If you tune into HGTV's Rock the Block every Monday night, you might still be thinking about Bryan and Sarah Baeumler's living room renovation. In the show, the Renovation Island stars are competing alongside three other HGTV power duos—Farmhouse Fixer's Jonathan Knight and Kristina Crestin; Page Turner and Mitch Glew from Fix My Flip; and Michael Smith Boyd and Anthony Elle of Luxe for Less fame—to reimagine four identical homes on one cul-de-sac in the town Berthoud, Colorado. While the majority of the teams decided to show off the home's incredible view by trading in the living room's pair of French doors for an accordion opening, the Bauemlers went in the opposite direction.
Instead, the duo pushed the doors to the side of the living room and added a two-sided fireplace between them. Meanwhile, a stacked stone wall served as the room's "wow" moment. As Bryan said during their brainstorming session: "This isn't a feature: It's a statement. It says, 'We win!'"
But when Mina Starsiak Hawk from Good Bones and No Demo Reno's Jenn Todryk stop by the cul-de-sac to judge this project, they pointed out that the setup obstructed that gorgeous mountain view. "You have it peek around it to see the view," Starsiak Hawk critiqued, "and I don't know, for this market, how that's going to play out."
Since then, the Internet has been vehemently taking sides. While some viewers agree with the judges, saying that they were "shocked" by this design decision, thers supported the Baeumler couple's choice. In fact, one commenter said, "Loved your design this week! Kudos to you for trying something different as everyone else had the same doors."
This design decision, it turns out, is not the first of its kind for the Baeumlers. In their hit show, Renovation Island, the couple was tasked with revamping a resort in the Bahamas. While Caerula Mar Club has easy beach access, the couple stuck with conventional windows and doors instead of prioritizing the beach background view. (It's a move that leans into the island's easy, breezy vibe and turns every room into a cozy respite from the great outdoors.)
So accordion doors and floor-to-ceiling windows have never been the Baeumler's go-to design move, and Rock the Block would be boring if each team opted for the same design elements. Their renovation might not be everyone's taste, but their goal was to achieve more with the room than purely set it up as a viewing platform.
"Is there a way we incorporate it all in this one space?" Sarah asked during the episode. "I agree with you: I want to see a fireplace. But I want to sit, and I want to look at the fire and still want to see the mountains." Now that's a vibe we can certainly get behind.
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