Before and After: HGTV’s “Rock the Block” Maximizes Individual Curb Appeal on Identical Houses
Interior design and renovation is the key to any successful home makeover, but it only matters if the exterior of a property is also up to par. In the latest episode of “Rock the Block,” four HGTV all-star teams finally turned to the outside of their identical houses after several weeks of indoor work. While they had flexibility on personal taste and design in prior weeks, part of the focus of the exterior was creating a home and yard space that fit into the local atmosphere of Charleston, South Carolina.
Judges Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen E. Laine (“Good Bones”) were most interested in how the teams put their own spin on the blank slate properties, which began as bare-bones houses and dirt yards. The two standout renovations, and the stiffest competition, came from Egypt Sherrod and Mike Jackson (“Married to Real Estate”) and Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas (“Bargain Block”), who completely transformed their respective properties.
Bynum and Thomas went for a two-tone color scheme with dark metal roofing to help their house stand out from the others. For the top floor and garage, they opted for a vibrant blue, which was accented by the cedar color used on the first floor exterior. They used the same cedar paint on the front porch support beams, which kept the structures from standing out too much against the backdrop of the house. The whole home was tied together by a brick skirt surrounding both the main house and the garage.
Bynum and Thomas lined the porch in an L-shape with boxwood plants, curving along the driveway. They added magnolia trees and sycamores, which meant that the variety of foliage was dynamic and spread out at different heights. “I like that you used grasses and created all that movement,” Laine said, in reference to the front yard landscaping. The couple also hung a couple of understated plants from the cedar support beams, which helped pull the front of the house and the yard together into one cohesive property.
Sherrod and Jackson were similarly interested in brick, but they opted to take it to a whole new level. The duo added light bricks to the entire exterior of their home, careful to keep the original color of the bricks present in the muted white limewash look.
“I didn’t want it to read too white,” Sherrod explained. “I wanted to capture … the brick undertone, that aged look that a lot of the homes on Rainbow Row have.” Keeping historic Charleston in mind, they also installed gas lamps on the porch for some classic lighting.
The couple added lots of greenery to their yard, including hydrangeas for “a pop of color” that stood out against the neutral tones on the house. They also planted two crepe myrtles to add some local vegetation. Sherrod strategically placed the two trees so that they adorned the driveway and helped isolate the house, maximizing curb appeal and making the front of the house the focal point of the property.
“The brick was an amazing choice,” Starsiak Hawk said. “I think it added so much value. The limewash is beautiful.”
“Rock the Block” airs new episodes on Mondays at 9/8 central on HGTV and Discovery+.