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‘Flip or Flop’ Reveals a Popular Kitchen Trend Tarek and Christina Hate Today


The all-white kitchen is officially over, at least according to the stars of “Flip or Flop,” Tarek El Moussa and Christina Haack.

In the Season 12 episode “Suburban Flip,” Haack and El Moussa buy a small house in West Covina, CA, for $520,000. They know this 1953 home will need a lot of work, because the house is all original, with dark paneling, a dated kitchen, and a patio cover that is barely standing.

Find out how Haack and El Moussa revamp this property, and learn some smart, ROI-friendly renovation tips that could work wonders in your own home, too.

Go for a simple, clean exterior

This driveway was in rough shape.


When El Moussa and Haack first see this house, they seem a little nervous.

Haack calls it creepy and says, “It looks like a haunted jail.”

So, they refresh the exterior with simple but beautiful midcentury modern colors: gray stucco and blue-gray trim. It’s a great improvement, but these flippers know that this “haunted” house will need more than paint, especially with a crumbling driveway drawing attention away from the house.

midcentury modern home
After: This midcentury home feels fresh and new.


El Moussa asks the contractor, Jeff Lawrence, about a slurry coat, which El Moussa explains is “a thin layer of asphalt on top of it, to level it out.”

Lawrence says a slurry will cost only $1,500, and that while it will cover the driveway cracks, it won’t fix the dips in the asphalt. In the end, Haack and El Moussa decide to pay $7,000 for a new concrete driveway, and while it’s a pricey upgrade, it makes all the difference.

The result: This house is now not at all offputting! The simple colors and new driveway create a clean, welcoming first impression, with a midcentury vibe.

A front door sets the tone

front door
This walnut door adds warmth to the home.


To finish the exterior, Haack suggests getting a new front door, particularly one made of midcentury-inspired materials, like walnut with glass. The upgrade will cost $1,200, but Haack knows it will be worth it.

She says a door “sets the tone for the whole inside and the vibe we’re going for.”

El Moussa ends up agreeing to the new feature, and in the end, he’s glad they spring for the upgrade.

“This makes the look, right here,” he says, as he inspects the finished product.

The door adds some wood-tone warmth to the exterior, which adds to the midcentury modern feel and gives the home a little extra wow factor.

An all-white kitchen seems dated today

dated kitchen
This dated kitchen needed some work.


Haack is excited about her kitchen design for this house: beautiful blue flat-panel cabinets, white counters, plus an interesting white backsplash. However, this plan falls apart when Lawrence reveals that the cabinets are out of stock and will take an extra two months to arrive.

“I love the idea of blue cabinets, but we can’t wait two months,” El Moussa says.

While white cabinets are available, this is a big disappointment, because these days, Haack says she feels that all-white kitchens can feel almost as dated as dark wood kitchens from the 1950s!

So while she eventually agrees to white cabinets, she ends up picking a new backsplash a lot like the original white backsplash, but in gray.

white kitchen
After: This gray and white kitchen still has lots of style.


Once Lawrence installs the tile, it’s clear that Haack and El Moussa have made the right choice. The backsplash looks great next to the flat-panel cabinets, and Lawrence points out how the two materials play off each other.

“All your cabinets are super flat, right?” Lawrence says. “But you get all your texture in your tile.”

In the end, Haack doesn’t get the colorful kitchen she wanted, but the final result shows how the color and texture of a backsplash can pull a kitchen together.

“It makes it look really light, bright, and open in here,” Haack says.

gray backsplash
Christina Haack says she likes the 3D feel of this gray backsplash.


Accent walls add dimension and character

blue accent wall
This blue accent wall gives the whole room some color.


While El Moussa and Haack are able to save the kitchen design by using a gray backsplash, they still want to add some color to the space.

“It is very white in here,” Haack complains, checking out the living room. “What if we add some color to this room? That way, at least when you’re looking out, you see some dimension.”

She suggests painting the beams a dark gray, with an accent color, navy blue, on the back wall where the slider is.

El Moussa loves the idea, so the features are painted just as Haack suggests. While painting beams and a wall doesn’t cost much, the upgrade makes a big difference. In the end, this living room is bursting with color, giving the whole house extra personality.

Sometimes green grass is the best outdoor feature

back patio
This patio cover looked as if it could fall down at any moment.


By the time Haack and El Moussa turn their attention to the backyard, these flippers know they don’t have much left in the budget.

However, they know they need to take down the patio cover, with Haack admitting it’s “literally about to fall over.”

After they remove the cover, this yard is left with an oddly shaped slab—hardly what most buyers would think of as desirable. While plenty of homeowners would like a large patio, Haack says that this yard might be better with more sod and less patio.

“Honestly, the city gets very hot. I feel like the less concrete the better,” she says.

After: This green backyard has a luxurious feel.


They cut the concrete straight across, so they have a smaller but perfectly rectangular patio, and update the rest of the yard with nice new sod. In the end, the green yard is lush and inviting.

“It’s a blank slate for the buyer,” El Moussa says when the house is done.

So, is this a flip or flop?

After buying the house for $520,000, the HGTV stars spend $123,700 on the renovation. This means that after closing costs and commission, the house has a break-even price of $673,700. They list the house for $779,900 and receive seven offers.

Haack and El Moussa end up in escrow for $820,000, which means they stand to make $146,300. Not too shabby for a place that once looked like a spooky jail!

The post ‘Flip or Flop’ Reveals a Popular Kitchen Trend Tarek and Christina Hate Today appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

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