Ellen's Design Challenge: Meet Miles

Ellen's Design Challenge: Meet Miles

Tara Bellucci
Jan 17, 2016
(Image credit: Courtesy Miles Endo)

Name: Miles Endo
City: Providence, RI

Style: Contemporary, clean, and functional. I love clean, tapering lines and architectural inspirations.

(Image credit: Courtesy Miles Endo)

Carpenter paired with: Karl Champley

When did you realize you had potential in furniture design?

About ten years ago, when I got to college, I was so far away from home that I tried making furniture for myself. Much of those early pieces were quite experimental but they pointed me down a path that I have come to love. I actually first rejected the idea of being a furniture design major, and majored in Industrial Design. More and more of my projects became furniture through the years and in my final year in school, I won two awards for students who showed strength in furniture design. From then I knew it would be a major aspect of my design career.

(Image credit: Courtesy Miles Endo)

What are your design strengths?

I have built many of my own designs from start to finish, so I can work with a wide range of materials and tools. I try to pull in inspirations that are outside the realm of furniture design. I make mock ups from cardboard or plywood that help to quickly make design decisions in physical space before doing CAD to really hone in on the design. I am adaptable and work quickly when I have set out a direction.

What are your design weaknesses?

Sometimes it takes awhile to pick my final design. In a worst case scenario, this can mean changing my design halfway through the timeline of a project. That can cut my build time down significantly but thinking back, those instances have produced some of my best work.

Miles' studio, complete with taiko drum and Converse sling chair
(Image credit: Courtesy Miles Endo)

How did you end up auditioning for Ellen's Design Challenge?

When the first season came out, I thought, this is great, one reality TV show that I could really get into. I watched every episode at least twice. I saw that they were auditioning the second season last summer, but I was in the middle of another project of course. I went online and found a weekend to fill out a long application and sent it off! A few weeks later, I got a call back from the producers, doing several interviews before finally getting a call from Ellen herself! I felt so honored to be picked from the hundreds of applicants.

(Image credit: Courtesy Miles Endo)

What challenge from last season would you have loved to compete in? Which one would you pass on?

I loved the first challenge where they created pieces from the empty box, and the junkyard challenge. I think having some material constraints would have really opened up my creativity. I would pass on the sofa build! Working with another outside resource on such a tight schedule seems so risky!

On a scale of 1 to 5 sweater vests, how amazing is Ellen in person?

She is 5 custom tailored sweater vests, at least 2 of them must be vintage Christmas sweater vests! She is hilarious, straight up and down to Earth. Her positive energy is contagious and I like that about her.

Episode eliminated: Episode 7

Thanks, Miles! Watch him compete on Ellen's Design Challenge, Mondays at 9|8c on HGTV!

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