This is it: the final challenge of Design Star. This was one tough time to be on the panel because both finalists were just so incredibly good. Instead of focusing on only this particular episode, we really thought long and hard about the entire season and all of their designs as a whole.
Karl certainly had us at “hello.” I loved his bonus room mural in the very first challenge in the designer’s loft. His white box challenge end product was a tasteful and lovely space, and his mosaic backsplash in episode three was gorgeous. The table-turned-wall-mounted-consoles in the bed and breakfast challenge were genius, and the Dream Kitchen Challenge, well, let’s just give the boy kudos for working with a difficult partner. He kind of lost his footing in the Wedding Challenge, but he did do a good job with the canopy. And the master bedroom in the HGTV’d Challenge — hello, beautiful custom headboard! His vertical bookcase Camera Challenge on The Nate Berkus Show made me literally applaud my television, and his tiny home was BIG on functionality. Which brings us to the last challenge: a five-minute pilot presentation of their own TV show concept, and one room in a client’s home to redesign. And Karl was fabulous on camera tonight. His pilot, “Inspired Design,” really captured his spirit and his love of art and architecture.
The room turned out spectacular — his concept was abundantly clear (his clients loved it) and what I loved was that he was beaming ear-to-ear during the entire evaluation. All of the contestants really grew as designers from day one, but Karl came into his own, hit his stride early on and the camera (and the viewers) truly fell in love with him. This one has a bright future for sure.
Meg had her share of ups and downs. Her custom headboards in the first challenge were a good first impression but then she completely fell apart in the white box challenge with her oddly designed space (which was also a bit creepy, I must say). Her dining room in episode three was clean and smart, but it wasn’t until the Bed and Breakfast Challenge that she truly won me over. I love “beachy” Meg. Her pegboard pots and pans wall in the Dream Kitchen Challenge was inspirational, and who could forget her class-act move helping Cathy in the Wedding Challenge? She fell back a bit again with a few stumbles in the HGTV’d episode but hey, she did have the two toughest spaces in the house (and her wall lanterns were great). Her “Look for Less” apartment was stunning and toppled her competition, and her tiny home was spacious and delightful. Meg was consistent on camera with her amazing energy and contagious smile. Tonight she decided to solve “Design Crimes” and let me tell you, this little powerhouse popped out of my TV screen.
From her space planning to her comfort with her clients, she gave the final challenge everything she had. Her room makeover was simply beautiful, and so was she.
The decision was a toughie but yep, Meg is the new Design Star. I can’t wait to see her fighting design crimes in homes across the country.
And lastly, I have to give a shout out to David Bromstad for being such a wonderful mentor this season. You truly shined, and I don’t just mean your outfit in the finale!