Kayla Kitts

Contributor to HGTVersus

Aug 3

Ask the Producer: Episode 4

Loren With Kathy Ireland

Vern Yip, Genevieve Gorder, Producer Loren Ruch, Kathy Ireland, Tanika Ray

We caught up with Loren Ruch, the show’s producer, to get answers to your most-asked questions from Design Star episode four, including: What happens to the eliminated designer after judging? Plus, learn how the crew scouted the B&B location and what the designers do on their days off.

How did you choose the bed and breakfast location for this week’s challenge?
Once we decided we wanted to do a B&B episode, we hired a location scout to scour a 2 hour radius around New York City to find the perfect property in need of a makeover. The minute he found the Spring Lake Inn, we knew we were in luck! The innkeepers were wonderful, and completely accommodating about allowing our designers to do whatever they wanted to the rooms. In the end, the Spring Lake Inn got a total transformation (including what Vern Yip called ‘the best room he’s seen in six years of Design Star), which will hopefully be beneficial to them in garnering new business!

What happens to the eliminated designer right after judges’ panel? Is the outside-the-judging room footage really the goodbye?
The post-evaluation goodbyes in the Designers’ Lounge that you see on TV are truly the last times the designers see their eliminated counterpart. We whisk the eliminated designer back to the apartment to grab his/her suitcase and then put them up for a night in a hotel before sending them home the next morning.

Were the challenges filmed back-to-back or did the designers have days off to regroup?
It’s a pretty grueling process, to be completely honest! We shoot our episodes back-to-back, but there are four days off scattered through the entire shooting process – one of them which happened to be Easter Sunday this year. On their days off, the designers hang out at the apartment, cook for each other, work out and get haircuts, etc. They are not allowed to leave the property because we don’t want them to do any research for the show, so they really just use the days to regenerate and hang out together! Even the hairdresser came to their apartment so that they wouldn’t need to leave.

Is there a particular challenge that the crew has particularly enjoyed? What is your favorite Design Star challenge?
What a fun question! I think that weather has a lot to do with which challenges we like best/least. This year we dealt with a lot of rain, so anything ‘indoors’ was preferable to outdoors. I have to say my very favorite is this upcoming week’s Kitchen Challenge with Paula Dean. She had the entire crew in stitches, and my mouth literally hurt from laughing so much. Plus, the makeovers are FANTASTIC!! Additionally, working with Kathy Ireland on the B&B Challenge was pretty amazing, too. She was such a ray of light and positive energy that you couldn’t help but be happy around her!

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 11:41 am

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  1. I watch your show to get ideas, here's one I hope you can do..my grandkids are in to "Sharkweek" on discovery channel, now would you decorate a bathroom with that theme. I thought of shark jaws on the walk, an ocean shower curtain, a blue and gray accessories. what do you think, can it be done? a friend suggest that I have a fish net with shells, shells decorating the shelf and a fake tree. Space is limited though, so can you send ideas? thank you, and I will continue to watch HGTV.

    PunkyLu on August 3, 2011 at 8:00 am
  2. Love the show – live at the Jersey Shore and can you tell me the name of the first store the decorators visited?

    LJH on August 3, 2011 at 8:54 am
    • Hi! I believe we put all of the stores in our HGTV Marketplace — I can't remember the names offhand, but I think you can find them there — thank you SO much for watching the show!!!

      lorenruch on August 3, 2011 at 1:37 pm
  3. Can you please send instructions on how to paint walls like the ones pictured above…in the winning room?

    CHH on August 3, 2011 at 9:19 am
  4. If the home owners are unhappy with the work do you go back and fix it? The examples I can think of are Doug's "organ meat" wall and Kevin's white wash floor.

    CAD on August 3, 2011 at 9:29 am
    • We did send a crew in to fix the floors! We didn't want the Inn Keepers to deal with scuff marks :)

      lorenruch on August 3, 2011 at 1:36 pm
  5. Where does "the stuff" go when a challenge is completed like the kitchens, or the white room challenges?

    If you select a place like the fire department common space or a charity space to use as a DS challenge, how are they selected? If a person had a suggestion, how might that be made known?

    shehopes on August 3, 2011 at 10:24 am
  6. The B&B Spring Lake Inn – I guess it's located in spring lake, NJ and name of the stores? I would like to take my wife there. She loves your show and would like to stay over at the Inn and shop at the stores you had on episode 4.

    John on August 3, 2011 at 11:09 am
  7. I would also like the list of stores visited by the designers especially the large room decorated by Mark, Meg and Karl. I live in the Spring Lake area and I am unfamiliar with one of the stores.

    Leslie on August 3, 2011 at 12:12 pm
  8. It would be an interesting challenge to give each designer identical rooms, paint, furniture and accesssories to work with, and then see the different outcomes. It would be sort of a twist on the white box challenge. It would also be nice to see less pairing of designers and more individual work with "assistants". Continue the good work; this is one of my favorite TV shows!

    P,S. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE David Bromstad!

    Pickyone on August 3, 2011 at 12:44 pm
    • Great suggestion! I'll put that on my list to discuss for next season. I like the way you think!

      lorenruch on August 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm
  9. Love the show and this episode! Looking forward to the kitchens. I would also like to know what happens when the end result turns out not so good. In the past Clive once mentioned an HGTV "swat team" that finished off a particularly bad kitchen. Is that a regular part of the show or does it just apply on special (unfinished) occasions?

    BGT on August 3, 2011 at 1:30 pm
    • This year, we made sure to really allow enough time for the challenges so that they would always turn out great…but in the case where they don't, we have crews available to make sure that our homeowners are always happy in the end. Honestly, the only time it was used this season was to fix the floors in the Inn. On a totally different note, I LOVED this year's Kitchen Episode — I hope you won't be disappointed :)

      lorenruch on August 3, 2011 at 1:40 pm
  10. Pickyone had a great idea. Would love to see that in a future season. Same supplies and room and see all the diiferent designs.

    @RBUSKE on August 3, 2011 at 2:05 pm

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