Visit the Design Star blog every Monday after the show for Design Star judge and Divine Design host Candice Olson’s recap of the episode’s best and worst moments. Read her take on the season premiere, then tell us what you thought in the comments below.
It’s a new season of Design Star, and you know what that means — 12 designers are ready to show what they’ve got and win their own show on HGTV. And let’s just say, this isn’t a group of wallflowers. For their first challenge, the designers were asked to pick a partner to make over six rooms in their own living space. It’s always fascinating to see who pairs up, and this time was no exception. Here’s my take on the episode one action.
Surprisingly, Cathy and Leslie partnered up on the great room to great success. What could have been a disaster in mismatched personalities turned out to be a pretty cohesive room and early evidence of two very strong and unique design sensibilities. Cathy did drop the ball big-time on the uncomfortable, poorly executed banquette. (I think I still have indentations in the back of my thighs.) But Leslie chose a fantastic coffee table and, overall, their room showed great promise and I can’t wait to see what they do individually.
Meg and Tyler struggled a bit with their bedroom. They made wonderful use of color and fabrics with their custom headboard, but unfortunately their bookshelf and poor accessorizing left much to be desired. It was as if they were making a meal with only half of the ingredients. I wanted to see a lot more from them, but luckily their intention shone through and they were both safe from elimination.
J and Doug were the last two designers to pair up and it seems like maybe they weren’t instantly drawn to each other for a reason. J has a clean aesthetic, and knows what she wants — which is exactly the opposite of whatever Doug wants.
It’s too bad that her headboards were so amateurish; I was much more impressed by Doug’s use of contrast in such a small room. His choice of the bold patterned wallpaper and large mirror to add depth to the space was one of my favorite overall moments in the penthouse.
Bret and Kevin paired up and can I just say — tangerine orange in a bedroom? The color orange is said to induce hunger, so instead of “relaxing” I would probably sit in that eye-popping room eating.
They’re lucky we ultimately made them both safe this week due to a few smart choices in the space, because that suitcase on the bed was certainly tempting us to let Kevin go as he was the one who placed it there.
Kellie and Karl’s bonus room was more than a bonus, it was my favorite room of all! They worked seamlessly together and did a fantastic job planning the space, and it showed. Everything they chose for the room was smart and savvy; from Kellie’s teeny-tiny nook to Karl’s beautiful mural, they hit a major home run. Karl called it right — he said he wanted to win the first design challenge, and he did.
What can be said about Blanche and Mark’s bedroom? They had a brilliant plan, but, truthfully the only thing that showed a finishing touch was Mark’s luxurious head of hair. I was disappointed with this room. The tea-light holders on the walls looked like doilies and the framed wallpaper had hints of potential, but they totally missed the mark with terrible execution. I did like Mark’s bookshelves, but, again, all the beauty was lost because they were unfinished. Sadly, one has to go every show and this time it was Blanche.
The White Box Challenge is next. I can’t wait to see what the designers do with their spaces!
What questions do you have about the episode one? Ask in the module below or in the comments below; the Design Star Director of Programming, Loren Ruch, will answer the most-asked questions tomorrow! Plus, live chat with Loren on our Facebook page Wednesday at 12:30 ET.