Every year on HGTV Star, the designers take on one nontraditional space. Past seasons’ challenges have included yurts, tiny houses and shipping containers. This year’s task: The final four designers will each create an out-of-the-box space inside…a stripped down school bus. Whaaat? See for yourself in this video sneak peek.
The Final Four HGTV Star Contestants With David Bromstad
See a Sneak Peek of This Sunday’s HGTV Star
Each week, I chat with HGTV Star producer Loren Ruch about his favorite on-set moments and what you didn’t see on TV. This week: Why an on-campus challenge? And what happened to the infamous white linen couch?
HGTV Star Judges and Host With Producer Loren Ruch
This looked like such a fun episode! What made you decide to do an on-campus challenge?
I have been wanting to do a fraternity vs sorority College challenge for years, and this year we FINALLY found the perfect place to do it — Occidental College. The homes were very comparable in nature (which keeps the competition fair) and they were right down the street from each other. Best of all, there were fun and dynamic students in each house willing to participate in the camera challenges and reveal. It was an absolute blast to shoot this episode, and having a cheering squad and mascot were the icing on the cake!
The sorority house space was the clear winner with the judges. Was the difference that clear in person?
I think that it was extremely clear cut in person. Honestly, one space looked beautiful (the sorority house) and then other looked pieced together (the fraternity house). There were elements of the frat house that were great (Jeribai’s refinished table, the amazing pool table, etc.) but those dark curtains and linen sofa really did them in, especially compared to Tiffany’s fireplace and Anne’s silk screened artwork!
How long did the white linen couch stay clean? Did it end up staying in the space?
I haven’t checked back in with the guys recently, but I would be willing to guess that it didn’t stay clean through the night of the reveal! It was the absolute worst sofa choice I could have ever imagined for that space, so it would shock me to find out if there WASN’T already a slipcover on it by now!
What was the funniest or most surprising moment on the set of this episode?
By far, the most fun moment was shooting the challenge assignment with David Bromstad and the cheerleaders and mascot. We must have rehearsed that at least 10 times before the designers arrived, so the poor tiger literally did about 25 cartwheels, and David almost pulled out a hip from all of his cheering! Talk about a great workout, though.
Have a question for Loren? Ask in the comments below.
Oh, Boris. If you’re ever paired up with him, you’ll never wonder what he thinks about you. During Sunday’s sorority/fraternity throwdown, he was pretty vocal about his plans for the space … and his thoughts about working with Jeribai. And does anyone remember the time he took credit for choosing the bookcase in the apartment challenge (when Abby’s the one that really found and styled the piece)? Boris may not be the best team player, but that’s all part of the Star challenge.
Boris’ final words: “I think there’s much more to life than just working, but I’m lucky that my work is actually something that I enjoy.”
Hear what Boris has to say about being eliminated so close to the end, plus find out what the judges and David really thought about his final design decisions.
Watch Boris’ Exit Interview
It may be summertime, but the HGTV Star crew headed to Occidental College in Los Angeles for a seriously school-spirited design challenge. Two of the school’s Greek houses were in desperate need of TLC, and the designers were ready to replace those lawn chairs and beanbags with something slightly more — erm — aesthetically pleasing. The girls, Tiffany and Anne, made over a sorority living space, while the boys, Boris, Brooks and Jeribai, took on a fraternity community room. You would think having an extra designer would give the guys an advantage, but that just wasn’t the case. The girls reigned supreme this week with their use of red-orange accents mixed with cream and gray.
Hear the judges’ candid thoughts about each space (the words “funeral-like,” “black hole,” “depressing” and “tomato soup” were used). Plus, did the designers feel they truly executed their visions?
Go Behind the Scenes
Tonight, the final five went back to school — Occidental College, to be exact — to make over two rooms for the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and Alpha Lambda Phi Alpha sorority.
Like most college living spaces, these two rooms were in need of serious help. David split the final five into two teams — girls vs. boys — to work their design magic on the beanbag-clad Greek houses. Here’s what went down (and who went home.)
Read More + See Photos of the Designs
This week, our five remaining designers are heading back to school, not to study but to make over the Alpha Lambda Phi Alpha sorority house and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Their college clients know exactly what they want for their spaces and the designers are ready to deliver…if they can stop doing the can-can long enough to get to work. What do you think inspired this spontaneous dance session? I feel like this was totally Brooks’ idea. Write your best caption in the comments below.
This week, the final five go back to school. Well, Occidental College, to be exact. There, they’ll split into two teams and take on two common rooms in sorority and fraternity houses…after they get done hanging with the band and cheerleaders, that is.
David Bromstad and Designers With Occidental College Students
Which designers will flunk and which will get an A+ from the judges? Watch a preview after the jump.
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.
HGTV Star Producer Loren Ruch With David and the Judges
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!
For the first challenge, Abby knocked it out of the park. Then, we all remember the industrial loft dilemma. Jessie got the kitchen, Boris got the dining room and Abby got the foyer (and was stuck painting all three spaces, leaving her zero time to decorate the entry). Plus, there was the cabana-curtain-in-wet-paint situation. Let’s just say challenge two was a bit stressful for Abby. Desperate to step it up a notch in week three, Abby couldn’t afford to have creative differences with Boris in their clients’ apartment. Unfortunately, Boris’ faux crown molding will do that to a team. Abby’s Star rollercoaster came to an end this week after installing a bland countertop and backsplash that Vern described as a “flesh-fest.” Eeek!
Hear what David and the judges have to say about Abby’s designs, plus listen to her take on her Star journey.
Watch Abby’s Exit Interview
For the first time in Star history, kitchens were completed and the clients were satisfied. “I’ve been on all eight seasons of this show, and I’ve never seen kitchens that complete before,” Vern said. As finished, functional and beautiful as the kitchen and dining spaces may appear to us, the judges still need to pick apart every detail to determine who failed and who succeeded in the challenge. It’s a competition and that’s why we love it!
Both kitchens failed at one thing — find out what. Plus, hear David and the judges’ take on the team that really hit the mark.
Go Behind the Scenes