The Latest From Ellen's Design Challenge: Pick Your Favorite Travel-Inspired Furniture

Take a design trip around the world with the final five designers' internationally-inspired pieces.

The remaining five designers, left to right Miles Endo, Melissa Moir, Kyle Huntoon, Vivian Beer and Sef Pinney pose with Ellen after she surprised them by driving into the workshop in an electric luggage car filled with 5 suitcases to announce the new challenge. After picking a piece of luggage each containing a flag from a different country, the designers will create a piece of furniture inspired by the country they receive. At judging, the designers will explain how their piece was influenced by their assigned country, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop, a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need, the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.”

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

As both a furniture buff and a travel junkie, Ellen knows how inspiring travel can be. She even traveled around the world with her wife, Portia di Rossi, and interior designer and judge, Cliff Fong, to find unique pieces for her home, including a vintage Giudo Gambone vase in Portofino, Italy.

After surprising the five remaining designers by driving into the workshop in an electric luggage car filled with 5 suitcases, Ellen talks about her travels and the furniture found along the way, and announces a new challenge wih judges Christiane Lemieux (left) and Cliff Fong (center): after picking a piece of luggage each containing a flag from a different country, the designers will create a piece of furniture inspired by the country they receive. At judging, the designers will explain how their piece was influenced by their assigned country, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop, a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need, the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.”

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

So, this week, she challenged the final five to be design tourists, taking inspiration from countries Ellen loves to visit. (Sorry, luggage cart not included.) 

The Designs

Designer Sef Pinney's Danish inspired chair made of multi-layered curved wood is presented to the panel of judges on judging day, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. After picking a piece of luggage each containing a flag from a different country; the designers had to create a piece of furniture inspired by the country they receive. At judging; they will explain how their piece was influenced by their assigned country. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop; a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need; the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Sef's design was inspired by Denmark. Since Sef's personal design style is so closely aligned with sleek Danish modern style, he easily decided which direction to go: A classic easy chair with S-curve arms and legs and streamlined cushions. 

See More From Sef

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Flip through his Ellen's Design Challenge projects. 

Meet Sef Pinney

Sef Pinney, an L.A.-based furniture designer and business owner, characterizes his design style as modern with Danish and Asian influences. He says he prefers to work with any type of beautiful wood and veneers, as well as industrial materials such as aerospace plywood, aluminum, steel and titanium. Sef says his strength as a designer is his ability to envision and execute complicated, elegant pieces.

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Chip + Sef

Carpenter Chip Wade and designer Sef Pinney are paired up to bring Sef's designs to fruition. 

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Challenge 7: The Final Three

The remaining three designers face their toughest challenge yet: Create a multi-functional furniture piece that wows the judging panel. 

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Challenge 7: Hard at Work

Here, Sef cuts metal parts for his interpretation of the challenge, a multi-functional desk.

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Challenge 7: The Finishing Touches

Sef and carpenter Chip attach the blue powder-coated metal legs to the modern desk shell. 

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Challenge 7: Sef's Finished Design

This modern take on a secretary-style desk opens to reveal a desk surface, light and storage compartments. 

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Challenge 7: Pivot, Pivot, Pivot

Sef's desk pivots into a vertical, magnetic writing surface. 

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Challenge 7: Bright Details

Sef's modern desk features hardware and metal accents decked out in powder blue paint. 

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Challenge 6: Ellen-Inspired Design

This week, it's personal, as Ellen gives each designera copy of her new design book with a personal note instructing them to build a specific piece of furniture for her. Sef's task: A modern dresser. 

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Challenge 6: A Sofa for 'The Ellen Show'

Ellen challenges the final four designers to create a modern sofa to dress up The Ellen Show's green room. 

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Challenge 6: The Sofa, Before

The show's green room sofa, before the designers tackled its replacement. 

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Challenge 6: It's All in the Details

True to his style, Sef decides to create a 21st-century take on a classic modernist design. Here, he works on the pointed legs for the sofa's wooden frame.

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Challenge 6: The Finished Sofa

Sef's finished midcentury design looks as if it was pulled from a Mad Men-era office waiting room. 

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Challenge 6: Built-In Coffee Table

This stunning piece features a built-in coffee table, a common feature in midcentury-era sofas.  

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Challenge 6: Moveable Armrests

This waiting room-inspired piece features armrests can be moved depending on the occupants' needs. 

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Challenge 6: Back Detail

Carved wood spikes add a graphic detail to the sofa back. 

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Challenge 5: Under Construction

Sef works on the joints of a modern dresser designed with Ellen in mind. 

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Challenge 5: The Finished Design

Designer Sef Pinney's furniture piece has a beech top with a bright turquoise, textured front surface and custom steel handles. 

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Challenge 5: Detail

The angular edges of the piece contrast with the rippled front and custom handles. 

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Challenge 4: International Inspiration

In the competition's fourth challenge, Ellen asked each designer to create a piece of furniture inspired by an international destination. Sef's choice? Denmark, home of the sleek Danish modern style that inspires many of his designs. 

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Challenge 4: Easy Chair

Sef and Chip work the wooden frame of this wide, sleek easy chair, inspired by traditional Danish modern design. 

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Challenge 4: The Finished Design

Chip and sef pressed layers of wood to make the curved seat and back of this chair. Bright blue upholstery adds color and comfort.

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Challenge 4: Chair Detail

The Danish modern-inspired chair features sleek wooden armrests, as is indicative of the style. 

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Challenge 4: Chair Detail

A continuous wooden leg arches from the front to back on each side. 

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Challenge 3: China-Inspired Design

For the show's third challenge, the designers were asked to choose a china pattern to inspire a dining table design. Sef chose an ornate, metallic dish as his inspiration. 

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Challenge 3: Ornate Pattern

Chip and Sef finish the detailed scrollwork on the underside of the dining table. 

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Challenge 3: Sef's Design

With time running out on day three of the challenge, designer Sef Pinney sands the inner edge, where glass will be set. Chip and Sef will mount a mirror inside the table, reflecing the routed design on the underside of the table. 

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Challenge 3: Sef's Finished Design

This modern table features a surprise detail in the center of the table. 

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Challenge 3: Leg Detail

Custom-made metal brackets add an industrial detail to the top of each table leg. 

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Challenge 3: Sef Takes the Stage

Sef presents his modern-meets-traditional dining table to the judging panel. 

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Challenge 3: The Inspiration

Sef's table is set with the dishes that inspired the table's design. The scrollwork featured on the plates is carved on the underside of the table and reflected with a mirror into the center of the table. 

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Challenge 2: Outdoor Design

Chip and Sef pose with power tools as they plan their challenge two design: An outdoor dining table. 

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Challenge 2: Construction Time!

After fabricating the modern steel base of the table, Sef adds a light yellow hue. 

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Challenge 2: The Finished Design

The finished table combines a bright metal base with an acrylic top – a design that would look right at home inside or outside the house! The panel loved this modern take on midcentury lines, and awarded Sef with a win. 

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Challenge 2: Design Detail

See the legs of the table up close, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge

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Challenge 1: Sparks Fly

For the show's bed design challenge, Sef dreamed up a faceted headboard made of metal trianges. Here, sparks fly as Chip creates the pieces.  

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Challenge 1: The Finished Bed

The finished design features a faceted metal headboard, accented with trianges of wood veneer at the bottom of the design. A footboard, complete with an upholstered seat, provides a comfortable place to sit. 

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Challenge 1: Judges' Take

Judge Cliff Fong exmines the metal headboard. Though the design was innovative, the execution and functionality of the piece left the judges wanting more. 

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Designer Vivian Beer's Brutalist-like wine cabinet, made of wood and metal and inspired by Italy, is presented to the panel of judges on judging day, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. After picking a piece of luggage each containing a flag from a different country; the designers had to create a piece of furniture inspired by the country they receive. At judging; they will explain how their piece was influenced by their assigned country. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop; a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need; the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Vivian was asked to create a piece inspired by Italian design. A fan of the Brutalist movement, she decided to create a rugged, industrial-style wine rack with metal and rough-hewn wood. 

Vivian's Design Work

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See all her industrial-chic creations. 

Meet Vivian Beer

Vivian is a furniture designer and business owner in Manchester, New Hampshire. She says her style is modern and that she loves to “push the envelope” with her work by using industrial materials such as concrete and auto body paint. She says she believes her academic background in the Fine Arts allows her to find inspiration in different places, including the arts and crafts community, architecture and even car design.

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Vivian + Matt

Designer Vivian Beer is partnered up with carpenter Matt Blashaw.

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The Final Challenge

For the final challenge, Vivian and Sef will recreate their weakest piece from the competition, giving it a new spin that reflects each designer's style. Ellen joins them on set for the big finish. 

