The Final Challenge
Meg and Karl are the last two designers standing — who will be the next Design Star? Take a look back at their journey to the finale, then see behind-the-scenes photos and find out whose pilot impressed the judges most.
Episode One: Design Your Living Space
Karl and Kellie work together in week one to turn a forgotten bonus room in their penthouse into a chic retreat. Karl creates a focal wall by painting of mural of trees in tone-on-tone blues. The judges love the space and name him the first week's winner.
Meg and Tyler's Half-Finished Bedroom
Meg and Tyler worked together to design a soft, feminine bedroom during week one. They receive high praise from the judges for their use of fabric and the color palette of green and purple; however, they fall short on styling the bookshelves.
Though Meg's designs don't shine in week one, her ability to be a fun, energetic team player is evident from the start.
Week Two: White Box Challenge
Meg struggles to find a concept in the artistic white box challenge, and asks mentor David Bromstad for help. \"You were just safe last week. This is the time to push yourself,\" he says.
Karl's White Box Camera Challenge
Karl used plastic to-go containers and a hot glue gun to create a modern light fixture on a shoestring budget. While the idea is great, he stumbles a little while delivering it to camera — an ongoing struggle for Karl all season long.
Karl's Perfectly-Painted Room
The judges love the muted color palette in Karl's space, but feel he went a little too traditional with the design and layout. \"We saw with Karl last week that he can indeed paint, so I was hoping to see a new superpower this week,\" quipps Genevieve.
Meg's Scattered White Box
\"Uh-oh\" is the judges' first response when they set their eyes on Meg's misguided effort. \"It's very creepy; everything is creepy,\" said Genevieve. A last-minute coffee table collapse plus a strange color palette equaled a miss for Meg. She's on the bottom at elimination, but manages to stay in the competition.
Week Three: Help a Homeowner
Homeowner Christina Scano wants to transform this old mother-in-law suite into an entertainment space with a comfortable lounge space, media area and wet bar. Karl pairs up with Cathy and Bret to transform the space.
After: Entertainment Room
Bret, Cathy and Karl start by replacing the old carpet with new hardwood floors and then bring in contemporary furnishings. However, the judges think furniture looks like it belongs in an office.
After: Clean White Kitchen
The designers keep the old kitchen space as a kitchenette, but demo everything from before and bring in brand new cabinets and small appliances. Karl's smashed mosaic backsplash is a highlight for the judges. \"It adds a touch of design and art,\" says Vern.
Before: Uninspired Dining Room
Meg and Tyler pair up in week three to transform this sad dining space. The owner wants more seating and an indoor-outdoor vibe.
After: Beach-Inspired Dining
Meg's style starts to emerge in this Palm Beach-inspired space with weathered furnishings and beachy hues.
After: Redesigned Hutch
Meg refinishes the hutch with a strie paint technique by painting on a solid color and then using a chip brush to pull off the excess paint. The judges think her hutch is really successful and timeless.
Week Four: A New Jersey Bed and Breakfast
Meg and Karl team up with Mark in week four to create a killer master suite at an outdated bed and breakfast. \"In six years of being on this panel, your room is the most impressive room we've ever been in,\" says Vern.
Before: Not-So-Masterful Suite
The sitting area in this two-bedroom suite is scattered and doesn't evoke a beach feel. \"There's nothing that reads 'cute bed and breakfast on the seashore,'\" Meg says.
After: Multipurpose Area
Guests can either enjoy the fireplace or catch up on favorite shows from this cozy sitting area.
Before: Crushed By Velvet
Uneven velvet curtains and a tired mirror provide a dismal backdrop for this sleep nook.
After: Meg's Bright Bedroom
\"I love how she's drawn the colors from the headboard into every area,\" says guest judge Kathy Ireland. Meg refinishes existing piece with a deep red hue that picks up on the floral headboard. Bright white accessories with a subtle beach motif complete the look. This cohesive look earns her this week's win.
Before: Crowded and Uncomfortable
The bed looks too large for the space, while the plywood chair looks like the last place you'd want to relax before drifting to sleep.
After: Open, Fun and Whimsical
Karl's water-inspired, painted chair rail adds a nod to the nautical location of this seaside B&B without being too obvious.
Turning the Tables
Karl transforms an end table into two built-in consoles that give the room a finished, refined look.
Week Five: Dream Kitchen Makeover
Karl and Cathy pair up in the dream kitchen challenge to create a contemporary-style kitchen.
Clean Lines, Cluttered Counters
Despite Cathy's cluttered countertops, the judges take note of the perfectly contemporary chandelier, chairs and dining table that Karl finds for this space.
Kevin and Meg's Loft-Inspired Kitchen
Kevin and Meg pair up to create a bold,industrial-style kitchen with bright accessories.
\"Knowing the layout of what a kitchen should be is essential to being a great designer,\" Meg says as she breezes through the challenge and puts the finishing touches on some of her kitchen's hardware.
