Emily Henderson

Design Star, Season 6 predictions

Oh man.  This is gonna be a good season, i can feel it.  First of all these guys look pretty accomplished. Secondly, David Bromstad is in the hiznouse as our younger and more fabulous Tim Gunn.  Also we are promised more individual challenges and more time for challenges, which could all equal one great, competitive reality competition.  I can’t freaking wait to start it.  (Monday July 11th) Of course i’ll be reviewing it here and i’ll also be doing a weekly video blog for HGTV on their design star blog, so you’ll get a lot of me.  if you want.  

Here’s my deal when it comes to Design Star.  Nobody understands the constraints that these designers are under more than i do.  Time, shopping locations, even tools (for our white box challenge we didn’t have hammers or any form of glue…i never told you that).  So if they don’t execute something properly, i don’t care, in the real world you hire the proper expert and those mistakes aren’t made.  

I’m more concerned with 1. style (aka having a modern, fresh point of view).  2. taste (tacky and cheesy is tacky and cheesy whether you are on a reality show or not) and 3. A genuine, authentic and engaging personality.  This last one you can’t bottle and sell.  Or else Bethenny would have already….wait maybe that’s why she got 120 million for her ‘skinny girl marg’s. genius.

Here they are folks, the Design Star 6 contestants, no real order:

Mark first of all looks like my husband, Brian:

 So he has that going for him and is already a winner in my book.  But he also dresses well and YES, that means a lot to me.  Bad dressers have bad style. Good dressers have good style.  Cheesy dressers have cheesy style.  Boring dressers have boring style.  You can learn how to put a functional room together, you can’t learn style, so he’s already one of my favorites.  

Here’s his best shot:

He’s an industrial designer not an interior designer which excites me because maybe he has a new take on things.  


J.  It is a little ‘huh’ that her name is just J., but Orlando’s name is pronounced ‘Oar_lawn_doe’ (which is also his twitter handle, follow him on twitter, i dare you) and i used to think that was a little funny until i realized that its actually correct and much much much prettier sounding than the name of the city in Florida.  She has cute style, too and a relaxed ‘not trying too hard’ posture which makes me feel like we could be friends which is super invaluable as a host.    Here is my favorite from her portfolio.  It’s tasteful and pretty.  A lot of people would love that wood wall. 

And here is her style board.  The style boards are a new thing that some of the contestants did and i’ll tell you what, they are a good idea. I’m not sure what the constraints were for the style board (what program they used and how much they got to choose from), so some of them are decent and some are very ‘meh’.  

I think its pretty.  I love that bottom bench and I appreciate her incorporation of my cat, Bearcat, who is sitting on my lap right now determined to get an hour of saturday morning cuddle time, whilst i blog.  Oh, Bear.  



Good style.  He’s rocking the Michael fashion scarf, which is cute.  Here’s my favorite from his portfolio. 

 I love the rug, the hyde ottoman and the fact that he used crazy red chairs.  There is not a lot happening in this room, but i do like the few elements that are there.  i appreciate the restraint and that everything in this picture is awesome.  Including that Madeline Weinrib rug, you know i love that.  

And then there is this one that is pretty cute.   

The fact that he is using this photo shows that he is interested in the artistic energy that is provoked by lifestyle photography and design.  Its looks like there is camo painted or wallpaper on the bottom half of the room, in which case that is dope for a little boys room.  I like him. 

Introducing, Meg:

Cute little green flats, Meg.  Here’s my favorite from her portfolio:

i like all the elements.  


Now Cathy was an emmy winning reporter, so that kinda scares me when it comes to her hosting.  But she’s probably super comfortable on camera.   Style-wise we are very different, as well, but she seems very accomplished:

I never met a big grey sectional i didn’t like.  And that CB2 table is always a hit.

Not me one bit, but i think a lot of people would love this bedroom. 




I feel like style-wise we might be very different but she seems educated and accomplished and her clients are probably very happy with her.  That house is definitely elegant.

Doug Hines.  The fact that he bought this sofa is keeping me interested:

And this one above is kinda great, too.  So i’m giving him a chance because for a guy to love tufting so much, he must be awesome. And reupholstering vintage tufting sofas is awesome.  Also just smiling and being nice makes you awesome.  Like this guy, Karl:

Some people i just like. Karl looks nice, he looks happy, and i like his relaxed outfit.  And while stylistically we are very different (he’s an architect), he designs really pretty houses like this:

It’s beautiful.  

And while i don’t necessarily want to see another ‘hire an expensive contractor show’ on HGTV, (i like me the more ‘look at this brass animal sculpture’ show) if it was more about architecture and less about construction, I would be totally into it.

And then there is this guy, Kevin.  He is a store visual merchandiser and that intrigues me.  Usually visual merchandisers are more like artists, so there is a chance he could do interesting things. Think about Anthropologies store visuals, they are always incredible and super inspiring so if he has any of that in him, then i’m interested.     


 i like some of the stuff in this room:

I love the garden stool, the pillows are fun and the chair in the background makes a statement.  Those lampshades can definitely take a hike, but maybe her client insisted on having them.  She looks sweet and certainly takes some fun color and pattern risks.  

Already i have a soft spot for Brett:

He’s a project manager, so more construction based perhaps.  But i like his shirt and his glasses and he lives in Brooklyn, all good signs.  This is my favorite from his portfolio:

Lastly is Leslie:

She makes me nervous.  I’ll just say that. 

I’m loving those chairs, and that pillow. 

There is a new production company this year so i’m hoping the judges are less negative and the challengs are, um, well less based on ‘the way a musical instrument makes you feel’.  

My predictions for the winner? Mark, Tyler, J, or Karl.  I know that is 1/3rd of the cast, but i’m not much of a gambler.  Here’s something to keep in mind:  the judges know what HGTV want, which is someone who will bring something new to HGTV.  So nobody that is too similar to Me or Antonio will probably win.   That’s my guess anyway.

Good luck, Design Stars.  Season 6 Starts MONDAY July 11th, Two days after the season 2 of Secrets premieres!!! JULY 9TH.  See their entire portfolios here. 

Who do you think is going to win?  

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