Well, guys, here I am, broadcasting from my vacation because I just couldn’t stand to miss the second-to-last recap of the Design Star season. I’m not sure how well I can pull this off with “live TV” (I usually use my DVR to pause the show and take photos and write notes). But for you rabid Design Star fans out there, I’m gonna fly by the seat of my pants tonight and just do the best I can.
Unfortunately, the photo quality is worse than usual since the TV in our hotel room isn’t hi-def, and a lot of them didn’t turn out at all (lots of lines through them), but I figure they’re better than nothing.
Episode #7 starts with Clive giving our final three Designtestants their challenge for the week. We’re down to Matt, Trish, and Jen now, folks. They make one last trip to the so-called work room (where they have never done any actual work, have they?) and take their places behind the paint cans. Clive explains that they will each redesign a room for a family. They will have 26 hours and $10,000.
Who will Jen’s family be? Surprise! It’s her sister Lee in Sioux City, Iowa. Jen tells us how her sister works two jobs and has two kids, so she really, really deserves this makeover.
Trish will be working with her Mom and Dad in Michigan. Trish tells us her mom is an amazing person. Her dad is disabled and her mom took on the role of taking care of the family.
As for Matt, he’ll be redecorating a room in his parents’ house. He tells us, “I’m emotional because we had a family breakup and everyone stopped speaking.”
What? What’s this about? A family breakup?
Well, don’t bother asking for more details because the issue is never brought up again. It’s totally glossed over. He says his mom is a big fan of DS and encouraged him to apply for the show, as if that solved all the problems between them. Not clear whether they’ve been together since the “breakup” or not, so this could be interesting.
Fingers crossed that there might be even a smidge of drama in this episode! (Note: hopes soon to be dashed.)
Matt arrives in Colorado Springs and says, “It really feels like a healing.” He can’t imagine more emotion involved in the challenge for anybody. His design challenge is his mom’s craft room, which she wants to make into a combination game room/craft room. The room is huge. I mean, like, they could play basketball in there.
Jen is doing her sister’s living room. And Trish is going to work magic in her parents’ great room. Her dad requests a recliner because…he’ll sleep in it? It has something to do with his oft-mentioned “condition.” Why wouldn’t he have the recliner in his bedroom in that case? He also wants a Jacuzzi in the room, but I’m pretty sure he’s joking.
Commercial for “Summer Showdown” with HGTV’s top designers and carpenters competing. Ooh! How fun! I’m marking my calendar right now. It’s coming two weeks from tonight. We won’t want to miss that.
Back to DS. Clive lands his helicopter in Michigan to see Trish and tell her “Your time starts now.”
The carpenters show up. Trish asks hers if he’s up for the challenge and he says he “brought a screwdriver.” Um, great. Good to know he came prepared.
She tells him she needs him to lay Pergo laminate flooring and asks if he knows how to do that. He says he has a buddy who does flooring, so he can figure it out. Yeah, that really instills confidence.
They all go shopping. Trish cringes while shopping for a recliner for Dad to sleep on, but Dad needs it since Mom apparently has banned him from the bedroom.
Jen deems her sister’s hardwood floors not worth saving. She talks about finding a carpet store. Carpet?? Please, Jen. No!
Meanwhile, Trish’s carpenter can’t seem to figure out the Pergo, even though he has that buddy who’s good at doing it. Things aren’t looking good for Trish.
Trish goes shopping, leaving her carpenter to figure out the flooring. Trish chooses a “gold-y” color for her parents’ living room that my husband Dave says reminds him of his grandmother’s kitchen (and not in a good way).
Carpet people show up at Jen’s house and report that they don’t have enough carpet to cover the room. Bill the carpenter explains this is how things go in construction sometimes when you “can’t see the trees for the forest.” Which makes no sense at all to me, but maybe that’s because I’m blind to the trees in the forest myself!
Trish gets back and is surprised to find her carpenter has figured out the Pergo!
I don’t believe for a minute that that guy got the entire floor installed while she was gone for an hour to pick up paint, do you? Something’s fishy here. How many real carpenters jumped out of hiding the minute the cameras were off and went to work on that room?