Meg's Pot and Pan Wall
Meg decides to create a hanging pot display. \"There are so many kitchens around the country where you don't have the room for all the pots and pans, but you have wall space,\" Meg says. Guest judge Paula Deen is a fan of the peg board-turned-pot-wall.
Week Seven: You've Been HGTV'd!
Meg, Karl and the remaining contestants head to a HGTV fan's home to surprise her and her family with the ultimate multi-room remodel.
Karl Tackles the Master Suite
For their master bedroom, the couple wants something romantic but not girly. Another request: a chandelier. \"It's my mission to find a man-friendly chandelier,\" says Karl.
Before: No-Romance Master Suite
The bold-hued walls don't do justice to the room's architectural details.
After: Romantic But Not Flowery
Cool neutral walls play up the room's best features, like high ceilings, crown moldings and a new chandelier. \"The chandelier has a masculinity about it...it definitely has romance about it without dripping with crystals,\" says Genevieve.
After: A Custom Headboard
Before, this master suite had no headboard. Karl creates this soft, upholstered one to add depth and a focal point to the room. \"I love the headboard...it almost looks like subtle waves,\" says Vern.
Karl in His Finished Room
Karl's romantic renovation is just what the homeowners wanted. The judges name him this week's winner.
Before: A Blank-Slate Foyer
Meg takes on the foyer remodel, and the homeowners are open to almost anything. \"We just have no idea,\" says Nikki. However, they would like an updated chandelier.
After: Full of Life
A lantern wall and a table make this home look welcoming and lived-in.
After: A Modern Art Showpiece
Meg's custom artwork pops against the neutral gray walls.
After: Family Reading Nook
Meg creates the perfect place for bedtime stories, with chairs, pillows and an ottoman with built-in storage. However, she runs out of time before she finishes styling, leaving a half-finished space.
Meg in the Finished Space
\"I feel totally defeated and I didn't accomplish what I know I'm capable of,\" Meg says of her unfinished space. The judges decide to give Meg a chance to redeem herself in next week's challenge.
Week Eight: The Final Four
Meg, Mark, Kellie and Karl are getting close enough to taste victory. This week's challenge: Redesign a NYC apartment in three days with less than $2,500.
Karl Balks at the Budget
Karl has to reach outside his comfort zone for this budget-oriented challenge. \"For architecture, the budgets I'm working with are between 500 thousand and 1.5 million...$2,500 in one of those projects would barely buy the front door hardware,\" says Karl.
Before: A Cold, White Space
Karl's stark, modern space needs color and character.
After: Warm and Inviting
Karl's color palette of tan and blueish gray creates a warm, calming space. \" I like how the colors are mellow,\" says guest judge Nate Berkus.
After: A Literal Bookshelf
Karl turns hardcover books into shelves for this ingenious display unit. \"You have a really keen eye for beautiful detail. The literal bookshelf was so great, so smart,\" says Genevieve.
Karl in His Finished Space
Karl plays it safe this week, but is successful in creating a warm, inviting space.
Last Chance Challenge
After being in the bottom four last week, Meg knows she has to step up to stay in the competition. \"I know that if I don't complete a room...I'm going home. There are no excuses at this point,\" says Meg.
Before: Stark, White Modern Lines
Bland furnishings with sharp edges make Meg's space feel cold and clinical.
After: Meg's \"Moditional\" Room
Meg mixes angular modern pieces and softer traditional furnishings to create this spunky, sophisticated space that she calls \"moditional.\" \"I felt every nickel of the $2,500 dollars in that space,\" says Nate.
A Glimpse of Fame
The designers head onto the set of The Nate Berkus Show to do their camera challenges — and get a taste of what it would be like to be the next Design Star.
\"I'm competing against Mark with the million-dollar smile...Kellie, America's sweetheart, and everybody loves Meg,she's so spunky,\" he says. \"But is anybody going to like me?\"
Karl Conquers His Camera Challenge
Karl vanquishes his nerves and connects with the crowd for his shelving demo. \"You were able to really capture the audience attention, and get them to think how it could relate the their life,\" Nate says.
Meg Gets Inspired
Being on the show's set reinvigorates Meg and reminds her what is at stake. \"We walk into the green room and, holy moly. This is absolutely hitting me at the core of why I'm here. I want this in my life,\" says Meg.
Meg Shines on Stage
\"I love your energy,\" says Nate. \"I love it here. I could work here every single day,\" Meg says. With her stunning space and crowd-pleasing camera challenge, she takes top honors for this week.
Week Nine: Design A Tiny House
In a Design Star first, the final three are tasked with the hardest challenge yet: Create a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living space in a 100-square-foot house.
No Unitaskers Allowed
\"I'm looking for things that serve more than one function, since one of the points of a tiny house is simplifying life,\" says Karl. This Moroccan pouf can serve as an ottoman or a tiny dining or work table.
Karl's Big-Style Small Space
\"This really challenges our space-planning abilities,\" says Karl. Karl's finished space is cohesive, attractive and utterly functional. The judges love his multi-functional furnishings, but aren't sure about the bright color palette in this small space.
