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How to Have a Successful Renovation, According to HGTV Stars

Desert Flippers hosts Eric and Lindsey Bennett

It’s a new year and time to make changes. And if refreshing your home tops your list, HGTV stars Eric and Lindsey Bennett have got you covered. The team behind the hit series Desert Flippers will appear at this year’s Philly Home + Garden Show to dispense some tried-and-true advice. After successfully transforming more than 100 outdated properties, that’s something the experienced duo has a lot of. Head to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks February 14-16 for more inspiration and know-how, but get a head start with some of the Bennetts’ top pointers — and predictions for 2020 — below.

Bring old to the new.

Lindsey, who lends her creative eye to the couple’s projects, predicts specific timeless elements will reappear in 2020. “We’re seeing a lot of natural stonework in flooring and on walls,” she says. “A lot of that is coming back in a big way, whether it’s stone or bricks, just to bring an element of character and a little bit of the old into new construction.”

Embrace clean lines.

Another design choice reappearing right now? Tongue-in-groove cabinetry. Elsewhere in the kitchen, more backsplashes now feature stacked as opposed to staggered tile. Natural marble slabs have also emerged as a popular choice for the walls.“We’re seeing more of that clean, modern design even in a traditional home,” Lindsey says.

Take advantage of outdoor space.

As Desert Flippers takes place in sunny Palm Springs, California, the Bennetts know how to make best use of a backyard. Their favorite bang-for-your-buck tips work just about anywhere, though. Privacy hedges in lieu of walls or even artificial turf on a teeny-tiny patio can add more greenery. Installing flagstone or concrete pavers underfoot also makes a big impact, no cement truck required.

Know where to draw the line.

One all-too-common pitfall is to overshoot on a project, Eric says. “A lot of times people look at a room in their house and say, ‘We need to destroy the entire thing and start from scratch,’” he explains. “One of the things that’s made us successful flippers is that Lindsey has the ability to take what’s good about a space and embrace what’s already there.” By creating a clear plan that emphasizes existing elements, they’re able to revamp properties without blowing the budget.

Rely on color.

To highlight what she loves and hide what she doesn’t, Lindsey employs a cost-efficient trick. “Paint is one of the simplest tools,” she says. “For example, painting something white can make it seem bigger but also make that thing go away.” Adding a focal point, like a colorful kitchen island or statement fireplace, completes the visual illusion. Cost-efficient wallpaper and wood trim can also work similar magic, she says.

Embrace your budget.

Although dealing with limited funds can feel like an obstacle, seasoned decorator Lindsey sees it as an advantage. Instead of choosing amongst countless cabinet options, zeroing in on the 10 or so choices within her budget simplifies the decision-making process. “When you’re forced to be resourceful and creative, it can be a lot of fun to work within parameters,” she says.

Play to your strengths.

Since Eric and Lindsey possess different know-how in real estate and design respectively, they find the best way to work together is to “stay in their lanes” and respect each others’ expertise.   “It’s all about picking your battles, not taking things too seriously and rolling with the punches,” Lindsey says. Adds Eric, “Our secret in one word is ‘communication.’”

Hear more from Eric and Lindsey Bennett, stars of HGTV’s Desert Flippers, at this year’s Philly Home + Garden Show February 14-16 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks.