It’s our HGTV’d episode with guest panelist John Gidding (who I swear is the groom model for wedding cake toppers). I have to tell you he is not only better looking in person (impossible, I know) and an incredibly talented designer, but most importantly a true gentleman. I’m so glad that he’s part of the HGTV family.
Now, there’s nothing I love more than individual challenges, and this one was a doozy. The designers were given a humongous new house to work with, and while it was a touchdown for some, it was a major fumble for most.
Mark continues to wow me, and it’s not just the unbuttoned shirt/jacket combo he was rocking at evaluation. He had a huge space to tackle in the living room and dining room and he didn’t disappoint one bit — he is a woodworking master.
The way he is able to visualize a room is one of the most valuable attributes of a successful designer. His mixture of woods and sophisticated furnishings complemented each other perfectly. And once again, his custom wall was a brilliant addition to the space. He has a perfect record in my book.
Karl knocked my size 11 socks off this week and his win was well deserved. That master bedroom was one of the best transformations I’ve seen. He lucked out having John Gidding on the panel because his smart architectural details were certainly acknowledged and appreciated. The window extensions made a huge impact on the room, and as far as I’m concerned, that headboard was his winning ticket — subtle yet impactful. I loved the personal story behind the photos on the dresser, and that chandelier was the icing on the cake. Karl is proving to be a major force in this competition.
Meg, I totally feel for you this week. You had two really awkward spaces. Landings and foyers are transition spaces typically passed through en route to bigger areas. The challenge is to make them areas that are dynamic, as well as spaces you want to linger in longer.
Design aside, I think time management may not be Meg’s forte and that has me a bit worried at this stage of the game. With so little geography to cover, these spaces should have been about one or two big ideas executed perfectly. The chandelier choice however, was bang–on, as was the wall of lanterns. I know they were crooked, but luckily they looked better on TV.
Kellie, Kellie, Kellie. Design rule #1: Listen to your clients. A bunk bed is a bunk bed and a locker is a locker. They couldn’t have made the challenge easier for you — a 6-year-old told you exactly what he wanted! And you’re a fellow mom — you know as well as I do that when a kid says, “I want a bunk bed,” that doesn’t mean a platform bed. Maybe I was channeling my inner kid, but I think I could actually hear Mason’s voice whimpering, “Where’s my bunk bed?”
Kevin’s family room was doomed when he focused solely on the mantel and not on the entire space. In true Kevin fashion, the mantel and fireplace came out great because they got all of his attention, but everything else suffered. The rest of the space was missing the big Kevin “pop” that we’ve grown to love. That sad ottoman on top of what looked like a placemat was the nail in the coffin for me. With so much importance placed on the fireplace, this type of seating around it is simply bad design. I love Kevin; his basic planning skills, not so much.
Which brings me to Leslie. OMG. I know her room was for a 2-year-old, but it looked like it was designed by a 2-year-old! Things were going in too many different directions. The makeshift hula-hoop curtain rod was bad enough, but that awful curtain was even worse. The judging panel was right — this was not HGTV-quality. So Leslie my dear, while I will miss your adorable personality, I’m afraid it was your time to go.
Double eliminations are always hard to watch, especially this season with such good designers. Next week we get to spend time with the adorable Nate Berkus. Watch out, Mark: You’ve got some competition in the perfect hair department.
What did you think of episode 7? What questions do you have about the HGTV’d episode? Tell us in the comments below and the Design Star producer might just answer your questions on Wednesday.