The White Room Challenge: Photo Highlights From the First Five Episodes

Inspired by the eccentric and fast-paced Design Star competition, The White Room Challenge is now a show of its own. See the finished rooms and behind-the-scenes photos from the first five episodes of the challenge.

Welcome to The White Room Challenge

See all the designs and behind-the-scenes photos from the first five episodes of The White Room Challenge. Inspired by the fast-paced Design Star challenge, these makeovers are out-of-the-box and eccentric. Watch as host David Bromstad, Jamie Durie from The Outdoor Room With Jamie Durie and celebrity judges determine whose room proves to be the most creative for the chance to win $10,000 cash.

Design Challenge: Decorating With Flowers

For this white room challenge, the designers had to bring their all-white space to life using a minimum of 1,500 flowers. David encouraged designers to think outside the box and let their minds run wild for the greatest design effect. The designers collected their stems from the Los Angeles Flower District, where they had just 15 minutes to gather all the flowers needed to execute their entire design concept.

Designers: Carissa Marson, Matthew Bees, Saadia Kibriya, David Font


David enjoys some of the market's blooms as the designers furiously shop for their rooms.

Choosing the Right Blooms

It didn't take long for Carissa to seek out some deep-purple blooms for the flower boxes in her floral bistro concept. And with the clock ticking, she didn't leave many flowers to spare.

Hydrangeas All Around

To cover up the original white coffee table and pull in more — you guessed it — flowers, Saadia covered the exterior of the table in chicken wire and poked the hydrangea stems through to completely cover the table all the way around with blooms.

David's Finished Space: Miami Floral Vignettes

The judges loved David's colorful and inventive design vignette. Rather than simply using the flowers themselves all over the room, he cut off the stems to add some texture along the back wall. \"I like what you did on the side wall with that slightly diagonal paint job, and then you replicated that in 3-D on the back,\" Jamie said. \"You've treated just about every wall with something highly creative.\"

Charming Sculpture

David wanted to bring variety to his space with colors, textures, flowers and shapes. The greatest use of these concepts is through his floral wall sculpture on the back wall.

Matthew's Finished Space: Southern Keeping Room

Coming from Charleston, S.C., Matthew wanted to pull in design elements that are traditional and comfortable to him, despite the challenge's call to create something out-of-the-box. He used a neutral paint palette and conventional flowers to create a relaxing living space with Southern charm. \"David said to go big and bold, but I like my designs to be a little understated,\" Matthew said.

Colorful Centerpiece

Matthew's big statement piece is his coffee table flower arrangement in the center of the room. Using white, pink and yellow blooms, Matthew created a patterned display he hoped would pop off the surrounding neutral color scheme.

Amp Up the Color

The judges loved the clean and polished look of Matthew's keeping room, but they all agreed it lacked a bit in the color department. They wanted the subtle hints of color from the plants to make a stronger statement within the space.

Saadia's Finished Space: Artist Loft

After leaving the flower market, Saadia had an eclectic collection of flowers to create her design. She started by painting two walls a vibrant shade of turquoise. Unsure of where to go from there and how to integrate her 1,500 stems, she started on a trendy, floral chevron pattern along the back wall, a concept that David loved and wished she would have fully executed.

Carissa's Finished Space: Floral Bistro

For her white room challenge, Carissa envisioned a romantic floral bistro, surrounded by flowers and set up as an all-natural table for two. The judges really loved its welcoming, colorful and romantic appeal. \"It's really pleasing to look at — it's homey, it's sophisticated, but it's also really inviting at the same time,\" David said.

Tabletop Arrangement

The judges felt Carissa had a clear maturity in foliage and flower, but they wanted to see a cleaner presentation around the table and chairs.

Design Challenge: Decorating With Salvaged Goods

\"One man's trash is another man's treasure,\" hinted David. For this white room challenge, the designers had to completely transform their all-white rooms — inside and out — by taking a trip to the in-studio salvage room to find all their supplies. The judges wanted creativity and a completely out-of-the-box design.

