It’s down to the final four competitors on “Design Star: Next Gen,” and this week, it’s all about television—and not just because the grand prize is the winner’s very own HGTV show (and $50,000).
On the “TV Kitchen-spiration” episode, the remaining designers—Chris Goddard, Carmeon Hamilton, Eli Hariton, and Justin Williams—are building spaces inspired by beloved sitcom kitchens. However, with shows as old as “I Love Lucy” and “The Golden Girls,” these designers know they’ll need to work hard to make these dated styles feel fresh. Plus, they have only two days to remodel.
Actress Tia Mowry joins judges Jonathan Adler and Lauren Makk to help decide which competitor creates the best kitchen—and which will be going home.
Read on to find out how these designers combine sitcom sets with their own personal styles, and the take-home lessons within what they do. Who knows? You might get motivated to make over your own kitchen in ways that pay homage to your favorite old shows.
Some old features, like arches, are back in style
Hariton has the “Everybody Loves Raymond” kitchen to use as inspiration. However, he decides not to include much of the sitcom’s style into his kitchen design. When the kitchen is done, Adler notes that this kitchen is less “Everybody Loves Raymond” and more “Everybody Loves Eli.”
Still, Hariton does reuse one interesting feature: an arch. He’s inspired by the arched doorway on the “Everybody Loves Raymond” set and brings the shape into his kitchen by installing a curved, black accent on the kitchen wall.
“I found an arch in the space, so I put an arch [in] as a focal point, to draw you in,” Hariton says.
The arched feature looks very contemporary, proving that a dated look can feel new with the right application.
Still, Adler isn’t entirely impressed with Hariton’s design.
“It’s not my favorite element of the room,” Adler says of the arch, “but then the way you just sort of, like, did those bottles evenly spaced feels not terribly intentional.”
It’s a good reminder that each inch of the kitchen counts when it comes to design.
While the placement of the bottles and glasses might not impress the judges, the arch itself still looks great, attracts the eye, and gives a timeless charm to the space.
Be wary of using too much color
Goddard chooses to work with the set from “I Love Lucy.”
While he’s given a black and white photograph for inspiration, he chooses to make a kitchen with lots of color, which is how he imagines the “I Love Lucy” set to have looked in real life.
He paints the walls pink and then uses color or pattern on almost every surface. He even covers parts of the cabinets with wallpaper.
“We’re going to use this as an insert in some of the glass cabinets so it almost looks like a fabric,” he explains.
When the judges walk in, they’re overwhelmed.
“I feel like, when you first walk in, there’s a lot going on,” Mowry says.
While a simpler wallpaper pattern may have been a safer choice for the cabinets, Goddard’s DIY design is still brilliant. It’s a smart and inexpensive way to give old cabinets a new look.
Wallpaper serves as a fun alternative to a tablecloth
Goddard already surprises the judges by using wallpaper on the kitchen cabinets, but he’s not done yet! Instead of putting a tablecloth on the dining table, he uses wallpaper to give this old table a new look.
“The focal point of the room and the kitchen was the tablecloth,” Goddard says of the “I Love Lucy” set. “I did a DIY project. I took a midcentury table from that time period. Instead of a tablecloth, I found this wonderful wallpaper.”
The wallpaper design is part plaid and part flowers, so it feels like a classic style. Still, when Goddard combines the old table with the classic print, it creates a look that’s brand-new.
Paneling can make a great wall feature
Williams decides to use the kitchen from “Sister, Sister” since he’s inspired by the paneling on the island in this set. So he decides to use this feature, but on the wall instead—and updates the look with some pattern and color.
“Instead of doing paint, I added wallpaper to that to elevate the room a little bit more,” Williams says.
The paneling gives an otherwise plain wall some visual interest, and the wallpaper gives the space an extra pop. While Goddard uses wallpaper in a wild way, Williams proves that it’s possible to add some DIY color without going overboard.
A kitchen island should always have seating
Hamilton is excited to use “The Golden Girls” as her design inspiration, and right away, she has a lot of ideas for her space. Playing off the decorative Bundt pans on this set, Hamilton creates a floral installation with some Bundt pans that’s incredibly cute.
Still, overall, her galley kitchen doesn’t impress the judges much.
“Your space planning is weak,” Adler says. “The scale is off. There’s a lot of empty space.”
While plenty of people can’t find enough space in their kitchen, it seems Hamilton has the opposite problem. Although Hamilton creates tons of space for a dining table and even a sitting area, she might have been wiser to create seating at her kitchen island. After all, many families use the kitchen as a gathering space.
‘Design Star: Next Gen’: Who wins this round?
Once again, Hariton stands out from the pack: His “Everybody Loves Raymond” kitchen impresses the judges the most, and he’s named the winner of this challenge. This means he’s won three challenges total, so he’s certainly the designer to beat!
Meanwhile, Williams is sent home this week. His “Sister, Sister” kitchen and wall paneling simply weren’t exciting enough for the judges.
While Williams won’t be going to the finals, he’s happy with his work.
“The further you get in the competition, the more difficult it gets,” Williams says. “I feel very proud of the execution of the kitchen.”
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