(Image via HGTV)
It’s Design Star recap time again, and we’ve got the full low-down (the hits, the misses, the antics), courtesy of our intrepid intern Caitlin Giddens. Enjoy!
By Caitlin Giddens
Watch out, ya’ll. Hilari has stepped up to compete for Design Star. The Dallasite has worried us in past challenges, especially when matched with Danielle last week. I still shudder at the thought of their unfinished PR closet. But if there’s one skill Hilari, and all other Dallas girls, has mastered, it’s the art of shopping.
Hilari showed refined taste, an eye for proportions, and a genuinely fun attitude while shopping for the living area sofa. She was paired with Mikel this week, forming an adorable duo that immediately became best friends.
Host of HGTV’s The High Low Project, Sabrina Soto guest judged as the eight contestants designed two neighbors’ indoor and outdoor living spaces. Last night’s episode was the first time the contestants worked with actual homeowners. And after seeing the spaces Britany, Stanley, Hilari, and Mikel designed for the first family, I’m ready to move in with the couple. Do you think they’d mind?
The homeowners requested their backyard continue the living area’s aesthetics, so the pair decided to build an outdoor cabana with draperies. I have to admit, Britany and Stanley seemed like an odd couple in the beginning of the challenge. Britany looks so girly, with her platinum blonde locks and spider leg eyelashes. And Stanley is the epitome of a dude, with his tattooed arms and husky voice. But Brittany, the expert at creative walls, was able to conceptualize a chevron-inspired fence. And Stanley looked happy in his element. He said, “I’m outside, working on my tan, and building stuff. It’s awesome.”
Stanley surprised judges again with his compelling video, while Britany tensed up behind the camera. After doing a bit of background research, I learned that Stanley boasts more than handiness with a hammer and a charming smile. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from West Virginia University and a Master of Fine Arts from The State University of New York. And he works well with others, which is more than be said of other contestants. Make that one contestant: Miera.
In the homeowners’ living area, Mikel and Hilari were asked to design an inviting space that incorporated a flea market-chic look. As Hilari said in the beginning of the challenge, she has a knack for space planning and knew she had to perform well this week. The Dallasite proved to be a bit of a game changer by insisting on her sofa selection and ethnic elements. And Hilari’s charming video made her the winner for this challenge, and a serious contender. The judges loved how she and Mikel included artwork that looked like it had been accumulated over time. And they appreciated Mikel’s wood mirror, one of the most innovative pieces of the week. My favorite elements of the space were the sage walls, juxtaposing with the earthy pieces, and the cozy entryway.
Across the street, the homeowners asked Kris, Rachel, Miera, and Danielle to design family-friendly spaces. Rachel decided to make an outdoor space for their four-year-old daughter, but while working with the girl’s toys she couldn’t stop thinking of her own daughter. She said in the beginning of the challenge that she was worried the distraction would hurt her design. And turns out the judges could see Rachel’s lack of focus in her misguided space. The kid area was poorly placed by the garbage, and looked like Rachel threw some toys outside. But surprisingly, her partner Kris showed incredible innovation with the outdoor design. An Austin native, Kris comes from a landscape designer and an avid gardener. He created tree stump side tables that showcased succulents and Kris’s eye for creativity. The judges loved Kris’s architectural elements, and both contestants stayed safe this week after designing a beautiful outdoor area.
Inside the house, the trouble began. Miera could not play nicely with her partner, and showed signs of stubbornness and outright unpleasant behavior. It was déjà vu of last week, when Miera fought with Kris to design for Kris Jenner’s office. But this week, Miera seemed even more insistent on getting her way as she created a built-in shelving unit. Danielle looked miserable throughout the challenge, especially when realizing the unit did not meet the correct measurements. The space failed to come together, and the two contestants were in the bottom at the judging panel. Sabrina Soto said she was confused by the space, as the designers decided to make custom pieces but they looked sloppy and unfinished.
Danielle graciously explained they decided to build custom pieces, and ran out of time. She could have thrown Miera under the bus, but after her awkward video there was no need. Miera was sent back to Florida, where she can hopefully learn to play well with others.