Liz Gray

Featured Blogger for HGTVersus

All Posts by Liz Gray

Sep 10

DIYing The Block: Recreate Your Favorite Projects From the Show

What to do with your Sunday evenings now that Flipping the Block is over? Well, how about tackling some simple home-improvement projects with HGTV on in the background? We asked the Flipping the Block contestants to share the steps of a few easy DIYs from the show. Read on to get inspired!

Flipping the Block Herringbone Wall Treatment

John and Whitney’s Herringbone Wall Treatment

HGTVersus: Whitney, you have a knack for adding colorful, fun DIY projects around the condo! Any tips on recreating the herringbone look you created in the bedroom? 

Whitney: The herringbone wall design was a fun pop and only took a couple of hours to create.  Use a 6-foot level to draw 3 vertical lines on the wall from baseboard to ceiling trim. Apply painter’s tape to those vertical lines and then use a few different tape widths to apply the diagonal pattern.

Herringbone Wall Treatment in Ombre Colors

Herringbone Wall Treatment in Ombre Colors

To make sure the herringbone accent paint doesn’t seep under the tape, apply a super light coat of the base wall paint (white, in our case) to the edges of the tape first. Then, just choose your favorite color and paint in between your diagonal paint strips!  We went for an ombre effect and used 3 blues, all from the same paint chip. Peel the tape off when the paint is still wet to prevent peeling.

DIY Mason Jar Lighting

Mason Jar Lighting in Downstairs Bathroom

HGTVersus: Amanda, you obviously love Mason jars! How did you and Curtis create the mason jar lighting in the bathroom? 

Amanda: Yes! I love mason jars! I drink out of them, plant things in them, store things in them and use them everywhere from painting to cooking. They are so versatile, affordable, and so darn charming. Growing up, we’d eat tomatoes from my grandpa’s garden out of mason jars — they just have the most comforting and cozy feel to them. Curtis put that mason jar light together in under an hour like some sort of electrician magician.

DIY Mason Jar Bathroom Lighting

Mason Jar Lighting

He took the “guts” – the wiring and the bolt sockets from a light we had bought but wouldn’t fit after a few last minute design changes. He built the rest of the fixture from palette wood and, of course, mason jars. The shadows that were cast on the wall from the light were stunning! That was our favorite lighting fixture from the entire competition. Curtis is a stud!

Reclaimed Wood Planters

Reclaimed Wood Planters

HGTVersus: Anicka, the DIY planters you and Shauna made for the porch were beautiful! How could our readers recreate that look? 

Anicka: The planters were created using pine 2x4s to create a box frame and nailing surface for the fence boards. We made them extra-sturdy because we also wanted them to function as a sitting bench. Once the frame was built we used a piece of 3/4″ pressure treated plywood cut to size for the bottom to support the weight of the soil and plants. We then cut the fence boards to size and used a finish nailer to attach them to the frame. We recommend leaving a 1-2″ gap at the bottom to prevent rot.

Reclaimed Wood Planters

Reclaimed Wood Planters

Once the box was complete we lined them with plastic then finished it off by adding the fence boards to the top with mitered corners. It’s part bench and part planter!

HGTVersus: Thanks, ladies!

What project from Flipping the Block would you like to recreate? Tell us in the comments below.

Sep 10

Ask the Producer: Flipping the Block Season Finale

You know him from Brother Vs. Brother and Design Star — now go behind the scenes of the all-new competition series Flipping the Block with producer Loren Ruch. Each week, he’ll share his favorite behind-the-scenes moments. Plus, he’ll answer your questions about the show!

Flipping the Block Cast on Open House Day

The Flipping the Block Cast on Open House Day

Do you know if the winning buyers have moved into the condos?
I have heard that all of the buyers are moved in! Isn’t that exciting?  I haven’t stopped by and knocked on doors yet, but I’ve heard through the grapevine that they are in.

Were the crew or cast surprised at Curtis and Amanda’s win? What do you think put them over the top?
We were all a bit surprised — not because it wasn’t beautiful, but because it was a very specific type of buyer that would want to purchase their place.  They obviously found her!

v

Flipping the Block Winners Season 1

Curtis and Amanda Meet the Winning Bidder

What was your favorite behind-the-scenes or funny moment from the set of episode 8?
The open house took place on what was possibly the hottest day in the entire summer in LA, so I just remember a lot of sweaty potential home buyers!  It was a really tough day because there were so many people popping in and out of the apartments, but ultimately it was successful because we found buyers for all four units.

Open House Ads on California Street

Open House Ads in Front of The Block

Several readers have wondered, would you consider flipping a group of homes in a distressed area in a future series? 
Yes.  It wouldn’t be part of the Flipping the Block franchise, but we are planning a show that does just what you are talking about in a popular midwest metropolis that has dealt with some hard times.

Will we see any of the contestants again on HGTV?
I can’t say for sure, but I think that you may see some of them again on air sometime in 2015!

Thanks, Loren! What did you think of the finale and auction? What would you change for a future season of Flipping the Block? Tell us in the comments below.

Sep 8

Go Behind the Scenes of the Flipping the Block Finale

The only words I need to describe the Flipping the Block finale? Nerve-wracking. HGTV.com convergence director Abbi and I were lucky enough to be on set for the final open house and auction, and I can assure you that it was just as sweat-inducing in person as it was on screen. But in between all of the auction drama, it was a lot of fun, too. This photo of David and the cast kind of says it all:

David Bromstad and the Flipping the Block Cast

David Bromstad With the Cast

Watch this week’s behind-the-scenes video with host David Bromstad to be a fly on the wall for the episode’s funniest and most dramatic moments. Then, share your take: Did the right team take home the win? Click through to watch + weigh in.

Go Inside the Finale With David

Sep 3

Ask the Producer: Flipping the Block Episode 7

You know him from Brother Vs. Brother and Design Star — now go behind the scenes of the all-new competition series Flipping the Block with producer Loren Ruch. Each week, he’ll share his favorite behind-the-scenes moments. Plus, he’ll answer your questions about the show!

Producer Loren Ruch With the Cast of Flipping the Block

Producer Loren Ruch With the Cast of Flipping the Block

Anicka’s pregnancy was such a shock! What was the reaction on set (cast + crew) when she found out?
Shock would be an understatement! We all thought she had heat exhaustion, so when she came back pregnant (!) it was the most amazing moment ever. Everyone was SO happy for her. It was really one of the most defining moments of the entire season because everyone came together in their love and support for her.

It was fun to see David and Josh get dirty and work with the contestants. Were there any funny pranks the contestants played on the hosts?
It was an entire episode of pranks! If you only knew how many times the poor lawn jockey got vandalized, hidden, or just plain knocked over, it could have been a television show in and of itself!

Since the contestants got to live in their finished condos during this challenge, were they allowed to make any changes to the inside, or only maintain what they’d already done?
They had the chance to go back and make the tweaks necessary to get their place sale-ready. These were a combination of suggestions from Scott and Nicole along with the mandatory fixes for the local inspector. There really wasn’t much time to fix anything else over and above that.

What was your favorite funny or behind-the-scenes moment from episode 7?
This entire episode was by far the most fun of the season.  Josh wanted to get dirty SO BADLY so he was like a pig in slop.  Plus, he and David are great buds, so it was really fun to see them work together!

Have a question for Loren? Ask him in the comments below — he may just answer you next week!

Aug 28

Flipping the Block: Episode 7 Sneak Peek

The contestants THINK they’re done with the renovations, but they forgot one very important element: curb appeal. This week, the eight contestants will team up (with some help from Josh and David) to finish the Block’s communal spaces and make the property inviting from the street.  It’s a lot of hard work, right, Josh?

Flipping the Block Host Josh Temple

They’ll also meet with judge and real estate investor Scott McGillivray to get his tips to put their best foot forward at their open houses. Click through to watch a preview of the action on this week’s episode.

Watch a Sneak Peek of Episode 7

Aug 27

Life on the Block: The Contestants Dish

A few months ago, the eight contestants on HGTV’s Flipping the Block were just like you and me, watching HGTV and thinking “I bet I could do that.” Some came to the show with building or flipping experience, while others were new to the process, but today, they’re all renovation veterans who have remodeled AN ENTIRE CONDO while living inside. Impressive, right?

The teams dished about their whirlwind experience on set and what they miss (and don’t miss) about living on The Block. Read on for their answers!

HGTV's Flipping the Block Season 1 Cast

The Flipping the Block Contestants With Josh Temple

HGTVersus: Are there any fun traditions or routines you developed on The Block?

Anicka: We were a fun group that loved to eat, so, yes, there is a particular tradition we enjoyed most. After challenges or on our day off, we would often enjoy a meal together and talk and laugh hysterically for hours! We prepared a lot of Louisiana cuisine for our Block mates that they were very happy to receive since most of them were living off of TV dinners!

