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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Race to Renovate

Even as some of their competitors turned on each other, childhood sweethearts John and Whitney Spinks powered right on through.

The husband and wife duo, originally from Evansville, have been in a relationship for the last 12 years (married for the last four). That type of closeness gave their team an edge in the most surprising venue — reality television.

HGTV’s “Flipping the Block,” an eight-week series, premiered on July 20 featuring four skilled duos who moved into identical units in a dilapidated condo in Glendale, California, and must execute room by room renovations, and later auction the rehabbed units for a chance to win a $50,000 cash prize.

“We were working with some of the biggest names on HGTV (Josh Temple, David Bromstad, and Nicole Curtis),” says Whitney. “It was both exhausting and invigorating, and so overwhelming, because of the stress and deadlines, but at the same time, it was so rewarding and we would do it all over again.”
The Spinks purchased their first home in 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida, and at the same time, Whitney created a blog about interior design and do-it-yourself projects around the home called drabtofabdesign.com, which is how HGTV found them.

Whitney and John, both 26, graduated from F.J. Reitz High School in 2006 before attending the University of Southern Indiana. Whitney graduated with a degree in finance in 2010 while John attended USI for two years and later joined the U.S. Navy. John completed his military service in 2012 and started working in commercial construction while also studying construction management at the University of North Florida.

Meanwhile, Whitney, working as a financial analyst, realized that her passion was in interior design.

Each team is given a renovation budget to allocate however they choose. The team that receives the highest bid for their condo unit at auction, minus what they spent from the design budget, will win.

“It was physically one of the hardest things emotionally and psychologically,” says John. “We held up. We have been together such a long time. It really helped us out. Some of the teams were at each other’s throats a little bit more. We really do complement each other and I think growing up in the Midwest in Evansville and the courtesy and respect we have for each other and were taught to have will definitely be evident.”

Episodes air 8 p.m. Sundays on HGTV with the finale set for Sept. 7.

For more information about “Flipping the Block” on HGTV, visit hgtv.com/flipping-the-block.

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