Each of the final four contestants had to redesign a sparsely furnished main room of a different apartment in the building where they currently reside. They were challenged to create a high-end look with a budget of only $2500 and two days to complete.
This week's camera challenge asked the finalists to create a "look for less" segment, demonstrating how to turn a basic item into a designer focal point. To top it all off, they had to deliver their camera challenge on The Nate Berkus Show in front of a live studio audience (Nate also joined Vern and Genevieve as a special guest judge).
This week's camera challenge was a nail biter. We knew the contestants would be nervous in front of Nate Berkus and a live studio audience of 500, but we were surprised that Mark and Kellie ended up with the weakest on-camera personas.
While Kellie's designs are ho-hum at times, she's always made up for it with genuine and endearing camera challenges. Not so this week. She seemed stale and starchy on the set of The Nate Berkus Show and really lost us when she got caddy with Genevieve during Elimination. In the end, the judges decided to let Kellie go.
On past challenges, judges began to worry whether or not Meg would be able to complete projects in a timely fashion – a quality all HGTV design hosts must possess. This week she proved herself a true Design Star contender. The judges praised her sophisticated vertical molding and her easy-going on-camera challenge. She stretched her dollar the furthest using tasteful accessories, custom furniture, and a lovely color scheme. "I felt every nickel of the $2,500 in that space," said Nate Berkus.
Meg: My favorite part about the space was the verticality that was created by the applied moldings and the floating shelves. When you walk into the room your eye automatically follows the molding up the wall. You should always think about how you can accentuate the assets in a room and in this case it was the height. I also loved the large baskets on either side of the window. Adding a sculptural element was more unique then just hanging artwork on the walls and, not to mention, I couldn't believe how lucky I was to find the right scale and proportion.
Meg: I really utilized my carpenter Arthur this time. We had worked together on the dining room in New Jersey weeks before. I was very confident with his work and I knew I could trust him to complete whatever it was I asked of him. In addition to delegating more tasks to Arthur, this was also the first time where I was designing entirely by myself where I didn't have the distraction of other designers around. I was able to really focus on getting the room completed. I also knew if it wasn't done that I couldn't let that happen two weeks in a row!
Meg: The Nate Berkus Show was a lot of fun, everyone that worked there was extremely nice and friendly. They made us feel very comfortable. I have never been in front of a live studio audience before so I was extremely nervous. I decided it would be easier to pretend like it was only Nate and the judges in the audience. Being on his show really reminded me of what we are all on Design Star competing for -- so I knew I had to do my best! Lastly, having David Bromstad behind the scenes with us was a great distraction. His advice is always very helpful.
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