Blogging...Design Star, Episode 1

Design Star is back! The title of the season premiere has set the locale....."Hollywood, Here We Come!". We will be catching you up on all of the design and drama this season and showcasing the winning room from each episode plus tips for using the design ideas and style in your own home. This season, we follow 11 designers as they take on challenges to win the ultimate design prize, their very own show on HGTV. And with the addition of new judges, HGTV's very own Candace Olson and Genevieve Gorder, and returning judge, Vern Yip, we are sure to get great commentary and helpful design tips as we go. The first challenge was...

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...to makeover the house the designers are actually staying in for the duration of the show. This estate, called Chatsworth and pictured above, has an incredible history with previous tenants like Lucille Ball and Frank Sinatra and was designed by William Pereira and Charles Luckman. The designers were given a huge budget of $50,000 and divided into teams to makeover the living room, dining room and three bedroom spaces. For the most part, the teams seemed to get along ok. Bold color, design style and whimsy played a role in many of the rooms.

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The winning rooms were the dining room and living room, featured in the gallery along with the other three rooms. The judges loved the look of Nathan and Dan's dining room, with the amazing focal point the camouflage mural created in the space. We often talk about focal points, like the photo above from an Apartment Therapy post about how to create a dramatic focal point.
  • Apartment Therapy tip: Emphasize or create a focal point in your own home by using color and accents to define the area. Click here for tips on how to do this in your own space.
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They also appreciated the living room team's use of furniture in scale, citing the large couch that worked in the very large living room space. The scale of furniture is an important design tip for any room. For example, the pretty room pictured above that Abby featured in a post about scale and rooms.
  • Apartment Therapy tip: Consider the scale of your furniture and how it will affect the balance, harmony and footprint of the room.
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As for constructive criticism, the judges felt some of the spaces lacked a cohesive theme, like the bunk bed room. (alphabet letters and taxidermy?) They also talked about why creating an intimate and conversational area allows the room to feel lived in and balanced. Although the living room was a winner, some of the space felt a bit lonely. Grace experienced this last year when she was revisiting her own living room space (pictured above) and wondered what to place by her window to make it feel more intimate and comfortable.
  • Apartment Therapy tip: Get rid of dead or lonely spaces by creating a conversation space. Have more then one place to sit, an extra chair or floor cushion that invited guests to relax.

Did you watch the debut episode last night? What did you think about the contestants, the design styles and interesting and quite bold techniques, like duck taping curtains!?!

Check out more focal point ideas from Apartment Therapy:

Gallery images: courtesy of HGTV

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