You can get to know a designers’ style from their portfolio, but it’s not until you see them under pressure (read: the first challenge in a potentially life-changing competition) that you really see what they can do (and what makes them tick.) Here’s what went down on tonight’s premiere. (Spoiler alert!)
Bex and Kris
Bex and Kris worked together (or should I say…near each other) on an oddly-shaped master bedroom with a massive black marble fireplace. Kris came off a bit bossy, but I loved his playful, modern inspiration piece — a glass table striped with neon tape — and the way he paired it with the oversized matchstick. I wasn’t as passionate about the passionate plum wall color, and the judges weren’t too keen on the reddish-purple hue either.
As a fellow pun-lover, I have to give Bex props for creating not one but two pun-inspired art pieces — a constellation-bedazzled daybed (Since all the contestants are stars…get it?) and a gear-shifting art piece she came up with while “spinning her gears” for ideas. Tee-hee-hee.
Unfortunately, too-large holes made the constellation a bit too blinding to be effective, and the judges agreed that overall the daybed was too clunky. “Whoever gets to sleep on that bed is the one who chooses last,” quipped Genevieve. The neon gear piece added a fun touch to the room and did a nice job tying together the two designers’ styles. (Side note: Did anyone notice Bex’s hat in the elimination room? It looked remarkably like the plum paint swatch!)
Miera and Jordan
This odd couple (Ms. Coastal Casual and Mr. Clean and Modern) seemed like they were headed for conflict at first, but in the end their bedroom space came together pretty well. After a small hiccup with their upholstery fabric, they managed to create a polished, cohesive space.
Danielle and Luca
After being assigned to work together on the biggest room ever, Danielle took the design lead while Luca took more of a project management role. Vern dinged him for that at evaluation, saying “It’s Design Star, not ‘logistical manager star.’” The judges loved the color and artwork Danielle chose for the warm, gray great room. I’m curious to see more of Luca’s style on the next episode.
Britany and Mikel
Britany came into the bedroom space with a vision — geometric walls, bright colors and lots of contrast — that left Mikel’s “vintage glam” aesthetic playing second fiddle. But he did eventually find and reupholster an ottoman that spoke to his style well enough that he gets to live another week. Britany’s geometric feature wall was a highlight for me, and the judges agreed.
Rachel and Hilari
Rachel and Hilari worked together on the lounge area, and the judges loved its glam-and-natural vibe overall.
Hilari was determined to have a TV in the space (“We can’t talk all the time. Plus, I’m addicted to reality TV,” she said.) but the budget only allowed for pint-sized one that looked even more puny when surrounded by layer upon layer of black molding. Not a good look.
The judges loved Rachel’s custom cocktail table and moose head vignette, and they named her this week’s winner. Her easygoing, girl-next-door personality doesn’t hurt, either. Let’s hear a couple of moose…er, grunts?…to celebrate!
Yuki and Stanley
Is it just me, or do about half of eliminated Design Star contestants go down either A) choosing off-color hues they “stand behind” or B) throwing together last-minute artwork? Unfortunately, Yuki made both fatal mistakes tonight and was the first to go home. Yuki, we’ll miss you!
Vern was full of quips when he saw this space — he said he hope the green and purple walls would “go away when he closed his eyes,” and he wished the “wind-swept collage” would just “blow right out the door.” Stanley may have been saved by his handmade metal sculpture, but his contribution to the collage (empty frames and what looked like trash) wasn’t much better.
Now it’s your turn! Who is your favorite designer so far? What room did you love? Hate? Be heard in the comments below.