming a classic Craftsman home into a New Orleans-influenced Creole cottage. Other episodes find them overhauling a Dutch Colonial, updating a 100-year-old farmhouse and turning a 1905 home into a Victorian retreat.

Clients confer with Jenny and Dave, then move out of the home and don't get to see the results until the reveal.

What will set them apart from other HGTV couples-hosted home-improvement shows like Mississippi-based Home Town and Fixer Upper (which ended its five-year run in 2018)?

"Every project is very unique, it's not just one style," Jenny says. "And every family is unique. We try to really make the home reflect the family that lives there and not just what we like."

Dave often uses Jenny's designs to create bespoke items for their clients, and local artisans also get some love.

"There wasn't an episode where we didn't have local painters or welders or artists do different things in the house," Dave says. "It means so much to our community and to the homeowners."

The Marrses, however, will have to wait to find out what made the cut.

"We still haven't seen the episodes," Jenny says. "We will be watching them with everyone else, which is a little bit nerve racking, but we have a lot of trust in our production company. It's really interesting to watch how they're able to take hours and hours of filming and condense it into 42 minutes."


SundayMonday on 10/20/2019


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