Design Star Recap: The Big Finale!


We’re down to just Meg and Karl. This final challenge seems simple enough at first: They are each assigned to a nice brownstone and family in Harlem, where they must makeover one room. However, they must also produce a pilot presentation for their own TV show, which is what the prize is for winning this show. Here’s what happened with each designer:


Meg chooses past contestants Kellie and Leslie to help her out in this project. Her horrible, horrible show idea is “Design Crimes.” She keeps saying (over and over) that she used to study criminology and she would love her show to solve people’s design crimes. It’s preeeeety cheesy in my book. I don’t need a whole shtick, people—just design a nice room for me. Anyway, she wants her pilot to convey her sense of fun. Fun? How about Design Crimes? Done! (Insert eye roll here). The nice couple in the brownstone she’s working on is Andre and Latoya. They have a plain dining/entertaining area. Latoya wants Tiffany blue and Andre wants earth tones and leather. Sounds good, I can work with that. Meg inspects their design crimes, which are…um, just one. They hung curtains on a wall, so people would THINK there are windows behind them. It might be one of the strangest things I’ve ever heard. They also have a big ol’ Buddha that Meg claims would be a crime to hide! (Another eye roll here.)

Meg fumbles a lot, making her pilot. They make it seem like she did 500 takes. But the final project is okay — I personally find her nasally voice a little annoying. I’m just not sure I’d want to watch her for an hour show. Anyway, despite her cheesy concept and her mildly annoying manner on camera, her room is beautiful. She paints it a beautiful deep turquoise blue. It’s certainly not Tiffany blue, but I like this color much better.

The furniture is cream colored, except for two dark brown wood tables. Yes, Andre, you got some earth tones. And that damn Buddha has a pedestal all to himself. I love the light blue curtains, and the styling looks classy. She insisted on keeping curtains hung on the wall, but with mirrors behind them to simulate windows. Sure, I get where she’s going with it, but I’m not sure I dig it. Overall, the color palette is amazing and she did a great job.

The judges (Vern, Genevieve, Candice and David Bromstad) all love her room, as well. They also think she did a great job on-camera, saying she delivered the info without losing her personality, and was smart, funny, entertaining, comfortable and relatable. David calls her the girl next door, with timeless and classic design ability. She wasn’t THAT good…easy, judges. But okay, I admit she did great.


Karl chooses Kevin and Mark to help him out. His concept is “Inspired Design,” which is uh…inspired design. He’s inspired by architecture, history, etc. and will incorporate it into his makeovers. I get it, but I’m pretty sure most makeovers are inspired from somewhere. But I’m going with it, because I love Karl and really want him to win this damn thing.

He does a great job on camera. Of course, perhaps HGTV edited out all the takes, but he seems really confident and comfortable and keeps getting high-fives from his producer.

As for the room he’s designing…Karl has a challenge on his hands. He is decorating the family room, which is also the entryway, but right now it looks like a sofa, TV and a zillion toys. Karl’s odd couple, John and Liz, have ummm…eclectic tastes. She likes Tuscan things and he likes street art. So yeah, Karl, good luck with this.

So he basically makes the room Tuscan-ish, by using earthy tones and then throwing a jacked-up graffiti-ridden armoire in the center of it. Yikes. As he’s creating the room, I’m mildly concerned this will be a nightmare. But you know what? He pulls it off. I’m still not a fan of that atrocious armoire, but the room is gorgeous. He picks beautiful, rich earth tones and a light sage. He cuts the room in thirds with crown molding. Above it is dark brown, below it is sage green. It looks amazing — so rich. I love the toy/shoe storage and the styling is really classy as well. Nice work, Karl.

The judges really love his room too, calling it beautiful and commenting on how he not only addressed the needs of parents, but he kept it sophisticated and clearly injected a lot of thought into the room. They also think he did a great job on-camera and clearly has come a long way.

And the winner is…

I have to say, I was surprised. I thought Karl had it in the bag, but the judges declare Meg the big winner. She’s thrilled and I only hope they pay for some teeth whitening before she stars in her own show. Whoa, that was mean.

Thankfully, the HGTV execs decided against “Design Crimes” as her show. Phew. Instead, Meg will be staring in “Great Rooms,” which sounds much more tolerable. Congratulations to Meg, this season’s “Design Star” winner!

More news: