Kayla Kitts

Contributor to HGTVersus

Jul 27

Ask the Producer: Your Episode 3 Questions, Answered

Loren Ruch

Loren (far right) pictured with the Design Star host, judging panel and guest judges Cortney and Robert Novogratz.

We caught up with Loren Ruch, the show’s producer, to get answers to your most-asked questions from Design Star episode three. Get his behind-the-scenes take after the jump.

Do the designers have advance notice as to what the camera challenge will be, or do they have to come up with a concept on the fly?

The designers have absolutely no idea what the camera challenges are (or the design challenges for that matter) until Tanika shows up and tells them — it’s exactly as it appears on the show! Sometimes she’ll alert them about what David Bromstad may be looking for in the camera-challenge, but other times it’s a complete surprise to them until David shows up!

How different do the finished rooms look in person than they do on camera?

What a great question! Most of the time a room looks bigger on TV than in person, and color definitely “pops” more on television than when you are in the space! And, I can say with confidence that a bright room always looks better on camera than a muted one. From this episode, I thought that Kellie, Kevin and Leslie’s room turned out so fabulous because it had all of those components that look great in-person (smart space plans, good quality materials, etc.), and also on-camera (Leslie’s bright artwork, Kevin’s clever office, Kellie’s fun use of color, etc.).

Q. Karl’s backsplash looked so professional on the show; was it as great in-person?

You bet it was! It was the first time in Design Star history that one of our designers not only made his own mosaic tiles, but also finished the entire process including grouting! It was quite the feat, and the panel members were super-impressed!

What behind-the-scenes questions do you have for Loren? Ask in the comments below and he may just answer you next week.

Posted at 11:55 am

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  1. Cathy Hobbs is acting more arrogant than Antonio was acting arrogant, when the fix was in for him to "win" DS4. So, are the rumors true that people associated with Cathy's television production company, were discussing a Cathy Hobbs Design Show project, with senior management at HGTV, well before Design Star 6 was open for casting?

    erikcreature on July 27, 2011 at 9:22 am
    • NO, No, No,,,,, I couldn't stand the double-eye-blink. Isn't that a thyroid condition?

      liatris39 on July 27, 2011 at 12:31 pm
    • And, while you are ignoring my first question, perhaps you can ignore this one too. Why the group challenges? The idea of designers actually working together in the real world is unlikely. Even if the do, only one is in charge and the others are assigned/ contracted for little pieces of the over all design. The group challenges are lame.

      If you are really looking for a Design Star, then give them individual challenges only. Let's see what they can do on their own. Let them be seen and judged on their own individual work. Using their own talent and abilities, as the only criterion for judging, should be the only standard that makes real sense, if this were a real design contest. Let them sink or swim, based on their individual performance only.

      erikcreature on July 28, 2011 at 7:02 am
      • You must not do much interior design in your world. Designers are constantly required to work with other designers. Additionally they have to work with contractors, architects, landscape designers and vendors who all may have different visions for a space, a home or a commercial project.

        The team projects also force the designers to look at their work with a critical eye and learn to accept constructive criticism. This weeks episode is proof positive that if a designer were to look at things through another designer's eyes he may have not been booted.

        @CMLaw on July 30, 2011 at 6:42 pm
        • Well, I guess that I am in a special situation, but when I make a plan, then that is the plan, and everyone does it my way or they don't work for me any more.

          erikcreature on August 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm
          • What about the clients? Do you take their opinions/desires into consideration? It's fine to have a plan and want to stick to it, but I believe a design plan is much more successful when the designer has a good attitude and is able to work well with others. Some of the best-laid plans have to be altered once in a while, and it's important that designers be willing to be flexible.

            tvarner on August 1, 2011 at 6:58 pm
      • I AGREE Erik!!! Let them design by themselves. I feel some have to sink due to a poor performance by a partner. I sure hope they are not thinking of giving Cathy anymore time on the show. I would stop watching this show and never watch hers if I thought this was a set up from the start. I was wondering how to compete and what qualifications one needs to compete? Please keep us posted if they finally answer your question….honestly.

        Stephanie on August 4, 2011 at 11:55 am
    • Ok Cathy is over the top, but why are we fooling ourselves into thinking the the room that Kellie, Kevin and Leslie’s did was great.This was terrible. Space planning? What? That tiny rug on a angle in the middle of the floor, paper just stack on the table, those big apothocary jars what if the kids knock the jars on the floor or worse on someones foot! ouch!.. not safe for children!

      lov4design on July 28, 2011 at 7:50 pm
    • I hope not, I do not wish to see her again after this Design Star series is over. Not a pleasant person.

      Tracy on July 31, 2011 at 1:04 pm
    • Cathy only knows how to complain and say how great she is. She is bossy and should not be on the show at all, because she thinks she has her own show already. If it were not for her fellow workers, which by-the-way she is NOT a worker, nothing would get done. Granted she does know how to walk out the door and shop, but other than that, she is lazy and not good at listening to not only the clients, but also to her fellow designers.

