Design Star Season 7, Episode 9 recap.

Down to the Hilary, Britany and Danielle. I like them all style wise, so now its just who can carry a show.  There are a lot of design shows on right now and frankly even i don’t watch all of them, so i want personality personality personality. Jeff Lewis, for instance, has kinda boring contemporary style and He ALWAYS does the same thing – grey walls, chrome, contemporary tiles, clean lines, yadda yadda. But am i still riveted? Well, maybe not ‘riveted’ but i ALWAYS look forward to his show because of his personality.  If he shook it up every week design wise it would it  be WAY More successful, yes, but i still love it.  I suppose that could be because frankly i’m not looking for design information as much, i’m looking for entertainment which is opposite of what a lot of people look for on HGTV.  

So the challenge is to design a ‘fantasy bedroom’ in a Yurt.  These yurts aren’t exactly beautiful – which they aren’t meant to be so i feel like they were definietely set up for a challenge. There is no natural light, there are no corners or natural shape of a ‘room’ and there are really no ‘walls’.  I still think the glass house is where its at.  

Britany went with a mid-century beach theme, with her handyman Joel (who is on Casey’s show ‘Design on a Dime’, and he’s adorable.)  

I really wish they took these photos during the day, with normal lenses. This room looked good on-screen because the ‘beauties’ were shot nice, but this shot makes it look super weird.  

Ultimately i think this was a successful room. She built this huge headboard wall which could rotate to reveal a closet on the other side, which is super smart.  

Her photography broke up the wall nicely, and i’m glad that she didn’t use 6 different photos or it would have gotten super busy on that wall. Even though i’m not a massive fan of the nature photos specifically, i do like that they felt like windows and brought the outside in a bit.  Smart.  

Ultimately a good space.  Britany’s camera challenges were again good – she seemed nervous, but way better than a ton of hosts that are super hosty. She did seem more comfortable.  

Here we have Danielle. Danielle was an early pick and i’m so happy that she is still in the game.  

No red flags as at. Great layering of rugs, interesting eclectic vibe, weird big plant. I wish she had done a king bed, for sure.  That bed looks tiny and proportionately weird and so chunky (which she admitted).  

Her hosting was like Britany’s – good, getting better each episode and totally likeable in general.  

Ah, Hilary.  I’m sad just thinking about it.  

I loved that bed she put in there.  

But i didn’t love this color of silk. Its purple and purple silk so it can go gaudy really fast.   

I like the seating area enough.  The colors are a bit cuckoo, but i’m not altogether opposed to it. It looks pulled together and visually pleasing, but there is something a little ‘Pier 1′ that i’m not digging.   

Nope. Not into the orchids being hung like this. Orchids are hard sell for me anyways.  

I like the idea of what she did to the door. In fact I love the screens that she made that she didn’t end up using.  

So yeah, spoiler alert.  

Hilary went home, which i didn’t agree with.  Her personality was the most addictive for me.   But i like the other two and am eager to see them in the final challenge where they do a mini version of their own show.  Very curious.  

Yes, i am being diplomatic, obviously. I’m going to end up hanging out and most likely forming a friendship with whoever wins so no, i don’t want to be critical.  I’m sure you all figured that out, which made me not even want to do the recap this week. But i did.  Barely.   

So i’m predicting Danielle.  How are you guys feeling?

  1. On Britany's personal blog she is negative about HGTV, so I'm basically 100% sure that she won't win it. I like Danielle fine, and though hers isn't my favorite personality, I like her design taste just fine. In case there's a question, I'd rather watch you than Danielle. Or Brit. Or Hilary. And I liked Hilary.

  2. Julie

    I CRIED out, "Noooooooooooooooooo! (a la: http://nooooooooooooooo.com) when Hilary got the boot. She was so cute, and the one I picked from the get go. Danielle seems kind of "canned" to me, and though her style is fine…I think a viewer wants more than that. I mean, HGTV made its big boom with Trading Spaces, and if I came home with a paper towel roll chandelier or corrugated cardboard on my walls to "add texture," I would have cursed the producers out, and never spoken to my neighbors/friends/"space traders" again. Since then, HGTV stars have to have more diversified style portfolios AND some zip (Sarah Richardson & Tommy, Candice, Sabrina, YOU). I hope I'm wrong and I DVR her show, but as of right now, I don't see it. But, I DO see her winning. PS: LOVE your guest room. Rad.

