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It’s that time of year again: Design Star season! Tune in tonight at 9/8c as 12 designers compete for one dreamy job: a gig hosting their own HGTV show. But you can do more than just watch — here are four ways to get social with HGTV during the premiere.

Design Star Season 7 Cast

Design Star Season 7 Cast + Mentor and Host David Bromstad

1: Chat Live With Design Star’s Producer. What’s it like to be stuck on set for two months straight? Where do the designers go after they’re eliminated? Join a live chat with producer Loren Ruch during the premiere to ask your biggest Design Star questions.  To join, head to this link on the HGTV Facebook page.

2. Use the Hashtag #DesignStar on Twitter. Tweeting along with the show? Join the conversation by tagging tweets with #DesignStar.

3: Follow HGTV’s Design Star Pinterest Board. Get the best, most pinnable Design Star content delivered straight to your feed!

4: Head Over to the Design Star Blog. Immediately after the show, check out the Design Star blog for a blow-by-blow recap of the episode by yours truly. Then join the conversation: Did the right person go home? What was ____ thinking?  Let’s talk!

Happy viewing!

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In any elimination show, nothing’s more important than the first impression each contestant makes. Who will be the dark horse? The sweetheart? The villain? As the Design Star editor, I size up our contestants the same way, since I’ll be spending (at least virtually) lots of time with them.

Right off the bat, there was something appealing about Kellie’s warm, comfortable style and easy personality. Many of you fell for her too — she led all season in the Design Star fan vote and ended up winning the grand prize, her own show right here on HGTV.com (more on that later!).

Kellie Clements Designs

Kellie’s bright designs just scream fun, but they’re functional, too, like the built-in window seat and storage niche from the designers’ Brooklyn penthouse. (The view isn’t bad, either.)

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The Cohens finally had their dream apartment with big, beautiful windows and other architectural details that made the apartment distinctive. But the place was too neutral, just a big white box really, and the owners preferred to keep it that way.

So in order to make the apartment fun, interesting, chic, and really pop, we used bold blasts of color in the furniture and art to make the space really fantastic. The art also gave the apartment its character.

home by novogratz cohen apartment

To make your own environment look cool, invest your budget in bright throw pillows, a colorful carpet, unusual art (it doesn’t have to be expensive!), and lots of funky vintage furniture mixed with contemporary pieces. Don’t forget cool accessories that will help define the space in a more exciting way.

home by novogratz cohen before and after

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Dave and Kyra Barry—who we’ve gotten to work with before—had a boring, kind of dull beach condo in Long Branch, New Jersey. It’s a family getaway with great views of the beach in a nice little town. We knew that Dave and Kyra really wanted us to be bold, so we really went for it, and didn’t hold back.

Novogratzes with the Barry family

The rooms were painted bright colors. The bedroom that we did for their teenage daughter was bright pink. We created a lagoon of color. Pink floors and pink walls! There are color-saturated walls and floors, and lots of texture in the carpeting, crazy wallpaper, and very 1960s accessories, furniture and lighting. We really had fun with it and turned a boring place into a real showplace. The great thing is that it’s way comfortable and easy to take care of – super easy and chill. The condo sings with color and fun. We even went whimsical in the bathroom. It went from vanilla to having a lot of personality.

all pink girls bedroom

You don’t have to be serious when designing your home. Do something a little crazy, take a risk, try something that isn’t you, and never settle for the expected. Style is about being a little daring sometimes.

Barry's master bedroom by the novogratzes

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This week we worked on an apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey for two young guys in their first “real” apartment after college. We wanted to give them something both youthful and sophisticated.

novogratz in hoboken bachelor pad

The apartment was pretty much a blank slate before we got our hands on it. The first thing we did was go wild with paint. Paint offers so many amazing alternatives—let your imagination be your guide! For a playful twist, we decided to paint diagonal stripes in Casa Blue and Surfboard Yellow from our new paint line with Stark. Next, we decided to lacquer the piano in high gloss white to make it really pop against the stripes, hung colorful lights and vintage sign letters to spell out LUNCH on their kitchen wall. This seemed like an appropriate word for two boys!

hoboken living room

Michael DeFeo, a super-talented artist, created some really fun paintings of different animals. Overall, we really made a bold statement in this place by playing with paint in unexpected ways.

hoboken striped walls and piano

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babakul store light sign

Kym Gold, the owner of a great women’s clothing line, Babakul, contacted us to design her first shop located inside the iconic Fred Segal store in Santa Monica. We jumped at the opportunity to work in a city we love as much as Los Angeles.

clothing shelves babakul

Inspired by the beach and landscape in LA, we pulled natural elements into the design of the store. We accomplished this through the use of a lot of natural woods. We also looked at the design aesthetic of the clothing as a cue to what the store should look like, which was very girly but with an edge.

babakul interior

The space itself was very large, with an industrial feeling. We wanted to respect that but also cozy it up. The custom Debbie Harry piece by Ann Carrington really added some interest to the space, while the sweet antique chandeliers added some feminine charm. We think this store is a great showcase of how it’s ok to mix different elements in one room.

debbie harry art babakul

We made an intimate library area to warm up the space with a rug and some crazy vintage Philippe Stark chairs. It’s definitely a great shopping tactic to have a cool hangout for the husbands, boyfriends and kids to chill out while the women shop!

