NEWPORT BEACH — Interior designer Lindsay Espinoza aims to make beautiful homes available to the masses, but she never envisioned that her audience would be comprised of thousands of viewers tuning into reality TV.
The 1995 Newport Harbor High School alumna will be featured in a new HGTV series that was scheduled to premiere Monday evening. “Showhouse Showdown” puts interior designers in competition, leaving the judging up to the viewing public.
“It’s a full design show packed with design knowledge,” said Executive Producer Dawn Stroupe. “It has humor and some drama, but true to the HGTV brand, it’s based in teaching.”
For those who love the “big reveal” at the end of makeover shows, “Showhouse Showdown” offers a reveal every three minutes, Stroupe said.
Espinoza designed five rooms, including a bedroom, bath and kitchen, in a new house in Newport Beach built by Waterpointe Homes. The episode in which she competes against Los Angeles designer Charles Neal airs Nov. 21.
Espinoza is under contract with HGTV and can’t reveal details about the home or the episode until its airs, but described her design style as “industrial chic.” She said she pairs functionality with glamour and high-end items with low-cost accessories.
“I’m a big believer in that interior design is not just for affluent people,” Espinoza said. “Everyone should be able to enjoy the effects of good design in their daily life. When you wake up in a place you love, it affects your whole outlook — good interior design evokes emotion.”
Espinoza isn’t opposed to shopping at vintage shops, HomeGoods or Target when searching for the perfect piece of furniture or accessory.
As owner of Lulu Designs, a Costa Mesa-based residential and commercial interior design business, Espinoza’s goal is to bring the benefits of her craft to as many people as possible.
One such method is the “room in a box” personalized design plan. For $2,500 to $5,500, Espinoza will create a complete room plan — from chairs to window treatments, fabric and paint swatches, all available in local stores or online — from measurements and taste preferences clients submit via the website.
Another way Espinoza shares her design skills, honed at the Interior Designers Institute in Newport Beach, is through her blog linked to her company’s website, luludesignsonline.com.
On the blog, she gives free fun tips, such as “Men’s feet are more sensitive than women’s so make sure to never put a coir natural rug where a man would most likely be barefoot.” And then there’s, “If and when you feel you need to fluff a synthetic-fill duvet, then it’s just time for a new one.”
More tips from Espinoza will be packed into the November episode, which was filmed over five weeks from the start to finish of the design process.
As part of the show, both fully decorated homes were put of for sale following the audience judging.
Espinoza said her home received an offer within 24 hours.
Although Espinoza knows how the episode will end — and she can’t say who wins — she will not see the final edited cut before the episodes airs.
“It’s very hard to put your stuff out there on TV,” she said. “But the house came out well, and I’m not concerned. In my personal life, I’m pretty shy and reserved. But, when it comes to design, I’m confident in my skills as an interior designer.”