Tag Archives: white room challenge

Design Star White Room Challenge

Ok well on Design Star, it’s called the White Box Challenge, the spin-off series is called White Room Challenge. (which I am excited to say is filming season 2 as we speak!) Either way, I love reviewing this challenge. I’ve been there, done that, so no excuses in my book. Here’s the thing, these designers auditioned for Design Star and therefore knew (unless they are the unlucky 1st to go) that this challenge was coming. There is no excuse for not having a concept!! So with that being said, lets get onto the reviews!!


Up first, Danielle.  It’s a nice room. The graphic is pretty. I do love black and I like the gold. I just wish there was another color involved. Like a surprise hot pink, or something…something to get me excited. Nothing is really repurposed. I think part of the challenge was to take an item and turn it into something else. Well I see a sofa, coffee table end table and lamp. It looks like she may have tuned her side table into her coffee table… Nothing is really wowing me. You can tell from this space she has a good eye. I understand why she placed the ugly lamp to the right of the sofa. The X graphic is intentionally not centered and she wanted to fill the vertical space to the right of the sofa. Doing so helps balance the space. It’s too bad what she had was that lamp. She probably could have pulled it off if she had changed the shade. It’s ok Danielle I had an ugly light in my white room, it happens. The judges really ripped you on the lamp, but at the end of the day it’s just a lamp. I do wish you would have done something to the floor to make it appear different from the walls. Overall nice job.


Up next Britany. It’s another taped painted wall graphic. (Oh man was there a lot of blue tape happening, not just in Britany’s room in every room) Ok so it’s safe. I really wanted a huge graphic “Britany special” but instead we got a play on wainscoting. It’s been done before (Nina season 5 did something similar) It’s pretty and makes an impact on camera but it’s predictable and I don’t think Britany’s design style is predictable. Again the walls blend into the floors. The coffee table is, well it’s a coffee table. It’s nice but I want a wow. Her wow moment was the neat chandelier she created with gold chains and a lattice end table. That was a pretty moment Britany. It reminds me of a chandelier Emily Henderson did for a Pinterest Challenge. Here she is being super cute and wearing it as a skirt.

So nice job Britany. I can’t wait to see more. So far it’s two very blue rooms… I know you have way more up your pretty little sleeves.

Rachel, what can I say you knocked it out the park. You took the painted wall graphic to a new level and I thank you. I do want to know how many paint colors you guys got!!?? On my White Room Challenge we got 3, and I purchased Emerald Green, black and white. I see my color pallet in your room but you popped it with pink, purple and yellow. The use of pattern is superb and current. The Moroccan tile inspired black and white graphic mixed with an irregular chevron and then finished up with a black and white stripe. Love it. I too have a fashion design background and I like your  freehanded fashion lady. I love all the plants, it’s a tad overkill, but that could also be due the fact they are in their plastic pots and not pretty pots. (which totally isn’t your fault, budgets and time factor in on this) I would have liked to see the pots maybe dipped inpaint… just to give them a bit more detail.

Like these. Just a thought. Overall good job Rachel. You got the win and I 100% agree.


And here we have Bex’s room. Let me just say, there is one color as a designer I have a hard time using and that color is purple. Don’t ask me why it’s so hard for me. Anytime a client asks for purple, lavender or aubergine or whatever you want to call it I get a sickening feeling in my stomach. I don’t know why. I have worked with purple at clients request and it turns out pretty every time but I just have to be honest, it’s not my color. Here Bex picked a blue shade of purple. It’s not a bad color and it looks good on camera and she’s wearing it. I love the copper silhouette, reminds me of those vintage silhouette necklaces and broaches. And I do appreciate she thought out of the box a little more than other contestants. The PVC pipe screens show her ability to reuse things in unexpected ways (which was part of the challenge but the judges didn’t talk much about it in judging) Nice job Bex.

Here’s Mikel. Out of all the rooms his room appears pretty bland and I think it has to do with the paint color. My biggest pet peeve in the spin-off White Room Challenge was the use of bland colors and unfortunately they came back again in Mikel’s room. This is your chance to go big, not bland. The way he stamped his rug was great. The sofa is a reddish color, which is ok. I’m not loving this color pallet it feels a bit dated and traditional. I know Mikel is not dated or traditional. I wish he would have pulled his color pallet from this outfits because he dresses so well. The wood elements are ok for me. Nothing special. The rope detail was neat and shows hints of his creative talents. I just wish I saw all his talent come though not just hints. Not bad Mikel but I know you have more to show us.

Luca. I am just going to be completely honest and say I highly dislike this room. I 100% disagree with the judges and think Luca should have went home. There is NOTHING special in this room. Ok wait the tiny light fixture was neat. The rest just bad. He used 80’s oak color contact paper for the flooring… bad. And there a weird literal butter color on the wall, which clashes with the floors. This doesn’t make me want to see more from Luca. I will say he’s lucky he’s getting another chance next week. Let see if he can live up to all this big talk from day 1.


Ok Kris. Another room I’m not in love with. I also did not like his camera challenge. I will say the concept for this room was the best out of all the designers. But the room isn’t living up to the concept for me. My husbands a firefighter and this really isn’t something someone wants to see, a burned house. What about all those people who have lost their homes, or even worst loved ones in a fire, I’m sure they didn’t appreciate this either. Then you though a flag into the mix. It’s isn’t representing Americana. Sorry, even though the concept was creative, the overall design was slightly offensive and I think Kris should have been in the bottom.


Jordan, Jordan Jordan! I’m really upset Jordan went home. I liked him on camera and I think he knew this wasn’t his best work but he CLEARLY wasn’t the worst. His concept wasn’t great but at least he had one… Luca… The red bamboo arch shows me hints of his talent. He got busted by the judges for just buying items and putting them into the room, well I will say a lot of designers just keep the items they had and placed them into the room… so why is everyone picking on Jordan 🙁 I really don’t have much to say, the room and concept is better than Luca’s, Jordan reads on camera better than Luca. Jordan should have stayed.

And here’s Hilari. The mint green jewelry box. I like mint green, in fact thats the color that is on my nails right now. I just don’t understand why she pinked mint for her jewelry bling bling concept. It isn’t working.

See mint can work in a color pallet. Here it’s paired with pinks and yellows. I would love to do mint right in an interior… any takers!!? The fringe on the sofa was really her only good moment. Hilari mentioned she isn’t handy, but no excuses lady. You knew this challenge was coming. She deserved to be in the bottom, but I respect the fact that she knew it wasn’t her finest hour. I don’t think she should have gone home… Luca…. did I mention Luca should have gone home!!?? But I do agree her room was in the bottom. Hillari I’m sure will bounce back, she’s a smart and has a great personality on camera.


Last up Stanley. This room reminds me of Eli’s Outers space underground room from White Room challenge. I think of lot of HGTV audience isn’t going to understand this space, because it’s so out of the box. BUT that’s what David Bromstad asked for. I remember when we filmed my episode of White Room Challenge we were told don’t do an art installation, but if you do stick a chair in it. That way it’s coming from an interior design point of view. Well Stanley did that literally. He made a colorful light art installation and stuck a sideways sofa in it. Was it creative, yes, was it the best, no. But he intrigues me and I want to see more. I want to see if he can design a beautiful room, I can’t tell yet.