Whitney: We had this hilarious move that Curtis started doing called the “Silverback” where we did this little dance shuffle around on judgment day. It helped lighten the mood! We had Sundays off, so we all would go to the movies or out for lunch. It was nice to get away and forget the competition for a few hours.

Amanda: The Block was so fun — especially because all of the “Blockheads” really bonded together! Most nights we all would get together and grill dinner or someone would cook something super delicious, and we’d talk about home and all the crazy things we were going through. We all found a lot of comfort in these friendships because we knew we weren’t alone in our moments of doubt or panic! I would wake up early and make Curtis boatloads of breakfast every morning…it was the perfect way to show Curtis’ love affair with bacon!

Craig: I don’t know if we would call it a tradition, but most of the cast would meet in one of our condos when were done working in the evenings and trade stories from the day/week.  It was kind of a “venting” session.

Flipping the Block Cast With David Bromstad

Winding Down After a Long Day on Set

HGTVersus: When you didn’t win, how did you keep from getting discouraged?

Craig: We got discouraged every time we lost a challenge. The fact was that the next day and challenge was going to come regardless of how we felt so we got up and went back to work. It’s not a sign of weakness to get discouraged when a situation does not go your way, it’s human. The measure of a person is how they react in the face of discouragement. We find that if you just pick your self up and get back to work, the discouragement fades and motivation sets in.  That motivation leads to inspiration and before you know it you’re firing on all cylinders again.  You got to just keep on keepin’ on!

Curtis: We are the Silver Team, and Josh would call Amanda the “Silver Linings Girl.” We try to find the good in everything and humor is our favorite way to get through tough times — we laugh together all the time and it makes life incredibly better!

Amanda: Curtis is, without a doubt, one of the funniest guys you’ll ever meet. We always reminded each other, and ourselves that this is something we love to do and to keep fighting so we can represent all the underdogs, the DIYers, and the crazy ones out there! If we can do it — anyone can!

Whitney: There were low days and high days. The stress was intense! We really tried to maintain a positive attitude and lean on each other for support. We accomplished a lot in just a few days during the challenges, and focusing on the good moments is what kept us going. As much as it was physically challenging, it was just as tough emotionally. We developed a bond with all the teams, and of course it’s a competition, but we feel it’s important to celebrate the success of others’ even when we didn’t win.

Anicka: Since the beginning, it was about the end game for us, so winning or losing from week to week did not discourage us. We loved our work and felt good knowing things were being done properly regardless of the time constraints.

Flipping the Block Cast

Pizza Night on the Flipping the Block Set

HGTVersus: What do you miss and not miss about living on The Block? 

Whitney: We miss the Blockheads! We all went through the trials and challenges together, and formed a bond with everyone. What we don’t miss is being away from our pup! He is our baby and we really missed him while we were away.

Curtis: The comradery all of The Blockheads shared was absolutely one of the best perks of the competition. That close bond we all had and the nights we spent forming it is something we miss. When we all hung out it was an absolute blast! And such a nice change from the stresses of the day! We’d just all laugh and talk about home — Amanda once roasted 8 marshmallows at a time on an old rake over the fire pit on John and Whitney’s gorgeous patio!! We also miss the amazingly talented production crew. It was crazy how incredible everyone behind the scenes was! I’m now enjoying the ability to sit on the couch for hours, sans my shirt and play video games.

Amanda: I’m sure Curtis doesn’t miss having to execute my harebrained ideas on a daily basis. Frozen pizzas and afternoon snacks are Silver Team traditions that have proven the test of time.

Craig: I don’t miss the constant pressure and the lack of control we had in dealing with so many situations. There were a lot of rules!! I miss all the great people we were around all day, every day. They weren’t really allowed to talk to us or be our friends but they had to hang out with us all the time. It was great because Brian and I talked to everyone anyway so I feel like we made a lot of friends despite our disposition.

Anicka: We miss seeing our Block mates. We do not miss having a camera in our faces, especially at 6 am!

HGTVersus: Have you been recognized at all from the show? What has the response been in your community?

Craig: Brian and I get recognized quite a bit when we’re together.  Every one is really positive and excited to meet “the twins” from HGTV.

Whitney: People have noticed us out and about and it’s neat to hear them say they love the show! We enjoy chatting with others about our experience. The communities in both our hometown of Evansville, Indiana as well as our current home in Jacksonville have both been so supportive.