  3. hillary

    I was super bummed that Hilari went home (not just because her name is Hilari either, because we all know the number of "L"s and the Y/I thing makes a difference for Hil[l]ar[i/y]s). I think she is the best stylist and the best at picking individual pieces when they go shopping. And Hilari is by FAR the best on camera…totally watchable. She definitely didn't make the best use of her carpenter though, and her color palette in this challenge wasn't the best. That bed killed me though…it was totally the room I would have wanted to stay in. I don't think she should have gone home. I thought Danielle would be going home because of the bed (which looked exactly like her design sketch so I don't know why she was surprised at how it looked). She always seems tired in her delivery which turns me off as a viewer. Wah! Bring back Hilari!

  4. Kate

    I was sad to see Hilary go because she was definitely the most interesting person left. (Note to HGTV, it's not to late to take Emily's suggestion and give her and Mikel a show together :) . I don't dislike Danielle (although I didn't really like her room this week) but she just seemed so tired for the last few episodes that it's been hard to watch. Hopefully if she does win she'll get some sleep!

  5. Brandon

    I just had to comment on this one…I completely agree with Hilary above that Danielle always seems tired. She has this glazed over look that makes me think she's either exhausted or high. And she's boring. Yep, I said it. But I think she'll win. Which I think we all saw from the start. I was pretty devastated that Hilari went home. Being that all I ever watch is HGTV, I was really hoping she'd win to break things up a bit. She's funny and fun and super stylish. Honestly the only one out of the three that I would be waiting to watch every week. Brittany is really cute and I love her style, but I think I can already get her tips on HGTV. I also think this every season…the time given to the contestants to complete these challenges is ridiculous. I have never been wow'd by a Design Star challenge, because the designers are NEVER finished. Emily, you've hinted at this in the past on your blog which I totally appreciate. The judges ripped into Hilari for not putting anything in that corner behind the bed, but with one more day and two more shopping trips she would have fixed it. I feel like that was the thing that they sent her home for which is just beyond silly. Design Star really should be voted on by the viewers on some level. Maybe the right people might stick around longer, aka Mark Diaz who should have won last year. I know there's a lot we don't see but come on. Maybe it's a little silly to care this much, but I count on HGTV to learn and be inspired creatively. So there! Love you Emily!!!

  6. Brilliant idea to do a yurt challenge! I've always been attracted to them but then I get repelled by the idea of how you would make them look like anything but a polar icecap research station!? Tough one.

  7. Gina

    I was so sad to see Hilary go! It's not right I tell you! She was definitely the most fun to watch. As far as style, I really like Britany's style the best and would love to see more of that on HGTV. She is definitely a little nervous on camera but I have a feeling that would fade as she got used to the job. She seems like she'd be a fun gal to hang out with in person, and that's the kind of people I want to watch on television. Danielle's style is awesome as well, but I have yet to see her extremely happy or excited about anything, and that doesn't really draw me to her personality. Her voice is very monotone to me (except in the clip where they caught her saying "SAY WHAAAAT?"). Anyone else feel that way?

  8. Danielle, all the way! She's been my top pick since the beginning. I think she has a great personality too, and in my opinion has overall been the best when it comes to the camera challenge. She does seem to have trouble with time management, but she has great design. Give her the time she needs for planning and any room of hers will look great! Brittney is a great designer, but her hosting is not the best. Hilary is spunky and I love her, but I don't know what she was thinking hanging the purples silk from the walls. I really like the fabric hung from the ceiling like Brittney did. Can't wait for this weeks episode!! Go Danielle!

  9. Cassy

    I'm kind of mad at HGTV right now. I honestly don't know why she went home. I prefer Hilari's "gaudy" to boring/predictable any day. Plus her yurt didn't feel like a yurt. I'm honestly so annoyed that both of the other designers left those ugly wooden lattices exposed on the inside. At least paint them or something? Gross.

    Also Danielle's curtain all "stuffed in" looking at the top?? so sloppy looking yet no mention of it by the judges. I don't get this show.

  10. Emmey

    I was so sad when they said Hilary was out! She was by far my favorite, and the best host of the top three. I would have totally watched her show. But I guess I think Danielle will win, because I've read Brittany's blog…pretty snippy. I'm fine with either of them winning, and I LOVE Danielle's designs, but I liked Hilary's more. Brittany has a more watchable personality than Danielle, in my opinion, but I think it's just editing. Anyway, I'm sure the judges will pick Danielle, just because they've forgiven her a lot and they really seem to love her. Whoever wins, I know I'll be wishing it was Hilary.

