Dave and Jenny Marrs of ‘Fixer to Fabulous’ Build a Truly Bonkers Barndominium—Take a Look | Lisa Johnson Mandell's At Home in Hollywood (2024)

Dave and Jenny Marrs of ‘Fixer to Fabulous’ Build a Truly Bonkers Barndominium—Take a Look | Lisa Johnson Mandell's At Home in Hollywood (1)

On “Fixer to Fabulous,” Dave and Jenny Marrs go to great extremes to create lavish living spaces for their clients, but they seldom risk their lives for theirprojects.

Yet that’s just what happens on the Season 5 episode “Rustic Barn to In-law Suite.” It seems Shay Mooney, who makes up half the popular country group Dan + Shay, has a sister named Gabby who has recently made a full recovery from very complicated brain surgery.

Gabby, a singer and songwriter, is also getting married soon, and Shay is gifting her their grandmother’s property as a wedding present. It needs a little work, and Dave and Jenny are just the ones to do it.

They’ll start with making the barn into an in-law suite, where Gabby can live while they redo the house. Built in 2000, the barn has a metal exterior and encompasses 2,000 square feet of living space.

If you’ve ever considered converting a barn into a barndominium or other living space, you’ll want to pay close attention to what they do to pull this daring renovation together. Check out what this makeover taught us that could come in handy for your own abode.

Breathe new life into old family items

Dave and Jenny Marrs of ‘Fixer to Fabulous’ Build a Truly Bonkers Barndominium—Take a Look | Lisa Johnson Mandell's At Home in Hollywood (2)

There’s an old, decrepit shed that’s almost empty on the property, and it’s getting in the way of the view. The Marrses decide it needs to be torn down; but first, they go through it to see if there’s anything of interest.

Lo and behold, they find a stack of old LPs, in their picturesque jackets, that had been recorded by Gabby and Shay’s father, who is also the contractor for the project. Jenny decides to save the records to use as art pieces in the music room they intend to build for Gabby.

Jenny also finds an old, moss-covered trough sink that used to belong to Gabby’s grandma.

“This trough sink is going to be a perfect addition to the bathroom,” says Jenny. “We love tying in family history and bringing it back to life.”

“These sinks, to buy them new, they’re like a thousand bucks,” says Dave. “And that’s not even including the hardware, so it actually saves money, and we get to reincorporate some history from this farm.”

Make the most of a high barn ceiling

Dave and Jenny Marrs of ‘Fixer to Fabulous’ Build a Truly Bonkers Barndominium—Take a Look | Lisa Johnson Mandell's At Home in Hollywood (3)

When Dave and Jenny first walk into the barn, they’re pleased to see it has a towering ceiling. Their first thought is that there is plenty of room for a second story.

But they also like the idea of a cathedral ceiling over the living room. So Dave and Jenny design the best of both worlds, creating a music room and a loft bedroom over the back of the house that overlooks the living room.

Most original use for the space under the staircase: A sauna

Dave and Jenny Marrs of ‘Fixer to Fabulous’ Build a Truly Bonkers Barndominium—Take a Look | Lisa Johnson Mandell's At Home in Hollywood (4)

Most people use the space under the staircase for storage. But Dave and Jenny have another idea: They’ll build a sauna there!

“This space is going to be a wellness space for Gabby,” says Jenny. It’s a cozy, two-person unit, bigger than a phone booth.

“I like the glass because I don’t want it to feel tight in there,” says Jenny. “It’s tucked underneath the stairs, and the glass in the door will help the space feel a little less confined.”

Bonus: There’s room for a minifridge for water and cool towels under the stairs as well.

Think twice before moving a grand piano upstairs

Dave and Jenny Marrs of ‘Fixer to Fabulous’ Build a Truly Bonkers Barndominium—Take a Look | Lisa Johnson Mandell's At Home in Hollywood (5)

Locating a music room with a piano upstairs might not have been the smartest decision. Jenny finds an old baby grand in good condition at an excellent price, but she hasn’t considered how they are going to move it up the narrow staircase they’ve just built.

Dave and the crew decide to build a ramp, put the piano sideways on a dolly, and roll it up. But with the dolly underneath the piano, they find it doesn’t fit under the ceiling. So they try again without the dolly and pull it up the ramp with ropes, with guys pushing behind it. It starts to tip, so Dave throws his body under it.

Although they almost lose both Dave and the piano in the process,it all works out fine in the end

“You’re a modern-day hero,” Jenny exclaims.

Use guitars as art

Dave and Jenny Marrs of ‘Fixer to Fabulous’ Build a Truly Bonkers Barndominium—Take a Look | Lisa Johnson Mandell's At Home in Hollywood (6)

Anyone who seriously plays the guitar (or thinks they do) has more than one guitar. It’s a fact of life.

Dave decides to build a custom guitar rack for Gabby’s living room so hers can be on display. He uses a wood plank with a live edge.

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“This will actually sit right on the wall where we can display Gabby’s guitars,” he says. “Who needs a bunch of paintings when you’ve got these amazing guitars, which are really a work of art on their own?”

In the end, Gabby is blown away by how Dave and Jenny have turned the barn into a beautiful house.

“Everybody went above and beyond,” says Gabby. “They just really put their hearts and souls into it. We just feel really grateful. We’re so blessed.”

“There’s a light now at the end of the tunnel from this really hard season that she’s walked through,” says Jenny. “And this space is the start of that next season for her.”

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Dave and Jenny Marrs of ‘Fixer to Fabulous’ Build a Truly Bonkers Barndominium—Take a Look | Lisa Johnson Mandell's At Home in Hollywood (2024)
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