Dream Kitchen Challenge

This week’s episode of HGTV’s Design Star was the "Dream Kitchen Challenge." The eight remaining contestants were paired into four groups and asked to design kitchens that represent the country's four most popular kitchen layouts and design styles. We think some of the results were yawn-worthy, but fortunately surprise guest-judge Paula Deen made the judges’ panel a little more interesting -- check out the results below and let us know if you think they made the right decision.

Read more about Paula Deen as Design Star's special guest-judge here >>

The challenge

The challenge

The designers were challenged to turn white rooms into ultimate dream kitchens by incorporating one of the four most popular styles in America: L-shaped, U-shaped, galley and peninsula. Each pair selected a style for their kitchen, from global, industrial, contemporary and farmhouse. To make things even harder, the design teams had to create their kitchens from scratch. "I walk around the corner, and I see … white boxes? Is this another white-box challenge?" Kevin wondered.

Meg and Kevin's Loft-inspired kitchen

Meg and Kevin's Loft-inspired kitchen

Meg and Kevin designed their industrial-style peninsula kitchen with bold colors and bright accessories. The kitchen island on wheels and office nook were functional and innovative, but the judges questioned Kevin's styling choices. "Nobody's dream is to have their kids' stuff strewn all over the kitchen," said Vern. "Just because it's supposed to look lived-in doesn't mean that it has to look messy."

Karl and Cathy's contemporary kitchen

Karl and Cathy's contemporary kitchen

Karl and Cathy's design styles meshed well enough to successfully complete their U-shaped, contemporary kitchen -- but by the end they clashed over Cathy's over-styling of the room. (Who doesn't end up clashing with Cathy?)

Minimalist furnishings and lighting kept the space somewhat modern, but Cathy just doesn't know how to edit her styling. "When I look at this kitchen, there is no space for me," said Genevieve. Vern added: "Is there anything left at the grocery store?"

Mark and Kellie's farmhouse kitchen

Mark and Kellie's farmhouse kitchen

Mark and Kellie built a farmhouse-style kitchen around a galley layout. "I'm drawn to farmhouse because I think it most closely emulates a kitchen that a family would actually be in," explained Kellie.

Overall, the kitchen is warm and inviting with charming details scattered throughout, but they missed the mark in a few places – like those corny cabbage candleholders (granted, the judges loved them). And because of time constraints, they used both tile and distressed wood-printed laminate for two different sides of the backsplash – which was a no-no in Vern's mind. "It needs to be one or the other," he scolded.

Tyler and Leslie's global kitchen

Tyler and Leslie's global kitchen

Tyler and Leslie used dark cabinets and cork flooring to create a well-traveled look in their L-shaped space. The judges agreed that the space breathed "global," but unfinished elements like the missing behind-the-sink backsplash and a strange batik-inspired wall brought the room down a notch. We loved Leslie's dangly chandelier – it added a bit of glamor and whimsy to the space.

The results

In the end, the judges agreed that Kellie and Mark's space was the most inviting. "I fell in love with your kitchen," Vern gushed. It's hard not to love Kellie's bubbly on-camera personality – the polar opposite of Cathy's polished-but-stiff on-camera persona. Unfortunately, Tyler's lackluster camera challenge and botched batik wall ultimately led the judges to cancel his show.

Tell us

What did you think? Should Tyler have been the one to go home? Does Cathy's personality drive you crazy too?

Share with us in the comments section below!

Photos courtesy of HGTV.

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Comments on "HGTV's Design Star recap: Dream kitchens or disasters?"

Martina Sarullo August 26, 2011 | 12:32 AM

I am also glad Cathy has been elminated she was very obnoxios and prevented some of the better designers to do what they wanted because she took over. How could the judges expect them to force her to cooperate that would be hard because she just wouldn't listen to other ideas? The show is better off without her.

DEVONECO August 18, 2011 | 4:50 PM

Yessssssssssssss! So glad she's got the boot finally. I thought I might belong to a minority of people who thought Cathy was an obnoxious, stuck-up, self-centered person - but now I feel that almost 100% of viewers thought the same way that I did. Not only was she bossing everyone around, she was the least supportive or cooperative with the other contestants. Right throughout the last week's episode I was telling myself that she would be kicked out - and it did happen. And I wasn't surprised at all! Catty (as I would prefer to refer to her as) should now find an alternate magazine to be featured in. Perhaps the cover of "Fangoria"!

Lindsay Poirier August 15, 2011 | 6:05 PM

In love with the dangly chandelier that Leslie chose for the dream kitchen challenge. I cannot find it anywhere online? Can you advise where I could buy this? Thank you!

jj August 13, 2011 | 2:57 PM

ugh kathy must go she is horrible I don't care how good you are on tv delivering your message somebody has to actually want to watch that message and she is just horrible no talent no ability to work with others she got a gift this week I hope she's gone next week seriously I don't know how she got on the show she has no talent at all nothing original

Eileen August 12, 2011 | 8:27 AM

Please, please spare us another "Cathy" appearance. Her "I know everything attitude" drives me crazy. Also, Vern is so full of himself and belittles the designers - not good. I remember his early work - not that great. He does have a cute smile however.

Colleen August 11, 2011 | 6:50 PM

I've decided they keep Cathy on the show because her hostility could draw viewers. I agree with the posts above...I'm tired of her. Let's stop rewarding bad behavior. But if anyone needs a shopper, she's your girl!!

Margaret August 11, 2011 | 10:26 AM

Cathy needs to go home she can't seem to get along with anyone and won't listen and her ideas aren't very good

cindell August 11, 2011 | 1:32 AM

I love the show..but am getting so tired of Cathy...she has such a bad attitude and is so bossy...she should have gone home this week..please boot her off next week, thank you. Oh, and, VERN..please lighten up...you must not have a family...because what Kevin did in his Kitchen with putting children's artwork on the frig...THAT IS what the Family Frig looks like...and there are always childrens' toys, etc. lying here and there... he nailed it..and VERN belittled Kevin for it... that sucked. If you want to see an apartment that really SUCKS, go take a look at the apt. VERN decorated to be given away for a free years stay in NY city.... :(

Margie August 10, 2011 | 8:31 PM

Cathy isn't someone I would care to watch even once a week. Her personality is better suited for the news not entertainment. She should have gone home.

Alex August 10, 2011 | 6:36 PM

Tyler was my favorite designer, I loved his water bottle lounge at the white box challenge and the kitchen he created with Meg on the home owner challenge. I would love to have him do my kitchen anytime! Instead Cathy should have left, no matter how good her video performances are, she is just annoying, a bad team player although she is good in delegating hard work she doesn't want to do and her decoration of the kitchen looked like my toddler has played grocery shopping in my kitchen.

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