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Bert Show's Kristin Klingshirn featured on HGTV's 'Elbow Room,' but it doesn't go smoothly

Bart Kristin
Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

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Bert Show regular Kristin Klingshirn and her contractor boyfriend Bart Mattingly were featured on the HGTV show "Elbow Room" Wednesday night.

On the show (which I missed), host Chip Wade and his crew open up their Atlanta home to give them, as the show is dubbed, more "elbow room." Klingshirn loved the new roof, the new desk and other aspects of the renovation. She even threw in an extra $20,000 to pay for kitchen updates and appliances on top of the $40,000 worth of work "Elbow Room" put in.

So while the couple was all smiles on the show itself, Klingshirn admitted on the radio show Thursday and Friday that the entire process created undue stress on their relationship.

Mattingly "was sucking the joy out of it for me," Klingshirn said. "Did we handle the process wrong? Yes. We shouldn't have done it. It wasn't worth the strain on our relationship. I wouldn't do it again. We weren't cut out for this."

[If you want to listen to all the clips, they are available here on the Bert Show page.]

She worried about disclosing this to the public because she felt she might end up sounding like an "ungrateful b****." (A caller after the Friday segment was over, even said he liked her less after hearing this story.  And another caller thought Mattingly was a jerk.)

As a contractor, Mattingly spent a lot of time on the renovation site to the point that the production company requested he give them some distance. Mattingly, as a contractor, coud see the flaws and expressed his concerns. Klingshirn said she supported the production company's decision at the time to give them distance because she didn't want to rock the boat. Now, she feels she made a mistake and should have supported her boyfriend more.

Wade, who appeared on the Bert Show Friday, said he felt he was being personally disrespected when Mattingly would critique him. "I've done hundreds of makeovers for hundreds of families," Wade said. "Take my pride out of it. Who would not do it again? Three. I could live with that. I would do anything under my control to remedy it."

Klingshirn she has no issues with Wade but with others involved with the show. But she declined to say anything more about those folks for fear of being charged with slander.

"Elbow Room" did about two month's of work in a span of four to four and a half weeks. In fact, when the reveal happened, not everything was properly finished - such as the cabinetry. And though she accepted it at the time, Klingshirn regrets getting rid of the stairwell, which now makes it impossible to access the second floor. (They plan to build a stairwell outside.)

They spent a month living in Bert Weiss' basement while renovations were being made.

"Elbow Room," a series shot in Atlanta, airs on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. This particular episode is not available online and won't repeat again on HGTV until July 17.

Afterwards, Klingshirn did not respond to my requests for a follow-up interview. Weiss said he thinks she's just "hibernating."

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