Amanda: The community of Coronado’s response has been absolutely incredible. It is such a tight-knit special little town, and to be able to represent the island on a national level is a complete honor and very humbling. The Islander (Coronado locals) response has been tremendously positive. They have especially appreciated the many “Coronado-ish” touches throughout the condo. We are really proud to make Coronado proud.

Anicka: Yes, a few people have recognized us, and it’s always so funny and something we don’t think we will ever get use too!

After seeing the show, do you think YOU could cut it on season two of Flipping the Block? Tell us why or why not in the comments below.

Aug 27

Ask the Producer: Flipping the Block Episode 6

You know him from Brother Vs. Brother and Design Star — now go behind the scenes of the all-new competition series Flipping the Block with producer Loren Ruch. Each week, he’ll share his favorite behind-the-scenes moments. Plus, he’ll answer your questions about the show!

Flipping the Block Host Josh Temple With Amanda Marks and Curtis Goldin

When Curtis and Amanda needed electrical supplies, was the electrician allowed to give them what they needed, or would that have broken Block rules?
On the Block they had to operate from real world scenarios. In the “real world,” if the electrician gave them what they needed for free, it would be fine, but it was up to Amanda and Curtis to negotiate. However, he couldn’t have offered one team one rate and another team a different rate. That would get in the way of fair game play.

Everyone seemed shocked by Curtis and Amanda’s living room win…even Curtis and Amanda! What do you think it was about their space that made Nicole choose it?
I must be the only one who was not shocked by it because I thought it looked AMAZING! Everyone was so caught up on how little money they had to spend that they didn’t step back and see the forest between the trees — it happened to be not only a cost efficient, but also a BEAUTIFUL renovation!

Since the inside of the condos are done, was any one condo a favorite of the cast or crew, or did each one have its own group of fans?
Great question!  Around the set, everyone had a different favorite. In this particular challenge, I liked Amanda & Curtis’s place.  Others really liked the sleekness of the Sisters.  And others thought John and Whitney stayed true to their design sensibilities.  The Brothers also had a fan club because theirs didn’t look like anyone else’s once you saw the kitchen/desk area in conjunction with the living room.

What was your favorite funny or behind-the-scenes moment from episode 6?
For me it was that instant when Curtis and Amanda literally saw a two second peek into their neighbor’s unit and decided on a whim to keep their ceiling exposed.  It was design inspiration at its very best and most instantaneous inception.

Have a question for Loren? Ask him in the comments below — he may just answer you next week!

Aug 24

Vote For Your Favorite Living Room on The Block

Can you believe the contestants are DONE with their renovations?! It seems like just yesterday that they were moving in to run-down condos and sleeping on air mattresses. This week, the teams renovated and furnished the living room spaces.  Whether the budget was $80 or $8,000, I’d lounge in any of those living rooms. I loved elements of each: The chandelier and ceiling in Curtis and Amanda’s space, the artwork in Shauna and Anicka’s room, the blue sofa in twins Brian and Craig’s living space and the built-in bookshelves at John and Whitney’s condo.

Flipping the Block Living Room Designs

Flipping the Block Living Room Designs

But what about you? Which living room did you love? Vote for your favorite in the comments below.

Aug 21

Get a Sneak Peek of Flipping the Block Episode 6

It’s time for the final room renovation on The Block: The living room! It’s the heart of the home and the first thing buyers will see when they walk in. Rehab Addict Nicole Curtis makes a return visit to the set this week to judge the rooms.

Flipping the Block Hosts and Judges

Josh Temple, Nicole Curtis and David Bromstad

But that’s not all the contestants are tackling this week. See what else the teams will take on during the 7-day challenge in the sneak peek after the jump.

Watch a Sneak Peek

Aug 20

Now Casting: Season 2 of Flipping the Block

Do you spend all of your free time giving major makeovers to your home and the homes of friends and family? Think you could do better than the current crop of renovation teams? Apply now to appear on season two of Flipping the Block and you could have a chance to prove it on HGTV — and win $50,000!

Flipping the Block Season 2 - Apply Now

HGTV is looking for dynamic and handy teams of two who are unafraid to get their hands dirty and flip a house. Think you fit the bill? Pairs of friends, family, co-workers, etc. should apply at www.jscasting.com.

Good luck!

About HGTVersus

HGTVersus is your behind-the-scenes window into HGTV's hottest competition shows. Chat about the action, watch exclusive videos and more.
Advertisement