  11. I think Brittany will win. I think Danielle is sweet…down to earth. BUT she always seems a little frazzled and not very confident. I agree Hillary should have stayed. She definitely had that best onscreen personality and her room was great. Didn't understand why they were picking on her. I didn't even notice the "dead" space they were referring to. Vern can be a little critical in my opinion. Just sayin'

  12. Molly

    I'm with everyone else. I would have enjoyed Hillary's show the most. I think Brittany has the best TASTE, so for that I hope she wins, but Danielle doesn't suck. I do think they are both much better than the final 2 last year (at least represented by the challenges).

    So riddle me this, Design Star of all Design Stars—why are the contestants totally cool in their one-on-one camera chats and then blow the "official" camera challenges? Is it not the same thing, having a camera stuck in your face? I've always been curious.

  13. Ok, what I hear you saying in not so many words was that you didn't think Hillary should have been the one to go home this week and that in HGTVland, hosting takes preciedence over design and that based on the episode's outcome, the poobahs at HGTV have selected Danielle.
    That would be a shame because I think Brittany killed this episode. There really wasn't a competition. You know how I know? It's the fluorescent tube lights. The only person who covered those ugly things up and made the ceiling look pretty was Brittany. The other two didn't address the ceiling at all.
    You know it, I know it, but I hear you saying something else.
    I loved meg from last season and think she was the best designer of the final 2 as well as having a quirky, fun to watch personality. But mostly, she is a good designer. I like her rooms. I'm not sure I would prefer Danielle's show to Brittany's because the brilliance of the design wouldn't be there. Don't get me wrong, Danielle is not a bad designer but I'm not interested in watching a not bad designer design. There are plenty of mediocre designers on hgtv who have splashy personalities, I don't watch them. I watch you and Genevieve and Sarah Richardson and sometimes Candice Olson ( although I think her clients all wan thT Candace olson look and I think she needs to surprise me). The Novogratz's surprise me sometimes too much but then they do something genius and my jaw drops in awe. At least they are not afraid to take chances. I could watch Meg do kitchens forever. The rest of hgtv designers? Meh. Even David doesn't really do it for me. His vision is not one I'd ever feel comfortable in. But he's a good host.
    Nome sayin'? I want to see brilliant design above all else. And it sounds like that's not what we're going to get.

  14. Suzan

    I'll tell ya what. I don't think I would watch Danielle's show. Maybe it's the two days to get it done thing or the editing, but I am just not a fan of her personality. And her design is fine. But fine won't make me watch a show. Schwoopy ceiling fabric and a closet behind a twirly bed bumps my respect for Britney's design star power. But that's just me.

  15. Lucy

    I feel the same way as Riverdaughter. Although I appreciate an entertaining host I watch HGTV for design. From the first challenge on Brittany has nailed every competition with no screw ups, no unfinished rooms and no fighting with other contestants. Having said that, I am almost certain they will choose Danielle.

  16. Jamie

    Boooooooo! I loved watching Hilari! They should let viewers vote next year.

  17. BarbaraW

    Of the two remaining, I like Danielle, but would have liked Hillari better. I didn't even mind the orchid curtains in the particular context of a yurt bedroom, and that antique daybed was TO DIE. She also seemed much more natural on camera than either of the others.

    As always, I wanted ALL of them to give me more information. Your offhand comment about losing corners making a design challenge was more than I got from any of them about why a yurt is hard (granted, I could have guessed that, but you know… information!)

    As I said, I prefer Danielle, but I'm not sure which one they'll choose.

  18. Linda

    Unless Brittany loses the final challenge, I think she should win Design Star this year. She has not been on the bottom. When Danielle could choose a partner, she chose Brittany and they won. When Danielle pulled off the wall paper and ruined the wall, she stopped working and had to be rescued by Hillari. Danielle doesn't have the personality or stamina to be a Design Star. Hillari may be funny, but she doesn't communicate well; she even had to be pulled back on topic when she was on The Talk. On the other hand, Brittany is smart and creative as a designer, a teacher, and a writer.

