Rowhouse Showdown: Inviting the Neighbors to Dine

Team Lumberjack Sexy is Totally a Thing You Guys revamps a neighbor's dining room on Rowhouse Showdown.
Rowhouse Showdown (Photo: FYI)

Rowhouse Showdown Episode 3: Dining Room Surprise — This week the three teams go out into the neighborhood to redesign dining rooms.This week’s challenge has the teams visiting neighbors and redesigning their dining rooms. As this is a redesign and not a refurbishing challenge, the team budgets range from $2,000 (Team Clean Hands) to $4,000 (Team LSITATYG). How did the teams function in a client situation? And how are the teams doing overall now that we are three weeks into Rowhouse Showdown?

Team Lumberjack Sexy is Totally a Thing You Guys

Ted and Krystal won last week’s challenge, so they are riding high going into this week. Their clients are young newlyweds who seem to be into an artsy/collective vibe. Their goal is to declutter and have more of an autumn feel to their space. Krystal views the task as a decor challenge and explicitly tells Ted to back off from project management. Ted tries to comply, but as we’ve seen in previous episodes Krystal does not have the strongest editing eye when it comes to decor. Tension continues to build as Ted tries to move shelves1 upstairs. He loses his temper and the team is a shambles. The duo talk through their problems, acknowledging they are both alpha personalities and will have to figure out how to work together.

As for their space, it is a mixed bag. The color scheme reminds me of butternut squash soup, which isn’t bad, but certainly not a color that will work for everyone. One of the Lumberjack Sexy elements is a shelf made from some recovered wood that rests upon pipefittings. The piece is awesome, but Krystal placed it about seven feet high so people won’t bonk their heads. The shelves, which rotate to reveal a mirror, were intended for a bedroom and does not impress judge Kathy Kuo. The team is the least successful of the three this week.

Team Minnesota

Katie and Dan get to work with Erica, whose family of seven just moved into the neighborhood. She wants the dining room to inspire spring and accommodate a desk as well as dining space. The duo goes with a muted robin’s egg color for the walls, accented with a lattice design on the main wall. The desk is custom-built by the team’s carpenter and incorporates some chrome fixtures Katie found at an antique store. The chrome is the main source of conflict for the team, as the carpenter’s original design couldn’t incorporate the pieces as the legs they were supposed to be.

Erica’s family loved the design despite some early reservations about the color. However, the devil was in the details for Team Minnesota this week. Although they used painters tape to create the lattice design, some of the paint bled through, creating speckles of color on the off-white walls. Meanwhile, the desk looked nice, but the wood either expanded or the desk contracted overnight, causing the drawers to not work at all. Judge Jim Bronzie seemed to be almost offended by the piece (which was built onto the wall rather than as a standalone element). Kathy called the overall design safe, which is going to be Team Minnesota’s challenge to overcome in the next few weeks.

Team Clean Hands

Josh and Geoff are working at a significant disadvantage this week, having 1/3 of their budget going to last week’s winners Team LSITATYG. Their client is single mom Michelle, who needs her dining room to double as a playspace for her daughter. Josh and Geoff are not kid people and make that known up front. Hehe. Meanwhile, their carpenter Jason is not a Josh/Geoff person as he keeps getting saddled with last minute projects every week. I thought every carpenter was capable of building a window seat and installing crown moulding in three hours? Come on guy. Jason informs Josh that their current style of project management is why their rooms end up unfinished, and I think that message may be getting through, albeit slowly.

The space as a dining room turned out great. The table the guys designed used recovered/distressed wood, which means that anything a five-year-old does to it will probably add to its charm rather than detract. They also installed shelves on either side of the window that increase the storage without decreasing the room size. They were able to get the crown moulding installed around the shelves, but not the entire room, which doesn’t look so great. Also, the play area didn’t really come through and the kid probably won’t be as engaged as before. To be fair, the other teams didn’t have to make their dining rooms dual purpose to that degree, so I don’t think that criterion is as big a deal. Overall, the design looks good, the functions are there, and Team Clean Hands scored their first win. They will take $1,000 from Team Minnesota next week. Moving forward, I hope Josh and Geoff listen to Jason’s advice about project management, otherwise this win will be considered a fluke rather than earned.

Next week on Rowhouse Showdown: Bathroom renovations!

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  1. which he doesn’t like for the space  

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About Mike McComb 669 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: