Reality TV Rescues Muddled Modern Homes in Palm Springs

Blue exterior
The living room of the home redone by the Blue Team.  Photo courtesy of American Dream Builders

Reality television came to the desert for the second episode of the brand new NBC TV series ‘American Dream Builders,’ sending two teams of designers to turn two neighboring “nightmare” mid-century modern homes into “dreams.”

The idea was to renovate the homes in a matter of days, and to create “an incredible outdoor oasis.” The host is Nate Berkus.

“The Olympics of design,” one proponent calls the contest. Another says it’s “like renovating on steroids.” The results were amusing and at times frightening, with much smashing and crashing, and torrential rains. The episode can be viewed till June 24.

The homes are in Palm Springs’ Racquet Club Estates neighborhood. Modern homes in the neighborhood were built by both the Alexander Construction Co., designed by Palmer & Krisel, and by developers Jacques and Berne Meiselman. Both houses had been altered quite a bit before the competing Red and Blue teams of young, enthusiastic, and photogenic designers arrived.

Red House
The Red Team produced this living room in their remodel. Photo courtesy of American Dream Builders

Very early on, as the Blue Team, led by Andrew Flesher, huddles and plans, a crisis arrives. One enthusiastic designer proposes to enlarge the door, which would kill the clerestory window above. Shock ensues. “Aren’t we trying to update this a little?” he asks.

“No! It’s mid-century modern!” several yell.

Does the clerestory window win? And who wins the competition, Red or Blue?

We’re not giving away the ending.

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