  19. Faireden

    I would choose Britany if for no other reason than that I loved the bedspread! I know … ok but really I loved everything in Hilary's yurt, but who wouldn't (actually I want to gold leaf the inside of a book case now!) But both Britany and Danielle designed beds. And I think that trumps the pretty stuff, even if they were not completely successful. With more time Danielle's bedwould have featured the reclaimed wood better and Britany's wouldn't have looked like ugly plywood … well theoretically! Anyway I can't choose, I like them both equally, Brittany seems more host like in front of the camera, but I can relate super well to Danielle and I like her very much. I think everyone is tired at this point and most of the problems these two are having will be overcome. So may the best woman win!

  20. Hilary's yurt room is my favourite mostly because it looks like a Jim Thompson shop. the bed, the colours, the silk, all very reminiscent of his house (now museum) in Bangkok.

  21. I'm so disappointed that Hilari got cut! I would love for Brittany to win. I dunno, Danielle is a little hard for me to watch. I get all tense like she's about to lose it any second. I think Danielle should have gone home after the color challenge, but obviously the judges see a spark there that they like.

  22. Debra

    I love Hilary but I think she styles clothes better than rooms. She needs to go to style channel. As for Britany I hated that stupid bed, it looked like a shop project gone bad and who cares about storing your clothes in a yurt? Those big images blown up were silly too, if you're in a yurt hopefully you don't need to be reminded of the outside because you can just step out and look at it, they were so overwhelming. Plus there is that stupid poorly placed beret. Danielle is really cute and has talent but I don't know if I would want to watch her show, I want to watch your show Emily.

  23. Maggie O

    You have some good commenters on this blog – great ideas and questions already stated, especially that one on why contestants do so well in their interviews and then can't do "official" camera challenges – yeah, why is that?
    Hilari had to have been one of the wittiest competitors.
    I actually don't think Britany was snippy on her blog – I think she just has a strong design point of view, which is probably needed in a competition like this.
    I like Danielle's portfolio better, but Britany has been a great competitor. I've thought each of them did one or two great rooms in their challenges. Pretty even in my mind at this point.
    I do go for info as well as entertainment, but in the end I just want to see pretty rooms. Or rooms that make me gasp – it doesn't necessarily have to be my style as long as there is a transformation.
    And by the way, your mantel video was an excellent example of being both informative and entertaining. "Do it" :)
    And way to do the recap too – it may have been hard, but it was a good read.

  24. Kimberly

    I had Britany Simon as my favorite to win, way back when we had the first blog about this season of Design Star and I'm sticking with it. Did anyone notice how Danielle stole the idea of placing the vinyl behind the grid after seeing Britany's Yurt? I know it's not like Britany invented this idea but it's a competition and the fact was, Danielle had no intention of doing that UNTIL she saw Britany's Yurt. I'm glad that Britany didn't have her ceiling done at the time or no doubt that would've been stolen too. And not stolen in that, nobody else should do it, because they should…just that nobody else would've thought about it because clearly only one person did. I just think that stinks getting ideas from other competitors when you should've thought of that on your own. I probably wouldn't watch Danielle's show. She always looks tired, or as if she's been crying. Very low energy. I think Britany's personality. She reads as a happy person to me and she reminds me of Casey from DOAD and I love Casey's personality.

  25. Woah-the bed Hilary used is just like one I grew up with! My mom will be selling it soon, sadly, but it's kind of a pain to move.

  26. First of all, AM I THE ONLY ONE THAT WAS EXCITED ABOUT YURTS?!
    I mean, those things can be awesome, but maybe I've read too much Architectural Digest back in my teenage years.

    But I didn't really "like" any of them. I mean, they were "okay," and it made me sad.

    I am more or less rooting for Britany. I like how she dresses and I'm not sleepy when I see her on screen. Also, I'm not sold on Danielle's "global" theme. But if she does it with out going "pier 1" (like you said perfectly about Hillary's room) I might be on board.

    But really, they are both okay designers, so I think that it is a toss up at this point.

  27. Mary

    Brittany's was my favorite, Hillary's was my second favorite (are you kidding me with that bed? I WANT IT), Danielle's was too barren for me – probably because of the teeny bed. Again, don't watch the show, can't comment on their hosting abilities though.

  28. BarbaraW

    Tiffany, I was way excited about yurts, if that helps. I'd be more excited about people's actual homes (I think it was a final four in a previous season when they did some star's guest house–which also included rotating furniture–and final three in the LA season when they did celebrity homes), but I guess they couldn't return that stuff and it makes it more expensive for the network. So I'm more than happy to settle for yurts, which are pretty cool, and, I'd imagine, quite challenging.

