On Season 3 of “Battle on the Beach,” three vacation homes in Fort Morgan, AL, are undergoing makeovers by teams headed up by HGTV stars Ty Pennington of “Rock the Block,” Alison Victoria of “Windy City Rehab,” and Taniya Nayak of “Build it Forward.” And although it’s way too early in the season to say whose home is best, what we can say at this point is that this batch of designers seems a little iffy.
We get it, they’re newbies. Still, they’re making some fairly awful mistakes, or only narrowly averting them as their mentors step in to intervene.
These design travesties are on full display in the latest episode, “Main Suite Mayhem,” where the teams must add value and beauty to the primary bedroom and bathroom. And this time, they even get to pick which bedroom deserves this distinct honor.
“Each house has two bedrooms, so it’s on you guys to decide which room will make the baddest-ass main suite,” says Victoria.
Bryan and Sarah Baeumler of “Renovation Island” will judge the results based on craftsmanship, overall design, and added value. And let’s just say that there are some nice ideas and some real clunkers.
Check out who whips up the best—and worst—primary suite, and why. You might be inspired or horrified—but either way, you’ll come out wiser.
Hardscapes add value
Each team is given $500 to spend at an antiques store for their main bedroom. Everyone runs to Victoria for her advice, since antiques are her jam. While Victoria is most interested in helping her own team, she doesn’t mind passing along a bit of wisdom to all.
“It has to be a hardscape, because it has to add value,” says Victoria with everyone crowded around.
“We were thinking, like, a headboard,” says Kelsey Mansingh, who’s on Nayak’s team.
“Oh, that’s not going to add any value,” Victoria responds. “Adding value is in hardscape—things that don’t go away when you sell the home. This isn’t just to be, ‘Oh this is pretty,’ because then you could take it when you move.”
Mansingh learns her lesson and finds a green antique dresser to use as a bathroom vanity. Since this is attached to the wall, it counts as “hardscape” and looks lovely, too.
Frosted windows add privacy but let in light
The antique doors that Kelsey and her husband, Ryan, also picked up at the antiques shop have glass panels, and Kelsey is working with Nayak to prepare them for installation.
“You obviously don’t want the glass to be see-through,” says Nayak.
“Actually, Ryan and I sometimes don’t even close the door when we go to the bathroom,” says Kelsey. (TMI, Kelsey!)
“That’s your relationship,” Nayak responds. “Not everyone does that.”
Thankfully, Kelsey gets it—and decides to cover the windows in a frosted film for privacy.
Judge Sarah approves: “It’s creating privacy, but you’re still getting a little bit of natural light,” she says.
Bathrooms really need storage
It quickly becomes apparent that Pennington’s team, friends Ashley Basnight and Steve Lewis of Oklahoma City, OK, have bitten off a little more than they can chew. They had grand plans for their primary suite—and don’t quite have enough time to carry them out.
The main thing they forget is storage. They build a tile vanity that has nothing but plumbing underneath it. No drawers, no cabinets, just pipes.
“I was hoping to see something with some storage, and you gave me absolutely not an ounce of anything, which is hard,” says Sarah. And this problem carries through to the sleeping quarters.
“Your nightside tables, although they are beautiful and they worked with the overall design aesthetic, there was nowhere for you to really put anything,” Sarah points out.
That’s two major strikes against them—and, we must say, a pretty rookie mistake.
Main suites should feel spacious
At first, it seems that Kelsey and Ryan have a great idea for their primary suite placement.
“We chose the smallest of the two bedrooms for the main suite, because we want to take the bigger bedroom and cut it in half to create an extra bedroom,” says Kelsey.
That makes total sense and might pay off later when they do the extra bedroom, but for now, the judges think their primary suite looks horribly cramped.
On the other hand, when they see the primary suite of Victoria’s team, Ben Argall and Pete Meldrum of the Upper Peninsula, MI, the judges gush over its grand feeling.
“Spacious! How did you capture all this space?” asks Sarah.
“We picked the biggest room in the house, that’s how,” says Victoria.
Tile is too cold for a bedroom floor
Team Victoria tells her they want to do a tile floor not just in the bathroom, but in the bedroom as well.
“Why would you?” asks Victoria in disbelief.
Aside from the workload, there’s the simple fact that tile is not the perfect floor surface for a primary bedroom. Sure, it’s cool in the summer, but that can work against you in the fall, winter, and spring.
The last thing you want to feel on your bare feet when you jump out of bed is a cold, slippery floor. What were these designers thinking? It never pays to sacrifice comfort for style.
Which main suite wins this ‘Battle on the Beach’?
It doesn’t appear to be that tough a decision for the Baeumlers, who quickly pick Victoria’s team, Ben and Pete, as having the best main suite of all.
They win the $3,000 cash prize, mostly because their finishes were excellent and they made the suite feel spacious.
But all teams learned a lot, often the hard way. Here’s to hoping they come back stronger next week.