Design Star Recap: “Bunk Beds” Means “Bunk Beds”Author:Lindsey Shook
Really? There are still six people left? Let’s see — that leaves Kevin, Kellie, Mark, Meg, Leslie and Karl. Tonight, they HGTV someone. I don’t know what this means, but Kellie sure does. As Tanika explains, she also hosts a show called “HGTV’d” where they design a room in the home of an HGTV fan, and a different designer from the network does it every week. I’m just stuck on the fact Tanika actually gets to host TWO shows.
For this challenge, the designers will each design a different room in someone’s house, which is bound to look cohesive, right? (That was sarcasm) Here’s a rundown:
Karl gets the master bedroom. The owners ask for romantic, but not girly. They’d love a chandelier, but it can’t be too feminine. Good luck with that. He ends up choosing a decent option. It’s black but still has lots of ornate-ness. I’m not a huge fan but the judges love it. The rest of the room turns out great. It is one of my favorites from this week. The headboard is a highlight, which I think is just wood covered with a textured blanket. He adds “millwork” to the bottom of the windows. It’s another fantastic touch. Guest judge, John Gidding, loves the windows, and Vern loves the headboard. Genevieve, who I used to want to befriend, seems cranky. Wasn’t she spunky on other shows? She’s a bit of a wet blanket these days. Anyway, she’s a fan of the not-feminine chandelier. The camera challenge this week, which is the reveal to the family, goes well for him.
Kevin gets the family room. The owners have requested lots of seating and that’s about it. Seems easy, right? Somehow Kevin manages to jack it up a bit. The room actually looks warm and inviting, as Genevieve says, but it’s just…odd. There’s a leather-topped coffee table in front of the fireplace, but it doesn’t have much else around it. He explains that it’ll be good for the kids to play on, but I’m not sure I follow. Last time I walked around Toys“R”Us, there weren’t a lot of leather coffee tables. Just sayin’.
Besides the weird layout, I like this room. I’m a big fan of sectionals and he throws one of those in there. I like the mantle on the fireplace, which he “just fashioned” five minutes before time was up. Anytime a designer says, “I don’t have anything for it, so I just have to fashion something up quick,” I get terrified for the owners. This turned out pretty great, actually. The judges also tear apart the weird layout and weird table, but they like it otherwise. Kevin royally jacks up his camera challenge, though. He’s loud, talks over the owners and it’s exhausting to watch. What if you were married to him? Oh God, I wonder if that’s what I sound like to my husband.
Leslie gets Cayenne’s room. It’s spelled Kyan, but pronounced “cayenne” so I’ll just spell it that way, since the kid is going to get that the rest of his life. Anyhoo, this kid is two years old and likes to perform, so Leslie gets the idea of creating a stage in his room. Dumb idea, but I get why she’s doing it. However, this room looks more like it belongs to a kid with multiple personalities. I almost seize just looking at it. Every color, shape, toy, pillow, and accessory from the toy store is in there. The judges say, “Wow, there’s an abundance of personality in here.” That’s like telling a girl she has a “great personality.” It means it’s UGLY. I call it an overabundance of crap. The stage looks terrible, the letters that spell his name are completely crooked and why are there stripes on the closet? Yikes. I’m actually a little embarrassed for her. The judges bash on the lack of concept and say nothing was executed the way they expect it to be at this point. Ouch.
He gets a little screwed since he gets both the formal living and dining room. That’s a LOT. But along with Karl, he does one of the best jobs. The owners want the living room to be like a jazz club—dark and loungey. This could be tacky, but Mark just makes a warm living space with really comfortable-looking furniture. I dig it. The husband likes music and has a collection of old records. Mark says he’s going to do a “personalized art installation.” This could be terrifying, but it’s not scary at all. It’s boring. It’s 30 records hung on a wall. In a row. I don’t see how it’s an art installation, but instead looks like, 30 records hung on a wall in a row. Not ugly, just not that cool, either. The judges disagree (and let’s face it, they know a lot more than me.) They like the records, and love the furniture. Mark also installs beautiful dark wood floors, and a cool wood partition between the two rooms. Vern is a big fan of the partition. Despite the odd fact there’s a slab of wood standing upright in their room, I think it looks pretty cool, too.
The dining room is amazing. He makes a custom dining table with a slab of wood, which looks awesome. John is a huge, huge fan, as are the other judges.
Meg gets the foyer and upper level landing. This one is tough, and I’m not sure she pulls it off. The owners ask her to make the foyer “even grander.” I want to cover their mouths with my hand. Never tell a designer you want “even MORE grander!” You could get almost anything! Yikes. However, Meg’s choice of “grand” was a collection of lanterns hung from a wall. And hung REALLY crooked, I might add. Besides the embarrassing wonkiness, it looks pretty cool actually. The judges love it too, but are also hung up on the crooked factor. They love the cool chandelier she chose. There’s a very odd table shoved in the middle of the foyer. I don’t get that.
The upper landing looks sparse. She makes it a reading nook — story time for the kids — by adding chairs, an ottoman and pillows thrown all over the floor. It’s simple and not all that charming. Still, it’s better than the blank space that was there before, so it’s an improvement.
Kellie angers me this week. I like her design aesthetic and, personally, she wouldn’t be totally annoying to watch on a TV show every week. I’m rooting for her, but this week she really blows it. She gets assigned to Mason’s room. He asks for bunk beds, and, since he’s five, he only really cares about the bunk beds. He has bunk bed tunnel vision. That’s his dream…and Kellie stomps all over it. He also says he wants a “locker-theme” room, which Kellie translates to be “sports-themed.” Ummm, no, he wants lockers. She hates this idea so much, she decides to put her own spin on it. Bad idea. Just give the kid some lockers and a bunk bed. Easiest room to do, and she messes it up!
The judges are perplexed why there are no bunk beds in the room. She does a loft bed, so Mason can hide under it, which is cool, but let’s face it – it’s not what he wants. The lockers are boxes stapled on the wall, and I literally have no idea what she was thinking. Lockers are lockers. Go to IKEA. Container Store. Anywhere else – even I could’ve pulled that off. Above all that, the room actually looks boring too. Not a good job, at all. Poor Mason looks like he’s going to cry when he sees the room and his parents look as if they want to say, “I said bunk beds, lady. How else did I need to spell that out for you?”
Judges’ Decision It’s pretty obvious that Mark and Karl are the top two here. Karl wins and he’s thrilled. Mark is safe, which puts the other four designers, Kellie, Leslie, Kevin and Meg, in the bottom four.
They tell Leslie they will not be producing her show, and the CEO of HGTV breathes a sigh of relief. This week was REALLY bad for her. The other three people think they are in the clear, but it turns out that they also decide to eliminate Kevin. He’s not a bad designer but he would drive America crazy hosting his own show. He needs to go chill out and then he could be good.
We’re down to four, which means we only have a few weeks left! I predict Kellie or Mark will win it – what do you think?
Didn’t catch last week’s episode? Get the recap!
2023 Product Design Award: Livwell by Natasha Baradaran
It is no secret that the interior design and development industries are often the most detrimental to the health of our…
- March 24, 2023
Out on the Town: Luxury Living Group Opens with a New Design
To kick-off Oscar weekend, Italian design brand Luxury Living Group celebrated the re-opening of their L.A. showroom—located on Beverly Blvd—in their…
- March 15, 2023
The celebrated L.A. interior designer discusses “CURATED: The Collection of Cliff Fong” auction at Bonhams Cliff Fong outside his L.A. home.…
- March 9, 2023