Also smelling like day-old trout: Trish is laying the dark faux-wood laminate floors up to the entry’s light real-wood floor. She appears to have no plan to replace the real-wood floor with the laminate to make it all match.
Yikes. This looks as bad as when she attaches the fake hair on the back of her real hair and calls it a ponytail. This is not classy, Trish. It’s trashy!
Meanwhile, Matt’s stomach hurts because he isn’t finding the furniture he needs and has to go shopping again for chairs tomorrow. Don’t fall apart, Matt. Pop a Pepcid and get your act together. It looks like he’s starting to freeze up like he did when he tried to create a “temple” out of sofa cushions.
It’s Day #3. Carpet guys show up for Jen and she’s psyched that they have enough this time. However, they tell her that it’ll take half the day to get it in and she can’t get in the room to start working on it until they’re done. Not good. Maybe this is a sign that she should LEAVE THE HARDWOOD FLOORS BE. They say the floors are a mess, but they look good enough on TV. You’d think they could do something with them.
Or buy new hardwoods for the room. You have $10,000, Jen! You can’t tell me that cheap microsuede furniture and some paint took all your money already. (Note: I saw the exact furniture at the store I took those photos of the “Fugly Furniture” in a couple months back, so I know it didn’t cost much.)
The designtestants race to the finish as Clive approaches with the dreaded air horn. Their time is up.
They all fly back to DS headquarters. Jen says she wants her own show bad, it hurts. It’s like being able to see her dream right there in front of her but not being able to give it a big hug.
This is the final time they’ll be judged by the esteemed panel: Martha, Cynthia, and Vern. Which two will move on to the final challenge when America will vote for HGTV’s next Design Star?
Jen is up first. She gave her sister’s living room green walls and extra seating—including ones tucked under the coffee table. She handpainted walls in a vine-y pattern that’s pretty cool and may be the only really unique or interesting element in the room.
Martha thinks it looks warmer than before. Vern doesn’t understand why she covered the floors. He’s as perplexed as I am by this decision. The graphic element is one of her signatures, but Vern tells her she doesn’t want to become a one-trick pony. Cynthia loves the walls, though, even if she has hand-painted patterns on walls before.
Matt’s Reveal: His parents love it. They’re crazy about the game table. And his mom never ever would’ve guessed the kiln was behind that wall he put on casters, but it is! It’s right there!
It’s all in earth tones. Very…blah. On the minimal side, as Vern puts it.
I’m disappointed because a game-slash-craft room should really be more fun or something, shouldn’t it? It looks like some sort of executive lounge area to me. Very impersonal and slick.
Oh, Matt, why must you always disappoint me? I had such high hopes for you. I’m starting to think this may be why your family stopped speaking to you.
(I’m kidding. Really. I’m sure this was only part of the reason.)
Vern likes Matt’s solution to hide the kiln. He finds it pretty clever. Martha questions why there are four black leather chairs, which are heavy and dark. He responds that he wanted something…washable? Are you kidding me? This is the best answer you can come up with?
Cynthia isn’t disappointed like Martha and I am, though. Cynthia thinks he did a great job. She thinks it looks effortless. Yeah, like there was definitely less effort involved. I can agree with that.
Vern thinks he did a good job hosting with enthusiasm, though. I’m glad he’s finally getting some kudos for his hosting. I never thought he was as bad at it as they did.
Her mom gets weepy. Maybe because Trish put a dark laminate floor that butts up against a regular wood floor that’s in an entirely different tone and color? I know it would make ME weepy if my daughter didn’t have any more sense than that.
Her dad loves his leather recliner since this is where he’ll be spending his days and nights. Group hug.
Sorry, but the “before” picture didn’t turn out. I only have two “afters”:
I wish I had a shot of how bad this new floor looks up against the old in the entry.
Vern thinks she definitely showed she’s a true designer by extending the fireplace to the ceiling and creating vertical space. I wait for him to say BUT–you screwed up by putting two types of flooring in the same room.
