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.
Get Candice’s Finale Recap + The Winner Is…
After a few weeks away filming Candice Tells All, I’m back. I was so glad to return to the panel for such a fun challenge this week. I loved the look of surprise (and nausea!) when Tanika told the remaining three designers this week’s task was to design an entire home. OK, so the homes were less than 100 square feet in size, but the smaller the home the bigger the challenge and the more creative the designers have to be. We’re talking minimal square feet in which to design and create a stylish bathroom, kitchen, sleeping and living space. Putting things into perspective, my size 11 feet take up about 10 square feet alone, so just fitting Vern, Gwen and myself inside each tiny house” for evaluation was tight and tricky to say the least (“Great cologne, Vern.”).
Throw in not one but two camera challenges and yowza — this is a doozy of a challenge. Here’s how it went down.
Read Candice’s Episode 9 Recap, Then Tell Us What You Thought
The final four with TV host Nate Berkus.
We’re down to the final four and after a double elimination last week, the designers really needed to give it everything they had. And this week had it all — the extremely tough challenge of designing a “Look for Less” apartment, plus a Camera Challenge that just so happened to be in front of a live television audience. Talk about pressure! The adorable Nate Berkus was on hand to offer his expert design knowledge, as well as his beautiful television studio.
The designers had a $2,500 budget to give a simply furnished apartment a high-end makeover. In addition to that, they would present a “Look for Less” tip to the live studio audience on none other than The Nate Berkus Show. Here’s how it went down.
Read Candice’s Take on Episode 8, Then Tell Us What You Thought
The Judges With Guest John Gidding
It’s our HGTV’d episode with guest panelist John Gidding (who I swear is the groom model for wedding cake toppers). I have to tell you he is not only better looking in person (impossible, I know) and an incredibly talented designer, but most importantly a true gentleman. I’m so glad that he’s part of the HGTV family.
Now, there’s nothing I love more than individual challenges, and this one was a doozy. The designers were given a humongous new house to work with, and while it was a touchdown for some, it was a major fumble for most.
Read Candice’s Take on Episode 7, Then Tell Us What You Thought
Guest judge Dina Manzo with the Design Star host and judging panel.
Here comes the wedding episode! And this week we’ve got the tough (but uber-glamorous) Dina Manzo. I’ve heard that she really knows how to throw a party, so that makes her the perfect panel member for this challenge.
The challenge: Create a beautiful wedding reception in 24 hours. This is a toughie to break down because it was a team challenge. However, there were definitely some standout moments of fabulousness — and then those not so stupendous.
Read Candice’s Episode 6 Recap, Then Tell Us What You Thought
The designers are surprised by a special guest...Paula Deen!
It’s time for the Dream Kitchen Challenge, so who better to step in as a guest panel member than my very favorite firecracker foodie from the South, Paula Deen. The designers were thrown into the frying pan with their most challenging task yet: Turn a totally empty space into the most utilized room in the house, the kitchen.
How did they do? Here’s my take on the action.
Read Candice’s Episode 5 Recap, Plus Tell Us What You Thought
This week’s challenge took our designers to the Jersey Shore and the home of the Spring Lake Inn. This time, the gorgeous Kathy Ireland stopped by to lend her design expertise — this woman definitely didn’t get the memo on aging! The challenge: Turn old-fashioned bedrooms into up-to-date spaces. Once again, the designers were paired up. I love when that happens because it’s so interesting to see how well they work together — and often, how well they don’t.
See Candice’s Take on Episode 4, Plus Tell Us What You Thought
I’m still out shooting Candice Tells All, but don’t worry — I’m still watching! This week, the stars of HGTV’s Home by Novogratz, Cortney and Bob Novogratz, came by to give their perspective on our designers. This challenge was the most important one yet: working with actual clients in their homes. The designers were split into groups and assigned two rooms in two separate houses. The assignment: Give some old rooms new life.
More From Episode 3
The remaining 10 designers face their first homeowner challenge when they have to give old rooms a new lease on life. Tune in this Monday at 9/8c.
Watch the Sneak Peek
This week, designer Thom Filicia joined Genevieve and Vern on the judging panel for the iconic white box challenge.
Catch Up on the Week’s Top Moments