design star season 7, episode 8 recap

Welcome to the most boring post ever.  Snoozefestapalooza 2012. 

This episode wasn’t boring (i loved the camera challenge), the designers weren’t boring, but the unfinished spaces were, and therefore this post is probably going to be a snoozer.  This is not what i wanted to see from these four designers whom i like a lot.    I didn’t even really want to do a review this week because i don’t like being negative, but if i’m going to do one, i’ve gotta be honest.  

The challenge was to design a model condo with a particular color infused into the space.  Here’s the thing with staging and with model homes, you really can’t do anything too crazy because its supposed to have wide appeal. So i’m assuming that that is why all the spaces turned out so incredibly ‘meh’ especially for a color challenge.  Well, that and their lack of resources and time.  None of the spaces are finished and its hard to look at.  

These designers are more talented than what you are about to see.  I swear.  

Danielle got ‘blue’ and how very lucky indeed.  



 Yes, she painted the walls practically the same color, which is her mistake.  But clearly she didn’t finish, she talked a lot about how she didn’t finish, and i’m sure she’s as unhappy with this space as i am having to post it on my blog. 

There are no red flags, everything is fine, but the lack of personality is palpable.  I’m not blaming her, i’m blaming the lack of resources and time.   i’ve been there, so give her a break.  

Her tip was to paint the mats of generic frames all the same color to add visual interest on a budget. Decent tip, but super small frames on a large wall and lame photos of plants inside them.  But she knows this and obviously didn’t have access to beautiful photographs or huge frames.  


The pictures speak for themselves.  But on her camera challenge, which was  a live tip on ‘The Talk’ she did a good job. She was relaxed and informative. She is still a bit cagey with her personality – or at least she’s edited to be so, but i really like her.  And despite this weeks unfinished room i think she has good taste and would have a good show.  

Hilary is up next: 

For the amount of personality this chick has i wanted to see more in the space.  Again with the beige walls, i don’t understand.  It’s like painting an orange orange. Or bleaching Mark Consuelo’s teeth white:

It’s just not wasteful of time and perfectly good paint or bleach.  

Her use of red was good, as red can be tricky. 

Sorry, Hil. I love you, but i can’t wait til next week.  

This is the least generic thing that happened this week – a framed tapestry.  Good idea, executed well, i’m all for this and have done this many, many times.  Thank you, Hil. 

And Hil, you know i love your outfit below.  There is such a disconnect – no one that wears those pants designs boring spaces so i’m still holding out faith for her that she’ll show us a fun, inspired space that matches her personality.  I loved her on camera – she was relaxed and funny and totally herself.  


Britany is up next:

She got ‘yellow’ and this is her space:

Thank god for color on the walls and not a beige sectional.   

The archtectural detail she added broke up the space nicely.  

Send them back to the prop houses, for props sake.  This is painful to post. SO completely unfinished.  

Favorite accessory of the week is that lamp.  I’ve seen it a ton, but at least it is good.  

Her spaces always look like her which i appreciate. But she is still not being enough herself on camera – or else she is being herself on camera – not sure which is worse. There is a lack of energy that makes me want to shake her and say ‘HAVE FUN’.  But it could also be the editing.  I came off boring on camera and i ain’t, i promise.  

Ah Mikel. My adorable ex-intern.  I’m kinda stretching that whole story, by the way, i think he interned for the show for just a few days before he got a job, but i liked him.  But even if i didn’t know him i would still be rooting for him because he has such an adorable personality and great style.  I think he doesn’t have the design experience that the others do but the judges have been holding on to him because of his personality.  

He chose ‘green’ which is great.  

But then he chose this green, which is not:  

It’s truly a raunchy color, 90’s suburban and makes all those pretty mid-century inspired pieces look really orange and dated.  It’s a mistake that is going to be very hard to recover from.  

But strangely his room i think has the best layout and utlilizes the space the best.  He got Yipped apart by Vern  about putting two sofas facing each other but by doing so he took the bowling alley effect out of this space and ‘implied two rooms, instead of one massive narrow room.  

Good furniture, just bad wall color.  I don’t mind the architectural detail he designed and if it were in a mid-century house i would like it as a room divider.  

The other designers rooms had sectionals that yes, faced the tv and fireplace. But if the main function of your space is hanging out and entertaining then this is a WAY better layout.  People can actually face eachother and speak whereas with the sectional they are all lined up on the wall facing a strange fireplace and a REALLY high TV.   Plus you can lie on the sofa and face the TV. It’s not that difficult. 

I would however sacrifice my little pinky toe for even 5 books on that shelf.  There is no way that he thought that looked good, so its almost a moot point. I’ll take my pinky toe back, actually. Thank you.  

On camera he is adorable and so likeable.  Distressing the table is not my thing at all, but it seems to be a crowd pleaser and is an easy tip to demonstrate.  