Designers from left: Leslie Landis, Monica Reese, Adam Scott, Zeinab Ghais

Guest Judge: Thom Filicia

Renowned interior designer Thom Filicia joined David and Jamie on the judging panel for the salvaged materials design challenge.

Vision in Mind

Adam immediately got to work in the salvage room by choosing instruments and larger pieces he could weld together to suit his overall concept. \"My vision for the space is sort of coming off the brass instruments. I really want to create a space for music and dance,\" he said.

Drawn to Antiquities

While in the salvage room, Zeinab found herself at a loss for many of the objects she wanted, such as the instruments, hubcaps and the oversized tree — items the other designers nabbed before she could get there in time. She did, however, find a few gems with which she was familiar that became prized pieces in her room. \"I use a lot of antique pieces mixed with ethnic antiquities, and I have a degree in furniture design, so I can build quite a bit,\" she said.

Lighting Up the Space

With only hours left, Leslie finally figured out how to bring light to her repurposed hubcap sculpture, the focal point of her entire room.

Adam's Finished Space: Music and Dance Room

Adam's entire room was devoted to music and dance. He cleared out the excess furniture and even provided an open floor for dancing. Originally a bar top, the New Orleans hearth became an interesting focal point within the space with the help of the bold orange-and-white graphic. \"One of my favorites out of all of the rooms is the graphic that he designed,\" Thom said.

Smart Change to Make

Originally, Adam had his steampunk music box on the left side of the room and the space felt unbalanced. With the music box being the most powerful component of the room, David felt it should be mounted wherever the visual graphic point ends. Adam's last-minute change went over well with the judges, who thought his overall concept was the most clever.

Monica's Finished Space: Mommy's Retreat

\"I wanted to push the challenge as far as I possibly could, and I didn't want to use any of the conventional furniture that we could use — I wanted to make everything from the scraps that we were allowed to find,\" Monica said about her strategy in creating the retreat.

Swing, Swing

\"I've reinvented almost everything in this room,\" Monica said. Her greatest reinvention in the space, though, was the swing. She repurposed a heavy, rusty metal object into a cozy corner sitting area for one.

Zeinab's Finished Space: '60s Meets Indian Princess

Inspired by colors from India, Zeinab created a warm and inviting living space full of painted pattern work and repurposed furnishings.

Furniture Skills Put to Use

Zeinab came in with a degree in furniture design, so she decided to put that to use by constructing a brand-new coffee table from an ethnic antique piece and salvaged wood pieces.

Leslie's Finished Space: Southwestern '80s Road Trip

Inspired by her love of the open road, Leslie turned her blank canvas into a Southwestern-inspired dining space. She started by picking out a few essentials from the salvage room: wooden pallets, hubcaps and an assortment of dishware and accessories to really pull together her theme.

Clever Use for Pallets

Leslie creatively repurposed wooden pallets into a rustic storage and display solution by turning them into wall-mounted bookshelves. For a decorative element, she added some eclectic stemware and pink-and-mint accessories to coordinate with her painted area rug.

Hubcap Sculptural Art

Leslie's greatest — but most rewarding — struggle in the challenge was constructing the hubcap sculptural fixture and figuring out how to make it light up. Once she did, however, it became her room's strongest design element, and the judges all agreed that it was an incredible eye-catching display. \"You're actually getting light filtering through some of the exteriors of those permeable disks, and the composition is flawless. It really is beautiful,\" Jamie said.

Design Challenge: Transforming Spaces With Candy

This challenge took creativity to a whole new level as the designers were forced to convert their white rooms into the ultimate child's fantasy using a fun, colorful and unexpected medium: candy! \"We're looking for a designer room with a playful twist and not an art installation,\" David strongly advised.

The designers headed to mega candy store It'Sugar in Los Angeles to source their candy. David reminded them that the challenge is all about using candy, so most of their $2,000 budget should be spent here. With just 15 minutes to shop, the designers had little time to fill up their shopping bags with goodies for their rooms.

Designers: Melissa Rivera, Logan Brion, Oliver Aguilar, Jennifer Baca

And the Challenge Begins!

David watches the designers race around the candy shop as the clock ticks.

Candy Extravaganza

Melissa's giant robot concept came to mind while at the candy store. She immediately stocked up on necklaces to use as robot gears, large spiral lollipops for antennae and smaller wrapped pieces for the inside cogs.

No Paint, Just Candy

Jennifer decided that not using paint in her room gave her a competitive edge against the other designers. Instead, she let the candy become her color palette.

Expanding His Wilderness Escape

Logan was determined to create an ideal wilderness escape for a little girl that lies — he imagines — just beyond the home. With little candy in his room at this point, Logan diligently worked to bring the wilderness aspect to his space.

Guest Judge: Dina Manzo

Event planner and host of HGTV show Dina's Party Dina Manzo joined David and Jamie on the judging panel for the candy design challenge.

Oliver's Finished Space: No Girls Allowed

The judges loved Oliver's polished design and his creative use of candy. Everywhere you look there's a design element re-created with goodies of some sort, from the jawbreaker chandelier to the spiral lollipops.

Candy Structures

After a few design mishaps, Oliver quickly regained his confidence by repurposing his candy in creative ways. \"The candy on the walls — the way that you've given it this linear kind of movement all the way around — it shows good harmony,\" Jamie said.

Boys Only

Oliver trimmed a white woven ottoman in red licorice candy and X'ed out the word \"girls\" to signify the ultimate boys-only space.

Jennifer's Finished Space: Candy Wonderland

Jennifer grabbed candies in a soft pastel palette to create her magical, delectable wonderland. She immediately headed to the stock room and bought paper goods to help create her childlike explosion. \"It makes me want to be a kid again. I want to jump on that couch and catch all the candy that bounces off it,\" Jamie said.


By mounting her furniture to the wall sideways, Jennifer claimed she was going for a topsy-turvy Dr. Seuss look. But the judges questioned her overall theme and thought that conceptually it felt too busy.

Melissa's Finished Space: Robot Room

The judges loved Melissa's giant kid-friendly robot, but they wished she would have integrated a bit more color around the room and used more candy (although they did like the way the candy was used). \"I want to commend you on your use of candy and how simple it is and how purposeful it is — the cogs and the gears and the rope are really, really smart,\" David said.

Candy Insides

The judges loved the way Melissa creatively integrated the candy into her robot to mimic the mechanisms of a machine. She used candy necklaces as chains or robot gears, and smaller wrapped candies and lollipops to \"run\" the gears.

Logan's Finished Space: Girl's Fantasy Room

Logan was inspired by the candy to create a wilderness escape where there's always something to look at and always something to touch. To truly create that escape, he had his carpenter construct two additional walls to add to the front of the room. The judges understood his idea, but they felt the additional walls took away from his overall design.

Missing the Floor

Logan used chocolate-covered pretzels and chocolate syrup to resemble moss and greenery as the finishing touches on his floor, which felt overlooked among the other design elements. \"I'm kind of bummed that most of the candy is on the floor, because from a designer's point of view, your eye completely misses it,\" Jamie said.

Design Challenge: Working With Collectibles

This white room challenge was even more out-of-the-box than usual. Designers were challenged to transform a completely wall-less space marked with a specific room title, using only items from a quirky collectibles shop and standard pieces from the stockroom. \"You need to create a sense of enclosure, meaning the feeling of walls without actually building walls, and the impression of a dining room, living room, bedroom or office,\" David advised. \"This room does not need to be a functional space, it just needs to look like one.\" David took the designers to Nick Metropolis Collectible Furniture in Los Angeles, a quirky outdoor shop chock-full of vintage statues, signs and furnishings. David's one requirement: Do not simply place furniture in the room and call it your assigned room. His hope was that the shop would inspire creativity and help form a working concept.

