During the premiere of The Antonio Project this past Sunday, we chatted with Antonio live on Twitter and Facebook and gave everyone a chance to ask him questions. In case you missed it or just want to see his answers again, we’ve complied them all here for you. Enjoy!
Q: Do you have any tips for homeowners who want to buy fixer-uppers?
Antonio: 1. Do your homework 2. Get a reliable inspector 3. Be sure it’s a place you can love during the hard times of bringing it together. 4. Don’t buy a can…of worms. 5. Add 20-30% to your budget, anticipate going over!
Q: You’ve worked with photographer Annie Leibovitz…are you into photography too? Do you own any of her work?
Antonio: I love photography. I have collaborated with some of the best photographers as a set designer. Working with artists like Annie is what keeps me inspired. I don’t own any of her work, but I do own a LaChapelle
Q: Which other cast member from Design Star did you like working with the most?
Antonio: Jason and I bonded over the kitchen challenge. We are an unlikely pair but he kept me laughing. I’d be happy to work with him again.
Q: Has your life changed since winning?
Antonio: I’ve got a lot more friends on facebook and I got mobbed at Trader Joes. ha!
Q: Are you married? Any kids?
Antonio: Single, no kids. Just Chewie and I.
Q: Tell us about your dog, Chewie
Antonio: He’s an Olde English bull dog, also sometimes called a Victorian bull dog. He is a rescue
Q: Is Chewie named from Star Wars?
Antonio: Yes…not that I’m really into Star Wars. But he looks like Chewbaca!
Q: How do you want to respond to the people who want to congratulate you?
Antonio: To the people who are saying congrats: I am humbled by everyone’s support and I won’t let you down. I am going to bring it!
Q: What do you think was the most difficult part of this project to tackle?
Antonio: The most difficult part was opening up my life to everyone. Design is subjective. This is MY house and how I want it to be.
Q: How many tattoos do you have?
Antonio: Too many to count!
Q: What is your favorite tattoo?
Antonio: My last dog’s paw print, and the date of her passing. It’s on my rib
Q: Did Kathy Griffin slip you her phone number?
Antonio: LOL! No I haven’t talked to her since the challenge
Q: Any other celebs you have designed for or would like to?
Antonio: Doing set design, I have worked with almost every celeb in Hollywood. But I’d love to design something for Mickey Rourke.
Q: What was hardest Design Star challenge?
Antonio: Physically, the back yard. Mentally, the kitchen.
Q: And what was your favorite?
Antonio: The finale
Q: Any advice for aspiring set/prop designers?
Antonio: 1. Assist a great set designer 2. Get in anyway you can 3. Bust you’re a$&.
Q: Did you ever think you would be this adored?
Antonio: Um, am I really adored? I try to answer every email, sorry if it takes awhile. I appreciate every fan, and I’m going to work hard to do the best show i can.
Q: What is your fave color to use in design
Antonio: Hot pink!
Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up
Antonio: When I was a kid, I wanted to be a musician and go on tour. Then I achieved that dream and had to come up with a new goal.
Q: What is your suggestion for helping the average homeowner pick the right color for a room
Antonio: Get plenty of samples, paint swatches, and check it out at different times of the day. Plus if you want custom, you can mix your own paints.
Q: Are your friends going to be a regular part of your show? Or just this special?
Antonio: I want to involve everyone I know because these are the people that inspire me to do what I do.
Q: Talk about Connor from the kid’s room challenge, he’s so cute!
Antonio: Connor and I are buddies for life. Conner is amazing. His older sister sent me a video of him with tattoos and a bandana on his head. It is hilarious.
Q: Any advice for an aspiring 14- yr old interior designer?
Antonio: When I was a kid, I redid my room once a month. Try it, it’s good practice. Think outside the box and don’t be intimidated. Do your own thing.
Q: Love all your shirts! WHERE do you find these?!?!
Antonio: My t-shirts are from my friend’s bands, friend’s motorcycle shop. Also I have a bunch from my buddies at supreme, www.supremenewyork.com
Q: What’s your ethnic background. Where are you originally from?
Antonio: I’m 100% Italian. Born in NYC
Q: What are some of your fave TV shows?
Antonio: No Reservations and Six Million Dollar Man
Q: What do you mean when you say “recon”
Antonio: Recon is short for reconnaissance, a preliminary survey to gain information
Q: Did you get in trouble for the turkey incident in the grocery store?
Antonio: Um…kinda. LOL
Q: Do you really not have a living room? Where do you watch TV?!
Antonio: The house was 800sf when I bought it. I put a 1000sf addition on it which includes a TV room/den. We just didn’t focus on that part of the house in the show. I love my TV room/Den. It’s where I keep my record and book collection along with my big flat screen.
Q: Where did you get the throne?
Antonio: I got it at a store in Hollywood on Melrose and Larchmont