HGTV 'Design Star' Recap: Dan Is the Ladies' Man

Dan and Emily HGTV Design Star

From fashion to music. This week on HGTV's 'Design Star' designers worked together to create a relaxing rooftop patio using musical instruments as their inspiration.

Spoiler Alert: We're telling all.


I was so excited to learn that the designers would be heading outdoors this week to design a rooftop patio. Now, perhaps, we'll get to see how they work plants into their design. Yes!

Before the designers select the instruments that will become their inspiration, Judge Vern Yip warns, "This is one of the hardest Design Star challenges ever. You are working with a really intangible inspiration."

For this challenge, the judges gave the women a chance to select one of the guys to join their team. Dan's the lucky man. The women liked his "nice energy" and construction skills. Can he eliminate the drama? So far, so good.

It's the men who are struggling to get along in this episode. Poor Trent. For the second week in a row, his design choices get dissed by Michael, and now Courtland seems to have joined the chorus. To top it off, the guys' beautiful daybed, the signature piece for this challenge, is too large to fit inside of the elevator. Bad news for Alex, who saw the congas represented in this piece.

Stacey's staggered fence idea requires Dan's assistance, and Nina is jealous. But truly, what would Stacey's fence look like without Dan's help? We'll never know. What I do know is that I love the ivy that peeks through the fence and the collection of plants and tea lights on the patio table. Pretty. Go Stacey (trumpet) and Casey (xylophone)!

And guess what? Nina (french horn) paints a purple mural, again! Aw, Nina. You love that paintbrush of yours, don't you? Emily strongly protests, wanting to paint over it, and Nina attacks both Emily and Stacey, calling Emily's table "insane" and Stacey's wall "dull." There she goes again! In Nina's world, there is only room for one designer -- herself. I feel like I say this every episode.

Brash or not, Nina and her French horn design is the judges' favorite for the music challenge. Her mural paid off, and she's got bragging rights again. Sorry, Emily.

As for the guys' patio, I agree with the judges that Alex's inspiration (congas) did not even show up in the room except for the color. And Courtland's (inspiration: cello) Venetian plaster was pretty darn ugly, if you ask me. Courtland seems to be a designer that's either spot-on or way off. Kind of like Nina in a way?

Also, I can't decide what I think about Tom (saxophone). I liked that he tried to help Alex by creating a new daybed, but in the end, the daybed just seemed to represent his own idea and not Alex's inspiration. He seems to have good taste, but he also seems to have trouble creating a design that gels with the rest of the room.

The bottom two designers this week were Trent (keyboard) and Alex (congas). I kind of thought Courtland might be there, but he was spared. Before the judges announce who's going home, Trent makes one final lobby for his work, blaming strong personalities for inhibiting his design sense. The judges send him packing anyway.

You know Trent seems like a nice guy. It's obvious that he doesn't like conflict and has a hard time standing up for himself. In every episode so far, he's let Michael and Courtland tell him what to do. This just doesn't seem like the kind of setting where he can thrive. It's probably better for his self-esteem that he exit now. Best of luck, Trent.

And did you see that next week's challenge involves flowers? Can't wait.

Did you think the judges eliminated the right designer? Was it time for Trent to go home?


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