Bathroom Reno Tips To Pick Up From Fixer To Fabulous' Jenny & Dave Marrs

Jenny and Dave Marrs have completed plenty of impressive bathroom transformations on their show "Fixer to Fabulous," so it makes sense that we would look to them when it's time to spruce up our spaces. Whether you've been saving for years and are ready to do an ambitious knock-down rebuild of your master suite, or want a little inspiration to spruce up the half-bath, the Marrs know exactly what to do. The pair never holds back when sharing expertise with viewers about the best ways to create value, luxury, and everything in between when doing bathroom remodels.

We've taken the work out of it for you and poured through the couple's episode recaps, social posts, and media interviews. And, we've collected all of their best tips, so you can make sure you have the best bathroom reno results. No matter what you hope to accomplish in your space, these are the best pieces of advice to have in your back pocket while you do it.

Keep the main features of your bathroom simple to create a calming space

When renovating your bathroom, Jenny Marrs wants you to remember that simpler is more serene. "We installed new flooring and light colored vanities with quartz countertops for a sleek look," Marrs wrote on her blog about a home that desperately needed an update. "The green tiles make the shower feel so serene, and the special-ordered handmade bathtub adds a luxurious modern touch to a traditional bathroom." Before the tub was attached to the wall with clunky marble that looked more like it belonged in a '90s Olive Garden than a home. By choosing a detached tub, Marrs introduced an element of museum-like sophistication to the room with just one single feature.

To get this look at home, be more selective about where you use finishes and accents in your bathroom. The tub Marrs chose here wasn't ornate, but it was elegant. The same can be said of the features you invest in. Look for statement pieces that speak for themselves, like a sleek freestanding bathtub with subtle finishes. Choose just one shade of tile for the shower, so you don't create visual chaos. These small tweaks, like framing your mirror with something simple instead of an intricate frame, keep you from veering into gaudy territory. 

Open spaces no longer mean luxury

You might think that the more open space you have in the bathroom, the more upscale it will seem. Unfortunately, while this was big a few decades ago, Marrs explains that it's an outdated bathroom trend. So, updating our thinking can give us the most value in the space. "The biggest change was the bathroom," she wrote on her blog about a recent client's project. "This bathroom was so typical of the 1990s and early 2000s when we used to leave a huge open space in the middle of the bathroom to make it seem so luxurious!" Yet this is no longer the case. Now, our understanding of bathrooms has evolved to be more about functionality than grandeur. There is no use in having lots of space in a room if you can't really use it. In this instance, it was just dead space.

If you feel like your current bathroom is a bit too airy, or are wondering how to design a luxury bathroom with purpose, Marrs has the perfect solution. "It was easiest to just gut it all and start over with a clean slate," she continued to write. "The large space allowed us to install a free-standing bathtub, a double vanity, and a walk-in shower. I love how the large porcelain tile gives off a Calcutta marble feel." In this instance, Marrs used the space to create three separate luxury features, instead of leaving a near hallway in the bathroom.

You don't have to gut the bathroom for a new look

You might be putting off renovating your bathroom because you dread demo day and the long weeks of rebuilding that come after it. Luckily, the stars of "Fixer to Fabulous" have other advice for making your space your own. Jenny told The Spruce. "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.'"

So, instead of renovating your entire bathroom just for the heck of it, see if you can touch up the space to feel more authentic to your style. You can do this through small swaps to make the room reflect your preferences. Revamp your bathroom's color scheme by adding fluffy fresh towels in a new favorite hue, plus a shower curtain to match. This way you can test run the color before committing to it all over the space. And, let go of things that no long fit your tastes. For example, get rid of that magazine basket you've been holding onto, just because you've had it for years. Instead, replace it with another storage options that is a bit more you.

Pay attention to the jewelry to drive home the transformation

Jenny Marrs has a special vocabulary to help clients understand what really matters in bathroom remodels: The small stuff. "Sticking to what I call the jewelry of your space, like all of the finishing touches, and changing those out really does make a big difference," Jenny told Business Insider. If you don't have the budget for a big gut and rebuild, focusing on smaller things that you can tinker with and swap over time will save you money without sacrificing style. 

So what exactly is this jewelry? Well it's the items that improve the look and function of your bathroom, but changing them out doesn't cause major disruptions in you using it. This could be your drawer pulls, lightswitch covers, and even towel rods and rings. The fun part about swapping out the jewelry is that they don't have to be the all the same material, either. Even Marrs herself has been known to combine different shades and materials to create a one-of-a-kind look. "It's OK to mix metals," she wrote on her blog. "Different shades can still look cohesive and modern if you do it right." To keep things looking stylish while still mixing it up, consider sticking with the same sheen when mixing metals. This would something like pairing subtle brushed nickel and brushed brass together, instead of adding a high-shine option.

Wallpaper can make all the difference

Sometimes all a bathroom needs to be totally transformed is just a touch of wallpaper. "The powder bath renovation at the Smallridge house didn't make last night's episode but I had to share it with you guys! I used Kelly Ventura Design's GORGEOUS wallpaper in here and I love how dramatic it is," Jenny wrote on Facebook. "This is the only bathroom they have for guests to use and it was a bit of an eyesore before the remodel. Now, it's a beautiful space right off of their gorgeous new kitchen."