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The Final Challenge: Table Construction

Vivian will recreate a signature dining table for the final challenge. Sparks fly as Vivian uses a grinder to smooth out the edges of the steel legs. 

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The Final Challenge: Vivian's Finished Table

Finalist designer Vivian Beer's design, an elegant signature table with curved metal legs, a wood trestle and a transparent acrylic top paired with a spectacular CNC machined, LED lit acrylic chandelier, is presented to the judges.

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The Final Challenge: Light Detail

A close up reveals the stunning LED acrylic chandelier of finalist designer Vivian Beers' winning design, an elegant signature table with curved metal legs, a wood trestle and a transparent acrylic top paired with a spectacular CNC machined, LED lit acrylic chandelier presented to the judges in front of a live audience on judging day, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. For the final, Ellen asked the designers to create a signature piece of furniture that improves on their least successful design this season, a bed for designer Sef Pinney, and a table for designer Vivian Beers, each paired with a spectacular light. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop, a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need, the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.”

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The Final Challenge: Table Detail

Finalist designer Vivian Beers' winning design, an elegant signature table with curved metal legs, a wood trestle and a transparent acrylic top paired with a spectacular CNC machined, LED lit acrylic chandelier, is presented to the judges in front of a live audience on judging day, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. For the final, Ellen asked the designers to create a signature piece of furniture that improves on their least successful design this season, a bed for designer Sef Pinney, and a table for designer Vivian Beers, each paired with a spectacular light. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop, a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need, the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.”

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The Final Challenge: Table Detail

 

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Vivian's Winning Moment

After a strong performance all season long, (She took more than half of the challenge wins!) Ellen and the judges named Vivian the Ellen's Design Challenge champion. She takes home the $100,000 prize and a feature in HGTV Magazine. Congratulations, Vivian!

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Challenge 7: Multi-Functional Table

For this week's challenge, the designers were asked to create a multi-functional furniture piece. Vivian's idea: An outdoor table that transforms into a chair.

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Challenge 7: The Construction

Vivian and Matt finalize the interlocking wood frame of the modern piece. 

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Challenge 7: Vivian's Finished Piece

Designer Vivian Beer's simple, functional and elegant multi-functional outdoor chair-table features a stunning CNC-machined aluminum frame and stained wood.

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Challenge 7: Aluminum Frame Detail

The custom aluminum frame adds a lightweight, indoor-outdoor base to the piece. 

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Challenge 7: The Transformation

Carpenter Matt Blashaw shows how a chair...

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Challenge 7: The Second Use

...easily transforms into an outdoor table! This sleek, simple piece was the judges' favorite this week.

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Challenge 6: A Sofa for 'The Ellen Show'

Ellen challenges the final four designers to create a modern sofa to dress up The Ellen Show's green room. 

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Challenge 6: The Sofa, Before

The show's green room sofa, before the designers tackled its replacement. 

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Challenge 6: The Sofa, After

Vivian reimagined the room's sofa by creating an airy steel frame that makes the sizable sectional-style sofa take up less visual space.

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Challenge 6: Sofa Detail

A detail shot of the steel frame created by Vivian and carpenter Matt. A narrow shelf lines the top of the sofa.

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Challenge 6: Upholstery Detail

The soft, light blue upholstery juxtaposes the industrial-style frame. 

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Challenge 6: The Judges' Take

Guest judge Thomas Lavin and judges Christiane Lemineux and Cliff Fong lounge on Vivian's winning sofa, which they felt featured the best balance of style and comfort. 

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Challenge 5: Ellen-Inspired Design

This week, it's personal, as Ellen gives each designers a copy of her new design book with a personal note instructing them to build a specific piece of furniture for her. Vivian's directive: A coffee table that suits Ellen's modern sensibilities. 

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Challenge 5: The Construction

Here, Matt heats up the edges of a thick acrylic sheet that will be used as the top of a coffee table.

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Challenge 5: The Finished Design

Designer Vivian Beer's winning design, a coffee table with a striking curved metal base and a transparent acrylic top designed for Ellen is presented to the judges on judging day. 

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Challenge 5: Design Detail

The curved metal base, coated in high-gloss automotive paint, takes center stage beneath the clear acrylic top. 

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Challenge 4: International Inspiration

For the competition's fourth challenge, Ellen asked the designers to create a piece inspired by a country. Vivian's chosen inspiration? Italy. 

