Francis, originally from Athens, Greece, first started in construction and design in New York as a handyman. Soon he went from completing simple jobs to doing full-scale renovations in Manhattan apartments. Now the owner of a contracting and design company, Francis says he thinks of his projects as his children and finds it impossible to choose a favorite. A former dancer, he says he thrives on the artistic side of home design and brings a visual flair to his work, which he describes as "comfortable luxury with a classic urban feel."
Inez Escamila - Austin, Texas
As a child, Inez says she was the ultimate tomboy. She spent evenings in the garage with her father where they worked on cars and created artwork out of scraps. Inez, who recently completed her own full home remodel, earned an associate degree in applied science in welding from Austin Community College and studied sculpture at the Texas State University. Today Inez owns her own welding and fabrication business and teaches welding at a local community college. She describes herself as "extremely competitive" and enjoys rock climbing and cycling as hobbies. Inez says she tries to strike a balance between a streamlined contemporary aesthetic and a funky eclectic look.
Mark O'Mara - New York
Originally from Baltimore, New York City resident Mark O'Mara's interest in design originated in middle school when an art teacher demonstrated how to draw space and perspectives on paper. His passion for design continued and in 2004 he received a bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of Tennessee. Mark is a designer and independent contractor with experience in plumbing, HVAC and framing, and says he knows how to execute any project from initial design to completion. Professionally, Mark has designed several residential and commercial projects and describes his personal design style as "organic and functional."
Shannon Thompson - Houston, Texas
Shannon, a mom of two, discovered a love for decorating when she began redesigning friends' homes. Encouraged by her success, she opened her own design business and for the past 12 years she has designed residential and commercial spaces. Shannon, who says she gets an adrenaline rush from remodeling, also received her real estate license so that she can redesign and then flip homes for a profit. Shannon describes her design style as "transitional and classic with an edge of modern" and says she knows that her passion for beautiful design will make her a standout competitor.
Tiffany "Torche" Perkins - Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Tiffany "Torche" Perkins, who received a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from the Academy of Art in San Francisco and a bachelor's degree in industrial design from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, is a freelance artist. Her favorite projects include everything from metal artwork to a large-scale barn renovation and gym redesign. Torche says her time in the Navy gave her a focused confidence she didn't have before entering the service and that she dreams of showing HGTV viewers how art, design and renovation can be fused into a singular vision. She describes herself as an unreserved artist who knows her tattoos and sharp tongue make her instantly memorable. Torche describes her design style as "experimental industrial."