Say Goodbye to ‘Trading Spaces’…and Hello to ‘Design Star’!

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I found myself lounging around the house much of this past weekend…

…had a “surprise” Root Canal performed on a back tooth (which became evident during my routine 6 month teeth cleaning) and Jim was working out of town all weekend.

To tell you the truth, I enjoyed the down time for a change. So I gave into my desire to watch episode-after-episode of a show I had never seen before. It’s called “Design Star” on HGTV.

It’s pretty much “Reality TV for interior designers”… but better. Because they’re actually helping people, and making significant changes in people’s actual houses.

Think: “Extreme Home Makeover… as a competition”.

Design Star contestants the first season - 2006.
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On Sunday, they happened to run through every single episode (I think there were 6?) that has already aired this season.

Then, they topped it all off by airing a brand new episode (the next-to-last one for the season).

It was in this episode that two finalists were revealed:



Next week, it’s up to the audience to decide which of these two actually wins (their own home interior design show on the HGTV network).

In next Sunday’s final competition, the 2 finalists give it their all on one final project (that will be revealed to them only moments before they are physically transported to the actual location of their final home makeover).

I’m looking forward to it.

FYI: They re-air past episodes of Design Star on Thursdays at 8PM (eastern) and Saturdays at 6PM (eastern).


Why This Show Is So Interesting…

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All the contestants (initially, there were 10 of them) all live in the same house — much like the whole “Real World” thing — but (thankfully!) that’s never been the focus of the show.

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Design Star has remained much more professional than most Reality TV shows, and the focus remained primarily on the designers’ individual projects.

By the way, I’ve seen bits & pieces of Project Runway — similar concept, different medium — and Design Star is leaps & bounds above that one as well.


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All of the contestants had some personal experience in Interior Design, but not all were formally trained as interior designers. That keeps the show fresher, and somewhat “edgy”, and it goes to show that you can have a good eye and a natural talent for this stuff without necessarily having all the credentials behind your name.

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On Design Star, it truly is coming down to who is good on camera and adept at interacting with (and connecting with) the viewing audience. Their personalities are really coming into play on this show. That keeps it fun.

Unlike say, on Last Comic Standing where they claim something similar, but I have yet to see (or even hear about) the shows of winners from Seasons 1 through 3 of Last Comic Standing. (Season 4 just wrapped up, so we’ll see if Josh Blue actually gets his own gig.)

The “Last Comic Standing” gets an exclusive talent contract with NBC and their own comedy special on Bravo. Source

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I’ve managed to jot down a couple fun & interesting things to try, plus a dozen or so quick tips that I learned from watching these talented designers.

One trick: When you’re painting the baseboards and you don’t want to get paint on the wall above, scoot a piece of thin cardboard (like the 8-1/2″ x 11″ gray kind you find when you buy construction paper or scrapbook papers) along between the baseboard and the wall itself. That way, your paintbrush touches the cardboard, rather than the wall.

I’ve definitely traded loyalties… no more Trading Spaces for me (how silly is it that they have to act all “excited” whenever they get the booby prize of only $1,000 anyway?!). And there’s seldom anything fresh & fun on there for me anymore. Just my $.02.

Design Star 2006 show on HGTV.
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I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I'm truly passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).

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