September 27, 2023

Craving a little sun and sand along with some smart home design advice? Then the new HGTV show “Battle on the Beach” is the perfect summer binge.

In this series, the network’s stars Ty Pennington, Alison Victoria, and Taniya Nayak mentor teams of design newbies as they compete to fix up three houses on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. And in the series premiere, “Battling the Kitchens,” the three teams renovate their kitchens in hopes they’ll impress celebrity judges Mina Starsiak Hawk (“Good Bones”) and Mike Holmes (“Holmes on Homes”) and win not only this challenge, but eventually the whole competition (and a grand prize of $50,000).

With only $75,000 to renovate each beach house, these teams will need to be careful with their budgets. Here’s how they make the most of their money, and their small spaces, to create a beach home of dreamy proportions—which might inspire some changes around your own abode, too.

"Battle on the Beach"
The three “Battle on the Beach” houses are right next to each other on Alabama’s Gulf Coast.


Glass cabinets can elevate a kitchen

beach house
Before: These beach houses are in rough shape!


Victoria’s team members, Darryl and Sunjay Williams of Atlanta, decide on simple white cabinets for their kitchen. But to give this kitchen that “wow” factor, they cut out the center of two cabinet doors so they can insert glass panels.

“It’s going to now show you the inside of that cabinet, but also make that one entire side of the kitchen a focal point,” Darryl explains.

Sure enough, Holmes loves this upgrade, since this elegant detail helps elevate an already beautiful kitchen.

Team Alison
Alison Victoria’s team delivers with a beautiful kitchen.


Farmhouse sinks are out

Multipurpose sinks may be the hot new trend.


Farmhouse sinks were once all the rage, but Victoria’s team proves there are other options.

Holmes spots a workstation sink in the Williamses’ home and mentions how convenient it is to have a movable cutting board and dish-drying rack all built in.

“What this does is give you options” and added value, Holmes says. “This is something that a lot of people are going to look at and say, ‘I want it in my house.’”

It’s a smart addition because it can save space (which is important in a small kitchen), and it gives the island a clean, uncluttered look.

Whitewash wood paneling for a fresh, light look

This paneling was a bit too rustic.


Pennington knows that, in order to stand out in this competition, his team of Josh and Shonnie Thomas of Dallas is going to need to show off some unique designs that won’t break the bank. One feature Pennington is sure they can use to their advantage is the wood paneling. He says the other teams will likely remove their paneling, but that the feature may be valuable.

“There’s something about the fact that it’s so rustic,” Pennington says. But “right now, it’s too rustic.”

After whitewashing, the paneling adds the right amount of personality.


To give the kitchen a more refined look, they whitewash the wood to give it a fresh feel. In the end, the judges approve.

“It turned out to be a really cool design aesthetic,” Starsiak Hawk says. “It’s not my personal style, but I think for the beach house vibe, it worked.”

Kitchen island or dining table—or both?

Team Taniya kitchen
Taniya Nayak’s team impresses the judges with this dual island and dining table.


While Victoria’s team chooses white cabinets and Pennington’s team goes with gray, Nayak’s team of Kerry and David Kersh of Comanche, TX, goes bold with black cabinets.

“The contrast with the cabinets against that light, beachy floor, just really makes it pop,” Kerry says.

But the standout feature in this kitchen has to be the 2-in-1 kitchen island. This feature is half prep space, half dining area, and all efficiency—a great use of this small kitchen space.

When the renovation is done, the judges are impressed with this feature. Holmes even points out that combining the kitchen and dining spaces really helps open up the room.

kitchen counter
This is a bold and beautiful style choice.


Don’t be afraid of a DIY light fixture

light fixture
This light fixture is a DIY win.


To save money, Kerry makes her own light fixture using a plastic planter, some twine, and glue. This DIY light costs only $75 and ends up looking amazing.

“Your light was incredible,” Starsiak Hawk says. “I think we were both super blown away by the ingenuity of it, because it looks like a very expensive light fixture.”

Who won the kitchen challenge on ‘Battle on the Beach’?

Battle on the Beach
The teams gather to learn who wins this challenge.


These three kitchens are all stunning, but there can be only one winner. In the end, Holmes and Starsiak Hawk give this honor to Victoria’s team, the Williamses. While their chic glass cabinets and fancy sink gave them the edge this round, this battle on the beach has just begun.