Last up Miera. Miera called me out for calling her room forgettable. I try to critique as honestly as I can, the good AND the bad however I think I did add a little salt in the wound because Miera’s room was left out of the initial blog review on HGTV and for that I apologize. I will say when you go on TV be prepared for people to express their opinions… and most of the time it isn’t nice. On White Room Challenge I totally loved my design however I read some not so nice reviews of my room.(in fact some some were down right mean) So if you want to make a career in TV I recommend you have thick skin OR just don’t read the reviews. I do my best to be honest without being mean. Anyways onto Miera’s room. It reminds me of Mikel’s room. It’s nice, but nothing special. Which was what I meant when I called it forgettable… nothing offensive but no real wow moments either. For what ever reason she had a hard time putting the blocks on the back wall. Dare I say glue gun or nail gun??!! That should have been an easy installation. I do like that she painted out a tile pattern on the floor so her walls didn’t melt into the floor. And I do have to say I think everyone bought that white um er rug is it? It’s in Britany’s, Mikel’s, Danielle’s, Bex’s and Miera’s room. Miera did use it differently and hung it on the wall. I really hope to see Miera’s style come out in a future challenge. So far I feel like she’s playing it a little too safe.

Oh and I have to say how awesome was it to have Vanilla Ice as a judge. I was dying when he kept quoting himself. What did everyone else think, should Jordan have gone home? (NO) Who did you hate, who did you love… who’s getting annoying on camera?!



White Room Challenge… Collectables

Ok thanks for waiting a day for my post. So this week on White Room Challenge we had the biggest challenge yet. The wall-less challenge. Not only did we not have walls, we did not have furniture. Nothing…. we basically had a framed out 10 x 10 space. So it’s surreal to watch and realize how much I missed because I was in such shock. So when we walked in and meet David, let me just tell you I really had no idea what he said other than “Welcome to the White Room Challenge,” and “wall-less” challenge. My mind was running a hundred miles a min, I didn’t even catch where we were shopping (at some point I asked if we were going to a wall store) I was super excited that after we finished the intro filming and knew our challenge (because trust me you wonder for weeks whats coming) that we were going to be shopping at Nicks Metropolis. I’m from LA and have shopped there before, but basically it’s a antique, prop- junk store full of amazingness. HOWEVER, for those who have shopped LA for antiques and such you know this stuff is not cheap. This is not craigslist, this is a store, shopped by many production companies. When you have a high demand for this stuff like LA, the prices go up. Basically that means that $1000 does not go far, and thats all we had for budget. Oh and don’t forget our paint and anything we get on set to build our room comes from that $1000 as well. That put lots of exciting items from Nick’s simply out of budget. (David said he was disappointed in us for this but budget is budget, so we had to buy cheaper stuff and turn it into amazingness) That being said lets get on to the reviews and info you did see…

Our challenge was the wall-less challenge, create a sense of enclosure without building walls. We needed to give the feeling of our room type (bedroom, dining, living and office) but it doesn’t have to be functional. Think way outside the box, and we were going to be judged on how imaginative and ingenious our designs were though the use of our collectables. So here we are, Jennifer Glickman the sweet Interior Designer from Boston. Love her to death, she owns her own design company and lately from her twitter it looks like she’s been working on a lot of restaurant designs. Me, I’m a freelance designer, with an undergrad in fashion design and later went on to complete courses in interior design. I worked on the first 2 seasons of Secrets From a Stylist and just recently got hired by Anthropologie as their home department manager. David Slivinski, the New York interior designer who designs for clients with unlimited budgets. Last, Mark Griffin he went back to school for interior design and he’s a hair dresser as well.

Now onto the reviews. Jen’s constructed deconstruction bedroom. Ok it’s harder to review when you know the designers on these spaces, but I am going to try to look at these rooms with a critical eye. I really didn’t know what Jen was doing the entire challenge, I was painting my floor in my room day 1 and she spent most of day 1 in the work room. Her room was still empty day 1 except for the grey floor she painted. I do know from talking to her that she completely spec’d the platform bed for her carpenter. It’s impressive she can design furniture like that on the fly. The platform bed looked like something you could buy in a store, but that was also the problem, it looked like something you could buy in a store. Our challenge was to be imaginative and ingenious, and although impressive, it was at the end of the day, a well built platform bed. She cut apart stools and wicker furniture to make the headboard but alas it was still a headboard. Put that headboard in a model home on an actual wall with her floating nightstands and it could be a pretty moment. In this room however, it wasn’t working. When Jen realized she designed WAY to literal it was too late so she got upset and threw spaghetti all over her floor, ok not really… but had she have said this was a room of a child with an crazy italian mother I would have been onboard. David Bromstad hit the nail on the head when he said her room never became as great as the ideas in her head and Jenn takes 4th.

Mark’s outdoor dining room. Ok here something funny I don’t remember when he painted that floor. His floor was grey like Jens’s most of the time and I don’t remember seeing him paint the flagstone pattern… so sneaky you are Mark. Ok so Mark’s aesthetic was the closest to mine and based on his purchases I originally thought he was going to be the biggest competition. In fact Marks room is just as pretty if not prettier than Monica’s from the salvaged episode, and she won that episode. If someone had this in their backyard everyone would be loving it. I do agree he could have had more pillows but I don’t remember any pretty pillows being available in the stock room. The lightly is moody. The way he painted that floor with cardboard cutout templates was genius. The arch is just as it was in at Nicks he didn’t repurpose it he simply placed it in his room. He made the the tables and the wall scrolly stuff. He hung those cute tables, he did mention to me later that he was worried I would think he copied my hanging chairs when he hung his tables, because I actually hung mine first BUT he totally didn’t copy me. My intention was the chairs were falling… not hanging pretty like his tables. So overall a very pretty space, but also pretty real world and although his space was my favorite after my own… it didn’t take the concept far enough and Mark takes 3rd.

David’s “think tank,” office. Ok I have to admit I never actually heard David’s concept while we were working I just saw his space. I LOVE the concept of the think tank / thought bubble. The concept is super creative, and there are a lot of creative moments in his room… David’s super funny, creative and totally one up’d my doodling comment. I just have to say I’m not a fan of the overall design. I think I called his room “80’s Vegas on a Cruise Ship.” David managed to take 50’s diner tables and turn them into a crazy 80’s light up steps leading up to a throne. He used the base of the tables to make that light in the back. He turned whirlybird vents into stools of some sort. And don’t forget the bedazzled spider web. I love David’s creativity… and his concept… but I think he could have edited the room a little more. His aesthetic is so far removed from mine, I can appreciate his creativity I just can’t say I’m in love with the actual design. David takes home runner up.

Ok onto my room. Of course this review is going to be a tad longer. I am going to try to touch on all the stuff I did that didn’t show up on the show. Ok first off the floor, yep I drew that out with a pencil a ruler and a string to make the circles. I painted it freehand by edging, I didn’t tape it out because I wanted to save time, and I kinda designed it as I went. I just started in the middle and worked my way out. The back wall was done with furniture legs and then I saw a mannequin so I incorporated the mannequin leg as well… I love me a good appendage. Ok so something you didn’t see is I made that coffee table. It looked like this when I bought it…

It was some kind of weird greek inspired pedestal thingy. My carpenter and I cut the base and the legs off, I flipped the legs so that they were coming out of the center so it could stand up without the greek base, repaired the broken edge, and cut out a new top out of MDF. Then I used a combination of spray paint, stain and I even burned the top a little to age it like the base. I was super excited for the finished coffee table.

It went from bad greek, to neato Alice in Wonderland. So to clear things up I didn’t just buy the table and throw it into the room. That is also why I didn’t smash it like the judges suggested. I appreciate the suggestions BUT the idea wasn’t that everything came crashing down the rabbit hole… it was just falling. I liked the disorientation of the chairs juxtaposing the quite moment of the coffee table. If I could go back and change it… I wouldn’t… I stand by that decision. Maybe Meg got the idea from her room when she broke her table during the last min in her White Room Challenge…

Yep sorry Meg had to do it. You were pretty hard on my room, and I appreciate good criticism, but I have to beg to differ. You felt like I didn’t follow though and wished I would have hung everything. Believe me I thought about it, but I wanted the juxtaposition, I didn’t want it to seem like I came up with a great idea and ruin it by taking it too far and making my room seem like one note. So we can agree to disagree on that one, I still love your show and your designs and respect your critiques. Jamie Durie’s critique about my drapes I felt was kinda a complement in a weird way. He thought my drapes were too predictable for “me,” so I guess he was expecting me to come up with a more creative idea for my side wall-less walls. What you didn’t see is that those weren’t drapes. It was just white cotton fabric I got in the stock room. I cut and sewed a pocket into the top so I could hang it like drape and I dyed it by pooring my green paint into a bucket with water and dipped my drapes into the water. I put the drapes into the room because my room needed color, it wasn’t a cop out as a way to create a sense of enclosure… but I can see how you could think that not knowing where those drapes came from… so now you know 🙂

What else did you miss… oh yes remember Mark criticizing me for buying a sofa?? He thought it was too conventional. Well yes I bought a crazy 60’s rattan sofa… I happen to love rattan if it’s used correctly, but it didn’t end up end up being a sofa, I cut the back off and used it as my art. The wood element came from a wine rack I bought and disassembled for parts. I painted a white chihuahua as a play on the white rabbit… because I have a chihuahua and this was my wonderland room after all.

Same idea on the other items, only I painted a clock as a play on the white rabbit’s pocket watch and the fact that we were timed in our challenge. Kinda cheesy yes but I needed a reason why I did everything so I could defend it at judging if I needed too. The one thing I would have changed in my room is the light. I originally wanted to make a chandelier but I wasn’t going to have time as it wasn’t on the highest priority of what my room needed. I did that ugly little light fixture in the last hour of the challenge… I didn’t address lighting in my room at all and thought I wash going to be questioned about it. I didn’t think I needed lighting, the studio lights lit up my room fine, and in reality my room was a rabbit hole, so there wouldn’t be lighting, but I second guessed myself and hung that stupid lightbulb with the pathetic shade made out the the rings from the wine rack. So thats my ugly moment, David called me out on it, but that got edited out.


Last, I’m going to give a huge shout out to my carpenter Jason. He was amazing!! I couldn’t have done it all without him, although I would have tried. Something funny is we matched on day 2, both wearing plaid… because I love me some plaid. I do say on camera I have a slight obsession with lumberjacks but I guess that was too weird and got edited out. I also said in the beginning, “I’m Rebecca a designer from Vegas who’s not afraid to get my hands dirty…. I’m the dirty girl from Las Vegas….” it was a totally joke everyone was laughing and would had been funny but alas the second part got edited out… Oh well my snarky comments get edited off tv, BUT I edit my own blog so I shall share them here… 🙂

Phew thats a long post… so thoughts… comments… what did everyone think!!


White Room Challenge… the flower challenge

Ok there are spoiler alerts for those who have not watched the episode. Anyways lets get started. I’m kinda excited to be writing my first review…

The Flower challenge. So we had four designers. Carissa Marson, Matthew Bees, Saadia Kibriya, and David Font. I can’t imagine how they are feeling after viewing their episode. Basically you go though this crazy design process and then you go home to go about your normal life like nothing happened, only to relive the experience again on television… while everyone watches. AND you get the hear for the first time what was said about you while you weren’t listening… it’s nuts! So first off congrats designers you made one great premier episode.

So lets see. First impressions of the designers. Carissa, the feisty blonde. She was confident which is important in a challenge like this. Matthew Bees, the sweet southern boy. He’s deaf and I didn’t even notice until I watched the show the second time. Saadia Kibriya, did she mention she was the youngest??? Oh she did quite a few times, she went for the underdog card. Finally there’s David Font, the landscape  architect who researched and prepared for this show. I have to say David was smart, all the designers knew they were going to be on White Room Challenge, preparation is key. Get inspired, gather tons of ideas that way when challenges are thrown at you, you have ideas and inspiration to pull from.

