Inspiration from HGTV Design Star

Reality meets design in HGTV’s hit series “Design Star.” HGTV Design Star mixes the panel-style judging of American Idol with the wow-worthy kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living room transformations of aspiring interior designers, decorators and creative minds. The grand prize? The winner gets a show of their very own to showcase their unique personality and award-winning design chops. It’s a wildly entertaining way to pick the next design sensation that gives you an inside look into what it takes to be a host on HGTV. From zany projects and challenges to tense and emotional eliminations, it’s everything you’ve ever wanted from a reality competition. We like to tune in for the drama, but it’s also an excellent way to get ideas for your own remodeling, renovation and decorating ideas.

HGTV Design Star
HGTV Design Star

About the Show

HGTV Design Star began airing in July 2006 and has been a hit among summer programming ever since. The show is hosted by Clive Pearse and features a star-studded judging panel, including Candice Olson of Divine Design, Verne Yip of Deserving Design and Genevieve Gorder, host of Dear Genevieve. In the past, Cynthia Rowley and Martha McCully, an executive editor of InStyle magazine served as judges.

The show follows a weekly format, with each contestant tackling an interior design challenge. Contestants are required to redesign an existing living space or create a space from an empty room using unconventional themes or items. Contestants have to adhere strictly to budgets and time frames. Along the way, you get to meet the interesting characters who will ultimately inhabit the redesigned spaces, which adds an intriguing depth of personality and humanity to the challenges. At the end of the challenge, the contestants are rated for their performance. Most challenges have a clear winner who went above and beyond expectations, but every challenge ends with one contestant being sent home. Those that underperform or simply can’t pull it off are informed that “Your show has been canceled” and it’s the end of the road.

A kitchen redesign by Genevieve Gorder
A kitchen redesign by Genevieve Gorder

Meet the Judges of HGTV Design Star

Candice Olson is a Canadian designer with her own product line which include lighting and more, and host of Divine Design. Candice’s specialty is taking problematic rooms and transforming them into livable spaces, oftentimes with dramatic results. A graduate of the School of Interior Design at Ryerson University, Candice’s designs are guided by inspiration and vision. She introduces continuity and mood into each space. Candice loves to instill drama into a room and loathes “matchy matchy” furniture sets. Candice also has her own collection of design products for home decor and has released her very own DVD and book.

Candice Olson from HGTV Divine Design
Candice Olson from HGTV Divine Design

Vern Yip is a design icon known for his frequent appearances on Trading Spaces, a hit show on TLC which let’s friends and neighbors reinvent rooms for each other in the vision that they presume (sometimes incorrectly) will please them. With a fondness for silk, candles and flowers, which always add a nice touch to a bathroom with a jacuzzi, Vern is all about the details when it comes to design. Vern also hosts his own show, Deserving Design, which enlists the help of a family to redesign one of their favorite rooms. Meanwhile, Vern surreptitiously redesigns another room, yielding in a heartwarming surprise. Vern has a master’s in architecture from The Georgia Institute of Technology and runs his own design company out of Atlanta, called Vern Yip Designs.

Vern Yip of Deserving Design
Vern Yip of Deserving Design

Genevieve Gorder’s style and enthusiasm is all about bringing joy into a room. Genevieve takes a personal approach to design, and her philosophy revolves around finding out what is important to the individual’s life and making it visible in any given living space. Genevieve is a frequent guest on The View, Today and Oprah and pens a column in Parents for readers with design dilemmas. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, Genevieve cut her teeth doing freelance work for design studios in Barcelona and Amsterdam. Today, she runs her own design company, gg studios, and hosts Dear Genevieve, where she provides down-to-earth advice for homeowners with vexing design challenges.

Genevie Gorder from Ask Genevieve
Genevieve Gorder from Ask Genevieve

Past Winners

HGTV’s Design Star is like a factory for energetic, screen-worthy design show hosts. In the past four seasons, HGTV Design Star has launched the careers of five amazing hosts of some our favorite design shows:

  • David Bromstad took home the title on the very first season of HGTV Design Star. David now hosts Color Splash, which debuted in March 2007. Color Splash transforms rooms through dramatic use of color.
  • Kim Myles was crowned the winner of HGTV Design Star’s second season and now hosts Myles of Style, a show that’s all about unlocking the creativity of homeowners to take rooms from drab to fab.
  • HGTV Design Star season three introduced the nation to Jennifer Bertrand, the new host of PaintOver!, which showcases Jennifer’s talents with paint and design. Jennifer brings new life into the homes of families that deserve it with dramatic design makeovers.
  • Season four of HGTV Design Star gave rise to The Antonio Treatment, hosted by the tattooed design extraordinaire with a big heart and a big personality, Antonio Ballatore. Debuting in March 2010, Antonio explores an eclectic range of design spaces and taps some of the exciting talent of the world’s “new breed” of designers.
Bathroom Transformation by Vern Yip
Bathroom Transformation by Vern Yip

HGTV Design Star Season 5

HGTV Design Star is poised to make its triumphant return this summer. Tune in on June 13, 2010 at 10 PM to catch the next round of promising designers. The show is rejoined by Candice Olson, Vern Yip and Genevieve Gorder, who together will choose the next top design star. HGTV released a call for contestants back in December 2009, reaching out to cities across the globe for aspiring creatives with design expertise, personality that pops and unflagging passion. HGTV Design Star 5 will take place in New York City and will produce yet another compelling host for one of HGTV’s design shows.

Check back at our blog when the season kicks off for more profiles of up and coming designers and backgrounds on the show’s illustrious judges. You can read our earlier post on Candice Olson and her show, Divine Design.


1 thought on “Inspiration from HGTV Design Star”

  1. Looking for the episode. Candice she put in a lot of color together in liv rm yellow green or angry color would like to see. That room I seen it again on the show last week it’s what. I want. To put in mine she was pregnant. And it was a white room very boring help me see this now again. ..

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