Judges' Tips: Fashion Forward Challenge

Design Star judges Candice Olson, Genevieve Gorder and Vern Yip share their design tips for styling shelving, arranging furniture and creating the all-important wow factor.

Boys living room wide angle

Choose a Grounding Hue

The glue that really holds this space together is the abundance of black, a common color in most of the outfits. It serves as a dramatic foil for the multi-hued wall graphic that reflects elements in the various outfits without being too direct and literal. — Candice Olson

Boys dining room

Mix and Match Chairs

Tom's clear understanding of the importance of profile, silhouette and lines creates a dining space with four different chairs that still manage to relate to each other — and to the table — emulating the clean and sleek lines of his yoga outfit. The colors borrowed inspiration from his outfit without placing importance on directly matching them. — Vern Yip

Boys wood accessories

Dive Into Your Inspiration

Tommy Bahama is this room's major weak link. A few wooden palm fronds in the window? I give it a big boo. We could've effortlessly dived into the world of tropical fauna and found orchids, lilies and hibiscus that correlated in color and texture so beautifully with this room, which was a missed opportunity. — Genevieve Gorder

Boys living room

Don't Forget About the Windows

The clean, contemporary design would definitely benefit from ultra-sheer, floor-to-ceiling window treatments. This would soften the look, unify the window modules, make the most of the soaring ceiling height and function as a unifying backdrop to show off some of the beautiful elements in front. — Candice Olson

Boys bedroom

Style Open Storage

Fill the negative storage spaces with correctly scaled items, books, photographs — give me something to look at. A lighter finish on the shelves would also help the space feel a bit bigger. — Genevieve Gorder

Boys bedroom pink shelves

Match the Tone of the Room

The whimsical throw pillows clash uncomfortably with the overall elegance of the room. Dan could have selected another printed pillow that managed to be bright and still sophisticated, but the light-hearted pillow he chose looks out of place in an otherwise polished effort. — Vern Yip

Boys bedroom headboard

Add a Little Bling

The gown is ornate and beautifully embellished with delicate roses and crystal, and the pared down, clean lines of the room don't speak to those qualities. A few beaded pillows, inexpensive gauze sheers trimmed with faux crystal trim or a large glass/crystal chandelier over the bed would have made this room more Alex. — Candice Olson

Girls living room

Arrange Furniture With a Purpose

From a planning perspective, the furniture is seemingly in different time zones and not conducive for either conversation or entertaining. The substitution of a bar and a lonely single chair for the entire dining area both puzzles and worries me. — Candice Olson

Girls bar area chair

Understand What You're Trying to Achieve

Stacey's chosen outfit is also high-end and luxurious but unmistakably feminine and suggestive of the privileged life. Her translation of her dress into a polished chrome bar cart, silver leather ottoman and classic chair upholstered in metallic fabric offer up the essence of what this dress is all about. — Vern Yip

Girls Team Living Room Coffee Table

Unify the Space

This room is crying out for a unifying force like the boys' black wall/striped graphic combo. A beautiful, multi-hued traditional Persian carpet in the character of Nina's outfit would have provided just the opportunity. The choice of the red/burgundy carpet is too strong for a space where several styles need to be represented — it overpowers the space and does nothing to ground it. — Candice Olson

Girls living room wall mural

Incorporate Your Inspiration

We have this beautiful herringbone suit with gorgeous white pants and red piping and I don't see it represented anywhere (enter graphic pops of white twill floor pillows, a herringbone weave rug, ethereal white window treatments, etc.). — Genevieve Gorder

Girls bedroom

Always Have a Wow Factor

A wall of stacked firewood or random, end-cut yimber placed in the recessed niche would give this room the rustic wow factor it needs. A large, modern round mirror would hang and contrast against the texture created by the wood and reflect an easy-to-do ('cause I've done it!) handmade industrial chandelier made of multiple clear light bulbs, wires and sockets tied uniformly together and suspended above the bed. — Candice Olson

Girls bedroom close up bed

Masculine Doesn't Equal Bland

Just because it's a masculine room doesn't mean the bed has to be boring. Add some dimension with a headboard so we don't feel like we're in college. — Genevieve Gorder

Girls bedroom brown wall

Opposites Attract

The bedroom offers up a huge opportunity to combine beautiful rustic elements next to grittier urban elements. Opposite finishes and textures look exceptionally wonderful next to each other since they allow the other to be highlighted, providing contrast, visual distance and space. Neither Casey nor Tera seizes this opportunity. — Vern Yip

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