Each week, I chat with HGTV Star producer Loren Ruch about your most-asked questions and the moments you didn’t see on TV. This week: Where did the designers live, anyway? Plus, behind-the-scenes in the way-too-green room.
Since we didn’t have the classic “make over your living space” episode with the designers this year, can you tell us a little bit about the designers’ apartment or house?
This year our designers lived in a Hollywood apartment just steps from the Chinese Theater and Walk of Fame. Since it wasn’t featured on the show, it wasn’t as sprawling or flashy as some of our previous years’ abodes, but it was quiet, peaceful and certainly comfortable for them to live in. The women shared two rooms, and the guys shared a room. Believe it or not, it was a surprisingly drama-free home life. All of the designers really seemed to like each other this year.
How did you choose the space for the loft challenge?
Our production team found this loft in downtown LA and we knew it was perfect! We wanted to find a place that was a blank slate that also happened to have some of the signature characteristics of a loft like exposed brick and a wide open floor plan. We also needed to make sure it was large enough for nine designers to work on.
How do you decide when to do a team challenge versus an individual challenge?
We like to mix and match our group and individual challenges throughout the season. It’s important that we find a Star who is creative and motivated on his/her own, but who can also work well with others. Additionally, sometimes real home environments are simply too small to break down into individual areas, so we need to create teams for purely logistical reasons.
Can you tell us about a funny moment from the set we didn’t see on TV?
Downstairs from the loft was an area for our panel to hang out, and for hair and makeup to set up. Basically it was our green room. Literally. The rooms was lime green, which made it almost impossible for the makeup artists to do work because Gen, Vern and Sabrina looked “motion sick” while they were getting their makeup applied! We joked that the designers were in the lap of luxury in the gorgeous loft, but the rest of us were in a sea of “sea sick green”!
Were there any of the spaces that looked better (or worse) in person than on TV?
In my opinion, Tylor’s Bug hood looked even worse in person (if that’s possible), but Cris’ camera light looked even cooler than it did on TV, so their team basically ended up right in the middle because their space featured both the best and worst elements in the whole loft.
Have a question for Loren? Ask away in the comments below — he may just answer you next week!