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Before and After: Step Inside Jenny and Dave Marrs’ Renovated Italian Villa

It’s their biggest, oldest and most ambitious project yet. Jenny and Dave Marrs transform an Italian villa into a dream-worthy vacation rental.

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Ciao, Italy!

Fixer to Fabulous hosts Dave and Jenny Marrs have tackled countless renovations in their home state of Arkansas — including their transformation of the Welcome Inn in Rogers, Arkansas. During their new spinoff series, Fixer to Fabulous: Italiano, they can now officially say they've remodeled homes on both sides of the Atlantic. The design duo modernized a 200-year-old villa in Greve in Chianti, Italy, turning it into a rich and historic vacation rental for their longtime friends Pierre and Rebecca. Let's step inside the villa.

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Photo: Mike D’Avello

Stepping Back in Time

The villa physically embodies its locale. Named Podere Camposasso, which means “the rocky field,” the exterior is constructed with the sandstone rocks found in the surrounding fields, and the bricks are made from the clay of a nearby valley. Although an extensive history of the villa is unknown, records show that over the last 100 years it was a sharecropping home for a monastery.

The Marrs’ love affair with Italy runs deep. In Jenny’s own words, “Many years ago, there were two kids who loved adventuring together. Early in their marriage, they stepped off an airplane and onto magical soil where they fell in love with a foreign yet somehow familiar land. Their souls exhaled.”

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Photo: Clay McLachlan

A Modern Italian-Style Kitchen

Not for farm animals anymore: This former stable is now a bold, sunlit kitchen. Because the original space wasn’t connected to electrical or water lines, the Marrs put in extra work, time and money to get it ready, and the final result was worth it. Dave and Jenny drove to Carrara, Italy, to find the perfect marble countertops. To stay within their budget, they opted for a shorter-than-usual backsplash (still sleek) and commissioned cabinets made of a less expensive type of wood. Olive green paint on said cabinets ties in with the olive trees around the property. Matte-black appliances and hardware create a striking contrast against the room's warm hues.

more kitchens by the marrs

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Photo: Clay McLachlan

Grounded in History

Handmade terra-cotta floors bask the kitchen in warmth from the ground up. Pierre and Rebecca wanted to use authentic, local tiles throughout the home, so Jenny found an eighth-generation maker of terra cotta, which dates back to the 1780s.

The kitchen opens up to the dining room and wine room, where original stone from the stable is left exposed as a callback to the history of the villa. Grid doors, made by a local artisan, welcome guests into the wine tasting space.

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