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Challenge 4: Vivian's Design

Drawing inspiration from the Brutalist architecture movement popularized in Italy from the 1950s through the 1970s, Vivian decided to create a bar that embodied the modern, industrial and rough-hewn characteristics of the style. 

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Challenge 4: Vivian's Design

Designer Vivian Beer's Brutalist-like wine cabinet, made of wood and metal and inspired by Italy, is presented to the panel of judges on judging day, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge

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Challenge 4: Vivian's Design

A delicate metal wine rack juxtaposes the thick, top-heavy pieces of the bar's exterior. 

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Challenge 3: China-Inspired Design

The inspiration for this week's challenge? Fine china patterns! Vivian chose this traditional design as the inspiration for her dining table. 

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Challenge 3: Fabricating the Legs

The focal point of Vivian's dining table will be the super-curvy metal legs. After fabricating the legs on a plasma cutter, Vivian and Matt carefully assemble the first leg. 

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Challenge 3: Sparks Fly

An experienced welder, Vivian shows off her craftsmanship as she joins the pieces of a curved table leg. 

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Challenge 3: Wood Top

Carpenter Matt Blashaw drills side holes that will be used to assemble wood planks for the table top. 

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Challenge 3: The Final Assembly

After adding a coat of white paint, Vivian and Matt assemble the table. 

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Challenge 3: Vivian's Final Design

Vivian and Matt's dining table, based on a traditional china pattern, is traditional on top with a curvy twist at the base: bold metal legs. 

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Challenge 3: The Inspiration

Vivian's finished table, set with the china that inspired the design.

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Challenge 3: Leg Detail

A close-up of the curved metal legs, painted white to match the table top. 

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Challenge 2: Outdoor Design

For the competition's second challenge, the designers are tasked with creating stylish, durable outdoor furniture. Vivian and Matt's angle? An outdoor bench with plenty of metal to take advantage of Vivian's welding skills. 

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Challenge 2: The Steel Frame

Matt Blashaw works on the steel shell that will be the frame of Vivian's outdoor bench. 

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Challenge 2: Vivian's Finished Bench

Vivian created two connected benches with a wooden table surface in the middle. Wire mesh welded to the frame adds an industrial touch. 

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Challenge 2: Detail

Vivian was inspired to use wire mesh for the bench seat and back for a modern take on classic wicker. 

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Challenge 1: Vivian's Bed

With experience as a welder, Vivian created the frame for this asymmetrical bed, while carpenter Matt Blashaw crafted the solid wood accent pieces. 

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Challenge 1: The Bed

Vivian's metal frame flows seamelssly through the natural shape of the bed's wooden headboard. 

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Challenge 1: The Judging

Judge Cliff Fong admires the craftsmanship of Vivian and Matt's bed. 

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Designer Kyle Huntoon presents his table inspired by Morocco, with craftsman touches, folding panels and decorative brass, to the panel to judges, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. After picking a piece of luggage each containing a flag from a different country; the designers had to create a piece of furniture inspired by the country they receive. At judging; they will explain how their piece was influenced by their assigned country. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop; a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need; the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Kyle's international inspiration? Morocco. The country's design is characterized by rich colors, intricate woodwork, graphic tile and metalwork motifs. Because the culture is so food-centric, Kyle's first instinct was to create an expandable communal table with a lift-out tray in the center. The legs feature a modern metal take on a classic relief pattern, while the top features a more traditional carved detail. 

Kyle's 'Ellen' Portfolio

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See Kyle's pieces from the competition.

Meet Kyle Huntoon

Kyle Huntoon, a fourth-generation woodworker, is a furniture designer and business owner in Detroit, Michigan. He says he is inspired by the clean geometric lines of midcentury modern design and loves to incorporate traditional joinery techniques in his works. He uses a variety of American hardwoods in his designs and specifically likes to work with black walnut — his favorite trees from his great-grandparents' farm.

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Kyle + Matt

After his original carpenter, Ali, had to leave the competition, Kyle is paired up with Matt Muenster of HGTV and DIY Network's Bath Crashers.

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Challenge 6: A Sofa for 'The Ellen Show'

The remaining four designers pose on the original set of the TV series Friends while visitingThe Ellen Show's set on the Warner Brothers lot. Ellen's latest challenge involves her flagship show: Each designer will create a sofa to replace the tired, uninspired one in her show's green room. 

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Challenge 6: The Sofa, Before

The show's green room sofa, before the designers tackled its replacement. 

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Challenge 6: The Design

A sketch of Kyle's sofa design reveals his plan: Add a punch of style to the space with angular arms, curvy legs and bright upholstery. 

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Challenge 6: Under Construction

Kyle and carpenter Matt flip their sofa in order to put on the finishing touches. 

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Challenge 6: Kyle's Finished Design

Kyle created this marigold-hued, angular sofa to replace the basic model in The Ellen Show's green room. 

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Challenge 6: Bright and Tufted

The striking golden upholstery features a tufted detail in the center of each cushion. 

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Challenge 6: Design Detail

A circle motif adds a design detail to the edge of this piece. 

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Challenge 6: Modern Legs

The slim legs, made of teak,  add a modern touch. 

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Challenge 6: The Judges' Decision

Even with a strong design, the judges' decided Kyle's minor mistakes were enough to send him home. Goodbye, Kyle!

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Challenge 5: Ellen-Inspired Design

This week, it's personal, as Ellen gives each designer a copy of her new design book with a personal note instructing them to build a specific piece of furniture for her. Kyle's directive: An armchair.

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Challenge 5: From Sketch to Reality

Kyle's plan for his chair for Ellen? He decides to create an armchair that exposes what's typically on the inside of an upholstered piece. 

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Challenge 5: The Assembly

Kyle and Matt Muenster assemble the finger-jointed parts of a walnut armchair created for Ellen. 

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Challenge 5: The Finished Chair

Kyle Huntoon's walnut, finger-jointed, Frank Llyod Wright-inspired chair gets its moment before the judges.

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Challenge 5: Design Detail

Inspired by the inner workings of an upholstered chair, the 1950s-inspired upholstery sits inside the finger-jointed frame. 

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Challenge 4: International Inspiration

For the competition's fourth challenge, Ellen asked each designer to create a piece inspired by one of her favorite travel destinations. Kyle's draw? Morocco. 

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Challenge 4: Dining Table

Inspired by the communal dining so common in Moroccan culture, Kyle decided to create a convertible dining table accented with traditional graphic motifs. 

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Challenge 4: The Finished Table

The country's design is characterized by rich colors, intricate woodwork, graphic tile and metalwork motifs — all elements Kyle worked in to his finished table. 

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Challenge 4: Design Details

The expandable communal table features a lift-out tray in the center with a traditional carved detail in bright turquoise. 

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Challenge 4: Design Details

The legs feature a modern metal take on a classic relief pattern.

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Challenge 3: China-Inspired Design

For the show's third challenge, each designer must create a dining table inspired by a china pattern. Kyle chose this ultra-feminine pink pattern with a silver polka dot detail. 

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Challenge 3: Kyle's Design

Kyle's table is a modern take on his china choice, with metal rods and dots to emulate the polka dot pattern. Here, he measures for placement of the table legs.

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Challenge 3: Finishing Touches

Kyle and Matt add the ash legs and suppport beams, complete with polka dot-inspired metal inlays, to their dining table. 

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Challenge 3: Table Test

Designer Kyle Huntoon tests his fine china-inspired dining table. 

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Challenge 3: Kyle's Finished Table

A modern take on the more traditional china, Kyle and Matt's finished table features metal details and a modern shape. 

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Challenge 3: Kyle's Finished Table

The table legs, attached to the top by metal rods, appear to float below the table. 

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Challenge 3: Table Detail

The metal rod detaiil on each side appears to flow into the top of the table, with seven dots of metal inlay directly above the rods on each side. 

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Challenge 3: Table Detail

The ash table base, connected to the table by the metal rods, provides a minimal yet strong foundation for this modern table. 

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Challenge 3: Set the Table

Kyle's finished table, displayed with the complementary china pattern. The metal details on the table echo the gilded edges of the plates, while the light wood tone complements the china's pink hue.

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Challenge 2: Outdoor Designs

For the show's outdoor furniture challenge, Kyle and Ali are tasked with creating an outdoor daybed. Kyle's inspiration? A pangolin (an Asian armadillo) with a round, layered exterior. 

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Challenge 2: Shingle Siding

Kyle and Ali made more than 300 rounded shingles for the exterior of this daybed. 

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Challenge 2: The Finished Daybed

Kyle's oversized daybed is stage-ready! The bright yellow upholstery was inspired by flowers he saw in the inspiration backyard. 

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Challenge 2: Shingle Detail

Here, the finished armadillo-inspired shell is layered with shingles. 

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Challenge 2: The Judges' Take

Judges Chistiane Lemieux, Cliff Fong and guest judge Peter Dunham test out Kyle's design. Though they think it lacks the finish work of his previous work, they can't deny its comfort. 

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Challenge 1: A Foot of Fun

Carpenter Ali and Kyle pose with a measuring tape as they plan the design for the first challenge: Create a signature bed. 

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Challenge 1: The Finished Bed

Inspired by the beaches of Lake Michigan, Kyle added a carved detail on the wooden side of the bed (meant to emulate footprints in the sand dunes) and a wave-like accent on the blue headboard, inspired by a topigraphical map. 

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Challenge 1: Detail

Kyle dressed up this modern bed frame with an abstract, sand-inspired design. 

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Designer Miles Endo's winning design, a folding room divider made of light wood and translucide acryilc panels and inspired by Japan is presented to the panel of judges on judging day, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. The judges were impressed by the piece's balance, elegance and functionality. After picking a piece of luggage each containing a flag from a different country; the designers had to create a piece of furniture inspired by the country they receive. At judging; they will explain how their piece was influenced by their assigned country. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop; a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need; the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Fresh off a win, Miles chose Japan as the inspiration for his furniture piece. His concept: A minimalist room divider with translucent walls (reminiscent of a shoji screen) and built-in storage. Another feature: The rolling screen folds in half for another display option. 

Furniture Designs From Miles

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Flip through his designs from the competition. 

Meet Miles Endo

Miles Endo was born in Tokyo and raised in Hawaii. As the son of two artists, he says he was drawn to creative pursuits at an early age. He describes his design style as modern with a Japanese influence and enjoys working with different types of woods and metals, such as steel, bronze, brass and cast iron. Miles specializes in custom furniture, culinary serving boards and Taiko drums, a Japanese percussion instrument.

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Miles + Karl

Designer Miles Endo is partnered up with Ellen's Design Challenge alum Karl Champley.  

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Challenge 7: Multi-Purpose Furniture

The final three designers get ready to tackle their latest challenge: Create a multi-functional furniture piece. 

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Challenge 7: A Toast to the Final Three

The final three sets of designers and carpenters make a toast. 

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Challenge 7: The Building Process

Fighting for a spot in the finale, Miles dreamed up a multi-functional kitchen island and table. Here, Miles and carpenter Karl secure the custom-made stools below the island. 

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Challenge 7: The Finished Design

Designer Miles Endo's design, a steel frame and wood sided multi-functional kitchen table-island-cart with pull out stools is presented on judging day, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge

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Challenge 7: Mobile Design Detail

Large , white wheels make this kitchen island moible. 

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Challenge 7: Goodbye, Miles!

This week, judges Cliff Fong and Christiane Lemieux felt Miles was outmatched by designers Sef and Vivian, so he was sent home. Goodbye, Miles! Keep reading to see his past designs. 

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Challenge 6: A Sofa for 'The Ellen Show'

The remaining four designers pose on the original set of the TV series Friends while visiting The Ellen Show's set on the Warner Brothers lot. Ellen's latest challenge involves her flagship show: Each designer will create a sofa to replace the tired, uninspired one in her show's green room. 

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Challenge 6: The Sofa, Before

The show's green room sofa, before the designers tackled its replacement. 

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Challenge 6: The Design

Miles created this comfortable, stylish design to replace the green room's sofa. 

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Challenge 6: The Finished Sofa

Miles and Karl created this modern sofa set, which features graphic metal details and plush burnt orange upholstery. 

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Challenge 6: Magazine Rack Detail

The angular design detail on the edge of each sofa doubles as a magazine rack. 

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Challenge 5: Ellen-Inspired Design

This week, it's personal, as Ellen gives each designers a copy of her new design book with a personal note instructing them to build a specific piece of furniture for her. Miles is charged with making a desk that suits Ellen's modern sensibility. 

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Challenge 5: From Sketch to Reality

Miles and carpenter Karl brainstorm his concept: a modern version of a secretary-style desk. 

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Challenge 5: The Finished Design

The desk created for Ellen by designer Miles Endo, with a folding top and sides, inner compartments and a writing board, takes the stage. 

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Challenge 5: A Look Inside

The top of the desk doubles as a whiteboard for Ellen's next big idea. 

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Challenge 5: Leg Detail

The angular legs combine walnut and acrylic. 

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Challenge 4: International Inspiration

Ellen's challenge to the designers? Create a piece inspired by one of her favorite travel destinations. Miles was assigned Japan, a country whose design is all about functional minimalism.  

