Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I was happy to be sharing this whole experience with Danielle.  We made friends very early in the competition when we both discovered we had lost our Mother's to cancer.  After getting to know each other better, we also realized that our Mom's were the driving force for both of us to get into the design field.  I lost my Mom last August, and Danielle lost her Mom only a few months prior to the taping of the show.  I was always amazed by her strength for being able to handle that and the competition at the same time.  That being said, we were two tough chicks that have been through a lot in life, and it was going to make this final competition even harder...

 FINAL TWO! Danielle and I

Right after being named the final 2 from the yurt challenge evaluation, we were told that there was more that we needed to stick around for.  We had no idea what was going on, because typically after evaluation, we load up in the van and head home.  We both assumed we were probably going to be headed right into the final evaluation and a new Design Star finale twist.  We walked into the designer lounge to see David ready and waiting for us.  We were so excited to hear that our past competitors were coming back to help us, because lets be real, we needed it.  We were told that we had three days to makeover a real homeowners living and dining space, as well as film our pilot presentations for our show concept.  That is A LOT to handle in only three days.  When Rachel, Mikel, Stanley, and Hilari walked through the door, I was so happy.  We were able to pick our teams, and I quickly picked Rachel & Mikel, and Danielle selected Hilari and Stanley.

Luckily we didn't have to jump right into a challenge, but we did get to sit down with our producers and our team to discuss our plan for the pilots.  My show concept was "Picture Perfect Spaces"...when we got to the final four of the competition, all of us had meetings with the main producers of the show to discuss our show concept ideas.  From that meeting they had come up with what they thought the best concept for us as well as the name of our shows.  I knew I wanted to incorporate photography in my show idea in a way to make the space more personal and show a new and fun dynamic to the homeowner interaction.  My show wouldn't always be baseed around me taking photos of the homeowners, but also photos of whatever inspires my clients and myself through the design process... people, architecture, nature, etc.  I would then incorporate photography relating these inspirations to the space.  For this pilot in particular, the producers wanted me to photograph the family and incorporate those photos in the space.

 Meeting with my producer Matt before meeting the family

Meeting my family Song, Mark & Luke

 Picture Perfect Spaces

I was excited to meet with the family I was working with and to get started.  I only had 10 minutes to meet with the homeowners to get a sense of their style and vision for the space.  Most importantly they wanted an updated adult space, and it was clear their son's toys had taken over.  They let me know that they wanted all of the toys gone, and to not worry about any sort of toy storage in the space.  This was a space just for the grown up to hang out in.  They wanted their space to feel chic and they specifically requested beefier baseboards and molding to accent the architecture of the home. They also let me know that they wanted fun and bold artwork in the space too.  I was getting more and more excited to get going.  With such little time to meet with the clients I did some digging and analyzing of the their current space after they left.  The rug they had in the dining room was bold and graphic and that let me know they would be comfortable with patterns.  They had a small framed piece of grasscloth on the wall as art, and that inspired me to use  patterned grasscloth somehow in their dining space.  I also found small orange accessories in one of the boxes that was packed up, and that let me know that they were comfortable with that shade of orange, which inspired my pops of the color for the overall design.

 Living Room BEFORE

Living Room BEFORE

Dining Room AKA Luke's Room BEFORE

Filming the "beats" (aka design tips and clips) for the pilot were so much fun.  It was a totally different dynamic filming talking segments to the camera without David and his stopwatch timing me.  I was able to relax and really enjoy the experience of hosting.  Filming all of the segments that make up a five minute pilot were really really time consuming which left little time for actually designing the space.  I was able to come up with a main design concept and luckily I had Rachel and Mikel to source items for me.  I was so thankful to have them on my team.

My fabulous design team... Mikel & Rachel

Working with the dream team

Right away I knew I wanted to add wainscoting to the living and dining rooms to tie the two spaces together.  The homeowners requested  'beefier moldings' and I wanted take that to the next level.  It would not only accent the architecture of the house, but also bring in a modern graphic element.  I also wanted to add a printed grasscloth to the dining room to add texture and drama and a nod to their artwork I had found earlier. It would also help tie in the rug pattern and the color of their existing stone fireplace from the family room. The artwork I found was bold and a contemporary twist to traditional art.  It would be the wow moment as soon as you walked in.  My most exciting moment was when I found the amazing hand painted bowl that you can see on the coffee table while I was shopping.  It was that 'it' piece that helped me inspire the rest of the room's colors and theme around. In my pilot I talked about how a great find like this can lead you in a great design direction, but unfortunately it was edited out of the final cut.

The orange and black and white hand painted bowl that inspired my design for the space

 Living Room AFTER

 Living Room "moment" and me setting up the Dining Room

Dining space AFTER

Living Room AFTER

One of the art pieces OBSESSED

 Mixing of prints & textures

Custom shoe storage

The photo shoot with the homeowners was so fun... we actually only had 15 minutes to shoot the photos because they had to go to work.  But I was excited to be able to capture their photos and use them to make the space more personal.  I have always loved taking photos of children, and trust me, it is incredible what great pictures you can get out of candy or donut bribes.  The photos turned out great, and I printed them in black in white in order to allow them to work well with the other bold artwork I had throughout the space.  In the end the homeowners loved the space, and were thrilled to finally have the space they would be proud to invite their friends over to and entertain in.

Homeowner Reveal

My photography of the family on the printed grasscloth wallpaper

 Me in my final dining space

I walked away feeling confident in my final design for the family as well as my pilot presentation.  I felt so thankful to have made it through the entire competition without any regrets, and was genuinely proud of every space that I designed.  I had a strong showing throughout, never being at risk for elimination, and with two wins under my belt, I was walking into the final evaluation with my head held high.

