Holiday Surprise | Season 3

Written by Jenny Marrs on . Posted in .

All the creatures are all stirring for this special Christmas episode of “Fixer to Fabulous.” This week, we took on something different: instead of renovating a home for humans, we remodeled a home for animals who need temporary care.

The Bella Vista Animal Shelter has been a part of the community for 30 years. The facility could use a facelift but all of the grant and donation money goes toward the most pressing needs – helping the animals. This small facility is tucked at the end of a gravel road, just off the main business highway that goes through Northwest Arkansas. The nonprofit runs entirely on private donations and grants as it helps rehabilitate animals and find them good homes.

This opportunity was such a special one for Dave and I. We LOVE animals and were honored to be able to give back to our community and our furry friends with this project. 

Front Exterior



The shelter needed to extend a nice reception not just for pets, but potential adopting families. The building was old and neglected and the drab outside and inside wasn’t the best representation of how much the workers care for the dogs and cats. Nor did it offer a warm greeting for people coming to meet the animals.

We cleaned up the existing siding because we didn’t have the funds for new siding and really needed to stretch our budget as best as possible. Then, we added a portico to the building to provide shade and the warm greeting this animal shelter desperately needed. New window boxes for flowers and new shutters helped transform the entry into a cozy place for all the humans who work or visit.  Joel, our local expert on 3-D design, printing, and laser-cutting donated his time to make a cool new sign for the shelter, an ideal finishing touch for the outside of this facility. 

The end result is an exterior with charming curb appeal that warmly welcomes visitors!


Ornaments | Christmas by Krebs

Shelter Sign | Steam Rocket Engine

Landscaping | Ground Effects

Christmas Trees | Wonderland Tree Farm

Exterior Light | Kichler

Flag | Allegiance Flag Supply

Front Door Paint | SW Rosemary 6187

Reception Area


The reception area needed to be updated in order to become an organized, functional space. I also wanted to infuse it with warmth so that it will feel like an extension of home as potential families come in to find their new four-legged family member. 

We added shiplap to the interior walls just inside the front door to give the space a cozy, layered feel. New storage and countertops and an updated kitchen made this building a pleasant, functional place for workers, volunteers and guests. We had plenty of space to work with and just needed to make changes that brought out the best this facility had to offer. 

Chris Latham, our go-to cabinet maker, donated his time and labor to build custom cabinets for both the reception area and kitchen that provided a lot of new storage. Dave made a couple of modern, sturdy benches along with a wood door to close off the office space from the front area (in case new animals are brought inside). We kept the meaningful mural, as it was painted by the shelter manager’s daughter and meant a lot to her and the entire team. We also added a few photos I snapped of friend’s and family’s rescue pets as art for the walls.



Benches | Dave Marrs

Cabinets | Premier Wood Concepts

Countertops | Polycor

Cabinet Hardware | Better Homes & Gardens 

Hallway Light | Kichler 

Front Desk Mural | Alyssa May

Wall Paint Color | SW Alabaster

Cabinet Color | SW Smokey Blue

Cat Room


The shelter used this room for kittens to keep them away from the other cats. The little ones needed more play area with room for exercise, and of course, we wanted to make this area look and feel great. 

We had a lot of fun taking this cat room to another level. Dave and Joe built some fun and fancy cat-climbing structures to keep the kittens entertained and moving without giving up any of the existing floor space. The new cabinets in a rich green shade and the custom wallpaper (by the same artist who made the mural in the reception area) make this room perfect for the humans too. 



Wallpaper | Alyssa May

Cabinets | Premiere Wood Concepts

Cabinet Hardware | Better Homes and Gardens

Ornaments | Christmas by Krebs

Cabinet Color | SW Rosemary 6187

Dog Room


The dog kennel was large enough but needed a design to keep animals safe and secure. The short dividers on each dog stall made for some unsafe encounters. The solution we came up with was to build up the dividers and install plexiglass to fully separate the stalls high enough and allow separation so the dogs can’t be in direct contact or hurt one another. A chalkboard on each stall door provides information about the dog for workers and potential adopting families.

Fresh light-to-dark blue paint with an epoxy coating on the concrete floors and a light gray on the walls sealed and brightened the look and feel of the whole kennel area. The dogs have been given an adequate, safe space to eat and sleep, and the people have been given a bright and cheery atmosphere. 



Ornaments | Christmas by Krebs

Dog Run Paint Colors | Glidden PPG Paints:

Elusive Blue PPG1163-1

Pageant Song PPG1163-3

Sterling Silver PPG1163-4

Silver Blueberry PPG1163-5

Blueberry Pie PPG1163-7

Meet and Greet Area


This meet-and-greet area at the shelter is where people interested in adopting a pet can spend time with the animal outside of the kennel space. The existing pop-up fence wasn’t particularly inviting, so we made big plans to change that. 

The dogs here also didn’t have a lot of room to roam while staying protected and fenced-in. We added a new dog run that allows plenty of fresh air and exercise for these precious animals, keeping them in good shape while they await adoption. A slatted fence, toys, and a fun space will really help this recreation area function well for the shelter and the dogs in their care.

I also had an idea to really do something special with the new sealed storage container the shelter desperately needed. Artists Kinya Christian and Lisa Nance came up with a great plan for a mural on the side. Since this will be one of the first things visitors see when they drive up, we were thrilled to make it really stand out. The mural represents how your new pet will be the missing piece of your family’s puzzle. I love that!



Shipping Container Mural | Kinya Christian and Lisa Nance

Shipping Container | Pro Box Inc.

Shade Sails | Shade Sail


Dave and I are big animal lovers, and to have the opportunity to lend a lot of helping hands to an animal shelter in need of a facelift was an honor. We pulled a lot of favors to make this happen before Christmas. We were glad to be able to secure some funding for this project and are grateful for those who chipped in their labor and talent. It took efforts from several people to make the Bella Vista Animal Shelter a place any animal—or human—would want to hang out. 

And, at the end of this one, we came home with another four-legged family member: Banana Marrs! She fits right in at the farm, cuddles up with Dolly and sleeps with Charlotte at night. She eats way too many treats and takes too few walks. She’s carried everywhere and treated like a babydoll. And, I don’t think she minds one bit. 🙂 We adore her!