Have any of you ever watched the HGTV show, “designstar”? It is a reality show that usually starts with about 16 designers and after each week's challenge, one contestant is eliminated. You know, just like “Celebrity Apprentice” or “The Next Food Network Star.”

Well of course, as a designer, I am a weekly watcher of this show and I have a lot to say about how the designers are judged and the way the show is structured!

First of all, there is rarely a design challenge in which the designers can work individually to showcase their talents. They are always in teams and I know from personal experience that “design by committee” can be a disaster.

The latest challenge involved designing a kitchen using appliances from Sears, followed by a photo shoot for the Sears catalog. The design teams chose baskets representing different countries, France and Italy. Each designer had to choose an item from their basket that would represent them in the finished product. Both teams pretty much used the same basic materials -
hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.

The “Italian” team chose parmesan cheese and garlic as their inspiration. Aren’t both of these products beige?? They had some nice colorful things in their basket – fruits, leafy red lettuce, wine, cheese etc. etc. but they chose the simplest colors. The walls were done in a rustic faux no color finish (I hate this) and the granite was that mixed beige color (no inspiration there). Then they COMPLETELY COVERED THE COUNTERTOPS WITH STUFF!! One member of this team is a photo stylist in real life and you never saw so much stuff on the counters! Well, that is until I saw the other team’s “French” kitchen. This team chose for their inspiration a corkscrew (Alex), escargot shells (Michael, another beige thing) and a baguette (Casey).

The judges, Vern Yip, (who is this guy?), Genevieve Gordon who hosts a show called “Dear Genevieve” and someone else I never heard of were SHOCKED at the clutter on their counters. Genevieve said “I see cupcakes, hydrangeas, mussels, artichokes, wine, herbs and fabrics – what am I doing in this kitchen?”

Good question. Anyway, Casey won, and the other 4 had to “host” their kitchens on camera for the judges and defend them -
Alex was eliminated. I mean really, how do you choose a corkscrew for inspiration and then give the judges something to understand? I guess it didn’t work since he is gone now.

To catch this show watch
HGTV on Sundays at 10, unless you can DVR it while watching “Army Wives” or “Mad Men” instead.

Photo from HGTV

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