Image via HGTV
It’s Wednesday. That means it’s time again for our unflappable intern, Caitlin Giddens, to break down last night’s episode of Design Star for us. Enjoy!
By Caitlin Giddens
There are some moments the design world would prefer to forget: wood paneling, floral wallpaper, and the entire 1980s. But Dallasite Hilari redefined the decade by creating a chic yet fun 80s-inspired room on last night’s episode of Design Star.
The seven remaining contestants were challenged to design lounge rooms for Hollywood’s 125th birthday party. Each room took on the persona of a different time period, from Victorian to the 1970s. But some contestants took the challenge too literally, and let their rooms define them. Kris channeled the 1970s not only in his room, but in his tacky accessories, poor furniture placement, and awkward camera challenge. Genevieve said the room looked like a basement HGTV would remodel. And his disappointing space, combined with a camera challenge that made him look like a game show host, led to Kris’s elimination.
After drawing the Victorian card, Rachel seemed lost. She wandered around the prop store, saying she thought 18th century design was stuffy and dusty. Maybe she’s never seen a PBS series, or she missed D Home’s advice on French-ifying your home.
Victorian should be lush and ornate, perfect for a lounge room with its luxurious fabric and furniture. But her interpretation of the time period looked cheap and incomplete, causing Rachel to drop to the bottom two contestants. She was lucky not to go home, and needs to channel her early season design skills to avoid elimination in the future.
Stanley, a proud Sci-Fi fan, looked to the future for his lounge. His futuristic chairs were eye-catching, but the judges disapproved of his Star Wars inspired coffee table. Genevieve said it looked “so incredibly phallic and so vertical.” Ultimately, the judges said no one would want to lounge in his space because of the uncomfortable angles. I expected more out of Stanley because of his carpentry skill and past success. It seems like he does better when paired with another designer, which is not a quality of the final Design Star.
Britany faced elevated expectations as she created a Hollywood regency lounge. The pressure of designing the lounge for a Hollywood party seemed to intimidate her, but she pulled together a brilliant room with chic accessories. She may have won this round, without an unfocused camera challenge, which she seemed to forget about at the judging panel. Britany’s response to Danielle’s win came off as childish and dramatic, and her behavior eclipsed her inspired room.
Danielle lucked out in drawing the art deco card, as this style matches her own. After finding some art deco pieces like the sleek panther and lamps, Danielle used black and gold to design the lounge. But she was careful not to recreate her white room by adding peach accents that brought softness to the space. The judges loved her lounge and comfortable camera challenge, and named her the winner this week.
Mikel had a difficult time designing a midcentury modern lounge, which should have been a breeze for the set designer. Think of all the midcentury movies he could channel: Pink Panther, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Pillow Talk. But Mikel’s space’s lack of color and unfinished look left the judges wanting more. The lounge had the potential to look retro, but in the end it just looked boring.
I thought Hilari faced the most difficult challenge in creating an 80s-inspired room. The space could have easily looked cheap, especially if she had stuck with her spandex rug. But Hilari’s painted floors and punk rock accessories made the room look chic and fun. Rachel should take note of Hilari’s optimism in embracing a difficult challenge. The Dallasite is rising to the top of the competition, and her personality would make for an entertaining TV show. Plus, her name invites all sorts of puns for the design show name. I’m thinking something like Hilarious glam. But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.