HGTV Design Star 2009: Celebrity Home Challenge

HGTV’s Design Star 2009, episode 8, is a celebrity home challenge. The Design Star final three (Anthony Ballatore, Lonni Paul and Dan Vickers) showcase their decorating chops in individual challenges. All three receive accolades from the Design Star judges (Vern Yip, Candice Olsen and Genevieve Gorder), but will it be enough to keep their show from being canceled?
HGTV Design Star 2009: Celebrity Home Challenge
The Design Star hopefuls open their paint cans to find out which celebrity they will be designing for. Antonio Ballatore is given the task of designing Kathy Griffin’s office. Lonni Paul draws Tiffani Thiessen’s guest bedroom. Dan Vickers is challenged with redoing a nursery for Jason Priestley.

The Design Star finalists are given a budget of $20,000 to complete their individual makeovers. They have a time limit of thirty hours and three days. Help is given to them in the form of two carpenters, each.

HGTV Design Star 2009: Kathy Griffin’s Office
Antonio Ballatore is immediately given flack by Kathy Griffin. Kathy said that she “doesn’t feel comfortable working with a straight designer.” All kidding aside, Kathy tells Antonio that she needs an office for “Team Griffin.” She wants desks for three employees, with drawers and ample workspace. She tells the Design Star finalist that she is looking for a minimalist modern zen feel, with absolutely no clutter. Kathy actually gives Antonio the most leeway with his office design, giving him carte blanc on color and design. She wanted to see what the potential Design Star could do.

Antonio instantly starts thinking of the functionality of the office’s design and how to make it flow with the rest of Kathy Griffin’s house. He goes bold in color choice, using a light purple for the walls. He then pairs the lavender with gray and silver accent pieces. He decides to use laminate wood flooring, to withstand the office chairs. The Design Star 2009 contestant used metal custom made furniture for the work areas. The desks were separated by book shelves and each had a magnetic board. Antonio also provided Kathy with a wall clock for each time zone. For a feature wall, Antonio had a cool U.S. map cut out of metal. The map was then covered with a clear material, making it a dry erase board.

HGTV Design Star 2009: Tiffani Thiessen’s Guest Room
Lonni Paul designed a guest room for Tiffani Thiessen and her husband, Brady Smith. They requested a contemporary, eclectic and eco-friendly room. Tiffani stated that, “We are not modern at all.” The Design Star contestant’s celebrity room challenge clients stated a preference for earth tones and pops of color.

Lonni immediately begins to form a design plan. She knows that she wants to use textured wallpaper, hardwood flooring and organic bedding. She finds a grass cloth wallpaper and covers the room in it. For a focal bed wall, she gets the wallpaper silk screen printed with a pretty greenish blue design. White organic bedding goes on the bed. The gorgeous piece of reclaimed lumber she found for the headboard did not make it up on the wall. Instead the Design Star candidate balances the headboard on two nightstands. She provides the pops of color with blue and green accents.

HGTV Design Star 2009: Jason Priestley’s Nursery
Dan Vickers’ celebrity home challenge is to decorate a nursery for Jason Priestley and his wife, Naomi. They requested a nautical, Cape Cod and beachy look. The Design Star contestant’s challenge was to also make the nursery a transition room, that could also be used for a toddler and guests.

Dan decides to go with blue and sand tones. The walls are painted an overpowering pale aqua blue, with one random light green wall. He purchases a crib/toddler bed and changing table in antique white. Other furniture in the room included a day bed, dresser and three chairs. The Design Star hopeful took ready made curtains and customized them with a wide band of fabric in the middle. He made wooden ship hull outlines and hung them from the ceiling. Taking a cue from the first Design Star winner, David Bromstead, Dan painted a picture for the room.

HGTV Design Star 2009: Celebrity Reactions
Design Star candidate Antonio Ballatore provided Kathy Griffin with a cool headquarters for “Team Griffin.” Kathy loved the office’s design and thought it would function well. She appreciated the time zone clocks, saying they would come in handy.

Tiffani Thiessen and Brady Smith were thrilled with Lonni Paul’s guest room design. They joked about ditching their master bedroom and sleeping in the new guest room.

Dan Vickers’ celebrity clients, Jason and Naomi Priestly, were also pleased with their new nursery. Naomi proclaimed the space genius and delicious. Jason dug Dan’s artwork.

HGTV Design Star 2009: Judging
Design Star judge Vern Yip gave Antonio Ballatore credit for his office’s design and function, but thought the scale of some pieces were off and it “looked like a hobbit went shopping.” The judges found Antonio’s lavender and gray color scheme to be fresh and exciting. They also praised Antonio’s original and engaging hosting. Candice Olsen called it “unique” and “unorthodox.” She thought Antonio was the “real deal.” Genevieve Gorder said she was shocked, in a good way. Genevieve did have issues with Antonio’s accessories and wished he would have dressed the room more, giving it a designer touch.

Design Star hopeful Lonni Paul’s guest room also received her share of compliments. The judges were excited about her unexpected take on eco-friendly. Vern thought she looked gorgeous hosting on camera. Candice loved the wall treatments. Genevieve thought she had a great temperament, but thought the focal wall was repetitious of what Lonni had done on other episodes. The judges worried about Lonni’s ability to multi-task under time constraints.

Dan Vickers was heaped with praise for his nursery design. Genevieve was impressed to see a designer room and thought it worked on many levels. Candice thought it worked the nautical theme without being too literal and thought Dan was going to “designer heaven,” for his suspended ship frames. Vern loved the painting. All of the judges seemed to think Dan was still too giggly and stiff in his hosting.

HGTV Design Star 2009: Elimination
Design Star host Clive Pearse gave the final three contestant the judges’ decision. Lonni Paul’s constant inability to complete tasks got her Design Star dreams canceled.

Antonio Ballatore and Dan Vickers will battle it out to be the next Design Star. Details were not given, but previews showed room demolition. One could guess that they may have to take on a complete room remodel. They were told that the final challenge was the most difficult yet. Oh, and it starts now!