Design Star Finale is TA-NIGHT!

I haven’t exactly commented yet on HGTV’s Design Star this year since this summer was just about as busy as busy gets.  Visitors from all over the country, a bathroom remodel that lingered and lingered and summer weather that didn’t really show up in Portland until….oh….last week….all kind of kept me from spending a ton of time really reporting on this summertime obsession of mine.  Between Design Star, Kardashians and Mad Men finally on Netflix streaming (yeehaw!), I’d say I definitely got in some decent TV watching this summer.

But back to Design Star!

Aside from the fact that they eliminated Kellie far too early and Mark far too late, I think the final two are pretty spot on!  I actually really like both contestants and am looking forward to what they bring to the final dance, but here are my “thoughts” on tonight’s finale (and maybe some final commentary by Friday when I actually get around to watching it SO NO SPOILERS HERE PLEASE!!!).


At first Meg kind of rubbed me the wrong way.  It was something about her voice or mannerisms….I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.  And in a nostalgic some-of-my-family-lives-in-Chicago-and-I-get-that-personality kind of way, I could sort of see the charm of it but it was initially kind of grating.  However, I think she’s got a really solid sense of design.  The only time I think she really didn’t “shine” was when they did the HGTV’d episode and she was responsible for both the upstairs and downstairs foyer areas:

Though, admittedly, she probably had one of the largest “rooms” in the house to design, so I could totally see that.  And with the time constraints these kids are given, it’s not surprising that this room was such a challenge.  And, really, a hallway??  There’s not much you can do with a hallway to begin with – you have to actually WALK through a hallway so it’s not like the function of it is obvious like a dining room, bedroom or kitchen.  I think this room would’ve been tough on ANY designer, so I can understand how it was probably a bit of a challenge for her.

My absolute FAVORITE room that she designed was way back in Episode 2 or 3 when she took a mishmash room from this monstrosity:

….to this beachy, soothing and beautiful room…

She was paired with somebody on this episode (can’t remember who), but she really stood out on this episode and introduced the whole HGTV community to her sense of style.  I think she’s called her style “South Beach” or something like that and I can totally dig it.  Granted, it’s a little “in” at the moment and probably a little cliche, but I just LOVE it!

I think her hosting is also pretty spot on.  She kind of has a Rachael Ray thing going on – upbeat, lots of fun, somebody you’d really like to sit down and grab a drink with.  And in that way she’s REALLY grown on me and I could totally watch a show where she was the host.  I’d really love it if she was based in Chicago, too.  So many shows are in LA or New York and it’d be so much fun to see something with her in it based there.


Karl has been one of my favorites from day one.  I love his honesty and I totally fell in love with his vulnerable hosting style.  There’s just this feeling that he’s a regular guy just like the rest of us and is kind of awed and overwhelmed by the whole “I could be an HGTV star” thing, which I find so endearing and charming!  He also has a lot of really good ideas and 9 times out of 10, is able to execute them flawlessly.  I loved his graphic tree wall from the first episode:

…and above is the bedroom that he made over for HGTV’d, so it was really a great opportunity to see him shine on his own, which is sometimes pretty hard to see in this show.  Overall, I think Karl has a really good sense of style and design, but none of it stands out to me as, “WOW, that’s amazing!!”  It’s fun, energetic and clever, which has definitely helped him.  I loved the idea where he took a traditional bookshelf and used books as shelves!  And I love how approachable he made that seem.  Such a clever idea!

I think Karl’s hosting style has also come a looooooong way from the very first episode.  He doesn’t feel quite so unsure as he did in the first few episodes so it’s been fun to see how much he’s grown.  The question is whether or not that’s going to get him far in the finale?!?!?

Only time will tell!  I’m so excited to see the finale tonight and I don’t know who I want to see win more.  I think Meg will likely rock it out of the park just because she’s so in-your-face good, but I have a sweet spot in my heart for Karl because he’s just about as cute as Christmas.  It’s a hard one to call, but looking forward to seeing what the results are tomorrow!

I was not comped or asked to write this write up.  I am just writing it as a fan of the show who is looking forward to the finale and glad HGTV has given me something fun to watch this summer!


4 thoughts on “Design Star Finale is TA-NIGHT!

  1. I totally agree with you about Meg. The first episode I watched I cringed whenever she was on screen. Meanwhile I loved Kellie. Then I noticed that I got tired of Kellie constantly talking about being a mom and I started to like Meg. I felt like in the last four weeks or so, Meg’s design aesthetic improved while Kellie’s got worse and worse. By the time she was eliminated I was ready for her to be gone, whereas I wanted to see more from Meg.

    I’m generally middle-of-the-road with Karl. I don’t think he’s done anything that I’ve said “wow” about, but at the same time I haven’t been completely agog at how bad his stuff was either (I’m looking at you Cathy). While I generally had no opinion about him either way, I was really turned off during the $2500 challenge when he made a comment about hating “budget challenges” and how he normally works in the $1m to $1.5m range. I’ve got news for you Mark – your readers do not. In fact, I’d wager that most HGTV watchers would be THRILLED with even $1000 to makeover a room. When I think about what I could do with $2500, his attitude is kind of insulting.

    • Good call on the budget makeover thing! I totally didn’t remember that! Haha! Man, if I had a budget of 1-1.5 million, I think I’d just pay off my house – oh, and take a vacay and cure the world of cancer…ya know, the usual stuff!

      So let’s keep our fingers crossed for Meg?? I think she can do it! I think she’s the one!

  2. The second I heard Karl say that I was done with him.

    Have you read Kellie’s blog? While it’s great to get extra insight into the behind-the-scenes reality of the competition, she come off super incredibly whiny to me.

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