“Design Star” Is Returning to HGTV in 2021 with a Twist

updated Nov 9, 2020
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No matter how things shake out for the remainder of 2020, 2021 is already off to a promising start with plenty of good things to look forward to, like the launch of the much-anticipated launch of Magnolia Network and a slew of exciting new shows from HGTV. And just when we didn’t think the HGTV lineup could get any better, the network just announced the return of “Design Star,” one of its most popular shows ever.

But don’t call it a comeback. “Design Star: Next Gen” has all the elements of the fan-favorite reality competition show, like weekly design challenges and a $50,000 prize and spin-off show for the winner, but with a modern-day upgrade. For starters, the eight contestants are an eclectic group of talented designers, renovators, and a new talent category, social media brand builders. Since “Design Star” last aired in 2013, the interior design world has become increasingly intertwined with social media, particularly Instagram. Incorporating rising talent from that category is definitely a sign of the times, and it will be interesting to watch this mixed group of designers compete when the shows airs in 2021.

Rather than filming in a studio like the original series did, “Design Star: Next Gen” will take place in what HGTV has described as an “isolated design hub community,” which sounds more like a designer’s paradise than a reality TV show set, adhering to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. It consists of a design center and construction workshop where contestants will flesh out their ideas, a fully stocked furniture and styling warehouse, and individual design labs where contestants will showcase their creative reimaginings for each week’s challenge.

“Design Star: Next Gen” is also going to be a celebrity-studded affair, with Allison Holker Boss of So You Think You Can Dance as host and Jonathan Adler and designer Lauren Makk leading the panel of judges and welcoming celebrity guests each week, which, fingers crossed, means cameos by previous “Design Star” winners Emily Henderson, Tiffany Brooks, and David Bromstad.