  29. kelli

    First off, I was super sad Hilary was taken off as well. I thought her space blew Danielle's out of the water. Danielle is talented and I love her past work in the show's beginning but I personally feel like she has been blowing it the last few challenges. This week her camera challenges were terrible and her space did absolutely nothing for me.The black drapes made me want to die.. it looked like someone tacked some fabric up super quick and threw a sad plant next to it (they didn't mention her dead space like they mentioned hilary's either). Her saving grace were the rugs and the brassy accent table and chair to the side. I know I sound super negative but I feel there was a serious injustice. Hilary is spunky, funny and she doesn't look so sleepy! boo!!!

    Brittany, in my opinion is the most consistent with good design (I'm glad she didn't do regencyesque this week). I think out of everyone she is the most talented. Inject a little bit of Hilary's personality and you have the perfect host.

    But who am I to judge.. I'm a designer that would drowned in the first episode. hats off to anyone who can deal with that stress and actually think of good ideas under so much pressure.

  30. I love what Britany did with the room, especally how she didn't hide the wall that most people would deem "ugly," instead using it as part of her theme. The door didn't fit as awkward as the other 2's and that canopy just makes you go wow the moment you see the room.

  31. heather

    I'm on team Britany. She has real personality (if you read her blog) that you don't see on camera. I like Danielle's designs, but her energy is a little off. Also, if you look at the Fan Vote on HGTV right now, Brittany is in first place w/ 22% of the votes. Yuki is in second w/ 19% and Daneille is in 3rd w/ 16% Hilary's only in 5th place w/ 6% of the vote, so clearly something about her is not resonating w/ America, and I don't think its a big shock that she went home (although it seems to be within the comments here).

    Either way, I'm happy with the final two choices and will probably watch either of their shows…i'd just be more excited about Brittany's.

  32. heather

    I noticed something else that leads me to believe Danielle is the winner. Britany has been posting on her facebook page and blog about voting for her as the fan favorite. I don't see Danielle posting anything about thta on her Facebook page, and that's probably because she already knows she won the show and doesn't need the fan choice…

  33. I'm so sad Hilari got cut! And I'm even more sad that Danielle won! Like has been said; she's an okay designer, but I don't want to watch an okay designer who is super "canned" and looks either like she is about to snap or waaaaaay too strung out when she works. Can't say I'll be watching her show like I watch yours, Emily. Wrong move, Gen, Vern and David. Wrong move, indeed.

  34. I really loved Hillari's bed, and I liked the elements she had the carpenter build (though I wish she had stained the door to match and actually used the screens). I liked the concept of the gold-leafed shelves, but not the way the bookcase was styled. The main problem for me was the lack of texture or contrast in those expansive dark purple curtains. The specific type of fabric she chose felt like an '80s bridesmaid dress to me. A little of it contrasted with something else patterned or soft would have been a different thing, but the huge expanse of it just reminded me of halloween costumes where people just buy the cheapest thing in the color they want, without regard to the hand or fiber content. It reminded me of her attempted spandex rug. I think she just doesn't really have enough experience with materials or making things. It seems like she has a good eye while shopping, but doesn't have the knowledge to create custom features. It feels like she just needs to develop a little more.

    Danielle's room needed Hillari's bed. I would have liked to have seen some of that yellow she wanted to use, because I felt that the room was a bit too neutral and didn't have enough drama. However, I felt that her use of traditional hand crafted items really harmonized well with the yurt. I wish she had draped that yellow behind some areas but in front of the lattice to help create different zones within the space with some visual punch.

    I like what Brittany did to address the ceiling. I would have liked more contrast between the headboard stain and floor color. I do feel that the actual windows are weird with the lattice in front, so I like the way she brought the view in through photography. However, the palette feels kind of disjointed between the ceiling and everything below.

    I don't think anybody really dealt very well with the challenges of a round wall with no corners or natural edges.

  35. NotAhilariFan

    thank god hilari's out, she shouldve been eliminated early in the game. remember the white room challenge? she shouldve been eliminated there… she cant sew, hammer nor paint… a good designer should know how to execute their design by themselves…

  36. Jenna

    Emily, I'm sad you never posted about the finale- I was looking for weeks afterwards about your thoughts on the winner!