Each week, I chat with HGTV Star producer Loren Ruch about the moments you didn’t see on the show. This week: How were the families chosen for the kitchen reno episode? And what are the judges looking for in the designers’ dreaded challenge, anyway? Loren has some answers for us.
How did you choose the two families featured on the show? Did the two homes have the exact same floor plan?
They looked extremely similar. I have been wanting to do this episode for years, but only thought it would be fair if we had virtually identical spaces, and this year our locations team found just that! These homes had the same floor plans, and literally shared a back fence. This kept the competition as fair as possible, and led to really amazing side-by-side transformations of comparable spaces.
The “dreaded” kitchen challenge is an HGTV Star staple. What are the judges really looking for during the kitchen challenge? Are there a different set of skills designers use during this type of challenge?
In many ways, the kitchen challenge is the most realistic for what an HGTV Star would need to face if he/she wins the show, because we tend to make over kitchens in many of our programs. Our panel was looking for great quality, beautiful design, and a cohesive look between the kitchen and dining room areas. Both homes were really good; however, I liked the dining room that Anne designed better in her house, but the kitchen (especially Jeribai’s backsplash) in the other house, so it was really a toss up!
What was the funniest or most surprising on-set moment from this episode of HGTV Star?
Honestly, the sheer fact that Jeribai finished that backsplash was the single most surprising moment of the episode. As we all know backsplashes have been the bane of many designers’ existences on HGTV Star!
Were there any elements that looked better on TV than in real life, or vice versa?
I don’t mean to be negative, but I really didn’t like Tiffany’s curtains – they completely clashed with the rest of the kitchen. And I also thought that Abby’s kitchen was beige on beige on beige, which didn’t look as vibrant as I would have wanted in my own kitchen!
Have a question for Loren? Ask him in the comments below!