It’s down to just six designers on “Design Star: Next Gen,” and the renovation projects are getting more challenging than ever.
In the “Planes, Trains, and … ?” episode of the Discovery+ show, the remaining competitors are split into teams of two and asked to turn highly unexpected spaces into cozy homes. Tony Allgeier and Justin Williams get a plane, Arianna Danielson and Chris Goddard get a bus, and Eli Hariton and Carmeon Hamilton get a train caboose.
Meanwhile, alongside the usual judges, Jonathan Adler and Lauren Makk, the guest judge this week is Karim Rashid, who has been described as the “most famous industrial designer in all the Americas.”
“Right now, in the world, microdwellings, small housing, is very, very on trend,” Rashid tells the six designers, “so you have the perfect project.”
Still, it’s not an easy project by any means. Aside from these strange spaces, this is the first time the designers are paired up, so they’ll need to work extra hard to make sure their styles and personalities mesh.
Read on to see how these designers work together to turn former transportation vehicles into three adorable tiny homes, which contain plenty of cool ideas you can apply to any space, big or small.
Use pillars to add visual interest
Right away, Goddard and Danielson get to work on their bus design. They use lots of mauve to create a cozy space and add classy black and white floors to make the space feel elevated. As a finishing touch, Goddard gets an idea to install two white columns on either side of the interior.
“This is really a representation of my brand, because it’s adding architectural elements that are unexpected,” Goddard explains.
While adding bulky pieces into already tight quarters may seem like a bad idea, Goddard and Danielson both love the columns—and so do the judges.
“Architecturally, they’re a great idea,” Adler says of the columns, “because I love the idea of compression and expansion. It sort of creates energy in a space.”
So while these columns do take up valuable real estate, they help give this space some shape and keep it from looking like one long rectangle.
Always give your room a focal point
While Goddard and Danielson already do a great job on their living room design, Danielson impresses the judges even more with a mural in the bedroom. Right away, Adler says he likes the look.
“I live for a focal point,” he explains. “That’s, like, always the first thing I think about when I go into a space, is, like, where’s my eye landing? The mural and the sconce are really [a] smart focal point.”
However, there’s one big problem with the mural.
“Those two lamps for me, big mistake,” Rashid says. “I would have just played up the mural very strong and not put those objects there, because now we’re hiding it.”
While the lamps may pose a problem to the design, the judges are still impressed with Danielson’s mural. It’s a great look that’s both easy and inexpensive to create.
Don’t go overboard with plants
Meanwhile, Hariton and Hamilton work hard on their train caboose—and they do a great job of combining their art deco and bohemian styles. However, there is a small issue with the plants.
Adler points out that, on the bus, Goddard and Danielson had done a great job of using palms to create symmetry. But sadly, these potted plants don’t do anything to improve the caboose.
“I get it, you love plants,” Adler says to Hamilton. “But you shouldn’t just use plants everywhere.”
Create a custom bar
While Hamilton may have made a plant faux pas, her teammate Hariton impresses the judges with a custom bar made from PVC pipes.
“It’s just PVC and some paint,” Hariton says. “It doesn’t cost a ton, but it yields a really cool, elevated look.”
The judges love this thrifty creation and the beautiful art deco style.
“To utilize an additional piece up top, just to give it some definition visually, is so genius,” says Makk.
Adler is also impressed with the piece and says he’s sure lots of viewers will want to copy the look.
“I predict that every restaurant around the country will be copying that bar using cheap old PVC pipes and making it look like a million dollars,” he says.
Wallpaper should make a small space feel bigger
Unfortunately, Allgeier and Williams have a hard time working together to rehab their plane. While Williams works hard to style the space, Allgeier’s vision for fabulous drapes doesn’t work out like he’d planned. Still, Allgeier does select a unique wallpaper that they both love.
“It just reinforces our ceiling detail that we’re doing, the repetition, the line, keeping your eye moving through the space, and giving visual interest,” Allgeier says of the black and white print.
This wallpaper, which goes along the base of the plane, goes well with the the plane’s black, white, and yellow color scheme. Plus, it adds a little bit of drama to Williams’ sophisticated design. This wallpaper proves that a little pop of print can really help a space come together.
Who wins this round of ‘Design Star: Next Gen’?
In the end, the judges announce that they are most impressed with Hariton and Hamilton’s chic caboose, and they name Hariton this week’s winner. (That’s two weeks in a row!)
However, the judges decide that Allgeier will be going home this week. After a difficult time with his plane design, the judges feel he’s the weak link that should get cut loose.
Now, it’s down to just five designers—tune in next week to see what happens next.
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