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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