HGTV’s Design Star recap: Dream kitchens or disasters?

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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