Kayla Kitts

Contributor to HGTVersus

Jul 27

Ask the Producer: Your Episode 3 Questions, Answered

Loren Ruch

Loren (far right) pictured with the Design Star host, judging panel and guest judges Cortney and Robert Novogratz.

We caught up with Loren Ruch, the show’s producer, to get answers to your most-asked questions from Design Star episode three. Get his behind-the-scenes take after the jump.

Do the designers have advance notice as to what the camera challenge will be, or do they have to come up with a concept on the fly?

The designers have absolutely no idea what the camera challenges are (or the design challenges for that matter) until Tanika shows up and tells them — it’s exactly as it appears on the show! Sometimes she’ll alert them about what David Bromstad may be looking for in the camera-challenge, but other times it’s a complete surprise to them until David shows up!

How different do the finished rooms look in person than they do on camera?

What a great question! Most of the time a room looks bigger on TV than in person, and color definitely “pops” more on television than when you are in the space! And, I can say with confidence that a bright room always looks better on camera than a muted one. From this episode, I thought that Kellie, Kevin and Leslie’s room turned out so fabulous because it had all of those components that look great in-person (smart space plans, good quality materials, etc.), and also on-camera (Leslie’s bright artwork, Kevin’s clever office, Kellie’s fun use of color, etc.).

Q. Karl’s backsplash looked so professional on the show; was it as great in-person?

You bet it was! It was the first time in Design Star history that one of our designers not only made his own mosaic tiles, but also finished the entire process including grouting! It was quite the feat, and the panel members were super-impressed!

What behind-the-scenes questions do you have for Loren? Ask in the comments below and he may just answer you next week.

Posted at 11:55 am

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  1. Sagebrush–I like having the old episodes–they're clearly identified and you have to go looking for them, so they're not clutter. Every season, new people come along. They want to catch up and see what people are talking about when they bring up past seasons. I'm very glad of it, because otherwise, the only format I'd know is the weird "inspiration challenge" format from last year… not their best idea ever.

    I would say that the HGTV site as a whole has a couple of problems, the biggest of which is that when you click the link to check airtimes for other shows, it just brings you to a main programming page. And of course, that they play the same commercial six or seven times per episode of the archived episodes, to the point where you just cringe at the very thought of watching the advertised show… not effective! Put in a randomizer.

    Will we get out of New York City next season? I'm getting a little bored with the boroughs. You could go someplace where the city has great old bones, but needs a little love to come back to life–Detroit comes to mind, or (if I may say it) Buffalo. Much as I hate to admit it, Detroit would be much easier to market–Motown themed, like the Nashville season was sort of country themed. And just on the getting out of NYC part, think about how much further the dollars stretch (as Kim discovered when she went to West Virginia).

    BuffaloBarbara on July 28, 2011 at 6:13 am
    • I agree – I hope they get out of New York next season. I thought Los Angeles was fun when the designers were there.

      Karenk on July 30, 2011 at 2:56 am
    • Loren, what about filming the next season in Atlanta?

      Joan on July 30, 2011 at 4:18 am
  2. From other comments I've read, Cathy Hobbs is not a fan favorite, at least among fans who comment on your site, and yet she is doing very well in the Favorite Designer poll in which the winner will have an online show. I wondered why, until someone mentioned that the Real Estate Staging Association website is featuring her on their front page with a link encouraging members to vote for her, a fellow member, ten times a day. I googled and found the site, and it's true! This effectively rigs the competition, and makes it a sham. Why is this permitted by HGTV? I personally think Cathy should be disqualified because of this unfair advantage. Clearly, most fans do NOT want to see more of her.

    Amber on July 28, 2011 at 6:39 am
  3. I just seen the preview for the next episode and hope the "playgrounds" are equal. Cathy and Kevin working together, Meg, Karl, and Mark on another team, Leslie and ? Kellie and ? Leslie and Kellie?(doubt it) If Leslie and Tyler are not paired up, then I would hardly call this next challenge fair.

    Dana on July 28, 2011 at 10:59 am
  4. Loren, I am very curious what role personality and the ability to "play well with others" plays in the judge's decision to oust someone. I ask because I was so pleased to see Doug leave after his appalling behavior, but it didn't seem to impact the decision with Antonio. Please explain.

    Christi on July 28, 2011 at 2:31 pm
    • Christi, you're joking right? Honestly, how in the world can you compare Antonio and Doug? Oh that's right, because they didn't "play well with others". In case you failed to notice, when Antonio did his own thing it was "RIGHT", when Doug did his own thing it was "WRONG". Now you get it Christi?

      Jim on July 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm
  5. Loren – Please tell me where I can get Cathy's travertine coffee table. That's the table I've had in my head for two years, but have never been able to find it.

    Kathy in Philly on July 29, 2011 at 5:29 am
    • cb2 has something very similar – not sure if it's the same scale, but it is a gorgeous piece.

      sayanchi on August 11, 2011 at 9:24 pm
      • It is Safavieh, though it's not shown on their website. I actually contacted one of their stores via email from their website and got a reply within two days. It is 40" round by 19" high, and they said it's stainless steel and travertine. They offered to order it via phone or email, with an 8-12 week delivery timeframe. Too expensive for me, though at almost $1500. The previous post mentions the similar version at cb2. It's a bit lower at only 12" high, but very pretty too, and only $299.

        Lisa on August 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm
  6. This "reality" show is like any other. There's always going to be that contestant that gets on everybody's never. By everybody I mean the other contestants as well as the viewing public. I consider this par for
    the course in any "reality" show. What is not par is the really different personaliy Genevieve Gorder exhibits as a judge. She does't hold back on mean looks or unkind words —- ——so different from the convivial, generous, forgiving, approachable, easy-going persona on her show. Vern, of course is a perfectionist and thinks he's the only one saving the planet from bad designers. The stuff he thinks is wonderful is yucky to me. Candice is the best designer of the three judges and her comments are so much kinder. She also seems to encourage the contestants. I think that gorgeous narrator is is a nice substitute for Clive. Having Bromstad mentoring the contestants is a nice touch.

    Southwest Tess on July 29, 2011 at 3:21 pm
  7. I really want to know the paint color that cathy/leslie used to paint the main living area of the apartment the designers are all living in. Anyone????? It was colorful, yet neutral at the same time.

    dmiami on July 30, 2011 at 9:49 am
  8. Hello!
    I love the home office area that Kevin Grace created in episode 3. I was wondering if he or the show will post step by step instructions on how he created the shelving unit?

    Ruben on July 30, 2011 at 3:42 pm
  9. How can I replicate Kevin Graces blue corner shelves in episode 3? I wish there would be posts on how to DIY some of the contestants designs on your website.

    nicki b on July 30, 2011 at 7:48 pm
  10. HGTV watchers are very sensitive to anything that borders on crude behavior (or appearance) When Antonio comes on, watchers automatically turn to another channel. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, the programs devoted to male watchers (such as DIY) turn off most viewers. When Vern Yip appeared as judge (apparently teaming up with Donald Trump) his comments and actions lost him and Design Star many regulars. If the fans who watch Design Star are not polled on a regular basis, your advertisors are wasting their money !!!

    Millie on July 31, 2011 at 6:11 am
    • I totally agree with you about Antonio!!!!

      12beat on August 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm
    • If the Sat and Sun show lineups weren't getting decent ratings I think the shows would have been changed. Please don't ask them to put more Househunter epsodes on!

      Jahosacat on August 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm

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