Designers: Jennifer Glickman, Rebecca Zajac, David Slivinski, Mark Griffin

Outdoor Dining Brought Indoors

Mark struggled to make his shopping trip worthwhile, but once he found an iron arbor trellis, his idea started to make way. He began building on the concept of turning his dining room into an outdoor dining space. \"I just want to make sure that you're pushing this far enough,\" David said.

Hanging From the Ceiling

From the moment Rebecca walked into the collectibles shop, she was reminded of Alice in Wonderland and all the oddities of that story. She decided to take that approach in her space. \"I'm drawn to things with curves, things with age,\" she said. So she bought pieces of furniture that felt aged and dark, like mustard-colored tufted chairs, to coordinate with her theme.

Guest Judge: Meg Caswell

Designer Meg Caswell, winner of Design Star season six and host of HGTV's Great Rooms, joined Jamie and David on the judging panel for the wall-less, collectibles design challenge.

Rebecca's Finished Space: Alice in Wonderland

Creating a darker twist on Alice in Wonderland, Rebecca suspended the chairs from the ceiling as if they're falling into the room, like when Alice falls into the rabbit hole. Since there were no walls to paint, it was important for Rebecca to bring in a sense of color and pattern, and the judges especially appreciated her floor graphic. \"I think your floor is definitely one of the most impressive aspects in your design,\" Jamie said. \"I can't believe you did that freehand. It is very hard to execute.\"

Suspended Furnishings

The judges loved her creative and playful idea, but wished she would have followed through and suspended every piece of furniture for even more drama. \"I appreciate the idea of Alice in Wonderland, but I do feel like you could have taken that concept a lot further, like the entire room is falling through,\" Meg said.

David's Finished Space: Think Tank

When creating the concept for his office design, David immediately thought about its functionality: to think, to brainstorm and to exercise creativity. From there, he decided to turn his office into a giant, retro think tank. The judges thought that overall it was a clever idea. \"I like that you took this concept of brainstorming and then interpreted it into all of the space — you didn't just think of it in four planes,\" Meg said.

Enclosed in Creativity

Originally, David was concerned about creating a sense of enclosure within his space. Then he had the idea to string rope from the various pillars and hang silver disks. While this did help envelope the room, the judges felt David overaccessorized and overthought the room a bit too much.

Jennifer's Finished Space: Constructed Deconstruction

Jennifer struggled to remove herself from the literal perception of a bedroom and instead chose to construct a livable space made from deconstructed materials. Every piece originated from something entirely different — the headboard was made from chairs, cubes and tables, and the rug was made from shattered glass and wool.

Repurposing in Mind

David was disappointed that none of the designers chose true collectibles at the shop. Instead, they all chose furniture. In response, Jennifer said, \"Well, when I chose the pieces that I selected at the furniture shop, I tried not to look at them as they were but thought of what I could turn them into that was completely different so they were not recognizable when I was finished with them.\"

Mark's Finished Space: Outdoor Romance

Mark turned his wall-less dining room into a romantic outdoor living space with Moroccan charm by incorporating hanging lights, suspended bars, \"greenery\" and cozy lounge seating.

Ready for Entertaining

Mark constructed an interesting bar for two by taking tabletops and hanging them from the ceiling. They instantly added a natural sense of whimsy to the space. \"I love that you've created these kind of swings and turned them into suspended tables, and I love the idea of dining underneath the tree, because I do think a tree does give you a sense of enclosure,\" Jamie said.

Design Challenge: Working With Light

For this white room challenge, the designers use a variety of light sources — from fluorescent bulbs to neon rope lighting — to create a bold, bright space with out-of-the-box thinking and design concepts. \"Your challenge is to make your room pop without the help of our studio lights,\" David says. \"I want a room that uses light and shadow, that inspires and surprises me.\"

Designers: Tiffany \"Torche\" Perkins, Clarione Gutierrez, Jessica Goudreau, Eli Levenstein

Hard at Work

Torche immediately knows she wants to create a soothing and seductive space, so she seeks out lighting with a red tint for a flooded, subtle look. Like David suggests, she wants to use her fluorescent lights to project shadows across the walls to create the ultimate sexy lounge.

