More than 2.5 million people tune in every Thursday night to see Christina and Tarek El Moussa tackle new renovation projects, according to . And if, like us, you're one of those millions who watch, then you're probably curious about how their real-estate and house-flipping empire started too.
At the launch of their new collaboration with , we sat down with them and asked everything we've always wanted to know about the show, their new collection, and how they were first discovered. Spoiler alert: Going forward, pretty much all of the countertops they use on the show will be from their gorgeous new collection. Here's everything we learned.
How did you guys first get discovered by HGTV?
TAREK EL MOUSSA: We just started flipping houses and we took a long shot and sent a production company an email. They liked us and said to send a home video. We did, and they liked it. A year-and-a-half later, HGTV picked us up for a pilot. Midway through season one, the show was almost cancelled because someone high up at HGTV thought it would fail. It didn't.
How have you honed your design skills over the years?
CHRISTINA EL MOUSSA: Practice and trial error. I like trying different things but since we do flips and appeal to the masses it's important for me to keep the design fairly simple.
Christina, what's your favorite design trend or style right now?
CHRISTINA: Rustic glam — a mix of reclaimed wood and a blingy chandelier. I've always been into wallpaper. It adds a girly and vibrant element that I love.
Can you tell us about your new Diamond Collection, and why you wanted to work with TREND?
TAREK: Teaming up with TREND Group was the perfect fit. We were looking for a company that not only had beautiful material but also [was] ran by a team that has the highest standards and expects the best. After flipping hundreds of homes we know what people love. Because we know what they love, we created the Diamond Collection to make it easy for any homeowners to pick a countertop that will look amazing in their home.
Which countertop material is your favorite to use and why?
TAREK: The metallic countertop [in this collection] is my personal favorite. It's not every day that you can look at something in your home that came from an Italian mine. Not only is the story great but the colors in my opinion work for both men and women.
What are some of the most important things to consider when choosing a countertop?
TAREK: It's crucial to go with a countertop that is both durable and beautiful. It's the main surface of all the cabinets and it really stands out.
CHRISTINA: Durability and it [should be] easy to clean.
Tarek, looking back at all the houses you and Christina have flipped together, what's your favorite of Christina's designs?
TAREK: A mid-century home in Long Beach as well as Costa Mesa.
What's the most common design mistake you see in home renovations?
TAREK: Basing a remodel off the existing flooring.
CHRISTINA: Quality — bad tile work and poor texture when painting can really be an eyesore.
What's something you haven't done or tackled on the show yet, but hope to do in the future?
CHRISTINA: A total tear down. We would love to start completely from scratch.
In this last season of Flip or Flop, we got to see more of your personal and family life. Is this a part of filming that you enjoy?
CHRISTINA: Our children are our priority and we love to be around them. Work and filming takes us away from them so it's nice to be able to incorporate them in the show. Since we really do bring the kids to flips with us it's only natural to do so on Flip or Flop as well. We also wanted to give viewers a peek into our home life and what we like to do for fun.
Catch Christina and Tarek and their adorable family on HGTV's Flip or Flop Thursday nights at 9:30 p.m.