Wallpaper is a great way to add a touch of personality to a room. Half-baths are also the perfect place to try out a bold color or an otherwise loud pattern because they are small spaces that are relatively unattached to the rest of the living space in our homes. There are many different kinds of wallpaper available, from the more traditional sheets that tend to be more permanent, to peel and stick which is especially renter-friendly. Dave told Business Insider that peel and stick is a personal favorite of he and his wife because it's "easy to change out." So if you are leaving a rental, or just don't vibe with a color or pattern anymore, it's relatively low stakes update. 

Updating cabinets is easier and less expensive than taking them out

If you have your cabinets and want new ones, the solution might just be as simple as a can of paint. "You can keep your cabinets as they are and paint them," Jenny told Business Insider. This is a great option if you are short on time or prefer to renovate your bathroom on a budget, as Marrs also told the outlet that this was significantly cheaper than getting new cabinets. 

The paint used for bathroom cabinets needs to be resistant to moisture, so mold and mildew don't form. While the countertop is what will be getting wet most of the time, the cabinets will still experience plenty of condensation from steamy showers, so you don't want to ruin them. Or, to take the guesswork out of the process with tintable cabinet coating kits available like this one from The Home Depot. You don't have to prepare the surface; the coating goes right on top. To take things a step further, install touches like soft-close cabinet hinges. These small changes can add instant luxury to your space. 

It's OK to take let the bathroom renovation take space from other rooms

Your bathroom might seem a touch too small for your liking. During renovation, it can be tempting to steal space from other rooms to expand the bathroom — or create an entirely new one. In the Season 5 episode "A Military Family Renovation," Jenny Marrs does just that. "To have a separate bathroom for your guests would be amazing," she told the clients while doing the initial walk-through, per LMTOnline. "The resale value of the house would even go up. A new bathroom is a big deal, so we're going to move some things around in the budget to make this happen." To create the area, the team borrowed some space from the closet in the guest room. "When you're just a guest, you don't need a big closet," Jenny explained. 

In your own home, you might take room from the hallway, bedroom space, or even the backyard as you expand your square footage. While adding a new bathroom, or significantly expanding existing ones is a lot of time and effort, the finished product can add a great deal of value to the home in the long run. In fact, Marrs tells the audience that it can get you up to 20% more on the final sale price.

Subtle tiling is a great way to introduce color

While many choose to boldly paint their cabinets or have a loud shower curtain to add color, Jenny Marrs shows viewers that there is another method. If you're looking for a unique way to make a statement in your bathroom, tiling may be the way to go. In the Season 3 episode "Storm Chaser's Forever Home," the designer tells the audience that she is quite proud of the direction she took her client's bathroom. "This tile, because it's not solid pink, it has that white mixed in, and it just feels like it's handmade," Jenny said, per "It all has unique variations, and I think it makes it a little more subtle, not so in-your-face pink. But it's also really fun and really pretty."

You can do the same at home by choosing tiling for your bathroom that is in subtle shades. While gray and white are classic bathroom colors, don't be afraid to follow Marrs' lead and go for something a bit more creative. The shape of the tile also has an impact on how it's perceived. Subway, scalloped, and even mosaic tiles are all great choices for showers, backsplashes, and even flooring in bathrooms.

Tiling up the wall can make things look prettier (and more functional)

Bathrooms are wet spaces. This is just a fact of life. When renovating yours, a great tip to pick up from the "Fixer to Fabulous" stars is the more tile you use in your restroom, the simpler your life will be. We see this in the Season 3 episode "Small Rancher, Big Addition." Jenny chose to extend the shower tiling all the way to the ceiling. This works especially well, as the shower has a waterfall fixture. Marrs was also impressed by the statement created. "This is probably my favorite floor tile of all time and I love how it runs all the way up the wall to create visual interest," she wrote on her blog.

Yes, the flooring and shower in most bathroom are typically tile, but having a backsplash behind the sinks can also make things easier to clean and wipe down than having a typical wall. It also makes things more waterproof if you seal the tiling correctly. Plus, when the tiling extends into more places in the room, it just looks more custom and interesting overall.

Don't be afraid to mix up different styles

The bathroom is a place where guests won't spend much time. Because of this, you don't have to be afraid about pushing the limits with the designs you choose. It's a judgment-free zone, at least according to Marrs. "Bathrooms are the perfect space to mix it up design-wise," Jenny wrote on Instagram. "Try a patterned tile, unexpected wallpaper, funky lights, or a unique sink."

If there is anything you've ever seen at a flea market, while shopping on Facebook Marketplace, or even at a garage sale that you just love the look of, but aren't sure how you might fit it into your home, pop it in your bathroom. Maybe it's a quirky light fixture, a silly neon sign, even artwork that might be a little crude to have on display in the living room. The bathrooms in your house are the perfect place for all of these things.

Patience makes the bathroom renovation process easier

It can take a long time to renovate a bathroom, especially if you do a full gut. One of the best tips that these HGTV stars have for people who want to mimic what they see on TV is to realize that what they do in real life will look nothing like it does on "Fixer to Fabulous," and that's totally okay. "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 told The Spruce.

So, when you're in the weeds and haven't been able to shower in the master suite in months because the part you need is on backorder or you're exhausted from sanding cabinets in the driveway for four days straight — know that you're not alone. The Marrses and their team have been through all of this and more over the years. It's important to know that a good renovation will take time, and a positive attitude (and a touch of endurance) will make all the difference.