Design Star, Episode 4

Design Star, Episode 4

Rebecca Orlov
Aug 11, 2009
Here's a before shot from Challenge 4 that featured garage transformations.
This week's Design Star episode on HGTV focused on improving one's home and expanding the "living" areas. In this case - the garage. The 2 teams tackled the 2-day garage transformations while integrating the requests of each home owner, a $10,000 budget and the threat of a double elimination. Plus we'll be chatting every Monday with a Design Star judge to get tips and advice just for Apartment Therapy readers. Let's see how the teams did and hear what judge Vern Yip had to say about "text book" design and tips for making murals work.

The team that tackled the Caswell garage attempted a "Hamptons-chic" vibe that included the client's request for a writing area and elliptical machine. Lacking the "wow" factor, the team's garage-turned-room was nice but was predictable and called "text book designing" by the judges. While in this case of a competition, the judges are looking for an original designer to helm a new show. We thought this idea was relevant for viewers as well since people often pick up a design idea or two from catalogs and encounter challenges for including their own original design style. When we spoke with the lovely Vern Yip, we asked him his advice for breaking the "text book designing" mold.

  • Vern's advice: Be truthful and be honest with yourself. You are multi-faceted and your space should be you. If you find yourself buying something just to fill up space in a room, then you should question why you are really buying it. This often happens with accessories. Instead of filling an empty bookshelf, buy things that have meaning to you, like city-decor that reminds you of a great vacation you enjoyed, etc.

The next team worked on the Lang garage and created an eclectic entertaining space with Spanish design influences. While the couple seemed happy with the interior, they were not happy with the team not listening to their request for incorporating natural light into the dark space. The team also decided to paint a mural on the wall and the judges were not liking it, citing it as "cheapening" the look of the space. We've posted about murals on Apartment Therapy before and asked Vern what his tips for incorporating one into a room.

  • Vern's tips: Think of longevity and things that stir the imagination or are engaging. Consider the spirit of the mural vs being literal. In the case of Lang room, the mural could have been more abstract, using the curves and lines of Spanish design. Another tip is to consider the scale of your room and the scale of the mural. Make sure it works overall in the space.

For more information on this episode, click here to enjoy the Design Star blog. And although the judges are choosing the winner, you still have a voice by voting for the next online design star. Click here for details.

Check out previous recaps featured on Apartment Therapy:

Images: HGTV

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