Liz Gray

Contributor to HGTVersus

Jun 26

Episode 5 Recap: Party Time, Excellent

Season 7 Finalists With Design Star Host David Bromstad

This week, the designers helped Hollywood celebrate its 125th birthday by creating lounges that evoked different periods from the city’s history…in 24 hours!  (BTW, Hollywood is looking young for its age. Of course.) But all of the designers weren’t in the party mood — here’s the best and worst of this week’s challenge, including who went home.

Britany in Finished Space

Britany drew “Hollywood regency” style — her own style — but the pressure of designing Hollywood for Hollywood got to her a bit.  Still, she pulled together a beautiful space, one she called “the best space she’s ever designed.” The highlights: Her geometric bookcases and black-and-white wall panels. Her camera challenge was scattered (a live presentation for the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce event), but she still threw Danielle a few eye daggers when the panel announced the winner. Do I sense the start of a rift there?

Danielle in Finished Space

Danielle drew art deco style, which fits her aesthetic, too: Remember her White Box Challenge? David did, and he challenged her to do something other than the same old black-and-gold color scheme. She brought in peach accents and accessories, which Genevieve loved. Everyone seemed to paint the floor this week, but I liked Danielle’s geometric design best.


Vern was in love with the lamps in the back, but I thought the panther in the front of the room was, ahem, quite fierce. After a couple of bad weeks, this was her comeback! She’s this week’s winner.

Hilari in Finished Space

Hilari had the era of spandex and neon: the ’80s! (P.S., Your DeLorean joke may have fell flat with the crowd, but it made me chuckle.)  She planned to do a rug out of spandex, but let’s just say, there’s a reason no one’s gone there. Luckily she trashed it  in time to do a very cool Mondrian-inspired painted floor. The room’s small touches — like the punk rock studded leather details on the PVC pipe-walls — really made her room stand out.

Kris Swift in Finished Space

Kris, your used car salesman schtick wore out your welcome with the judges (as did his ill-advised paneling). Kris said it best when he started this challenge: “A literal interpretation of the ‘70s would probably give you a room you’d want to remodel.” Yep, that’s exactly what we ended up with: too much furniture and a strange wall and floor hue really gave it that “time capsule basement” vibe.  He also skipped the personality portion of the camera challenge again this week, leading the judges to say “We will not be producing your show.”

Mikel Welch in Finished Space

I was excited to see what Mikel would do with his midcentury modern card, since I’m in love with the low-slung furniture and warm, natural elements of the style. Unfortunately, Mikel didn’t exactly hit it out of the park. His set designer skills should have helped him complete the space on a tight time crunch, but it just looked like showtime came too soon.  The painting was fine. The furniture was fine. It was all fine…but it could have been special.

Rachel Kate in Finished Space

When Rachel drew the Victorian card, she acted like a kid taking a stand against broccoli at the dinner table.  After several “ew gross” moments and gagging sound effects at the thought of Victorian style, she pulled it together and finished a space. The judges liked her “window” into the display…

…but they didn’t like her depressing camera challenge (“I’m so happy this day is over” = not cute) and color palette, which Vern said must have been Smurf-inspired. She’s on thin ice with the panel.

Stanley Palmieri in Finished Space

Stanley, or should I say “Sci-Fi Stanley,” looked right at home designing a futuristic lounge. Unfortunately, the design panel in the present wasn’t too keen on the space’s centerpiece, a custom table with a giant, red vase on top.

Genevieve just got right out there and said it: it looked “so incredibly phallic and so vertical.” He said he loved Star Wars, and the coffee table looked like the newest torture device in the Death Star. (Darth Vader: “Stanley…you are my designer.”) In Stanley’s defense, most futuristic movies assume that along with regular cars and computers, all comfort has gone out the window…so in that sense, it was totally accurate.

Check back tomorrow for Meg and David’s reaction to the episode.

Now, it’s your turn: What did you think of tonight’s episode? Did the right person win? Did the judges send the right designer packing? Tell me your take in the comments below.

Posted at 10:05 pm

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  • 196 Comments

196 Comments

  1. Danielle deserved to win. She is amazing. Her details are subtle and right on! She has a wonderful personality, incredible ways of putting colors together, and wonderful design sense. I can't wait for her to have her own design show that I can watch on HGTV.

    Karen on June 26, 2012 at 6:11 pm
  2. Brittany, I really loved your room. Dannelle you room is really elegant, a place in which I would like to lounge. Hilari, a vibrant room, upbeat and bright. Stanley, I love the chairs, very futuristic, good job man. Mikel, I like the color that pops past the white. Brings back memories of my uncle's bachelor pad. Rachel, looks like Alice in Wonderland, it is Victorian. Kris, what can I say. Good luck to you.

    PatN on June 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm
    • Well said!

      Libby on June 26, 2012 at 6:22 pm
  3. Agree. Danielle rocked it with her beautiful art deco design! Britany was a close second! Her design was also very beautiful! It must have been a difficult decision. I like her a lot, but Rachel's design and public speaking turn were the worst. She is lucky she did not go home.

    KC Critic on June 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm
  4. Brittany and Hilary did designs every bit as winning as Danielleʻs. I was surprised that Rachel was so standoffish toward Victorian.

    Amy on June 26, 2012 at 6:20 pm
    • A real designer doesn't copy an era or style. A real designer produces original designs. Being original shows real talent, when someone is truly creative.

      DS is a joke.

      erikcreature on June 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm
      • So if you don't like it, quit watching, lolz.
        Any great artist is influenced by the creations of artists that came before him or her. It's the same with design.

        Chelsea H. on June 26, 2012 at 8:19 pm
        • Designing is a science, not an art, or at least it should be.

          When they stop calling "Inferior Decorating Star," "Design Star," then I'll stop complaining about the show. Until then, the false labeling of the show deserves my criticism, and it shall get it.

          erikcreature on June 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm
  5. I was so sure that Rachel would be gone. She was being quite childish about not drawing a theme she really liked. To host your own show, or be a designer at all, you sometimes have to work with people and with aesthetics you may not care for. I think she fell apart after last week, and it was very disappointing to see.

    On the other hand, I'm definitely glad that Kris went home. He's talented but comes across as cocky and plastic. Sayonara!

    Chelsea H. on June 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm
    • Rachel deserved to go home. This is her second week in a row at the bottom. Chis' only mistake was where he placed his couch. Rachel is AWFUL. Her room was a TOTAL disaster.

      Dr. K on June 26, 2012 at 8:09 pm
  6. I agree, Danielle's room was awesome and everything was pulled together so well. I also thought Hilari's room was great. She has some interesting ideas in her room designs. I think both Danielle and Hilari are good on camera. Britany has good designs but needs practice presenting her ideas on camera.

    Angie on June 26, 2012 at 6:25 pm
  7. Britany was robbed!!! Her room was clearly the best. Her attention to detail is always right on. Neither Britany nor Danielle had a strong camera challenge this week. Britany clearly deserved to win this week!!!

    Lisa on June 26, 2012 at 6:28 pm
    • Danielle's camera was way better than Britany's.. Britany stuttered the entire time. I thought Britany's room was better though!!!

      Dr. K on June 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm
  8. Loved, loved, loved Hillary's room. I think it was by far the best. Way to go!

    Lisa W. on June 26, 2012 at 6:41 pm
  9. I'm sad to see Kris go. I felt like we missed out on seeing his personality and he was clearly talented- I hope to see more of him soon.

    Camelia Tow on June 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm
  10. Sad night. Kris Swift is a fierce and fearless talent that Austin is so proud of.

    Emma on June 26, 2012 at 6:51 pm

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