Tarek and Christina's Favorite 'Flip or Flop' Designs

Remember their first go at midcentury design? And the time a tree fell through the roof? They do.

By: Jessica Galliart
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Over seven seasons of Flip or Flop, we’ve truly gone through the ringer with hosts Tarek and Christina: load-bearing walls, foundation cracks, huge profit wins, babies and, of course, divorce. Ahead of a new season, where we’ll see Tarek and Christina navigating their working relationship for the first time as exes, the business partners reflect on some of their most notable projects over the years. Here are Tarek and Christina’s favorite projects they’ve done on Flip or Flop, now available to watch online.

The One with the Incredible Backyard Spa

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This flip in the beach-adjacent community of Torrance, Calif., was a huge gamble for Tarek and Christina: They invested more than $1 million -- the most they’ve ever spent -- focusing most of their efforts on the tired but promising outdoor space. Pergolas, waterfalls, putting greens … they used every square of the backyard and turned it into a true California outdoor paradise for families. "The backyard spa is so elegant, and the new bathroom tile is amazing!" Christina said. (The inside really is just as dreamy.) "The new layout makes this house look huge,” Tarek said. “And the putting green came out great for a new family to enjoy!"

The One with a Midcentury Design

This side room is perfect as a formal dining room in Long Beach, CA as seen on HGTV's Flip or Flop. (After)

Tarek and Christina gave this modern kitchen light cabinets and counters and stainless steel appliances in Long Beach, CA as seen on HGTV's Flip or Flop. (After)

Another favorite for both Tarek and Christina, this architecturally significant flip forced the El Moussas to step out of their comfort zones to satisfy the home and the neighborhood’s midcentury modern bones. With a little guidance (and creativity), the team pulled off a win with a sleek and modern design that still honored the house’s original character.

"The concrete floors add so much class to this midcentury flip," Christina said.

And outside? In a word: hot.

Host Tarek El Moussa tries out the fire element on the water feature in Long Beach, CA as seen on HGTV's Flip or Flop. (Action)

"The waterfall fire feature and wood decking make this house complete and ready to sell,” Tarek said.

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The One Where Tarek Takes the Lead

A brand new deck and water/fire feature make this backyard ready for entertaining in Costa Mesa, CA as seen on Flip or Flop. (After)

How else would Tarek and Christina honor the fire sale in which they bought this 1960s dated home than with a show-stopping fire wall in the backyard? With Christina ordered to take it easy during her pregnancy, Tarek needed to take the lead on coordinating the design for nearly the entire house. However reluctantly, Christina passed the baton and admitted, in the end, that he nailed it with sleek, modern features throughout -- especially the custom decking and backyard features.

"I wasn't sure about this flip,” Tarek said. “It was dated and boring, but the killer fire feature is a great selling point for this house and should make us a big profit."

The One That Was the Actual Worst

Christina's Bathroom

Tarek's Bathroom

Style flows through this shiny dual shower in the master bathroom in Anaheim Hills, CA as seen on Flip or Flop.

The various shades of sleek blue tile will make you feel clean just by walking in this newly modernized bathroom in Anaheim Hills, CA as seen on Flip or Flop.

Remember the time Tarek and Frank took apart a kitchen that was so completely covered in black mold that pregnant Christina wasn’t even allowed inside? A funky layout and HOA regulations complicated this local flip -- which was supposed to be a slam dunk for the team, as they were midway through Christina’s pregnancy -- but all the headaches and heartache eventually paid off. Tarek even got a shot at designing his own bathroom in the house, in a friendly bet to see whose style would be favored by buyers.

"I'm not sure about the bathroom that Tarek designed [laughs],” Christina said, “but I'm pretty sure I just love how my bathroom turned out on this flip!"

The One with the Tree

Adding reclaimed wood to the island gives a unique look to this kitchen in Costa Mesa, CA as seen on HGTV's Flip or Flop. (After)

Small house, small project, right? Wrong.

Tarek and Christina found an especially rundown house in a trending neighborhood that, while tiny compared to most of their flips, had a ton of potential. The full gut job was going fairly swimmingly -- until a tree fell through the house’s brand new roof.

So it actually could have been much worse, but the look of terror on Tarek’s face cut pretty deep. Frank patched up the roof, and Christina worked her magic inside with some clever design workarounds to the house’s limited square footage.

"I just love the kitchen and my design for the reclaimed wood finish,” she said. “It adds more class to the kitchen and really came out great!"

The One Where Christina Had Brayden

Before

After

This exterior needs a fresh coat of paint and an update in Fullerton, CA as seen on Flip or Flop.

The change in brick color and fresh coat of paint gives this exterior a modern feel in Fullerton, CA as seen on Flip or Flop.

Never a pair to turn down a challenge, Tarek and Christina had their work cut out for them with this large, nearly million-dollar house that was quite literally sinking into itself. This wasn’t the El Moussas’ first rodeo when it came to foundation issues, but the added pressure of Christina being just weeks out from the end of her pregnancy made it a literal race to the finish (of a problematic house and a much-anticipated birthday).

"The whole foundation was cracked up when we bought this flop, but we turned it around and now it's ready to sell and looks money," Christina said.

The One That Was Infested

Before

After

Skylights give this home unique natural light in this living room in Whittier, CA as seen on HGTV's Flip or Flop. (Before)

Keeping the picture window in this home makes for a nice bright living room in Whittier, CA as seen on HGTV's Flip or Flop. (After)

“The outside looks really scary, but the inside is not too bad” -- famous last words from Christina.

After pulling back the layers of this seemingly easy flip, Tarek and Christina ended up finding so many issues -- termites, asbestos, failing code -- that they at one point considered just bulldozing it and starting from scratch. But some quick-thinking and creativity got the team back on track to bring the house from “total disaster” to the newest, nicest house on the market.

"This house was infested with termites, and we pretty much took this house down to the ground and built it up again,” Tarek said. “But it looks brand new now!"

The One That Was Sexy Retro

By taking down a wall in the kitchen it opened up the floorplan to makes a more functional living space in this home in Placentia, CA as seen on HGTV's Flip or Flop. (After)

They conquered midcentury once, so another go at it should be a piece of cake, right? Sure …

What began as an architecturally interesting house with tons of square footage quickly turned into a frantic fiasco of a flip for Tarek and Christina: bad electrical and gas, wrong paint colors, incorrect deliveries. You name it, it happened. Not all was lost, though, as the team was able to save big money by retaining some of the house’s in-tact features and ending up with a “sexy retro” feel throughout.

“This house was old and dated at the start, but we saved the floors and some money to make it all work,” Tarek said.

Catch new episodes of Flip or Flop on Thursdays, beginning May 31 at 9|8c.

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