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
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
Living Room AFTER
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 hgtv.com http://www.hgtv.com/design-star-fan-vote-thanks/package/index.html?cid=3507