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Challenge 4: The Finished Design

Miles and Karl answered the challenge by creating this folding room divider with bold red accents. 

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Challenge 4: Screen Detail

Translucent acrylic panels are a modern stand-in for the rice paper that traditionally appears in a shoji screen. 

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Challenge 4: Screen Detail

Opaque sliding doors in a glossy red add additional storage (and functionality) to this room divider. 

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Challenge 4: Screen Detail

This piece easily folds in half, creating an even more versatile and adaptable design. The judges agreed — Miles was the week four challenge winner! 

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Challenge 3: China-Inspired Design

For the show's third challenge, the designers were asked to create a dining table inspired by bone china patterns. After choosing a geometric-patterned plate, Miles designed a hexagonal wooden table with gold trim. 

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Challenge 3: A Surprise Inside

Karl and Miles install the table's pièce de résistance: a hexagonal mechanical chamber in the center of the table. 

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Challenge 3: The Finishing Touches

Miles uses a router on the edges of the dining table to make a niche for metal trim. 

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Challenge 3: The Finished Design

A round table sits atop a hexagonal base, trimmed with metallic accents. 

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Challenge 3: The Inspiration

The place settings that inspired the design sit atop the finished table. 

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Challenge 3: Metallic Trim

The edges of the table's black walnut panels are accented by metallic trim.

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Challenge 3: The Wow Factor

Under the black acrylic hexagon is a surprise: a secret storage compartment with an electric motor. 

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Challenge 3: The Winning Design

Designer Miles Endo reacts alongside his fellow designers after judges Christiane Lemieux and Cliff Fong declared his dining table the challenge winner on judging day. 

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Challenge 2: Backyard Furniture

Miles offers a thumbs up for his outdoor challenge design: a modern bar stool inspired by an origami-folded palm leaf. 

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Challenge 2: The Metal Shell

Carpenter Karl watches the CNC laser cut the metal sheets for Miles' modern bar stools. 

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Challenge 2: The Finished Barstools

Each modern bar stool is constructed from one continuous piece of stainless steel. The seat and foot rest are made of durable zebrawood. 

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Challenge 2: Barstool Detail

A close-up of the zebrawood seat. 

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Challenge 2: The Judges' Take

"One of my favorite things in design is when you see something very beautiful that’s also very simple," Cliff said of this bar stool. Here, all three judges look at the design up close. 

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Challenge 1: Miles' Bed Design

A shot of Miles' drawn-out design plan for the first bed challenge. 

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Challenge 1: Metal Work

Miles poses with a fabricated metal piece that will serve as a support and accent piece on his modern bed frame. 

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Challenge 1: The Finished Bed

Miles and Karl created this low-slung modern wood bed, complete with an upholstered headboard, for the first challenge. 

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Challenge 1: Bed Detail

A hidden shelf under the bed pulls out to hold books, cell phones and other by-the-bed essentials. 

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Challenge 1: Bed Detail

Custom-made metal pieces accent the finished bed, giving it a modern-industrial look. 

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Designer Melissa Moir's classic vanity, made of wood with intricate finishing touches and inspired by France, is presented to the panel of judges on judging day, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. Moir and Zimpel were eliminated, as the judges found their design "too cute" and more styling than designing. After picking a piece of luggage each containing a flag from a different country; the designers had to create a piece of furniture inspired by the country they receive. At judging; they will explain how their piece was influenced by their assigned country. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop; a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need; the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

When Melissa chose France as her inspiration, she went straight to a fashion icon – CoCo Chanel – for her piece. She created a black-and-white vanity with pink accents and lots of fine detail, like nailhead trim and scrollwork. 

Melissa's Furniture Ideas

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See her creative designs from the show.

Meet Melissa Rivera Torres

Melissa Rivera Torres, a furniture designer and business owner born and raised in Mexico, describes her style as modern industrial. She now lives in Pleasant Hill, Calif. She says she loves to use bold colors and fun materials that allow her pieces stand out and make people smile. Melissa says she enjoys working with stainless steel, wood, PVC, acrylic and aluminum and isn’t afraid to try unconventional ideas — she once transformed a 28,000-square-foot warehouse into the stage for Hawaii’s first ever Fashion Month.

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Melissa + Steve

Steve Zimpel, a carpenter from HGTV's series The Outdoor Room, will work to bring Melissa's designs to reality. 

