I do quite enjoy HGTV’s Design Star and have for the six seasons the show’s been on the air. Although I’ve never designed a room based on teapots or stuck random shards of glass upon a wall, I do enjoy watching a living area being made over, the before and after, the color choices, the accessories that give it that personal touch.
This season has certainly not been a disappointment and I look forward to seeing who wins this coming Monday, September 12. I’ve got a real gut feeling about which of the final two is going to win this but first let’s discuss these tiny houses.
The three remaining contenders, Mark, Karl, and Meg, all fretted over the notion that their semi-final challenge would have them designing an entire house which they were told about before seeing the homes of their charge.
They were surprised to discover that they would be designing so-called “tiny” houses, evidently a new way for individuals to live comfortably and inexpensively in a smaller domicile. These tiny houses come in a range from as low as 65 sq. ft. up to 130 sq. ft. The price to build is estimated between $50,000 to $65,000. One must suppose that a plot of land must be provided and one must wonder why a mobile home wouldn’t be a better solution.
This mythical “one” would be me and these were just a few of my thoughts upon the sight of these very small spaces.
Indeed, shock wearing off, I could see why a good design that would combine the elements of efficient space planning plus some kind of appealing décor would be critical if this new mode of living were to succeed.
The designers were assigned two camera challenges for this semi-final effort. Camera challenges are very important for those reality TV competitions that reward the winner with a show of their own, for not only do the contenders have to perform well in the competition, they must also be able to describe what they do very well in front of a camera with the time limitations of this. One camera challenge had the design contender discussing plans with the carpenter assigned to them. Another camera challenge had the design contender doing a walk through of their finished project, a very important task for a designer as you might imagine.
Meg placed her bathroom and closet at the very front of the tiny house, creating a foyer effect. This left the remainder of the space open and seemingly less cramped. She also placed “floating” shelves on the walls in many different places and she decorated them with jars of stones or green herbs.
The judges like Meg’s flair for the décor and did appreciate the bathroom placement and its foyer effect. They didn’t feel like the floating shelves were very effective storage in that a small space needs more large shelving for practicality.
Karl was the only of the designers who put seating outside of the tiny houses and goodness, you’d think this would be a first step for all designers. I should think an outside space to be very important for one living in so small an inside area. Karl also designed an efficient drop-down table for the tiny house’s “kitchen” and created a loft bedroom. Karl painted all of the walls in a house red, a brave move, but with contrasting woodwork it was charming.
Mark was the third member of the final three in the semi-finals. Mark is no longer a contender for his own show as he was eliminated based on this tiny house challenge.
First thing wrong, Mark created some kind of weird design in the house involving an argyle design on the walls and featuring randomly placed belts affixed to the walls. That’s right, I said "belts." It’s not an error. Belts. On the walls. I’m not making this up.
So okay, if belts nailed to a wall might be clever for a bachelor’s bedroom or some such, it might work. But as a major décor for a 65 sq. ft home? Not so much.
Next week HGTV will air the final episode of this season's Design Star.
It’s a close competition between Karl and Meg. Karl’s probably a slightly better designer than Meg. Meg is definitely better on camera than Karl. I think Meg will win this thing. I will be doing a review of her new show on HGTV in this column so stay tuned.
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