      Sharon Lange on August 1, 2011 at 7:44 pm
    • Antonio was confident, not arrogant. Cathy is ARROGANT and not very good ( chair rail). I think Karl is VERY talanted, best I have ever seen on Design Star. One question does anyone know if Genivievei is married to a big wig at HGTV? She seems to have moved up the ranks very quickly and her work NEVER seems finished.

      Kat on August 5, 2011 at 9:43 am
  2. Please pick someone this time who can speak correctly. I am turning off my TV right now because I can't stand the ignorant use of the english languare by Antonio. What would make you think that is something worth watching.

    reeducator on July 27, 2011 at 9:51 am
  3. I agree with erikcreature. If Cathy says "Global Perspective" one more time I will throw something at my TV. she is not going to resonate with anyone with that hoity toity attitude. Well traveled does not have to equal "bougie". She is unwatchable – if people reject stuffy, high brow design, they certainly will reject stuffy, high-brow delivery on a design show. COME DOWN TO EARTH HONEY.

    Jpierreantoine on July 27, 2011 at 10:44 am
    • Well said…UGH !!!! Paleeeeeeeeeaaazzzzzzze!!!!!

      onesam on July 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm
  4. Why do you put evening time constraints on challenges? I would work all night to finish a project.

    Ann on July 27, 2011 at 11:42 am
    • Hi Ann,__That's a great question! In the real-world, many of our designers do work all night, but since it's a television show, it wouldn't be safe to have our camera operators and crews working around the clock, too, since they are carrying such heavy equipment. We need to make sure that cameras are always up and running so that we don't miss any of the action — so for that reason we give them an out-time for the night. That said, many of the days are still very, very long! :)

      @LorenRuch on July 27, 2011 at 11:48 am
      • Also there are union rules I'm guessing (regarding the crew)

        Creole Nicole on July 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm
  5. Do the rooms ever have to be fixed or finished for the homeowners because the designers just didn't do that great of a job?

    Jan on July 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm
  6. I think the judges were unfair to Mark. Doug was determined to choose that paint color and Mark told him how he felt but Doug just "plowed ahead." If Mark had said much more, he would have been accused of "not getting along." Kathy rolls her eyes and acts "quite aloof." She has the skills but not the personality to get her own show.

    Judie in Indy on July 27, 2011 at 12:30 pm
    • I agree, Judie in Indy. If they had sent Mark home, I would not have watched another episode! And Kathy thinks she is above everyone else. I hope she gets sent home next. I couldn't stand watching her on her own show, seeing how she reacts to everyone on Design Star.

      guest on July 27, 2011 at 12:43 pm
    • Well said…Nothing warm, friendly, funny or interesting…Really enjoy Kellie and Karl :')

      onesam on July 27, 2011 at 9:26 pm
    • I agree regarding Mark. I think he tried to work with Doug but there was no compromise on the Color or the furniture placement.

      Margaret on August 2, 2011 at 5:00 pm
  7. Tanika Ray is doing a nice job as the DS host. She is energetic and friendly. One thing that bugs me, though, which is probably scripted for her, is when she leads the judges through the rooms. She will say something like, "This is Susie's chair" or "This is Bob's artwork". It just seems like it would be better if the judges went into each space without necessarily knowing which DS contestant bought, painted or built a certain item. Just wondering about that aspect of the host's duties. Thanks for making DS so much better this season overall.

    cherjohn on July 27, 2011 at 12:57 pm
    • I agree, Tanika Ray is doing a good job hosting but I really miss Clive. He appears so relaxed and genuine, and I love how he interjects a bit of humor into his hosting duties. Clive is definitely my favorite host.

      Freddie on July 31, 2011 at 10:26 pm
  8. Loren: I have 3 questions. Please answer…

    1. Why is this website so difficult to navigate around in…and why are you guys keeping former DS episodes on this website…it just clutters things up…and we know how HGTV hates clutter!

    2. Are homeowners receiving these makeovers for free or do they have a pay something…how does that work?

    3. Since certain stores such as Sears,HomeGoods,etc.,. get free advertising, are they giving the contestants the items on a discount…seems contestants sometimes show cash at the register. How does that work?

    Sagebrush on July 27, 2011 at 9:02 pm
    • How can I be a recipient of a room/space makeover, I truly am in need for a space makeover for my 26 y/o handicap daughter.
      Thanking you,

      Mimi on July 30, 2011 at 7:30 am
  9. One more question Loren

    …was Clive booted or did he leave of his own accord?

    Oh…and…any chance that he'll return or that you guys will try to get him back…even as a judge or host for next season…? Ok…thats 2 questions.. Thanks!

    Sagebrush on July 27, 2011 at 9:12 pm
    • Agree – please bring back Clive. That would really up the great factor on this show.

      Connie on July 28, 2011 at 9:10 am
  10. On this website, for each episode, can you post the amount of time and the budget the designers
    had for their projects? Thanks!

    DStarB on July 27, 2011 at 9:37 pm

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