Playing With Shadow

To enhance her bar-lounge scene, Jessica wants to hang ropes and chains to really play with light and shadow around the room. As a last-minute decision, she decides to use acrylic tubes to feed fluorescent vinyl through them and then add lights and hang them in the direction of the ropes on the walls. But when David checks in, he suggests that Jessica's first priority be to add more lighting — ASAP. \"I wish there was more,\" he says.

Bringing Ideas to Life

Without a concrete concept at the beginning, Eli decides to simply choose an assortment of lights in the lighting store and see how it comes together within his room. When David checks in on Eli's progress, Eli has a difficult time explaining the room's theme. \"I'm used to letting my work speak for itself, not trying to impose a narrative onto it,\" he says. \"Talking about it is incredibly difficult for me.\" David, however, knows Eli must be able to provide some sort of explanation behind the chaos or it will simply come off as that — chaos. \"I want to encourage you, while you're doing this installation, you know, how you're going to explain it to the judges,\" David advises.

Guest Judge: Antonio Ballatore

Season four champion of Design Star and host of HGTV's The Antonio Treatment Antonio Ballatore joins Jamie and David on the judging panel for the lighting design challenge.

Clarione's Finished Space: Bright Lights, Big City

The judges were blown away by Clarione's glowing city-inspired room transformation. He demonstrated an impressive display of lights, layering and color — one of David's favorite elements of any space.

Showcasing Skills

Clarione puts his freehand artistry skills to use by painting a glamorous city-style woman on the side wall in bold hues. He originally tries to integrate glow-in-the-dark paint in the sunglasses, but the lights from the \"bright lights\" sign over-light the black light and don't provide the effect he had hoped for. Instead, he opts to keep the \"bright lights\" sign and ditch the glow-in-the-dark paint idea.

Too Conventional?

According to Antonio, the space feels a little too theatrical and even a bit unfinished in some areas. He also points out that Clarione's unfamiliarity with lights is obvious through his conventional and expected use of bulbs, like using the pegboard with light emitting from behind.

Torche's Finished Space: Sexy Lounge

Torche incorporates inventive design concepts into her room to create a relaxing living room/lounge that exudes romance. First, she builds a subflooring unit and adds lighting below to shine through. Then, she creates various lighting accents throughout the space, like the steel sculpture on the back wall and the credenza light bulb display.

Inviting Environment

The judges all agree that Torche's creative flooring idea brings a sexy and seductive element to the space. \"You've elevated the whole installation, so it feels like there's a floating room happening there and that's very, very effective,\" Jamie says.

Light Bulb Accessories

Torche integrates several light sources into her design, although not all of them are actually utilized. She revamps a plain glass coffee table with white and mosaic fluorescent bulbs, and she even adds broken bulbs to lighting tubes for a contemporary decorative detail along the side wall.

Eli's Finished Space: Outer Space Underground

Halfway through his design, Eli discovers that his fluorescents drown all the color from the space and produce too much light. After some thought, he decides to keep the fluorescent tubes in his room because they had become such a detrimental part of his design. By hanging them from the ceiling, he's hoping to showcase their form and strong lines.

Bright Lights

Despite David's take on Eli's design, Antonio is quick to praise his use of paint on the walls and the creative wood sculptures.

Jessica's Finished Space: Late-Night Lounge

For her white room makeover, Jessica creates a bold and funky vignette that you would find in a trendy nightclub. She uses rope lighting, fluorescent bulbs and clever paint techniques to create a bold and eye-catching space. The judges are immediately attracted to the pattern and color combination, but they feel the overall execution is lacking.

Cool Graphics

Both Antonio and Jamie like Jessica's overall concept. \"I love the fact that you mimicked the action of the lights with your paint and your installation on the floor,\" Jamie says. Antonio agrees that the room had the fastest impact on him — with the graphics and movement — but that he is distracted by the messiness.

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