There are only five designers left in competition on “Design Star: Next Gen,” so the pressure is on when they’re asked to design not one but two spaces.
In the episode “The Great Indoors/Outdoors,” the final five—Arianna Danielson, Chris Goddard, Justin Williams, Eli Hariton, and Carmeon Hamilton—are asked to design indoor and outdoor spaces. Judges Jonathan Adler and Lauren Makk are joined by guest judge Maurice Harris, master florist and founder of luxury floral studio Bloom & Plume. So these designers will need to take special care to include florals.
Read on to see how these designers attempt to impress the judges, and learn some smart decor lessons for spaces both inside and out.
Use burlap for an earthy (and inexpensive) touch
Goddard decides to design a Moroccan-inspired space, with a colorful living room and a courtyard with a beautiful fountain and tons of plants. Right away, the judges are impressed with the interior, which includes chocolate-brown walls and a burlap chair rail that looks wonderfully earthy.
“It’s an absolutely great way to use a cheap product in an effective way,” Makk says of the burlap.
To tie together the interior and exterior, Goddard uses the same burlap to wrap some of the plants outside, which the judges love.
“That’s kind of a nice way of tying the inside with the outside and vice versa,” Harris says.
This proves that inexpensive products, used creatively, can make a space stand out.
Make sure your furnishings are the right size
Danielson chooses to do a unique bedroom with a fabulous lounge area outside, which includes a luxurious bathtub. And while her outdoor space is chic and her florals fantastic, the judges have issues with the bedroom.
The judges point out the large side tables, saying that they dwarf the bed.
“Scale is the biggest problem in this room,” Adler says, “and I feel like you as a designer are big and in your face. I just kind of want a big gesture.”
Adler even points out that the frames on the walls, which are creatively filled with flowers, seem too small for the space.
Danielson’s room proves that design isn’t just about color and shape—it’s about scale, too. Just like how too-large furniture can make a space feel cramped, too-small furniture can make a space feel unimpressive.
Color is the one thing we should all bring into our homes right now
Hamilton realizes that no one in the competition has done a white space yet, so she wants to give it her best shot. In her living room, she uses white walls, white and black furnishings, and lush greenery.
The judges are impressed with Hamilton’s clean lines and modern look. However, Harris thinks she missed an opportunity for bold florals.
“I wish you would’ve brought in a little color with, like, the floral,” Harris says, “because I think that’s what’s so nice about a white space—you can really have a lot of fun with that.”
It seems that Hamilton’s space, while elegant, is just a little too plain. It’s a good lesson in not being afraid to use color.
Plaid makes a bold statement wall—or accent pillow
While Hamilton’s space feels a little safe, Williams impresses the judges with a bold indoor-outdoor office that he imagines to be a unique workspace for an executive.
To give the space a professional yet playful look, Williams puts up plaid wallpaper on the back wall. Right away, the judges love the feature.
“That plaid back wall is genius,” Adler says. “I never would’ve thought of it. I love it.”
To finish the space, Williams includes matching plaid pillows for the couch outside. This detail makes the space feel unified and well-planned. It’s a simple detail that makes the space feel elevated.
Houseplants don’t belong everywhere
Hariton may have won two challenges in a row, but he’s worried about this one. The judges have told him, over and over, that he has a problem with awkward accessories. So the pressure is on to impress.
Hariton does his best to show off his attention to detail, particularly with a creative chandelier. Still, it seems his plans fall short.
While Adler points out that the chandelier itself is interesting, the plants look strange perched on top.
“The chandelier’s a clean graphic,” Adler says. “Make the plants have a reason for being.”
Harris also disapproves of the feature, pointing out that those suspended plants aren’t even in real pots. They’re just stuck in the plastic cups they came in.
“It’s all about the finishings on those things,” Harris says.
‘Design Star: Next Gen’: Who wins this round?
The judges have a tough job this week because while these indoor-outdoor spaces are lovely, they all have some room for improvement. However, the judges decide to name Goddard and his fabulous burlap chair rail the winner.
The judges also reveal that Danielson’s designs weren’t up to snuff, so she will be eliminated this round.
Still, Danielson goes with her head held high.
“I’ve stood out in this competition as someone who’s just different,” she says, “and I’m proud of being a different kind of designer.”