Who’s the best home designer on HGTV? A new series, “Rock the Block,” will reveal the answer as it pits four of the network’s top stars against one another to see whose design steals the show.
“Rock the Block” features Leanne Ford (“Restored by the Fords”), Jasmine Roth (“Hidden Potential”), Mina Starsiak Hawk (“Good Bones”), and Alison Victoria (“Windy City Rehab”). The premise? Each is assigned one of four identical houses on the same street, and given a $175,000 reno budget. Their task is to take their individual houses (each with a market value of $750,000) and upgrade them with designs that will add the most value. The winner gets the street named after her. Talk about cool bragging rights!
In the series premiere, titled “Master Suite Masters,” the designers are tasked with renovating the master suite. After a week, Tarek El Moussa from “Flip or Flop” will judge the four master suites and declare a winner.
Who will win this first challenge? Read ahead to find out who has the best design, and to learn some great style tips from all four HGTV stars.
Free-standing bathtubs are in
These designers know how important the bathtub can be.
“I feel like for resale, with kids and everything, this is a money spot,” Victoria tells El Moussa.
And she’s right: A bathtub can be a big asset, but for this competition, it’s about more than just function. It’s also about style.
So it’s no surprise that all four designers decide to replace the existing tub with a free-standing model, all very different: Victoria goes for a tub with dark hardware, Starsiak Hawk chooses a classic tub with a stainless-steel faucet, Roth picks an antique-looking, claw-foot tub with a dark exterior, and Ford goes all out with an oversize tub in the middle of the bathroom. What these free-standing tubs have in common: They all look amazing!
A stunning headboard feature is easy to achieve
During renovation, Victoria explains that the work on her closet and bathroom are well underway, but she doesn’t know what to do with the bedroom—and what’s more, she can’t spend any more money!
So, she gets creative by adding a grid pattern straight onto the drywall. Then, she paints the whole wall black to create a chic headboard. The feature costs about $70 in materials and takes only an hour to install, and the result is fantastic. The accent wall looks luxurious and expensive, and adds some drama to the room.
When El Moussa tours the room, he loves the headboard idea.
“I just learned something,” he says. “That is brilliant, I’m 100% stealing this.”
Go all-in when it comes to wallpaper
Starsiak Hawk decides to go bold when it comes to the bathroom walls, and puts up floral wallpaper above the vanity. It gives the space some dimension and adds a luxe feel, but El Moussa isn’t so sure it’s the right choice.
“This wallpaper is definitely a little risky,” El Moussa says when he sees her bathroom.
Still, Starsiak Hawk shouldn’t be too worried about El Moussa’s critique. As she explains, the wallpaper “may not be for everyone,” but it does work in the space. It gives the bathroom a whimsical, elegant look that certain buyers are sure to love.
Simple design pays off
When it comes to a master suite, sometimes less is more.
When El Moussa tours Roth’s finished master suite, he’s immediately distracted by the bathroom design. Roth has installed two different floorings and various different tiles, making the space look stylish, but also a little busy.
“There’s definitely a lot going on,” notes El Moussa.
Meanwhile, he is thrilled with Ford’s simple design. The “Restored by the Fords” designer is known for her clean, minimalist style. With textured but simple walls in the master bedroom and clean lines in the bathroom, El Moussa is delighted with the fresh look.
“We were going for natural, simple,” Ford explains. “Honestly, my thing is let your everyday be your vacation.”
Make way for plenty of storage
Closets can be a big asset for a master suite. That’s why Victoria is determined to give her master closet the best storage space possible.
The “Windy City Rehab” star includes some great built-ins and an incredible rotating shelf feature.
“There’s never enough space for your shoes,” Victoria explains, “so I did this 360.”
In the end, the storage solutions look great, which could mean a big investment from a buyer.
“Most people that buy a house, they don’t have the extra $15,000 to do this,” El Moussa says as he inspects the closet space, “so this is a home run.”
So, do the designers truly rock this block?
While each of the designers delivers amazing master suites, only one can be named the winner of this episode’s challenge. So, after seeing all four houses, El Moussa chooses Ford’s suite as the winning design.
“I fell in love with yours because [of] the creativity of completely reconfiguring the space,” he explains. “You went minimalistic in the bedroom, but when I walked into that bathroom, I felt like I was walking into a $3 million house.”
“The vibe you created was stunning,” El Moussa tells Ford. “I think you just knocked it out of the park.”
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