Skip To Content

Tarek El Moussa and Christina Haack Take a Risk You Must See To Believe


On “Flip or Flop,” Tarek El Moussa and Christina Haack often take design risks with their renovations, but on the latest episode, they really roll the dice.

In the Season 12 episode “Groovy Flip,” El Moussa and Haack have bought a three-bedroom, two-bathroom fixer-upper in Fullerton, CA, for $460,000. The house has some midcentury charm, but the interior and exterior need a lot of work. Alas, these flippers end up making some surprising decisions, particularly in terms of color, that could jeopardize the sale.

Do their gambles pay off? Take a look and find out what happens below, and learn some smart lessons on home renovation from these pros.

Try an unexpected color on the exterior

midcentury exterior
Tarek El Moussa says this looks like a “midcentury mobile home.”


While midcentury homes often have unique architecture and character on the exterior, this home is just a long rectangle covered in unsightly siding.

“It’s like a midcentury mobile home,” El Moussa says.

Haack suggests replacing the siding with stucco, a $3,500 upgrade, and painting it an unexpected color: green.

green home
After: This home now has a fun, midcentury color.


But El Moussa is unsure about the hue.

“That’s a risky one,” he says when Haack shows off the paint sample.

“It’s not often that we get to take a risk with paint,” she says. “Like, we always do gray. Let’s mix it up.”

When the exterior is finished, the green looks surprisingly subtle. It makes for a soft and natural exterior while enhancing the midcentury look of the home. Here it pays off to venture outside the usual colors.

Keep midcentury brick features

living room
El Moussa says buyers will like the original brick fireplace.


Inside the house, Haack wants to cover the old brick fireplace with modern black tile. Her favorite tile would cost $1,800, but she knows the feature will look great.

“With the warm floors, the black will really pop,” Haack says. El Moussa likes the idea of turning this white fireplace black, but he isn’t so sure about the tile.

living room
Black paint is much less expensive than tile.


“My only concern is spending $2,000 to tile this fireplace when we have the original brick that was built with the house,” El Moussa says. “Midcentury modern houses, people love the original stuff. So maybe we just paint the brick.”

The matte black paint is much cheaper than the new tile, and it looks great. El Moussa proves that in a midcentury home, there are sure to be great features that should be preserved. The fireplace looks stylish, and it saves these flippers some cash.

Mix in wood tones whenever possible

This kitchen was certainly dark.


Wood cabinets were all the rage in the ’50s and ’60s, so El Moussa and Haack aren’t surprised to find dark wood in the kitchen. While they do want the kitchen to look more modern, they don’t necessarily want to remove all the midcentury style.

Haack suggests installing white uppers and new medium-tone wood lowers.

“That way, when buyers walk in, the first thing they’re seeing is the lighter cabinets,” Haack says.

Once installed, the cabinets end up looking lovely. The white color modernizes the space, while the wood cabinets bring back some midcentury style. These wood finishes add to a midcentury feel without overwhelming the space.

kitchen cabinets
The white and wood tones look great.


Extra counter space works for any era

narrow kitchen
This narrow kitchen has plenty of space for an island and a peninsula.


This home has a tight layout with a long but relatively narrow kitchen space. Right away, Haack realizes there won’t be enough space for a kitchen island with seating, but El Moussa still wants to incorporate an island.

“This house really needs an island ’cause it has that midcentury feel,” he says. “And I feel like if there’s a long island running down the middle, it’d be super cool.”

They end up adding the island and a peninsula with seating. Now, this long kitchen has lots of prep space, storage, and seating.

Brighten a dark ceiling

dark ceiling
Before: This dark ceiling made the home feel closed in.


El Moussa and Haack love the home’s retro style, but midcentury homes aren’t exactly known for their light and bright layouts. El Moussa and Haack complain about how dark the house looks.

“I feel like we’re in a cave,” El Moussa says early on in the renovation.

Luckily, Haack has a solution.

“What can make a really big difference is if we paint the ceiling white. It’ll feel a lot brighter,” she says. “I feel like this is making it feel dark and smaller.”

Once painted, the white ceiling makes a big difference. This home didn’t need a new layout; it just needed a brighter ceiling!

white ceiling
After: A little paint makes this space feel much more open.


So, is this a flip or a flop?

El Moussa and Haack buy this home for $460,000 and while they plan to spend $120,000 on the renovation, they end up putting $140,000 into the project. After factoring in $30,000 for closing costs and commission, these flippers reach a break-even price of $630,000.

They list the property for $774,900 and end up getting five offers. El Moussa announces that they’re in escrow for a whopping $860,000, and if this deal goes through, they stand to make an incredible $230,000. Apparently, taking a few risks pays off!

The post Tarek El Moussa and Christina Haack Take a Risk You Must See To Believe appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

Comments are closed.

About our blog

+1 us on Google Plus!