I’m not sure who the winner was this week, i don’t remember. But Mikel was sadly sent home. He will be missed.  His obvious happy personaity and great style were fun to watch and i’m sure he has a great career ahead of him.  Probably not as my intern, sadly.  But maybe we an be friends, eh?

The good news is that i like the final three a lot.  While i was not prediciting a girl (i assumed that because Meg and I won, that they would be looking for a man and because i know they are trying to draw in more male viewers that tend to watch the male shows…), i’m happy that its these three girls. They all have a sense of style and a point of view that feels different from each other.

I think its going to come down to personality.  

I’ve got my prediction, but who are you guys predicting? 


  1. Lucy

    I'm predicating that the winner is Danielle because it is obvious the judges love her and have forgiven all her time management issues otherwise she would have been sent home rather than Mikel. He acknowledged in his exit interview that he wasn't happy with his paint color and in the real world of design he would have been able to correct that but not so in a two day challenge. His space was much more polished than Danielle's and he was charming and cute on The Talk but it would have to have been flawless for the judges to spare him. I will watch a show from any of the last three remaining and as much as I love Hilari's personality I'm not totally on board with her style. In Britany's blog she writes that the show has her edited to seem boring and serious and she is not. I haven't seen the full segment on The Talk but in reading the comment section of HGTV many have said she did really well but was it was not shown that way on DS. I really wish they would give these designer's more time to source and DESIGN (Britany also states that they had 10 minutes to pick a wall color). Another half day to style and tweak would have made all the difference.

  2. Sorry to see Mikel go. He's a cutie! My prediction for the winner is Hillary – love her!

  3. lemurlassy

    I was predicting Britany ,but she has a blog doing recaps and is a little critical of HGTV on there. I detect some animosity there. It is making me think she doesn't have the job. I am thinking it is Hillary. She is different and different is good. Danielle is an awesome designer, but I am not sure how unique of a personality she has. Honestly, though, I would watch any of their shows.

  4. Britany's rooms always look great. I hope she wins :0)

  5. kiki

    I think it might be Danielle,because like Lucy said, it's obvious the judges love her. I like Hillary the best, and I would totally watch her show because her personality is really fun, but it's just so obvious that the judges love Danielle that I'm not sure who it could be at this point. Brittany is great, too, so it's really anyone's game at this point. Although I feel like Brittany kinda got robbed on some of the challenges. The Hollywood Regency one should have been hers, and the first challange with their home should have gone to Danielle. I'm fine with any of them winning, but at this point Danielle is my least favorite. I think it's just how they edit her clips.

  6. Cherie

    I love Brittany! Her personal style and decorating style are amazing! At first I loved Danielle but as time has gone on she’s a little too whiney. She can make cute spaces but seems to have an issue getting them done in time. And for Hillary, I haven't loved any of her spaces. To me they've been just ok and not inspiring. She seems very sweet but I feel like her personality is lacking a bit of sophistication. That sounds harsh and I'm not trying to be mean but that would turn me off from watching her show.

  7. Um, go Mikel!

  8. Arti

    Emily, I love you. "He got Yipped by Vern"….haha! Its the little things that make me laugh! Keep up the awesomeness chica!

  9. Katie

    I am pulling for Hilari. She is so funny. I want her to be my friend.

  10. heather

    Oh man, that paint color. 90's Suburban is the perfect descrip, because my Mother definitely had that color in our living room in the 90's, with Light wood furniture. That was tough. I think a Kelly green or emerald green would have been alllll the difference. Too bad. I think I'm rooting for Brittany, but I'd be ok w/ Danielle too. I can't quite put my finger on what I don't like about Hillary, but I think she's got a very high opinion of herself in a not so great way.

  11. Lo

    Why are they airing you on HGTV at 6am on Wednesdays?? I wouldnt even know if not for my dvr. You are so much better than that! You're Saturday prime-worthy. I'm bothered by this.

  12. Sara

    Ha! Love your post! The time and resource limitations seemed especially severe this time, given the state of Mikel's bookshelves, Danielle's nook and lighting problem, etc. I also don't understand why they promise and give them a carpenter, and then send the carpenter away for the last few hours so they have no help with lots of installs.

    I'm SO glad you said what you did about MIkel's sofas! I totally dig the 2 sofas facing each other and agree with your points 100%!! I mean, I watch tv, but it shouldn't all be about the tv and sacrifice actual human interaction :).

    I like all 3 of these women, but am not a fan of everything neutral, so am leaning toward Britney and Hilari as my favorites, even though Danielle also seems nice, talented, and watchable.

  13. Mary

    Hm, I think I like Mikel's room the best of the four.

    But you are dead on about that green. It's just a little off. Which is kind of a shame because I think the furniture is great, as you mention, and I agree with you on the two sofas facing each other. More visually appealing for the space and more functioning for homeowners that prefer to talk and hang out with guests rather than just watch TV (and this is coming from someone who watches a lot of TV).

