Each week, I chat with Design Star producer Loren Ruch for being-the-scenes dish and set secrets from Design Star. This week: How the crew found the episode four homeowners and why Miera and Danielle’s carpenter didn’t stop them from doing the infamous built-in.
Did you scout the location and find homeowners for this challenge, or did they apply to be on the show? How does that process usually work?
That’s an interesting question because we find our homeowners in a variety of ways. In this particular challenge, we had our locations team (which is the same team that clears stores throughout LA for our designers to shop at) look into homes and homeowners that were within a ten mile radius of where the designers were living. They also needed to find people who happened to live across the street from each other! It was no easy task – they literally had to spend weeks trying to find the perfect families, because we wanted to make sure that the homes were of comparable size and layout and that they both had an indoor and outdoor area in need of a makeover. In the end the Nitzkins and the Masts turned out to be perfect!
It looked so fun to have Sabrina Soto on set! What was the best moment from this week’s challenge?
Anyone who has ever met Sabrina knows that she’s a good time girl! We were laughing from the minute we started working until long after the cameras went off. The most fun moment of the week happened after our evaluation was over, actually. Genevieve had friends visiting from out of town and decided to have a soiree with her friends plus Sabrina, David, and myself (Vern was babysitting that night or he would have been there too), and it was so nice to just hang out, have a drink and enjoy each other’s company. We had been working non-stop for about three straight weeks at this point without a day off, so it was a well-needed night out with a lot of laughs!
Were there any elements or spaces that looked better in person than on TV?
A few. Personally I thought that Stanley and Britany’s chevron fence was pretty darn cool in person. It looked good on TV, but it looked GREAT up close and personal. Also, Kris’s succulent planters were really, really cool in person. Sabrina literally wanted to steal one from set. Just kidding, but she did fall in love with them.
It seemed like Miera and Danielle’s carpenter almost knew it would be difficult to finish the built-in. Do the carpenters ever have the chance to say “no, this can’t be done” or do they just do the best they can with the time they have?
Fantastic question. We make it very clear to our designers that the carpenters are there to “assist” them but they cannot have “creative” input into the design itself. Cija, the carpenter, was in the right to say “I don’t think we’ll have enough time to do what you’re asking,” because that’s just an honest response, but she couldn’t tell them what she wanted them to look like or how to make them prettier. Those sorts of details needed to come directly from Miera or Danielle.
Have a question for Loren? Ask away in the comments below.