\"I have a unique design sense that's coming through,\" says Meg. \"I know I can bring a boldness to a space without using a lot of pattern.\" She chooses bold kelly green trim and pastel yellow walls inspired by the plant life. outside.
Meg Hard at Work
\"Meg has a personality all her own, completely different from any of the designers I've worked with,\" says Chip Wayne, Meg's carpenter for this episode. \"I can tell she has a ton of passion...she is just a firecracker.\"
Week 10: Film a Pilot
Karl and Meg will each film a TV pilot for their final challenge. For Karl's show, Inspired Design, he'll take inspiration from architecture and the environment and incorporate it into these homeowners walkup row house in Harlem, New York.
Inspired by Architecture
The window frames on this New York building inspire Karl to create cornices around the couple's windows that will add architectural interest.
Tuscan Meets Street Art Armoire
Karl blends both their design interests — Tuscan design and street art — on an TV-stashing armoire. \"How am I going to make an armoire that's unexpected, that’s gritty, that's edgy? Paint it white and spray paint graffiti onto it,\" he says. He paints a motif inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge.
Custom Toy Storage
Karl creates this open shelf to help the couple organize their children's toys.
A Little Help From Friends
Kevin and Mark help Karl execute the makeover.
Karl Struggles on Camera
Karl's design is going smoothly, but he starts to worry again about his camera presence. \"Everyone who's seen Meg on camera loves her. I've got to beat her,\" he says.
Karl Adds the Finishing Touches
Karl finishes the space in hopes that this room and his pilot are good enough to earn him the title of Design Star.
Before: Shoes, Shoes Everywhere
With no place to store shoes, the homeowners had a perpetual pile of them right by the door. And with the sofa on the wall, there's no hint of an entryway.
After: Chic and Functional
Karl added closed and open shoe storage by the door, as well as a place to sit to put on and take off shoes. Moving the couch forward creates a mini-foyer when you enter the house.
After: Custom Windows
Custom-designed cornices fitted with sleek Roman shades make this room's windows a new focal point.
Before: Too Many Toys
The homeowners' children have taken over this space, with toys piled all over the room.
After: Hidden Storage
A custom shelving unit provides ample storage for the family's many toys, and the graffitied armoire conceals the television.
After: Personal Photos
An added picture rail provides ample space for the homeowners' family photos.
The Big Reveal
Happy homeowners John and Liz love their living room's transformation.
Meg Meets Her Clients
For Meg's pilot, Design Crimes, she'll indentify the \"crimes\" in this couple's entryway and dining room and turn them into focal points. They'd love to turn this multi-use space into an area for entertaining.
Meg Get Toungue-Tied
While shopping for furnishings, Meg struggles with even short bits of her pilot. \"I’m doing take after take and my words aren’t coming out right. Talking to the camera has never bothered me before, so why am I having trouble now?,\" she says. But when she realizes what's at stake, she pulls it together.
Meg works with her carpenter to plan the room so it's both stylish and functional.
Design Crimes, Solved
One of Meg's major problems with the room? The Buddha isn't prominent enough. She asks the carpenter to create a pedestal where the ornate wooden statue can take center stage.
Leslie Goes Blue
Leslie and Kellie sign on to help Meg complete the space, and Meg puts Leslie to work painting the walls a cool blue requested by homeowner LaToya.
Hard at Work
Back to being friends with the camera, Meg films an introduction to her pilot.
One Last Chance
As Meg adds the finishing touches to Andre and LaToya's home, she hopes she's put enough of herself into the room to impress the judges. \"I just hope the panelists see who I am as a designer,\" Meg says.
Before: Half Workout Room, Half Dining Room
This entryway didn't make a good impression, with random piles of workout gear mixed with mismatched furniture.
After: All Style and Function
Meg transforms this multi-use area into a beautiful, cohesive space. Added storage by the door conceals clutter, while the lounge area adds ample seating for guests.
All About Buddha
A tall pedestal makes this ornate Buddha the focal point of the room's back wall.
Before: Curtains Covering Nothing
Another one of Meg's top \"design crimes\" in this space: curtains atop blank walls.
After: The Illusion of Windows
Meg added antiqued mirrors to make this space seem larger and give the curtains something to frame. Soft blue drapes give this room a cozy yet sophisticated quality.
The Perfect Rug
Meg struggled to find the rug that would pick up both the blue that LaToya asked for and the earth tones that her husband, Andre, requested. This Oriental one is a perfect fit.
The Big Reveal
Andre and LaToya are shocked and awed by the transformation. It's a success!
Who Will the Judges Choose?
David Bromstad joins the judges to help make a life-changing decision for one designer. Their conclusion? The next Design Star is...
Taking into account the two designers' overall performance and on-camera presence, the judging panel chooses Meg to be your season six Design Star.
Karl conquered his fear of the camera, but it wasn’t enough to beat Meg. Hear what he has to say about going home.