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Design Star season 7: Makeover for real homeowners

Melissa is the assignment editor and contributing writer for SheKnows Home and Living. While other little girls were playing dress up with Barbie, Melissa was busy remodeling Barbie's house. She now lives out her dream covering design an...

Designing an indoor/outdoor space

Sabrina Soto served as guest judge for episode four of Design Star as designers were paired off to create an indoor/outdoor space for real homeowners.
HGTV Design Star Season 7

Did they live up to the challenge or will the homeowners be begging Soto to redesign the space? You be the judge.

Host David Bromstad, the original Design Star, tasked the designers with making over spaces for real homeowners. Paired off, each team was given a living room that opens up to a patio area, and the designers had to revamp both spaces. With the fabulous Sabrina Soto from the High/Low Project as guest judge, the pressure was high as designers were expected to bring it to impress this talented makeover expert.

Making over your own backyard? Check out these must-try patio trends from Sabrina Soto >>

Mast home

The Mast family already had some decent furniture pieces (we sorta love the original tufted leather ottoman/coffee table), but the hip, young couple wanted a space that would wow friends and serve as an entertaining hot spot. The Mast's had a bohemian chic vibe going on, and here's what they wanted for the living room: a space to entertain, a sophisticated flea market feel and earth tones.

Outdoors they wanted to extend the living space out back, beautify the massive concrete jungle and get some privacy from prying neighbor's eyes while still keeping the view. The homeowners are also gaga for chevron patterns, which should make for an exciting graphic outdoors.

Wondering what else is hot this year besides chevrons? Check out David Bromstad's predictions for 2012 interior design trends >>

Nitzkin home

The Nitzkin's wanted a family friendly living room with easy-access storage to wrangle in their 4-year-old's toys. On their design wish list? Storage, a contemporary design with blue and gray colors (they dig the Scandinavian look) and gold accents.

For the outdoor space, the family wanted an place to gather for entertaining and a relaxing retreat for the family to congregate on the weekend. The outdoor wish list included: upgrading the patio overhang, a family entertaining space and plants and succulents in the yard.

When designer Kris heard they like succulents, he went bananas saying, "You are gonna love me then because I'm like the king of succulents. I'm not afraid to pick up a cactus." His pop was a landscape professional, and Kris picked up some mad gardening skills along the way.

Here's the results:

Mast family's living/dining room

Designed by Hilari Younger and Mikel Welch

Design Star season 7, episode 4: Living Room designed by Hilari Younger & Mikel Welch

Design Star season 7, episode 4: Dining room designed by Hilari Younger & Mikel Welch

BFFs Hilari and Mikel joined forces to revamp the living room. The result was a light and bright living room that impressed the judges. Judge Genevieve Gorder was particularly impressed with Hilari's space planning and furniture selection. Vern Yip was a fan of Mikel's reclaimed wood mirror. The family wanted "flea-market chic" and Sabrina Soto said the design was "spot on." We loved Mikel's wall color selection and the gallery-style wall art. Also, keeping the gorgeous leather-tufted coffee table in the room was a great way to repurpose furniture the family already owned.

Mast family backyard

Designed by Britany Simon and Stanley Palmieri

Design Star season 7, episode 4: Chevron fence designed by Britany Simon and Stanley Palmieri

We are so in love with this outdoor space and the super cool graphic chevron fence. Britany came up with the design that Stanley built. Yip pointed out that the fence worked as functional art and had a sculptural element. Gorder said that finishing the fence with the wooden points made the design "way more dynamic," but her critique of the space was that it was lacking some color. Overall the design impressed the judges (us too!).

Nitzkin family's living/dining room

Designed by Danielle Colding and Miera Melba

Design Star season 7, episode 4: Nitzkin's living room designed by Danielle Colding & Miera Melba

Design Star season 7, episode 4:Designed by Danielle Colding & Miera Melba

We've all experienced a mini-meltdown while scoring some fab finds at Target (hello, remember the Missoni for Target launch last fall?), and Danielle and Miera duked it out in the aisles of Tar-jay while shopping for accessories. Bromstad had to give the ladies a quick design lesson when he noticed that they were dividing the separate rooms by leaving an odd paint line down the wall — a major design no-no and rookie mistake.

Soto was quick to point out the flaws in the finished design where the designers clearly ran out of time, questioning their decision to go semi custom-made instead of store bought, wondering, "Why customize something, but not finish it?" There were also a few random disproportionate accessories, like the gold wall Xs, which Gorder called "a missed opportunity."

Nitzkin family backyard

Designed by Kris Swift and Rachel Kate

Design Star season 7, episode 4:Designed by Kris Swift & Rachel Kate

Rachel had a mad case of homesickness this week and was missing her daughter, especially when trying to showcase some accessories for the family's daughter during the TV challenge, but designwise the team created a fab entertainer's backyard with plenty of seating. Kris made these crazy-cool side tables by drilling holes in a wooden stump and planting succulents. We are totally putting this on our list of DIY projects to try! Rachel's contribution of the kid's corner, however, had a less-than-stellar location next to the trash cans and, as Soto pointed out, "seems a little bizarre." We agree. Smelling garbage while playing house is decidedly not fun.

The results

The judges selected Hilari as this week's challenge winner, which she was thrilled to hear responding, "I'm not in the bottom this time!"

The designer whose show has been canceled? Miera.

Tune in to Design Star next Tuesday as the designers decorate for a Hollywood party.

More Design Star news

Design Star season 7, episode 3: Kardashian Office Makeover
Design Star season 7, episode 2: The White Room Challenge
Design Star season 7 premiere

Photos courtesy of HGTV
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