Contributor to HGTVersus

Sep 12

Candice’s Recap: Design Star Finale

Meg and Karl in the Elimination Studio

This is it: the final challenge of Design Star. This was one tough time to be on the panel because both finalists were just so incredibly good. Instead of focusing on only this particular episode, we really thought long and hard about the entire season and all of their designs as a whole.

Karl certainly had us at “hello.” I loved his bonus room mural in the very first challenge in the designer’s loft. His white box challenge end product was a tasteful and lovely space, and his mosaic backsplash in episode three was gorgeous. The table-turned-wall-mounted-consoles in the bed and breakfast challenge were genius, and the Dream Kitchen Challenge, well, let’s just give the boy kudos for working with a difficult partner. He kind of lost his footing in the Wedding Challenge, but he did do a good job with the canopy. And the master bedroom in the HGTV’d Challenge — hello, beautiful custom headboard! His vertical bookcase Camera Challenge on The Nate Berkus Show made me literally applaud my television, and his tiny home was BIG on functionality. Which brings us to the last challenge: a five-minute pilot presentation of their own TV show concept, and one room in a client’s home to redesign. And Karl was fabulous on camera tonight. His pilot, “Inspired Design,” really captured his spirit and his love of art and architecture.


The room turned out spectacular — his concept was abundantly clear (his clients loved it) and what I loved was that he was beaming ear-to-ear during the entire evaluation. All of the contestants really grew as designers from day one, but Karl came into his own, hit his stride early on and the camera (and the viewers) truly fell in love with him. This one has a bright future for sure.

Karl's Finished Space

Meg had her share of ups and downs. Her custom headboards in the first challenge were a good first impression but then she completely fell apart in the white box challenge with her oddly designed space (which was also a bit creepy, I must say). Her dining room in episode three was clean and smart, but it wasn’t until the Bed and Breakfast Challenge that she truly won me over. I love “beachy” Meg. Her pegboard pots and pans wall in the Dream Kitchen Challenge was inspirational, and who could forget her class-act move helping Cathy in the Wedding Challenge? She fell back a bit again with a few stumbles in the HGTV’d episode but hey, she did have the two toughest spaces in the house (and her wall lanterns were great). Her “Look for Less” apartment was stunning and toppled her competition, and her tiny home was spacious and delightful. Meg was consistent on camera with her amazing energy and contagious smile. Tonight she decided to solve “Design Crimes” and let me tell you, this little powerhouse popped out of my TV screen.

Meg Caswell Filming Pilot

From her space planning to her comfort with her clients, she gave the final challenge everything she had. Her room makeover was simply beautiful, and so was she.

Meg's Finished Space

The decision was a toughie but yep, Meg is the new Design Star. I can’t wait to see her fighting design crimes in homes across the country.

Meg Wins!

And lastly, I have to give a shout out to David Bromstad for being such a wonderful mentor this season. You truly shined, and I don’t just mean your outfit in the finale!

Posted at 10:00 pm

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  1. WHAT!!!!! MEG WON!!!!!…….Beam-Me-Up-Scotty……There’s no intelligent life down here!

    marilyn on September 12, 2011 at 6:01 pm
    • I like her

      Star on September 12, 2011 at 6:08 pm
    • I agree! I could not watch a show with Meg because her voice really gets on my nerves…very grating. Karl was way better!

      FitDiva on September 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm
    • I agree, Carl's design was so much better. What a TRAVESTY!

      jack on September 12, 2011 at 6:13 pm
  2. I liked Megs room better, but she also had some nice accessories to begin with.

    Mark G on September 12, 2011 at 6:02 pm
  3. I am absolutely stunned. Karl was robbed!

    OACDYCSF on September 12, 2011 at 6:03 pm
  4. I was sad last week when Mark didn't make it but I agree that Meg and Karl were even better tonight than they've been all season. I can't wait to watch Meg's new show on Saturday!

    lindac5813 on September 12, 2011 at 6:04 pm
  5. her voice is so annoying!

    cnyc on September 12, 2011 at 6:04 pm
  6. Oh so disappointed. Meg does not come across as believable or desirable as a show host. I cannot understand her when she speaks and she is corny not real. I don't like this and I think and I know I'm not watching her show.

    mary on September 12, 2011 at 6:04 pm
    • 100% on the corny…if i hear her say "I see a design crime here" I'm going to barf!

      ruthie on September 12, 2011 at 6:11 pm
  7. ANOTHER show I won't watch. Third year in a row. It should have been Mark, if not him than Karl. Listening to Meg is like verbal sand paper.

    rca on September 12, 2011 at 6:05 pm
  8. Another so called Design Star who I will never watch. Just liike Antonio, this show was fixed and Meg was pushed through when she should have been booted. I feel so sorry for Karl who is a true talent and a sincere person. Frankly, I find Meg's video person annoying and unpleasant. I admit her room was nice, probably the best she has done but by the body of work over the show, Karl was the much better signer. HGTV might as well give up the concept of Design Star because they sure don't get what their viewers want.

    Betty on September 12, 2011 at 6:05 pm
    • Yeah but she already started off with a decent space…That other one was a mess, and a lot bigger of a space to design…I think Megs room was nice, but it's also very safe…She put typical floral arrangement on the dining table, as her portfolio shows…Nothing new there…JMHO, but with that said I did enjoy this season better than last years.

      Mark G on September 12, 2011 at 6:14 pm
  9. Meg will bring a different style to HGTV. There is more to design than just contemporary!

    Kate on September 12, 2011 at 6:05 pm
  10. Yeah, Meg won! I just couldn't get used to Karl's eyes. I can't wait to see her show next Saturday!

    clr on September 12, 2011 at 6:05 pm

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