Meet Our 2014 Fresh Faces of Design Winner

Meet the rising star who beat out a crop of talented designers.
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After an extensive selection process involving 100+ submissions from talented designers across the US and weeks of online voting where HGTV fans cast hundreds of thousands of votes, we have a winner. Drumroll, please.  Everyone join us in congratulating Caitlin McCarthy, the winner of our Fresh Faces of Design competition!

Caitlin's genius small-space solutions and approachable high-meets-low design style wowed HGTV fans who voted her design tops in the small space category, then won over the judges who crowned her the winner overall. Here are a few photos of Caitlin’s award-winning downtown Los Angeles loft plus the judges' POV on why she swept the competition:

Becky LaFranchi, Communications and Interior Design Manager for Ikea USA, had this to say: "When designing a small space, every detail is important, each decision impacts another, and the ability to edit is key." Caitlin pulls together a beautifully balanced, collected-over-time look that tells a story but is well edited and doesn’t feel cluttered:

Artistic Details

Artistic Details

Photo by: Jessie Webster

Jessie Webster

Jillian St. Charles, Vice President of HGTV.com adds, "You don't see many luxe-looking galley kitchens. This very functional space combines materials and judicious use of color in a way that’s really engaging."

Galley Kitchen With Pendant Lights and Exposed Brick

Galley Kitchen With Pendant Lights and Exposed Brick

Photo by: Jessie Webster

Jessie Webster

Brian Patrick Flynn, Interior Designer and Founder of FlynnsideOut Productions was impressed with Caitlin’s mastery of scale and the way she incorporated the loft’s century-old architectural elements, like the exposed brick and original hexagonal tile floor:

Vibrant Green Trim on Upholstered Armchair

Vibrant Green Trim on Upholstered Armchair

Photo by: Jessie Webster

Jessie Webster

All the judges could agree that Caitlin's design is approachable and deftly combines bargain finds with glamorous touches, like these Thomas O’Brien Hicks pendants that illuminate the hallway-turned-dining room:

Nautical-Inspired Brass Pendant Lights

Nautical-Inspired Brass Pendant Lights

Photo by: Jessie Webster

Jessie Webster

Off the dining room is the loft's main bedroom. Doorless white walls give the loft a cohesive feel that helps the small spaces flow one into the next:

Small White Bedroom Features Gold Mirror, Ornate Headboard

Small White Bedroom Features Gold Mirror, Ornate Headboard

Photo by: Jessie Webster

Jessie Webster

The jewelbox of a bedroom conceals a real gem: a boutique-worthy glass-doored closet:

Closet With Cabinet-Style Shoe and Accessory Storage

Closet With Cabinet-Style Shoe and Accessory Storage

Photo by: Jessie Webster

Jessie Webster

But that isn't the loft's only surprise — what looks like a built-in in the living room is actually… 

Loft Living Room With Contemporary Seating

Loft Living Room With Contemporary Seating

Photo by: Jessie Webster

Jessie Webster

a Murphy bed that cleverly tucks away when not in use. Genius!

Murphy Bed in Chic, Urban Living Space

Murphy Bed in Chic, Urban Living Space

Photo by: Jessie Webster

Jessie Webster

Judge Becky LaFranchi summed up this petite pied a terre best, "Caitlin's design proves that small-space living can be both stylish and comfortable. It also feels very individualized, and not at all cookie-cutter, like you might expect a tiny space to be." Brava, Caitlin, congrats on your win! 

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