Exclusive: HGTV's Rock the Block's experts reveal the renovation tips that will change how we decorate

From lighting tricks to buyer-forward designs, this is how to tackle a renovation the professional way

Rock the Block
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Discovery)

Home renovations can be intense. Between budget and time constraints, the process takes lots of planning – and is one that can be make or break depending on the team completing the job.

HGTV's popular competition series, Rock the Block, takes the home renovation process and flips it (pun intended) on its head. Its latest season features four returning design duos, all of whom have extensive, yet diverse, renovation backgrounds. 

Bryan and Sarah Baeumler, Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas, Lyndsay Lamb and Leslie Davis, and Page Turner and contractor extraordinaire Mitch Glew are all tasked with renovating attached waterfront homes within six weeks. With a $250,000 budget, it's safe to say the stakes are high – and the contestants have learned a thing or two about what does and does not work in a reno. 

One of the simplest yet most overlooked elements of a home renovation is lighting. If features aren't illuminated properly, they don't reach their full potential.

'Lighting is one of the things that people think they can save a little bit of money on,' Keith says. '[It's] one of the things that has the biggest impact on a space to me. The more I do design work, the more I realize how important lighting is to create not just a mood but to make architectural elements stand out. There's just a whole art to lighting, and I think people don't pay quite enough attention to that.'

Keith and Evan's finished kitchen

Keith and Evan's finished kitchen

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Discovery)

Target demographic is also important to keep in mind when renovating a home; particularly if the goal is to sell. This season of Rock the Block takes place in sunny Treasure Island, Florida, and the home renovations follow suit with bright and light features. 

'A lot of times, we find that when you're renovating a home, you're designing for how you would want to live in it, instead of going back to designing for the market,' Page explains. 'When you over-design something, sometimes buyers will come in and say, 'This is a great space, but I don't want to spend the money to make it my own.' So you've lost out on a buyer. We're always thinking buyer-forward. We want this buyer to walk in and love it as is instead of having to make money.'

Page and Mitch's finished dining area

Page and Mitch's finished dining area

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Discovery)

All this being said, the contestants agree that it's important to balance a buyer-forward mindset with individual sensibilities. 

'I think if we had four houses that all look the same, at the end of the day, people wouldn't watch the show,' Sarah tells us. 'That's what I love about it.'

The new season of Rock the Block airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on HGTV. In the meantime, we can catch up on old series via Amazon Prime here.

Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.

Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.