I’m still out shooting Candice Tells All, but don’t worry — I’m still watching! This week, the stars of HGTV’s Home by Novogratz, Cortney and Bob Novogratz, came by to give their perspective on our designers. This challenge was the most important one yet: working with actual clients in their homes. The designers were split into groups and assigned two rooms in two separate houses. The assignment: Give some old rooms new life.
First up was the Callegaris’ house. Leslie, Kevin and Kellie took the basement, and Doug and Mark took the living room. The Callegaris asked for a living room that would suit large family gatherings, with plenty of comfortable seating but still have room to dance. Right off the bat it was obvious that Doug and Mark were not working cohesively. It was shades of Doug and J from episode one’s loft challenge, and their lack of teamwork showed. From their disagreement over wall color to poor furniture choices and a complete lack of passion in general, the only thing they did as a team was throw the challenge away.
Their living room was ridiculous from top to bottom. Nothing about it matched, and all of the furniture was pushed up against the walls. Just because a family asks for a “dancing space” doesn’t mean you need to set up the room for a full-time dance party. Doug really dropped the ball on furniture selection, and his accent-wall color choice was even worse. Mark fought him on it, but should have firmly put his foot down. His wood wall was clever, but he should have spent more time with Doug to make sure the other 80 percent of the room looked as stylish as his wall.
Leslie, Kevin and Kellie’s basement had some wonderful elements. Leslie is starting to show that she thinks like a “mommy,” which is a good thing. That collage with the children’s handmade drawings was clever and really added an important personal touch to the space; I know viewers are going to want to try that for themselves. Kevin’s family-friendly office corner was kitschy and chic, just like him. I loved that while it was functional, it was still classy and had great elements of design. And Kellie — smart girl tackling those boring structural columns to make an island. Creating that space in the center really worked and, overall, the entire room did look like one designer created it instead of three. Mark and Doug should take note.
Next was Christina Scano’s house. Tyler and Meg took the dining room, and Cathy, Bret and Karl tackled the entertainment room. Cathy set out to do all of the shopping while Bret and Karl did the demo. Good for them for standing up for themselves and demanding they do some of the shopping to showcase their own style. (Mark should take note.) The room had definite high points and low points. The high? Karl’s gorgeous mosaic backsplash. This is the first time in Design Star history that someone has started and finished such a beautiful tile project — and to think that he even broke all of the tiles himself is so admirable. That really showed us who he is as a designer, and I love that he broke out of his perfectly painted mold (even if his camera challenge was about doing graphic lines on a wall). Bret’s area was just sad. The furniture looked like it belonged in an office, not a home and, again, he didn’t give us that “edgy” side he keeps promising. And Cathy — we know you’re a great shopper, but this is not “Staging Star,” this is Design Star and you need to start designing! Ditch the “all neutral, all the time” and start having fun! Okay, but I did dig that coffee table — I’ll give you that.
Tyler and Meg’s dining room was really pretty. It was really pretty. Did I say it was really pretty? Because that’s pretty much all I can say about it. Tyler’s wall was inventive and made a statement and Meg’s refinished hutch was smart, but I wanted to go in and throw some trinkets on the table and family photos on the hutch to give it some personality. The space looked generic and I agree with the panel — it just didn’t look personal at all. But, it looked really pretty.
Kevin definitely deserved to win because that shelving was fabulous. I’m also giving Karl an honorable mention because maybe he’ll come do that mosaic tile in my house. Unfortunately, someone has to go every week and this time it was Doug. That paint color was just unforgivable.
Next week we’re headed to the Jersey Shore and the designers will have another chance to step up their game.
What questions do you have about the episode three? Ask in the comments below; the Design Star Director of Programming, Loren Ruch, will answer the most-asked questions on Wednesday!