Liz Gray

Contributor to HGTVersus

Jun 23

Episode 3 Recap: Who Cramped Their Apartment’s Style?

This week’s challenge gave the remaining eight designers the chance to work with their first real clients. The catch?  Each randomly-paired duo was asked to create a space designed around the same couple.

HGTV Star Designers With David Bromstad

Each group of designers was given a nearly-identical, newly-built apartment. But that clean slate turned into four very different results. Some of the designers killed it and others…well, didn’t. A double-elimination made the stakes even higher. Here’s what happened, and the best and worst of each space.


Each group started by asking the clients, Kacey and Rossi, a series of questions. Through their pre-design interview, Brooks and Tiffany found out that the husband rides a motorcycle and likes vintage style, while the wife loves to entertain and gravitates towards Tuscan style. The team decided not take either of those facts too literally (a wise choice).

HGTV Star Contestants Tiffany and Brooks' Living Room
Brooks and Tiffany made a good team: He brought the edgy, vintage style and she brought the warm, homey touches. He dreamed up this minimalist wall graphic and chose this amazing leather chesterfield sofa, while she created the room’s gallery wall. “I’ve seen stripes, but this is a new, kinda retro version,” Vern said.

Living Room Gallery Wall and Sofa
If the living room slanted more towards vintage, the dining room embraced Kacey’s request for Tuscan style, featuring a long, rough-hewn farm table. Both Vern and Sabrina thought the dining room had too many accessories. “It’s better to have one great item than a bunch of items that are fighting with each other,” Vern said.

Dining Room Table
I also loved the room’s hand-carved media console:

Carved Wood Cabinet on HGTV Star

Overall, the judges agreed that Brooks and Tiffany created the best apartment of the night.

This pair was together again, but it wasn’t exactly a happy union. After the last challenge, Abby was all nerves this week. She even had a mini-breakdown on day two.

Abby and Boris' HGTV Star Living Room

Boris may have comforted her at the apartment, but he was anything but comforting in the elimination studio when he tried to take credit for the judges’ favorite part of this space: the bookcase. Abby, of course, bought the bookcase and styled it. C’mon, man.

HGTV Star Succulents

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Here is Boris and Abby’s finished living room:

Traditional HGTV Star Living Room
When the clients said they liked Tuscan style, boy, did they go Tuscan. TUSCAN. “Definitely a global feel coming from the accessorizing, but the room as a whole feels overly traditional,” Genevieve said. In this contemporary apartment, the super-traditional drapes, table and accessories looked overly fussy.

The judges also weren’t fans of Boris’ design tip to create faux-molding with paint, and I have to agree. “That tip is from about 10 years ago if you’re working with a tiny budget…and it only works when the walls don’t have texture,” Genevieve said. Ouch! There were some good moments, though, like this vignette atop the distressed media console:

Media Console With Books

Boris may have throw Abby under the bus, but the bus carried them both to the next episode anyway. They were both safe this week.


Anne and Jeribai’s questions for the clients included: If your life could be like a vacation, where would it be? The couple revealed that they’re both Italian, love wine, and would love to live on a vineyard. Kacey also talked about her love of country music. That’s all Anne needed to hear to develop a plan. “They’re looking for something to bridge the gap between rustic and modern,” she said.

HGTV Star Contestants Anne Rue and Jeribai Tascoe
What is it with Anne and textiles? After episode one’s bedding-gate, the drapes for the living room mysteriously disappeared this time around. When it comes to linens, Anne, you apparently need to keep one eye open at all times. Here is Anne and Jeribai’s room sans drapes:

HGTV Star Episode 803 Living Room
Here are Jeribai’s stripes. He spent almost the entire challenge getting them just-so.  Anne wasn’t any too happy, but Vern called them the “best he’d ever seen.” Worth it? You be the judge:

Jeribai's Wall Stripes
Vern also loved Anne’s table styling, and I’m loving this reclaimed wood table bench:

HGTV Star Bench
Even without the pilfered drapes, the judges thought Anne and Jeribai created an inviting, well-styled space. They’re both safe this week.


Now it’s down to Tylor and Cris, the not-so-dynamic duo. Apart, they’re great: Tylor designs beautiful, high-end lofts. Cris designs bold-yet-contemporary spaces. Together, they end up creating things like Tylor’s badly-graffited VW hood from last week…

HGTV Star Contestants Cris and Tylor
…and Cris’ unfortunate art piece from this week’s challenge. Note to future HGTV Star competitors: If you’re thinking about doing your own art piece…don’t. The end. I mean, the sentiment here is lovely, but the execution…not so much. Tylor considered this the worst part of the room, a fact he chose not to tell Cris.

Cris Mercado Painting

Here is Cris and Tylor’s finished living room space:

Living Room Design
Oh, that color choice. Tylor thought it looked organic and natural. Cris thought it looked horrific…a fact she didn’t relay to Tylor. Vern thought it looked a stomachache. “People look sick in a hospital for a reason. It’s not just the sickness, it’s because they’re surrounded by this awful, awful color palette that you have in this room,” Vern said.

Coffee Table Arrangement
In the end, this duo’s quest to be agreeable led the judges to agree to send both Cris and Tylor home. Goodbye, Cris and Tylor! Only six left now.

Like the products featured on episode three? Buy them today on

What do you think? What was your favorite and least favorite moment? Who should have gone home? Shout out your opinion below.

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