'Battle on the Block': Tampa Bedroom Showdown
Established by Vicente Martinez-Ybor as a cigar-manufacturing center, Ybor City is one of only two National Historic Landmark Districts in Florida. It's also home to three couples who want to win the $10,000 that goes to the pair who transforms their bedroom into a special couples' retreat.
One couple goes for colors that are more zoo than zen. Will they win anyway?
As always, the couples get three days to do the job, with a budget of cash, merchandise and contractor-time, plus access to the show's tool truck and design advice from host Genevieve Gorder (pictured above). She gives the couples a peptalk, telling them they can win through time-management, drive and dedication.
Couple One: Lauren and Steven Erickson want to transform their dull bedroom (which another couple described as pure "Golden Girls") with chartreuse walls, new lighting, new furniture, a wood wall, and a ventless fireplace. Genevieve expresses concern about color choices. (The audience probably does, too!) But Lauren decides to disregard this and Gorder's other warning about being too "matchy-matchy."
Couple Two: Jose Garboza and Tony Lacolla have a bedroom that's the "smallest and tallest" of the three. They want to create a boutique-hotel look by putting up a mural, redoing a closet and cutting out a series of niches in one wall to hold their TV and various decorative items. They scoff at the idea that either of the straight couples could possibly win over two gay guys who are design experts.
Couple Three: Newly engaged Jenna Becker and Ryan Clements want a bedroom that reflects how hip and trendy they are, so they go for recessed lighting and bold (purple with dark, dark trim) colors that seem to alarm Gorder.
The Race: As demolition begins, everyone seems to be having fun. Jose mischievously asks his partner if he's turned on by power tools. Lauren says demolition is "awesome."
When the Ericksons meet Tony and Jose in the lighting store, insults are traded. Similar encounters in other stores generate more insults. As for the actual work, it seems to go smoothly -- until it doesn't.
Jose and Tony's new closet door is way too short, so Jose has to go dumpster-diving to find the old one. He doesn't, so they will end up with an open closet. Both of the other couples have issues with their paint choices. Gorder tells Jenna her paint choice could be "in your face," adding: "I wouldn't choose it for my bedroom."
Lauren finally has second thoughts about her wall color; she thinks a second coat will make it richer. As usual, the contractors' departure is followed by misery and exhaustion as the couples work throughout the night.
The Judges Weigh In: They have mixed reactions to Jenna and Ryan's bold design, giving a thumbs-up to the light and spirit of the room, a thumbs-done for the outlet on the ceiling.
Tony and Jose get props for their niches and their mural, which reflects the spirit of their neighborhood, but are criticized for their door-less closet and for having too many design elements.
The Ericksons are praised for their unusual wood-wall treatment and for creating a retreat area. However, the judges didn't like the mirror propped against a wall.
The winners, in what Gorder described as the "closest race ever," were Tony and Jose, who promptly announced that: "We plan to brag. We are master designers." Then, like good neighbors, they invited the other couples to go out for pizza.
What we learned:
1. Don't throw away something you're replacing until you're absolutely sure you won't need it.
2. Colors that look great on paint chips might be overpowering on your walls.
3. If your design scheme seems to be going wrong, stop and consider starting over.
Read more "Battle on the Block" updates or other TV home show coverage.