  14. Holly G

    I want Hil to win…I wasn't sure about her at first but she has definitely grown on me. She is so funny and has a great on air personality. I think it would be good for the network if they had more diverse hosts. I did think that a male would probably win this time but it just didn't work out. My question is what happens between the time they win Design Star to having their own show? Even though I thought Meg was fabulous she obviously has made vast improvements from Design Star to Meg's Great Rooms. Is there a design coach or is it that on Design Star there is such little time and resources to put anything more than great together?

  15. Lauren

    Based on personality, I'd like to see Hilary win. Based on design, I'm not really into any of them. I don't dislike their styles, just not excited about any of them. I guess the format of the show just doesn't give the designers a chance to shine.

  16. I totally agree with you in regard to Mikels spacial planning…….. I was commenting on how great the two couches facing each other were. I guess Vern doesn't every have friends over……

  17. Sava

    I'm so bored by all these designers. No one is taking risks. I don't feel like I'm learning or seeing anything new here. If Danielle once again draws inspiration from her mom I'm going to scream. For that reason alone, I'm rooting for Brittany, although I think Danielle may win. I think Hillary needs some more experience. And I have to respectfully disagree, the Kardashian week was the most boring–everything was black, white, or gray. Although there was some drama that week.

  18. EmilyHS

    I expected praise from the judges for Mikel's two couches rather than a boring sectional. I was surprised. I appreciated a designer who encourages "conversational" space planning. In my living room I have TWO chairs with their back to the tv. They are small, and when sitting on the couch they are on either side of the tv, but they encourage conversation when we entertain and have the tv off.

    Hillari is hilarious. I feel like we haven't gotten to see enough of her design sense, or perhaps hers just isn't as strong as the others. ? But, I'd definitely set the DVR for her designs as well as her spunk.

  19. Tiffany

    I love reading your recaps, because it gives me an opportunity to really study the different designs each week. It's so hard to actually digest the spaces when they only flash them on screen for 30 seconds. Anyways, after seeing all the photos here I think Mikel had the best design and should have won; if he had chosen a slightly different shade of green, he would have. Ugh, it kinda makes me angry, because I think he has the most original designs out of the top 4. I LOVED his architectural wall art, I can't believe none of the judges mentioned it, and the only thing I would have liked to see different would be to repeat that design on the living room wall & get rid of that bookshelf. At this point, the only thing I can do is pull for Hilary & hope she learns to edit her rooms quickly or she'll be going home too.

  20. Laura

    I do believe Meg just painted an entire Chicago apartment that green everyone is hating!! I just saw this week's episode of "Meg's Gret Rooms" and there was that gree everywhere!

  21. Andrea

    Loved Mikel! Wish he would have stuck around. However, it's obvious who stands out and it's Brittney and Hillary. I'm surprised Danielle is even still there. She IS whiney and not prepared. My hubby said he would watch B's or H's show.

  22. BarbaraW

    I finally got to watch the episode on On Demand ("White Collar" is back on, unfortunately on the day I work late, and sorry, DS, but Neal and Peter take priority ;p).

    Gotta say, I'd have sent Danielle home instead of Mikel this week. Yes, the green was not an advantageous choice, but it wasn't that bad. And as a sample space, showing how it could be divided was a good idea, though people would almost certainly discover the TV problem in about five minutes–but hey, there's no wall there and lots of room; you could more or less move the sofas however you wanted them for whatever you were doing that day. His camera challenge may not have been totally color-focused (no, Mikel, mentioning that you painted a thing doesn't equal putting color into a space), but it was still warmer and more natural than Danielle's.

    It's too bad. I like both of them and would watch either show.

    I liked Hillari's room, and her challenge, better than Brittney's, but that's just an individual taste thing, probably mixed with my visceral dislike of the color yellow.

    Emily, thanks for mentioning putting books on book shelves. It's a nutty idea, that, but you never know, it might work. I'd even let a designer arrange them by color and size for the camera (though the second the designer was out the door, I'd re-do them by author and/or subject).

    That was a huge, awkward space, and they needed more time to find things they needed. Time is great as a drama factor, but it would be just as great at the end of a third day, when they'd be worried about whether or not things were hanging just right and if, indeed, their design idea had been what they should have gone iwth, not whether or not they'd managed to actually get the basics completed.

  23. Ellis

    I so wanted Danielle to put a freaking rug under her dark table, dark chairs and dark floors that he kept complaining about. Argh! Not that hard! And would definitely help define her spaces better. I like all of these designers, not adoring any of them like I did you (truly!), but more sad than I expected to see Mikel go.

  24. Taylor R

    I predict Hil based on personality. I love her. Danielle based on design. I don't love her personality so much.

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