It’s episode six of HGTV Star, and the pressure is on. Put yourself in the contestant’s shoes: The final four are ONE. EPISODE. AWAY. from the finale. This challenge will bring them one step closer to winning their own show on HGTV. So you can imagine their surprise when they saw this:
In this season’s non-traditional house challenge, Tiffany, Brooks, Jeribai and Anne all had a chance to get in touch with their creative side and turn a retired school bus into anything they desired — functional or not. Here’s what they came up with — and who made it to the finale.
Tiffany’s bus was inspired by her son’s love of fairy tales. She brought literature’s most deranged tea party — the Mad Hatter’s celebration from Alice in Wonderland — into her “upcylcled” school bus. She painted the windows to create a dark and mysterious atmosphere inside, with a long table outfitted with ornate mismatched chairs as the centerpiece.
The best think about Tiffany’s space were the fun details — vintage books, lots of botanicals and nods to the classic tale.
And what would an Alice in Wonderland-themed bus be without some “painting the roses red” action? “I haven’t seen her do a lot of mismatched, vintage moments this season — she bowled me over,” Genevieve said during the walk-through. A strong camera challenge coupled with her creative bus design made Tiffany the judges’ favorite this week.
After several weeks of conventional challenges, it was easy to see that Brooks relished this opportunity to design something more conceptual than practical. “This is the first time that I get to just go 100-percent Brooks and not hold back. This is the challenge I’ve been waiting for,” he said. His concept: A time travelers’ space lounge, outfitted with a mix of vintage pieces and futuristic ones.
The centerpiece of this bus was this “eggshell” installation made of wooden slats. Genevieve called it “one of the finest sculptural pieces we’ve ever seen on the show.” The installation was amazing (as was the copper chair in the center!), but I’m still not sure if Brooks’ spaces can strike that right balance of being super-creative and functional. As in: I like the guy, but I”m not sure if I’d ask him over to design my living room.
Still, this was one cool bus. I love the mix of old and new. Vern’s take? “He always excels when we give him the opportunity and say “It doesn’t have to be functional,’” he said.
Jeribai (a former trainer!) decided to turn his bus into a combination lounge and workout area. He took the opportunity to try out his mini-gym after the challenge:
Remember Jeribai’s clever wallpaper pattern from episode one? It reappeared this week as the “crest” for his custom-designed bus.
Since the bus didn’t have to be functional, Jeribai removed the wheel wells to create more space inside the bus. The judges were impressed by his space planning in the sitting area — it didn’t feel cramped or crowded at all. “You could move through really fluidly, and there was a lot of seating,” Genevieve said.
They also loved the stripes that transitioned from bright paint in the back to wood panels in the front. Sabrina’s one gripe? The (homemade) curtains. “It was the wrong fabric, wrong tone…everything was wrong about them,” she said.
At the outset of this week’s challenge, Anne appeared to have a leg up. “I used to design luxury motor coaches, so I have a comfort zone of turning a bus into something it’s not,” she said.
But Anne had months — not days — to finish those motor coaches, and the super-short timeline hurt her this week. She struggled to find the right furniture pieces, leaving her scrambling in the final moments of the challenge. My heart went out to her when she broke down at the end of the challenge, but there were some great moments in Anne’s space. The judges loved the raised platform bed, as did I:
The wallpaper and sconces on the back wall really created a focal point, and looked like anything but the inside of a bus. But she didn’t have time to take care of the details, which left her with (yet another) unfinished linen situation and very few accessories.
The judges also thought that Anne’s seating area felt crowded and that the pieces were too big for the narrow bus. And overall, they wanted to see another side of Anne: “I was hoping for a little more of a surprise this week…I think I wanna see how crazy you can get, Anne, because I know how dependable you can be with pretty,” Genevieve said.
In the end, Anne’s consistently pretty designs weren’t enough to keep her in the competition. The judges sent her home this week. Get ready Jeribai, Brooks and Tiffany — one of you will be going home with a show after next week’s action!
What do you think: Did the right designer go home? Who was your favorite? Who do you think will win? C’mon — tell me in the comments below.