Design Star Finale Recap: In Denial

This week Caitlin takes on last night’s finale of Design Star, cops to a long-standing crush, and shares a few lessons learned along the way. Enjoy!


By Caitlin Giddens

In a surprising season finale, the judges of Design Star crowned Danielle the winner. Her new show, called “Shop This Room,” airs August 4 on HGTV. Danielle impressed David, Vern, and Genevieve by creating a space that her artsy clients loved, and by showing personality in her pilot challenge.

I wasn’t a fan of Danielle’s eclectic space, although her incorporation of the artist’s work was a nice touch. Britany’s makeover met her the client’s needs while looking chic, and included family photos that added warmth to the space. Her “Picture Perfect Spaces” pilot brought energy to the screen, and showed impressive progress from the determined designer.

Although I was surprised that Danielle won, I give her credit for selecting a dream team to work with: Hilari the shopper and Stanley the builder. Danielle must have learned a few things throughout the show, mainly how to manage designers’ strengths to produce a winning space. Since I’m still in denial that Hilari isn’t the next Design Star, I’ll focus on what I learned throughout the show: 

1. From her fun flair to her graceful exit, Hilari could not have represented Dallas better. The interior stylist behind Ufunkshen never disappointed viewers looking for entertainment. Hilari described last night’s finale as the ultimate toss up: “It was like apples and oranges,” she said. “Both of them good fruit, but polar opposite in flavor!”

2. I need a pair of glitter pants, as seen in episode three. I also have my eye on Hilari’s leopard pants from last night’s show.

3. When designing a kitchen, less is more. We learned that from Stanley’s hand-shaped cabinet pulls in episode six.

4. I have a mildly distracting crush on mentor David Bromstad. It’s taken the entire season for me to analyze his allure. It’s not because of David’s title as the first Design Star, as I was watching Boy Meets World at the time. Mainly, it’s David’s wise advice and boyish grin. Also, I think we could share skinny jeans. That’s just convenient.

5. Hilari and Mikel need their own show. Now. The designers proved their compatibility in episode four. I’m writing HGTV producers to plead for a series starring Hilari and Mikel. Preferably set in Dallas.

6. Purple walls can make you look crazy. Remember the Barney room from episode one? I know, you tried to forget.

If you’re craving more from Design Star, you have until Friday to vote for your favorite contestant. And if you’re craving more from Hilari (or David) check out this sneak peak of Design Star All Stars, premiering next Tuesday.


  • Dee Gee

    Nice reflections on this season of Design Star. And I agree with you completely about David Bromstad, his boyish charm is endearing.

  • Kim

    Caitlin, I have thoroughly enjoyed your Design Star insights this summer! (And I didn’t even follow the show!) You make me laugh! Best of luck in your future endeavors!!!

  • Kelly

    Such an entertaining read–now I definitely need to catch up on the Design Star eps sitting in my DVR!