Design Star, The Final Challenge

Design Star concluded last night with the final challenge, pitting Antonio and Dan against each other to become the next host of HGTV. The 4-day challenge had each designer making over an entire house - main room, two bedrooms and kitchen for two families. After the jump, let's see how they did and reveal the winner and new host.

The photo gallery features the four finished rooms of Antonio's home and then four photos of Dan's home.

Antonio's House
Antonio worked with the Starr family, a young couple with a toddler. He knocked down walls and enlarged doorways to open up the layout of the home and expand the space. Antonio really wanted to infuse vibrant colors throughout the home and worked with fabric patterns and other accents to add pops of color. He reused his graphic design element in the baby's room and it worked. He also changed the flow of the master bedroom by moving the doorway to the master bathroom and expanding the main wall in that room. A much need change for that space although not part of the challenge. Back to the main room, he decided to place the couch in the center of the room in front of the new mantle piece. We were surprised to see this choice since the long, rectangular room could have benefited from creating zones within the room. Since most smaller rooms are used for many things, creating specific zones in the space will define the room and create balance and harmony.

Dan's House
Dan designed the other home for a mother and daughter who needed a lot more space in their small space. Dan really listened to how the family used their space and also the design styles they like to create the new home for the mother and daughter. Here are a few things Dan did to makeover the home. In the main room, Jackie now has more room and a mirror to practice dance, the television is hidden behind a clever built-in above the fireplace and the purple color palette was a favorite of the family. The kitchen is all new and the washer and dryer are now hidden behind doors. Jackie's bedroom was actually one of my favorites. Dan custom-built a bed with tons of storage underneath and desktops that could slide out for use and back in under the bed when she was done with her homework. The mom's bedroom housed an oddly placed window that she didn't like. By closing off the window, Dan created a new wall and moved the bed to that side. On this note, changing the focal point of a room is a great way to improve the flow and design of a space. In this case, a more extreme measure was taken by covering the window, but it worked.

We feel that both homes were successful but Dan's had a more cohesive design. A winner had to be picked and the judges deliberated about the challenge and previous ones. The winner was revealed and Antonio was announced as the next Design Star. What do you think of the judges' decision? Did they pick the best designer? What did you think of the final challenge and the makeovers?

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There is still one more winner to be announced for HGTV and you can be part of it. Click here to vote for the designer to win their own online design show. Voting ends September 15, 2009.

Check out more posts covering Design Star on Apartment Therapy:

Images: HGTV

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