Now onto the rooms… My one main reaction to this episode was… this was the flower challenge… where’s the color?? When I think flowers the first thing to come to mind is greens and hot pink. I’m sad I felt like most rooms were lacking color…

Carissa’s bisto. Ok there are things I like and things I don’t like. Lets start with the things I like. She went for a focal point on the back wall. As far as TV is concerned you need that bold focal point so the eye has somewhere to go to. The flower frames are nice I’m just not liking the flowers in the frames. It’s like, “hey I just made an awesome frame to frame some not so awesome art.” She used two colors on the side walls an oatmeal and yellow. I feel like the oatmeal is being lost on camera. David Bromstad liked the colors, I actually feel they look too muted. Yes the purples, greens and yellows go nicely together but it’s reading like “oatmeal” to me. Overall she used the flowers the best. She did do the build on the back wall but the main design was done with flowers so good job tacking the challenge head on. Cleaned up, and maybe swapping out the colors out for some something more vibrant and bold I think this room could have been a home run. A tip for Carissa is a glue gun can be your friend. She was making an awesome flower dome which the flowers didn’t stick to whatever glue she was using… use a glue gun whenever possible. It drys fast and would have make those cute domes successful. Carissa takes home runner-up.

Matthew, sweet southern Matthew. He made a keeping room. I can’t say I knew exactly what a keeping room was.. so I googled it. It’s an area just off the kitchen of a home. Um, yeah so I still don’t know exactly what a keeping room is but onto the design. He said he wanted his room to be understated. That is where he clearly missed the mark… this is the flower challenge. Flowers make people happy, add softness and color to a room. When I think flowers I don’t think understated. The sofa and green chairs are throw aways to me. He didn’t do much to them and they do nothing for me in the room. Wall color is blah, floor is blah. Coffee table, now this I love. It’s gold with pretty flowers on top. Here is where his love of simple lines played nicely with the flowers. The ivy sconces are AMAZING. I love these and I have to say I’m not a fan of ivy… but I love it here. Those scones were his home run, it’s unfortunate the rest of his room struck out. Matthew takes 3rd place. Thats ok Matthew I think you just gained a ton of fans after this show, your adorable.

Saadia, the youngest. She mentioned she’s only 26. (BTW I was 28 when I filmed my episode I really don’t think it’s that young) So Saadia, don’t count yourself out due to age. I feel like I loved her original ideas, the colors were fresh, the chevrons were current, but unfortunality none of those ideas come together as a cohesive design and she kinda gave up. I do have to say I found my hot pink!!! Thank you Saadia. I wish she would have finished the back focal chevron wall. I wish the wall to the right was grey not “teal”…she called it teal it reads turquoise to me. The room looks lopsided. The sofa is clearly a focal point but I don’t like that it’s placed off to the left. The pretty mirror I like, but it’s hung too high. I feel like I’m looking across this room and not into it. I want to be pulled into a the space, not feel like I’m glancing across it. Saadia THANK YOU FOR USING A GLUE GUN. You get extra points for that. Be smart with the tools given to you and you will succeed (just don’t go overboard and glue your rug to the table) I give Saadia the award for the most potential, however the concept never developed and Saadia takes 4th.

Last we have David. He’s room is coo-coo crazy color and it’s a breath of fresh air after the understated and the oatmeal. This is more what I want to see when I think of flowers. The lines on the wall draw my eye to the big wood flower. The colors are playful… thank you for going bold with the colors David. I loved the coffee table idea, it reminded me of when we were kids and would melt flowers in-between wax paper and hang them in the window. (we all did that , right) My only issue with the coffee table is it’s horizontal and we can’t see it. He also repurposed the sofa in a really neat way, but we can’t see that either. I would have loved to see the flowers pressed in acrylic hung on the wall or vertical somehow so we could have appreciated it more. The arrangement on the left is hideous and David even said so himself. It’s ok ugly happens, normally in the real world we can remove or edit it. David wins and I 100% agree.

Watching this makes me more excited and nervous for the episode I’m on. What kinda music is going to be played while I’m working… am I gonna get the mean person music… the ditzy music… the crazy music… ahhhhh who knows. Can’t wait for next weeks episode… and remember May 15th… it’s my turn to be judged 🙂