Judges' Tips: Getting Trumped

Design Star judges Candice Olson and Genevieve Gorder share their expert advice for achieving a luxurious look.

  • Create an Enticing Environment

    The very essence of a condominium show suite is to entice potential buyers with the impression of a lifestyle so desirable that buying becomes irresistible. It's all about smart space planning and creating the WOW factor, and this space has neither. — Candice Olson

  • Make Space Count

    The function of this space was not appropriately dressed through scale or composition. What do I do at that little strip of counter with the barstool in the passageway? Why would I want to ever sit there? — Genevieve Gorder

  • High Contrast Visually Limits Space

    In what is typically the smallest space in a home, this is not the time for high-color contrast as it only makes the space smaller — the oppressive shiny blue walls and ceiling do just that. — Candice Olson

  • Be Creative With Accessories

    The taxi under a cloche? Not a home run but an out. — Genevieve Gorder

  • Keep Function in Mind

    In the bedroom the unfinished look continues because it is unfinished. I love the dark moody walls, the tufted bed that gives a nod to some of the pieces in the living room and the luxurious satiny feather-motif accent pillows, but without a mattress, bedding and tailored drapery, that is where the sense of luxury begins and ends. — Candice Olson

  • Composition is Key

    While I don't think this room is completely finished, their sense of balance and scale immediately makes me feel at ease. — Genevieve Gorder

  • Build on What You Have

    Over in the bathroom this space looks dressed but lacks an element that could take it from ordinary to extraordinary. An ornate mirror is the simplest way of doing this in a space where so many of the fixtures and finishes are already set in place. — Candice Olson

  • See the Room as a Whole

    Black crown molding? Not necessary; in fact, I think it's a bit of a distraction, but they're thinking about the room in a way that someone may actually use it. Again, a larger rug would fool the eye into thinking there was more space than there is. More than one panel of curtain would be prettier, yes, but the scale of the chaise alongside the leather couch and the balance of feminine and masculine is apparent and comforting. — Genevieve Gorder

  • 2 Chairs Better Than 1 Chaise

    You cannot sit comfortably, or lie down and see the view from the chaise, making it a curious choice for such an important area of the room. A better choice would have been two small arm chairs with a small, round 30\"-high table between. The lightweight chairs could easily be turned either outwards to enjoy the view or inwards to become part of the conversation grouping with the sofa. — Candice Olson

  • Current Colors are a Good Start

    In the bedroom, the blue team used a very current palette of wisteria and grey, layers of subtle, nature-inspired textures and a lovely art piece above the bed. However, I would have liked to have seen wispy, gauzy curtains on the window providing a sense of privacy while maintaining the view and the ceiling animated with a large, modern crystal pendant fixture. — Candice Olson

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