White Room Challenge
Original Air Date: Jun 9, 2013
Patricia Morris Buckley — Sr. Staff Writer
It’s time for another season of Design Star – oops, I mean HGTV Star. Yep, the name has changed, but the rest of the show remains about the same. Ten contestants design interiors in a competition to win their own HGTV show.
Here’s a look at this season’s contestants, all very big personalities:
ABBY: A blonde with short, crazy hair and a hyper quality that reminds me of a poodle puppy. Those who watch HGTV regularly will recognize her from her appearance on “The White Room,” based on Design Star’s (oops again) most watched episode. So in the premiere she certainly had the advantage, having completed this challenge before and showed none of the hesitancy that caused her to lose the other reality show.
BROOKS: He’s odd looking with big bushy hair, beard and nerd glasses. He’s a college professor who likes to design cutting edge, modern rooms.
CRIS: She’s originally from the Dominican Republic and now lives in Miami. She likes bold, custom design, but seems shy and overwhelmed by the experience.
TYLOR: Is from Michigan and wants to create his own signature line.
TOBIN: He’s a designer and photographer who prefers industrial design.
ANNE: She’s a red head with a feisty personality to match. She admits she is very competitive and bold.
BORIS: He’s from Germany and calls his style “comfortable luxury.” Anne may have met her competitive superior in him.
TIFFANY: She’s an interior decorator and her style is “classic funk.”
JERIBAI: He’s a graphic/web/clothing designer who has taken up doing interiors as well. He’s self-taught.
JESSIE: She looks like a slightly older Taylor Swift. She’s self-taught and calls her style “urban glamour.”
After they are all “so thrilled” to meet each other (which won’t last long, you can bet), they get their first challenge. I’m wondering if the series is going through a budget crunch because their white rooms are white “vignettes,” which means they don’t have side walls. They given two days to show their brand and personalities with their work, which includes designing their own wallpaper and fabric. The winner gets one element of their design to be included in the One Kings Lane line (which is also contributing a boutique as a resource for designers). They get to shop at nice stores.
The only one who really is lost is Cris, whose initial design is very dark and she suddenly remembers she’s all about color. Tobin also struggles because he doesn’t pick furniture that really shows his style. But the biggest stumble is when Anne discovers she needs to pick up her bedding and she’s out of time, so she asks Boris (who is still at the store) to do it for her — and it never arrives. Did Boris do her in? We never really find out…
ABBY designs a lounge with wallpaper that has writing and inkblots. I thought her furniture was a bit dark to show her layered style, but it was pretty. Vern said it was messy and not his style, but he loved it.
BROOKS created a seating area filled with oddities, antiques and mounted animal heads on pink wallpaper. It looked as strange as he did. He added a scratch and sniff perfume as well. But Genevieve Gorder said she was in love with him and stopped short of asking him to marry her because the color of pink was juvenile.
TYLOR went with a gray and yellow living room. The judges couldn’t figure out if the pattern on his fabric was kitchen or gardening.
BORIS’ room is very symmetrical, playing to the killer dual chandelier he found. His wallpaper is blah and he had to upholster his chairs at the last minute using tape and it showed. Sloppy.
TIFFANY went for an office space in white and blue. It’s a little too mish mash, and not in a good way.
CRIS’ room was the least pulled together and the lack of color was a big problem. Her shiny silver chair was super lame. I thought she would be the one to go home.
JERIBAI used his initials in a geometric way that made for great wallpaper and fabric. His last minute dribble painting struck a bad chord with the judges.
TOBIN added a nice architectural element with white slats on the back wall, but admitted that it doesn’t really show his design style. He should have never admitted this.
ANNE’s lack of bedding is a big problem, but the judges were more upset about her blaring red and orange color scheme.
The judges liked Jeribai, Abby and Brooks. I thought Abby should have won, but Brooks gets the honors. I really had trouble relating to the taxidermy elements and this space usage felt weak to me. Ah well…
In the bottom are Anne, Tobin and Cris. As I said before, I thought Cris was heading home. I felt Tobin had a weak start, but some good ideas. But his was the show that was canceled.
Looks like the contestants will be tackling a kitchen this year – in someone’s home (which they eliminated after so many botched jobs). With this group of big personalities, there are sure to be some VERY big clashes.
Do you think the right person went home? What did you think of the rooms with no side walls? Did Boris sabotage Anne? Give us your TwoCents…