• Local designers to be featured on HGTV's 'Showhouse Showdown' Saturday

    By: Carly Noel


    OAKMONT, Pa. - Two local designers will be featured on HGTV’s “Showhouse Showdown” on Saturday.

    The episode titled, “The Fire and Water Wall vs. The Wall of Mirrors,” will air at 2:30 p.m. and feature Lizzie Bennett Farley of Fox Chapel and Christine Jones of Delmont.

    Competing in almost identical model townhomes in Oakmont, Farley and Jones each designed five original rooms.  The townhomes were built by Heartland Homes.

    Farley, of Interior Navigator, describes her design style as “transitional, young, fun and happy.”

    “My style is eclectic.  I like to mix texture, and I like to use a lot of contrast,” Jones, of CJ Interior Design Studio, told me.

    I chatted with the designers on Friday.  They explained how they got on the show and told me about their experiences.

    “I was contacted by a local showroom.  The people there said that HGTV was looking for people to do a show.  I sent in my portfolio and did an on-camera audition,” said Farley.

    After two good auditions, HGTV’s crew and “Showhouse Showdown” host and "Bachelor" star Bob Guiney rolled into Oakmont.

    “Bob and the crew were there for a week while I installed the house,” said Farley.

    “Bob was awesome.  He made me feel so relaxed.  He allowed me to be myself.  The crew was really awesome, too.  They were very helpful,” said Jones.

    Both designers said their experiences were exciting yet challenging.

    “It was fantastic.  It was so much fun.  It was hectic and wild but creative and exciting,” said Farley.

    “It was an amazing experience.  It was a challenge, and I love design challenges.  We had such a short time to design the space,” said Jones.  “I can almost say it was life changing at one point.  During this time period, a lot of stuff was going on.  It made me aware that I was capable of handling a lot.”

    Jones has planned a viewing party to watch the show at Table 22 Restaurant in Murrysville.  About 50 family members, friends and clients are expected to attend.

    “My family is extremely excited,” said Jones.

    Farley won’t be watching the show with family and friends.  She’ll be in New York City for work this weekend.

    The winner will be chosen based on votes cast by the developer's target market.

    “This is not like anything you have seen on HGTV before,” said Kevin Oakley, director of marketing for Heartland Homes. “This is not just about picking paint colors and moving in furniture. These designers are involved with the house from day one of construction and have complete freedom to change whatever they want. Windows, walls, cabinets -- it’s all up for grabs.”

    The townhomes featured on the show have been sold, so I wasn’t able to check them out. 

    A couple weeks ago, Bob Guiney was in town for a “Showhouse Showdown” viewing party, featuring single-family homes built by Heartland Homes in Cranberry Township.  The party was held at one of the homes featured on the show, and it was designed beautifully.  Click here to watch the video.  Click here to view the photos.

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