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Challenge 4: International Inspiration

For the series' fourth challenge, Ellen asked the designers to create a space inspired by travel. Melissa's destination du jour? France. 

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Challenge 4: Melissa's Design

When thinking of France, Melissa's mind went straight to fashion icon Coco Chanel. From there, she decided to create a vanity as chic as one of the fashion designer's sleek dresses. 

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Channel 4: Melissa's Finished Design

Black, white and pink, like the colors in a classic Chanel suit, the vanity features ornate nailhead detailing and an upholstered bench, as well as three-sided mirror. 

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Challenge 4: The Judges' Take

While the judges' appreciated the piece's fine detail work, they felt the piece would be more at home in a teen's bedroom than in a modern furniture design competition. 

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Challenge 3: China-Inspired Design

For the show's third challenge, Melissa and Steve created a dining table inspired by a bone china pattern. Their design features scroll-work fabricated on a plasma cuter, along with curvy metal legs. 

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Challenge 3: Melissa's Finished Design

Melissa's table takes the stage in the Ellen's Design Challenge studio. 

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Challenge 3: Tabletop Inspiration

A tabletop view of the scrollwork on Melissa's table, set with the china pattern that inspired it all. 

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Challenge 3: Curvy Details

A closeup of the metal legs on Melissa's dining table, custom-made with a plasma cutter. 

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Challenge 3: The Judges' Take

Judges Cliff Fong, Christiane Lemieux and guest judge Wendy Goodman get a close-up look at the table by Melissa and Steve.

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Challenge 2: Melissa's Outdoor Design

In challenge two, each designer is tasked with creating a piece for a different part of the backyard. What's an outdoor space without a swing? Melissa decides on a grown-up take on a tire swing, as seen in her sketch here. 

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Challenge 2: Catching Some Air

Melissa uses an air hose to blow carpenter Steve Zimpel's hair while they create the wooden shell of her tire swing-inspired design. 

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Challenge 2: Rolling Design

Rings of wood covered with wood veneer make up the shell of this design. 

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Challenge 2: The Finished Swing

Melissa's whimsical take on a tire swing is complete and ready for judging. 

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Challenge 2: Geometric Detail

A triangular, raised design in bright yellow mimics the tire treads on a traditional tire swing. 

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Challenge 2: The Judges' Take

Despite some minor issues with the comfort of the swing, judge Cliff Fong was a fan of this design. "If I looked in my backyard and saw that every day I would be very happy," he said during judging.

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Challenge 2: Thumbs Up, Way Up

Melissa gives a thumbs up while sitting on her modern take on a tire swing.

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Challenge 1: Cloud-Inspired Design

Who wouldn't want to sleep on a cloud? Melissa's vision for the Ellen's Design Challenge bed episode is a bubbly, upholstered bed that makes the occupant feel like they're floating on air. Here, Melissa and Steve work on the bed's frame.

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Challenge 1: Melissa's Bed

The finished bed, upholstered in white leather, takes the Ellen's Design Challenge stage. 

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Challenge 1: Judge-Tested

Judge Christiane Lemineux tries out Melissa's bed. The judges think it has some scale issues: With Lemineux's petite stature, she would need a step-ladder to get into bed. 

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The Judges' Decision

Judges Christiane Lemieux (center), Cliff Fong (right), and guest judge Karim Rashid (left), address the remaining five designers on judging day, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. After picking a piece of luggage each containing a flag from a different country; the designers had to create a piece of furniture inspired by the country they receive. At judging; they will explain how their piece was influenced by their assigned country. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop; a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need; the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

After reviewing all five pieces, judges Christiane Lemieux and Cliff Fong, plus guest judge Karim Rashid, are ready for the moment of truth. They loved how Miles combined classic Japanese design with modern function. Their least favorite? Melissa's French-inspired vanity, which they felt was a too-literal translation of the country's style. Miles is the winner, while Melissa is headed home.  

Cast Your Vote 

Episode 203 designers and carpenters, left to right: carpenter Karl Champley and designer Miles Endo, carpenter Chip Wade and designer Sef Pinney, carpenter Matt Muenster and designer Kyle Huntoon, designer Vivian Beer and carpenter Matt Blashaw, designer Melissa Moir and carpenter Steve Zimpel, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop, a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need, the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.”

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

The judges have spoken – now tell us what you think! See all the designers' latest work, the vote for your favorite. 

Next Up

See 8 Stunning Beds From 'Ellen's Design Challenge' + Pick Your Favorite

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