 Danielle and I toasting to our finished spaces

I was sure that Danielle also did well in her final challenge and with her pilot presentation, so I was soooo nervous going into evaluation.  I took a moment to say a prayer before we went in.... I prayed to God and my Mother, and asked them to take away my anxiety and that I would trust in their plan for me.  If I didn't win this competition, I would trust that it wasn't meant to be, and that God had a bigger plan for me.


After Danielle was named the next Design Star I was absolutely devastated.  But I continued to remind myself of my prayer, and that I would continue to trust in Gods plan.  Everything happens for a reason and I know there are big things ahead for me.  At the evaluation, I had told Genevieve, Vern & David that if I didn't win, I would continue to work towards my dream of having my own design show, and promised it wouldn't be the last they saw of me.  They came up to me afterwards to remind me of my promise and really encouraged me to continue to follow my dream. I am so thankful for the experience, and know in my heart this isn't the end for me.  I will continue to do what I love...designing fabulous spaces for my clients, and will continue to work towards my dream of being back in front of that camera again!

The newest Design Star Danielle with judges David, Genevieve, and Vern

Thank you all for your support, and the Fan Favorite voting is still open until Friday.  Please continue to cast your votes for me... and if I win, I will be back in front of that camera for


  1. You were fabulous Britany. I know that big Big BIG things are in store for you. Never forget what an incredible honor it was to make the cast. XO

  2. Hey Britany,
    I never comment anywhere but I was beyond impressed with all you did on Design Star. I thought your work was amazing; the white room challenge especially as I even took screenshots of that to study. Your beyond-incredible work has inspired me with motivation and ideas that can only be credited to you.
    THANK YOU!!!

  3. Britany I'm such a fan and voted almost every day ( I did miss a couple here and there) Let me list the things I loved... The pillows on the couch, the orange and black bowl on the coffee table... and the coffee table.
    The Wing back chair and even the wallpaper. ( Im not a real wallpaper person, but loved the pattern)The orange pops of color and the shoe storage. But mostly I love the name for your show Picture Perfect Spaces.. Love it!!! taking a photo of the family in the home or something the homeowners love. I do think Danielle did a good job but wish you would of won. All the best and looking forward to your online show.

  4. You handled it with grace, Britany. Your outlook is awesome and there's no doubt that God will lead your footsteps as long as you're willing to listen! I'm looking forward to seeing what's next for you. Congratulations on a job well done.

  5. I agree with Dana. You are the epitome of grace. I'm disappointed you didn't win, because you are by far my favorite designer and I really think you deserve it. However, you've gotten so much exposure, so now it's only a matter of time! Congratulations on getting so far! You've definitely found a following here in the blogosphere!

  6. I couldn't watch the show 'live' so I set up my DVR, but I could not resist and had to do a quick google search on my phone to find out the winner...I was SO disappointed!! I really really REALLY wanted you to win, I thought you were the best designer and, congrats to Danielle, but you were better! I remember Danielle barely finishing her space on time, like that challenge where Mikel was sent home, I remember Danielle didn't even finish. You on the other hand were always consistent in your work and had amazing designs! On last week's show recap I commented how I was voting my ten times all throughout the show and I honestly thought you weren't going to need it as I was so confident you would win :( Glad to see you're winning the fan vote. I think that shows you Britany that we the viewers truly preferred you, we might not be experts like Genevieve and Vern are, but at least you know that we wanted you to win and you were our favorite. Congratulations and good luck, I really look forward to watching your online show!

  7. I was rooting for you!As a photographer myself, I was really pleased when I saw your idea for your show and how it all came together. You grew so much as a host throughout the show. I was so bummed when I saw that you didn't win. You always consistently put together beautiful spaces and made it look effortless. You never had a meltdown and always remained calm. You are very talented and I know God has great things in store for you!

  8. I watched the show yesterday online and they had a photo of Danielle as the winner on the website before I could start the episode. I almost didn't want to watch when I saw that you weren't the winner! I hope you do get a show because I would definitely watch. You are so talented and I loved how real you seemed. I'm glad that now I can read your blog and see all your design projects!

  9. Britany, you soooo had this!! I was rooting for you since Ep. 1! I hope I do see you on TV again. Your designs are AMAZING and you're personality seems perfect for TV. I'm so glad I found your blog and I can follow your designs this way for now! Keep it coming, Britany! :)

  10. Brittany, so glad I found your website. Your work on here is amazing and far surpasses your outstanding designs on the show. Just wanted to encourage you that your future will be exceedingly, abundantly above what you could ask or think. That's His promise to us. I just lost my Dad to leukemia this February and can relate to wanting to be pushed farther in this life through the love and encouragement our beloved parents give us. Looking forward to seeing you around.

  11. You were robbed!! Please don't give up on your dream. You are a doll and your spaces are amazing. Keep praying-and God and your Mama-will help you make it all happen.

  12. Hi Britany! Just want to say that you are so beautiful and amazingly talented! Watched the whole show with my family and we were all so stunned that you didn't win, boo HGTV! Anyway so excited for you and what your future holds, hope to see more of you online, and hopefully on TV!

  13. Britany,

    I'm so sad you weren't the winner, you were my fave all season! I'm shocked it wasn't you. I loved all of your designs. I'm also a photographer and I loved your show concept! I so hope you get your own show!! Good luck in all that you do and congrats on such an incredible journey!!