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One Model Management asked us to design an inspiring apartment that would be used temporarily by different models during their time in New York. The apartment was a white box to begin with, but once we got our hands on it, it wasn’t that way for long!

The kitchen was very open but lacked proper storage. To remedy that, we headed to the Bowery in Manhattan — a street known for its restaurant supply stores — and purchased an industrial kitchen cart. The cart acts as an island for cooking as well as storage for pots and pans.

novogratz model kitchen

Our main objective was to create an inviting environment for the models. Most of the girls staying in the apartment don’t know each other and have come to New York City from all over the world. To personalize the space, we created amazing custom wallpaper with Flavor Paper. The wallpaper is a collage of head-shots of all the models at the agency interspersed with blue flowers. You can do this with your own photos to make truly unique wallpaper. The design can be created from a mix of different photos or one over-sized photo. Try it!

novogratz model headshot wallpaper

We really went crazy with wallpaper and brought in different patterns, all in the same blue color family for the bedrooms to really tie the whole apartment together and make it cohesive.

novogratz flavor paper wallpaper

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Filming this episode was a blast, because let’s face it, who doesn’t love to throw a great party? We wanted to help out a friend by staging his townhouse that was on the market and bring in some potential buyers by throwing a real estate party.

minetta lane townhouse novogratz

The huge space had an incredibly bare feeling. We understood that it wasn’t selling because buyers just couldn’t picture how they would really live in the space. Our first order of business: to highlight the concrete floors and turn them into a great design element. With some black and white paint, we created an oversized checkerboard pattern that really added character and a sense of scale to the previously bland space. This was done by measuring out the checkered pattern, marking it with tape, and then painting away.

layering art novogratz

We took advantage of the very tall ceiling height, by hanging a cluster of chandeliers at different levels to create a focal point as you enter the space. The next part was a no-brainer: we brought in lots of great, colorful furniture and a rug to make it feel like a home. Finally, we layered the space, just like you would in your home, with great art, candles, and tons of flowers.

black and white checkered floor

Job done, we sent out the invites for the party, which was attended by brokers, press and potential buyers — a truly diverse group of fabulous New Yorkers.

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I’ve wanted to spruce up my backyard for a while and finally had the perfect reason to – throwing a little dinner party.

novogratz dinner party

I decided that since the backyard gets so sunny, adding an awning would be perfect. I went bold with a bright yellow and white striped fabric and even ordered extra fabric to make into matching pillows. Now we can grill in the shade. Heaven!

novogratz yellow awning
People often forget that you can use the exterior of your house as a canvas to hang a mirror or a piece of art. We hung a large mirror on the exterior wall, as well as a lucite longhorn.

Another thing that I love to do for outdoor parties is hang candelabra chandeliers from the trees. The effect of the burning candles seeming to float through space is really amazing, and very pretty.

novogratz tree chandeliers

When I’m up in the Berkshires I love to hit all the local tag sales. Luckily, I found just the table and benches that I needed at one right down the street. I wasn’t loving the dark wood, so we painted the whole set high gloss white. Luckily it dried just in time for the party!

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This project is definitely one of my favorites! Rob and I have two sets of twins, so we could totally relate to designing for triplets. One small Manhattan bedroom for three growing children forced us to get creative with how to lay out the space.

Home by Novogratz

Three kids means three beds. Space is going to be tight when you live in Manhattan, so we knew that we had to get one of the beds off the floor to maximize the room. We played around with different ways to do this, even toying with the idea of triple bunk beds. We ultimately ended up a custom design with one bed lofted and the two other beds sticking out perpendicular underneath.

Designing a room for both boys and girls is definitely tough, so it’s always good to mix it up with fun, bold colors that appeal to them both. The wall covered in decal dots, the comforters and the throw pillows make the room work for all three kids.

Home by Novogratz

You’ve probably seen some of our custom photography wallpaper in other episodes of Home by Novogratz. For this project we went big! We chose our favorite photograph of all three kids shot by fashion photographer Tim Geaney, blew it up to a huge scale and printed on canvas wallpaper. (The kids loved posing for Tim.) The result is bold and very cute. Because this is a rental apartment, we couldn’t do anything to the concrete ceiling. Since we really wanted to hang these amazing, colorful bungee cord lights, we came up with the idea of building out a soffit to house the electrical wires. Using shatter resistant light bulbs makes it extra safe.

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