HGTV’s “Battle on the Beach” has returned for Season 2, just in time to give us an eyeful of some vacation-worthy homes decked out with the hottest upgrades of summer.
This time, stars Ty Pennington (“Ty Breaker“), Alison Victoria (“Windy City Rehab“), and Taniya Nayak head to Surfside Beach, TX, to help their teams of up-and-coming designers renovate identical homes, with the winning makeover receiving a $50,000 grand prize.
In the season premiere, “Clash of the Kitchens,” the heart of the home gets a refresh first. Pennington works with business partners Wally (Dallas) and Jacqueline (Las Vegas), Victoria coaches married couple Corey and Paige (Alberta, Canada), and Nayak mentors father-son team Roosevelt and Brandyn (St. Louis).
With $80,000 each to renovate their entire home, the renovators (and their mentors) need to carefully watch their budget while still pulling off upgrades that are sure to impress judges Sarah and Bryan Baeumler (“Renovation Island”).
Along the way, these transformations divulge plenty of smart tips and trends that are sure to inspire a few changes around your own abode. Take a look!
Build a banquette for tons of seating
Roosevelt and Brandyn have the creative idea to build a large kitchen banquette with lots of seating and butcher block prep space.
“This is unique,” Nayak says. “We wanted to make sure everybody—family, friends, whatever—could sit here and have this sort of eat-in dining experience.”
The banquette is certainly a welcoming centerpiece to the kitchen, but when Bryan and Sarah step in to judge the space, they have problems with the butcher block counters.
“I’m a big fan of butcher block, but these butcher blocks have been butchered,” Bryan says. “I mean, I’m a carpenter, wood is my thing, and it’s not square.”
He also points out that the edges aren’t joined properly and the wood is razor-sharp in spots.
Still, despite a few craftsmanship issues, this father-son duo has no doubt designed an entertaining-friendly setup that will give the other teams a run for their money.
Run your countertop material up the backsplash
Despite the judges having some issues with the butcher block on the banquette, Sarah approves of the countertop on the perimeter cabinets and how the slab goes up the wall.
“I appreciate that they’ve run it all the way up the backsplash just to keep a seamless look, which I prefer, instead of doing a tile backsplash,” she says. “I think it keeps your eyes focused where you want it to.”
A stone arch makes a statement
Corey and Paige want to make a statement in the kitchen, so they plan to create a stone arch above the stove. However, they later decide that their strict budget doesn’t allow for the $1,796 stone. Right away, Victoria pushes back on the choice.
“Now the stone’s not happening?” Victoria asks. “I don’t like the sound of that, because when you’re going to take away opportunity to have actual cabinets, you’d better make it cool.”
So the team returns to the original plan, going over budget and adding stone to the arch. When the feature is finished, it looks beautiful, proving that adding a little texture (even at the expense of a few cabinets) can go a long way.
Windows aren’t necessary when they face the neighbors
Corey and Paige extend their arch theme to the dining room, creating built-in storage with a rounded top. The shelves and cabinets are a convenient addition, but the couple needs to sacrifice one thing to make space for it: a window.
“We want to add some more storage, add a beautiful built-in,” Paige says. “The only way to do that is to get rid of the window of the dining room.”
Paige and Corey point out that the side window doesn’t even have a great view (opening to a competing beach house, not the ocean), so they believe that storage will be more valuable.
When the kitchen is done, the space might have slightly less natural light, but the built-ins look beautiful and certainly add more to this property than a window facing the neighbor’s house.
Take some risks rather than playing it safe
Wally and Jacqueline decide to line the ceiling with tongue and groove pine, and when Pennington sees the wood going up, he’s excited by the natural tone.
“Tying in this wood element, I think it works really, really well,” he says.
But at the last minute, Jacqueline decides to paint the ceiling white, and Pennington is immediately disappointed.
“It’s not often that I walk into a room and I want to cry,” Pennington says. “Everything that was warm and soft and inviting has been just wiped away. It’s been painted—it’s all gone.”
In the end, it’s clear Pennington was right. The judges are unimpressed with the painted ceiling. The white paint job makes this space seem flat and unexciting.
“I would’ve left it raw,” Bryan says.
Wally and Jacqueline have nonetheless learned an important lesson: While they might think they should play it safe when designing a home, the new rule today is to take some risks to impress—or else you risk leaving no impression at all.
Who wins this round of ‘Battle on the Beach’?
Once Sarah and Bryan tour each kitchen, they name a winner: Corey and Paige’s arch-tastic design. The Canadian couple get a $3,000 prize for acing this challenge, and they’re excited to start the competition with a win.
“It was a lot of work, but it paid off,” Corey says.
Their mentor, Victoria, is overjoyed, too.
“I’m just so proud of Paige and Corey,” she says.
But they can’t get too comfortable, since next week, they will need to create a luxurious main suite.