HGTV 'Design Star' Recap: Smoke and Ladders, Designing for the FDNY

Design Star Emily, Casey, Alex

This week on Design Star, the designers suit up for inspiration as they tackle the challenge of designing a functional common space in a working FDNY firehouse. Which team's designs will go up in smoke?

Spoiler alert: We're telling all. Check it out.


New teams! It's about time, right?

Red team: Nina, Tom, Courtland, and Stacey.

Blue team: Alex, Casey, Emily, and Michael.

Red Team heads to Engine 5 where a firefighter gives them suggestions for what he'd like to see in their common space. If nothing else, Red Team is Team Drama on this episode, and they were throwing out the lines this week.

Nina: "I truly believe that my design idea is the best. I'm better than my group and they can learn from me." Humble much? Nina, you are too easy to pick on. Get over yourself.

Courtland: "Tom is an ADD child on crack." 

I don't know what to think about Tom really. He's opinionated and a bit headstrong and seems to know architecture, but he wants to tackle projects that take all day and paint beautiful, old ceilings black.

Blue Team works on a space for Squad 18. Don't you think they got the short end of the stick here in terms of their space? Emily tackles a coffee table that she's worried about executing. Too bad Dan was sent home. To her credit, I think it ends up being a truly special piece.

Will the Blue Team's paint ever dry? Alex, eager to get going on his design, creates some plastic shoes so he can walk on the floor. I'd call them booties, Alex, but yay for you.

First major casualty of the season? Michael shot himself in the thumb with the nail gun. Ouch. Poor guy and he keeps right on worrying about losing the challenge. Michael, um hi. You have metal in your hand. Get thee to a hospital.

Alex steps up to the plate and works hard to finish Michael's signature piece. So thoughtful, that Alex. The ladies think so, too. Team player! Team player! Alert the judges.

But back to the Red Team. Nina has to create an artistic element (you guys already know this, I'm sure), and her teammates are split on its merit. Courtland finds it beautiful. Stacey thinks this piece belongs in a gallery and not a firehouse.

And the winner of the challenge is: Blue Team, even one man down. I found their design to be simple and functional (the computer desk, the white board, the cozy couches) and artistic (the silhouettes). Casey's individual element, the firefighter's silhouette, won top honors.

As for the Red Team, after we watch them up on stage all doe-eyed, explaining how much they love the space they designed, Vern shocks them, "The reason you are here today is because we feel like you turned in a big, fat zero." The judges didn't hide their disgust, and later the Red Team felt embarrassed by their mistakes.

The big no no's of the design: black paint for the ceiling and wood paneling that looked charred. Not very uplifting. And what should I say about Nina and her braille art piece that Vern didn't say already? Vern put her in her place, "You need to find another way to express yourself besides creating an art piece in each and every challenge." Don't you love how she fought back and explained that the furniture was her idea? But, Nina. The recliner didn't fit!

Bottom two: Nina and Courtland. Pretty appropriate choices seeing that Nina loved Courtland's element and vice versa while the judges hated both elements.

In a majority rules scenario, the judges send Nina packing. Did you see Stacey smirk? Cause she totally did.

Who am I going to make fun of now that the ego queen has left the building?

Did you know that Erin Loechner (Design for Mankind) and Heather Armstrong (Dooce) tweeted about last night's episode? They give hilarious updates in real time. Don't miss them next week.

Did you think Nina's art piece worked well in the firehouse?


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