I’m still waiting.
Cynthia thinks it’s too “by the textbook.” This is the worst criticism they can come up with? Apparently. Martha loves it. She thinks the name of the room is “new and improved” because some things are new, and some things are–you guessed it!–improved.
I think these three judges should have THEIR show canceled, frankly. Oh, don’t get me started. I always feel like I’m watching a different show than they are.
Vern raves some more about Trish’s hosting abilities. She can do no wrong. She is very polished, but also approachable. The camera just love-love-LOVES her.
They file back to the green room while the judges deliberate. No tears today–they’re all feeling pretty confident in the jobs they did.
Vern, Martha, and Cynthia deem these 3 the best contestants in DS history.
You have got to be kidding me. I wasn’t thrilled with any of their rooms. They’re so boring. There was nothing inspirational or exciting about any of them, except maybe the hand-painted vine pattern Jen did. Even though they were doing rooms for family members, they managed to suck the personality right out of them (out of the rooms, not the family members, just to be clear). The hotel room I’m staying in right now has more personality than the rooms they did.
I’m annoyed. I can’t help but think, “I took time out of my vacation for THIS?”
The judges are pretending to deliberate. Martha is stuck on the fact that Matt put those four black chairs in the room. She’s rooting for Jen, who is warm. Vern is smitten with Trish. Cynthia thinks Matt is the best. It appears to be a 3-way tie. The judges congratulate themselves once again on having chosen the best 3 contestants possible.
Which 2 will move forward into the final challenge?
Drumroll….and….whoa! It’s a shocker!
Trish’s show has been canceled.
I thought for sure they had already decided she and her fake hair were going to be crowned this year’s Design Star. I’m stunned by this turn of events.
She says she’s disappointed but if she has to go out on a challenge, this was a good one to go out on. They don’t even give her the dignity of an exit interview in the Service Elevator of Doom. It’s like Trish is already forgotten by the time the elevator door clangs shut.
Matt and Jen have made it to the final challenge. Matt feels like a million bucks. Jen knows her husband would be very proud. He’s been carrying their design firm for her while she’s been here. Clive wishes them luck. I wish them some fresh and new ideas so I don’t yawn through the finale like I did through this snooze-fest.
Are any of YOU still awake? Why do I have the feeling no one even bothered to read this all the way through? I’m tempted to make up a few things just to make the recap more exciting. Like, I should say that Trish’s fake ponytail got caught in the door of the Design Star van when she was out shopping. Or maybe the ghost made a reappearance and threw some of the boring accessories out of their rooms. Because, let’s face it, the lack of creativity in this season of Design Star is (in the words of Awesome Michael) Tragic. Capital T-ragic.
Next week: In their biggest challenge yet, they send the designers to help out two deserving families in New Orleans. It’s an emotional challenge in an amazing city, and we’ll choose who will be The Next. HGTV. Design Star.
Yeah, whatever. Wake me when it’s over.
P.S. Did anyone stick around afterwards to watch the premiere of the much-hyped show “The Stagers”? What did you think?
If You’re Hooked on Home-Improvement Television:
- Design Star Recap of Episode 6: The Dreaded Kitchen
- Design Star Recap of Episode 5: The Case of the Missing Sofa
- Design Star Recap of Episode 4: Taking the Plane to Nowhere
- Design Star Recap of Episode 3: Stand by Your (Haunted) Mansion
- Design Star Recap of Episode 2: Clive Was Just Kidding, You Guys!
- The Design Star 3 Premiere: Guts. Glory. Goofiness.
- Are You Flipping Out?
- The HGTV Green Home 2008 Has a Winner!
- Stephanie Dee Wins the HGTV Dream Home But Doesn’t Look All That Thrilled
- Bravo’s “Top Design” Gets New Host for Season 2
If You’re New Here: Hooked on Houses features decorating inspiration, celebrity house tours, fabulous before and afters, real estate news, fantasy open houses and more fun stuff. I love hearing from my readers, so I hope you’ll leave a comment and join the conversation!