Kayla Kitts

Contributor to HGTVersus

Aug 10

Ask the Producer: Dream Kitchen Challenge

Loren Ruch With Paula Deen

Each week, we ask Design Star producer Loren Ruch your most-asked behind-the-scenes questions. This week, Loren shares the funniest moments from the shoot with guest judge Paula Deen. Plus, what really happens during the judges’ deliberation process?

What was it like being on set with Paula Deen? What was the funniest moment of the shoot?
Being on the set with Paula made me wonder, “Is it really fair to call this ‘work’?  I’m having far too much fun to consider this part of my job!” She was a bundle of fun energy and kept the entire crew laughing from start to finish, especially during moments when she’d say things like “Cat Fight!” during a tense moment in evaluation. However, my favorite moment with Paula happened behind the scenes when I saw her looking very ‘seriously’ at her iPad. I thought that something important must have been happening to her at that moment, and I asked “Are you okay? You look concerned. Do you need anything?” She replied, “Darlin’, I’m not concerned about anything…I’m in the middle of a tense game of Angry Birds!” I started to crack up…and so did she. She’s a burst of fun, positive and insightful energy!

How long is the actual time the designers wait for the decisions and how much of their conversation while waiting is edited out? Have the judges ever been deadlocked about who to send home?
Excellent question! Deliberation can run anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours or more. During that time the Design Panel talks through the camera challenges, design challenges and any thoughts they have — and eventually come to a conclusion on their own. There have been disagreements on a particular decision from time to time, but they have never ultimately been deadlocked.

What happened to the kitchens after the challenge?

In a challenge like this (which took place in a studio rather than a real home) the items are either returned or donated. However, if we were doing a challenge at a real home, the homeowners get to keep all of the furnishings that were part of their makeovers.

With the next kitchen challenge, next time, could you do a challenge using a small kitchen done efficiently, incorporating lighting new counters ,eco-flooring and material choices and types so we can learn from the kitchen designs?
We’re in the very early stages of discussing challenges for next year, so I will definitely add this to our suggestion box. I think that it’s a wonderful, relatable and interesting idea!

Do you have a question for Loren about the inner-workings of Design Star? Ask in the comments below and he may just answer you next week.

Posted at 6:24 pm

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  1. I totally agree, although the Novogratzes tend to be too out there for me taste and a bit juvenile. Sophie is just great!

    NanceZell on August 14, 2011 at 10:24 am
    • Yeah I agree totally…they are pretty out there, and they're not that young of a couple to have such a juvenile taste, yet they BOTH do. Funny, but they kinda look alike too. Like brother and sister.

      Sagebrush on August 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm
  2. Such a mess! Are we seeing anyone's talent or just a lot of "programming". I don't care about getting to know the designers', I watch HGTV to see the designs. I feel designing is an art and can bring the CLIENTS' VISION into their homes because so many of us don't have the talent and need to see the ideas and finished projects!!!!! PLEASE ALL OF YOU, SHOW US HOW YOU CAN TRANSFORM A SPACE IN A PRACTICAL AND AFFORDABLE WAY!!!!!!!!! THE ONLY CRITERIA A DESIGNER SHOULD HAVE IS THE ABILITY TO PLEASE THEIR CLIENT. Get over yourselves.

    ANNE on August 14, 2011 at 10:55 am
  3. I totally agree. The producer has the choice to weed out sidebar conversations. Concentrating on design vs debate allows us to see through the selections. We continually learn from these shows. My home came alive thanks to great ideas from HGTV…not from show conflict.

    NancesIdeas on August 14, 2011 at 11:09 am
  4. I will never watch a show done buy Kathy. She just does not come of as a very likeable person. I do have a question about the orange band i have notice on the right wrist of Vern, is it for M.S. I wear one for myself .

    val on August 14, 2011 at 12:06 pm
  5. Did anyone notice the TEAPOT TABLE at the beginning of the Kitchen Challenge?

    On the upper left was a classic 19th C. English Brown Betty teapot. It's an icon of Victorian cottage style. It was mislabeled "Shaker". To make matters worse, in the Shaker tradition there's no tea or coffee.

    Oops… these are design history basics.

    Two Oz Gourmet on August 14, 2011 at 1:16 pm
  6. Like other comments, I do not understand why Cathy is there. Were other contestants told that she works for HGTV Canada? Or did that position start after this show ended, since I know it's already over before it airs. She is a profession reporter, but even then it's clinical and cold. She has no personality, no people skills, and is not a team player. She is an arrogant steam-roller. I agreed with the judge who cringed at her decorations in the kitchen. Karl was criticized for not standing up for his ideas, but he TRIED! Cathy just steamrolled over him, and everyone else she's worked with, and then acts like Miss Innocent. When you watch other designers' programs, like Candice, Sarah, David, Genevive, you see how well they work with their teams. Cathy does not have that ability. Does she even know the meaning of the words teamwork and compromise? If she gets her own show, I will not be watching.

    MrsChar on August 14, 2011 at 1:23 pm
  7. I like this idea, too!

    NancesIdeas on August 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm
  8. Not a sheep here. As a consumer, I will make educated choices as many or most here. Sponsors, too, will make decisions, too. This show is evolving into Dramaville and Van Shopping. Glad early shows were good and produced David and others. I hope Candice and Gen and Vern disassociate themselves from this poor programming.

    NancesIdeas on August 14, 2011 at 4:18 pm
  9. …and she is always so rude to co-designers…and then denies being stubborn while being judged. she wouldn't listen when she was over styling the kitchen, and then acts clueless that there was a concern on the part of her design partner. i'm not a professional, but even i could see that there were way too many accessories used to produce any kind of cohesive design. i think it will become evident to judges, if it hasn't already, that Kathy causes friction with whoever she is paired with.

    denise on August 15, 2011 at 9:53 am
  10. Why is Cathy Hobbs on Design Star if she already has a show on HGTV Canada?

    Whitney on August 15, 2011 at 3:16 pm

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