Finally, the ‘Design Star’ final challenge

Jennifer and MattGod, I love this show! This could be an Olympic sport, don’t you think? Imagine a design challenge with “athletes” from all over the world — China, Korea, Australia, Italy, Japan, Thailand, Sweden, and so on. They would each get some wood and paint and tools and have at it.

Or, it could be like the Super Bowl. I’d love to have a party with my gal friends to follow the action.

Anyway, Matt and Jennifer had their final design challenge on HGTV’s “Design Star,” helping two families in New Orleans (a city that has grabbed my heart).

Each family has waited three years since Katrina and the levee failure, which flooded their homes. It looked to me like the shell of each home had been cleaned up and restored. Matt and Jennifer were each charged with installing a kitchen into a gutted room, and decorating a living room and dining room. They had 36 hours, $20,000, free appliances and free flooring, and help from carpenters and two past contestants.

As I write this, I’m waiting for the reveals. I favor Jennifer, so of course I want her rooms to be amazing. But I know there are plenty of Matt fans, and they must be feeling the same hope for his spaces.

How will it turn out? After this commercial break, I’ll be right back at ya . . .

OK, I’m back.

Matt's living room

Well, I’d say Matt’s rooms are more beautiful, stylish, classy. The kitchen was really nice, with the built-in appliances and the dining room rocked with the big crystal light fixture. The mod living room is at the right.

However, I’m not sure about that giant dining room table with eight chairs when there are only three people in the family. He did the same thing in the last challenge, putting four gigantic leather chairs in what was supposed to be a combination craft/game room.

Jennifer's kitchen

Jennifer’s rooms were not much more than OK. But the red kitchen cabinets were delicious! You can see them at left.

And even though she had some trouble with the placement of the couch, the point was to make space for the family. And I think she did better with the accessories.

One thing we know for sure: design and construction really shouldn’t be rushed like this. But oh well.

In my opinion, Jennifer is more tuned into people and their needs, and this touches me, while Matt has the better design talent (although his family was thrilled with his work). What do you think?

2 Comments on Finally, the ‘Design Star’ final challenge

  1. riley

    I think Matt has the potential to WOW us in the future but for now I feel like he has only enough time to get the major pieces in the room and it is coming off as if he is trying to find his way. He has to learn to pull a room together in his alotted time. His final design seems to lack flow and a comfort sensability for function. For instance, it would be more comfortable to have the couch in the command position (facing the window and tv). Placing the tv on the window wall would promote a sense of privacy as well as prevent glare. The frame hung too high on the wall in back of the chairs looks so isolated and lonely. The red seems to clash and confuse the soul — I would want to omit it as it seems like an after thought to bring flow to the dining room. Speaking of which, I like the elements of the dining room but as a whole they don’t work. the crystal chandelier needs its space to sparkle and just seems to be fighting with the tract home windows.
    Jennifer seems to be more in tune to her client’s needs. She designed an awesome firehouse red kitchen for the firefighter family and a used a soothing pallet as a base for the large family as to not create clutter — that was smart.
    She understands design fundamentals and knows how to be bold yet soothing. She has a clear understanding of scale and has proven it with her wall design.
    I think what separates the two is the preliminary thought process. Jennifer seems to think it all out first and then put it all together. Matt seems more like he is sculpting or diving into the construction without a design plan. Both are amazing to be able to get anything done in such little time.

  2. Mary Kay Ulsamer

    Had to stop reading your post because I haven’t seen the last episode yet. I missed quite a few due to DVR malfunction, and the online episodes are too choppy.
    So after seeing only a few episodes, I can see myself NOTt missing an episode of Jennifer’s show. I rarely watch Bromstad and have never seen Myles of Style, probably because they’re low budget makeovers (enough of those on HGTV already), not because of the personalities. But I could watch Jennifer regardless of budget because she is so fun and engaging.