Liz Gray

Contributor to HGTVersus

Jul 10

Episode 7 Recap

Design Star Contestants on The Talk
This is it, folks: We’re down the final four. This week, the remaining designers struck out on their own with an individual challenge: design a living space in a newly-built condo using a bright color as inspiration. They also had to test their performance chops on live TV with a design demo on CBS’s The Talk.  So, let’s have our own little roundtable about what went down.

Danielle Colding in Finished Apartment
Danielle’s color inspiration: blue. “I’m not happy with all blues, but I can do teal,” she said, and so she set out to use it as an accent color.  That didn’t exactly pan out…the finished space looked like she’d drawn beige as her inspiration hue. Yes, I know it’s easy to overdo blue, and she had trouble finding accessories. In the end, time management was her downfall this challenge, and she ended up with a blandly “nice” space.

Danielle Colding's Dining ROom
And then, there was the dining table saga. Danielle wanted a glass-and-chrome model, and found the perfect one…right after Hilari put dibs on it.  Would a glass dining table would have looked better here? Yes. Was that the only thing she could have done to make this area more exciting? No. A rug, some more wall art or more colorful accents would have gone a long way here.

Danielle Colding Painting
I was  a fan of these painted wooden pendant lights, but alas, Danielle didn’t manage to get them up before the end of the challenge. She left a lot of unfinished moments — and the judges definitely noticed. By the end of the design challenge, she looked pretty defeated.

She did manage to pull it together, though, for her camera challenge. She showed viewers (along with The Talk hosts Aisha Tyler and Julie Chen) how to paint photo mats for an unexpected pop of color, all while having a good time, too.

Hilari After With Living Room Design
Hilari wasn’t too happy about her color choice — red — after last week’s mixed reviews on her red kitchen countertops.  But she said she hoped she could choose the right hue of “redemption red” and Hilari, I think you did it.  She (wisely) used red as an accent color, creating a layered room that finally evoked those “Versace moments” she always talks about.

Moments like this glam dining table. (Sorry, Danielle!)

Daybed With Tribal Blanket Print
I was also in love with this element — she mounted an Indian blanket on a wooden frame and used it as wall art. It adds so much warmth here, and helped fill what she called “the Great Wall of Marina del Ray.”

Wooden Sculpture
She went a little twig-happy, though…the design panel liked this vine sculpture, but wished she’d, er, branched out and skipped the manzanita branches in the rest of the room.

Hilari Younger on The Talk

Genevieve praised her demo on The Talk, saying, she “knew when to chat and when to give information,” but she seemed a little all over the place to me. Still, there’s no denying that this girl has a fun personality.  How could your room be dull with Hilari calling the shots?

Britany Simon in Designed Living Room
Britany got lucky with a color she already loves: yellow! (Britany, I’m with you. Obsessed.)  She pulled together a polished space with cool blue-green walls and lots of bright yellow accents.

After Built-In Cabinets
She painted vases bright citron….

Dining Table
…and brought in brass lamps and yellow florals to represent a range of yellow hues.  She did another wall overlay to represent her “bold and graphic” style, and while it looked great, Genevieve was all like “We’ve seen her do this five times now.” Britany, time to switch it up a bit!

Later, on The Talk, she showed how to paint colored stripes on a lampshade. Vern still dinged her a little for “not smiling enough,” but overall it was a solid challenge, and the panel declared Britany this week’s winner.  She definitely smiled then!

Mikel Welch in Finished Space
And then there was middle Mikel, who drew green as his color inspiration. In the first five minutes, he made the decision that would be his downfall: the mint green paint. Genevieve called it “institutional” and Vern said he was “baffled” by Mikel’s choice.  It’s not the worst color imaginable, but it’s on every. single. wall.

Mikel's Living Room
Mikel said he “loved to do space planning,” but, unfortunately, his enthusiasm didn’t translate into any kind of flow.  Why didn’t either one of the two (amazing) sofas face the TV, Vern wondered?

Dining Table and Chairs
If there’s one thing Mikel can do, it’s pick jaw-dropping midcentury furniture pieces. As a fellow low-slung, atomic-age furniture junkie, I was drooling over his credenza pick and dining chairs. I also preferred his wall treatment to the graphic element in Britany’s space.

Mikel Welch on the Talk
After (wisely) scrapping his plan to talk about buying pillow covers, he painted a table and showed us how to antique it. Great tip…but not for a color challenge. The design + camera mistakes meant the judges decided to send Mikel home this week.

Check back tomorrow for Meg and David’s reactions to this week’s episode.

So what did you think? Did the right person go home? Did the right designer win? What was your favorite design element? Tell me in the comments below.

Posted at 10:00 pm

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  1. I was terribly sad to see Mikel go, but SO very excited to see Britany win this challenge – her room was beautiful! I watched all of the full segments on The Talk today and the camera challenges were so much better than what they edited them to be on the episode. Regardless, very excited to see Britany in the final three and can't wait for her to shine again next week!

    Mollie on July 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm
  2. Yessss so excited to see Britany win. I think she deserves to win it all! She is so inspiring. She makes me wan to go home and design my house using all the inspiration she has given me since day 1. Keep it up Britany we are rooting for you to go all the way.

    team britany on July 10, 2012 at 6:10 pm
  3. Yellow is a tough color, but Britany pulled it off for sure. She is a tough competitor and I really hope she wins it all.

    TK on July 10, 2012 at 6:11 pm
  4. I can't say I'm surprised. Mikel needed a big hit and didn't get it. Danielle had a good camera challenge and credit from last week. The best three designers are left, IMHO. Very talented, all of them.

    Rickapolis on July 10, 2012 at 6:11 pm
  5. By the way, Mikel was very classy going out. I hope he does well, wherever he goes.

    Rickapolis on July 10, 2012 at 6:12 pm
    • I agree with you. I'm looking forward to his "Goodbye," interview as those always show new things about the designers (except perhaps Luca's case – we already knew that he was bitter and obnoxious).

      Mad on July 10, 2012 at 6:41 pm
  6. If Britany doesn't get her own show I will be shocked. Her design skills are ridiculous, she's fun to watch, she makes funny voices, and she has true talent. britany all the way.

    Peter C. on July 10, 2012 at 6:13 pm
  7. Go team Britany! Again she wins. I loved her room but wish we would have seen more of her this episode. At this point I just can't help but wonder why she is being downplayed so much. Not once has she been in the bottom. I really hope it's because she is so amazing HGTV wants there to be some surprise when she wins, But I worry that its just so hgtv can justify someone else's win. There's no denying that Hilary and Danielle are talented, but I think I see some sympathy cards being thrown Danielle's way, we see more and more of her, especially tonight with her looking so sad and wounded. I think if we saw britany this much this whole season it would be hard to explain if she DOESN'T win!!!

    Juliana on July 10, 2012 at 6:18 pm
  8. Britany has been my favorite the whole time. From her amazing 3d mirror wall to rocking the outdoors. She made a lounge space fit for any celebrity and a kitchen worthy of hgtv magazine. She has been the best designer from the beginning and never waivered from the TOP which is my opinion makes her the most deserving of all. If she doesn't win this season of Design Star something is surely wrong here.

    Matteo on July 10, 2012 at 6:22 pm
  9. Britany has been consistent during this entire show. Not once has she been at the bottom of the pack. I love watching HGTV and would be thrilled if I could watch her on her own show.

    Kelly on July 10, 2012 at 6:23 pm
  10. Go Britany!

    Julia on July 10, 2012 at 6:24 pm

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