Design Star Season 6: Kitchen Challenge

This week's test: Whip up a dream kitchen from scratch. Browse before-and-afters and peek behind the scenes of episode five.

The Ultimate Dream Kitchen Challenge

This week, the designers take on their toughest challenge yet — build a dream kitchen in one of the four most popular styles in America: L-shaped, U-shaped, galley and peninsula.

Starting From Scratch

"I walk around the corner, and I see...white boxes? Is this another white box challenge?" Kevin wonders. To make things even harder, the design teams must start the kitchens from scratch, selecting everything from the floors to the appliances to the light fixtures.

Choose a Design Style

The contestants must choose a teapot that will guide the style of their kitchen, from global and industrial to contemporary and farmhouse.

Bold Moves

Partners Meg and Kevin show mentor David Bromstad their daring color choices: brick red and citron yellow. He worries about the rest of the groups: "Three out of the four kitchens are fairly safe. Will they be beautiful? Absolutely. Will they be inspiring? That’s another story," David says.

The Perfect Chandelier

Though Karl is paired with shopping-happy Cathy, he manages to get out long enough to find a stunning, clean-lined chandelier for their contemporary kitchen.

Straightening the Edges

Mark trims slices of laminate flooring that will become a backsplash in his and Kellie's farmhouse-style kitchen.

Finding the Curves

Tyler turns the natural curves in this piece of wood into custom cabinet hardware for the global kitchen he's working on with Leslie.

Leslie Adds the Finishing Touches

Leslie cleans the cork flooring in the dreamy, eclectic kitchen to make it shine.

Leslie and Tyler's Global Kitchen

Tyler and Leslie use dark cabinets and cork flooring to create a well-traveled look in their L-shaped space.

Unfinished Elements

Though the judges agree that the space screams "global," unfinished elements like the missing behind-the-sink backsplash and strange batik-inspired wall bring this room down a notch.

Fun and Functional

A central island creates ample workspace in this whimsical kitchen.

Tile Backsplash

The reflective tile backsplash adds subtle shine to this kitchen's workspace.

Custom Cabinet Hardware

To give the kitchen international style, Tyler ditches the stock cabinet hardware in favor of these naturally-curved wooden pulls.

Leslie’s Chandelier

The judges love Leslie's blingy light fixture, which adds a touch of glamour to this space.

Prepping for Camera

Each designer also records a 60-second kitchen tip; the winner is featured right here on! Front-of-the-camera pro David Bromstad gives Leslie tips to keep her on-screen energy up.

Dining Gone Wrong

The judges aren't impressed by Tyler's choice of seating in the dining area. "If you're going to have this monumentally scaled slab of wood, then your chairs have to be scaled accordingly," Vern says. The tiny bench just doesn't cut it.

Tyler Falls Flat

Tyler gives a scattered camera performance this week, going through the promo without talking about the room’s design style, cabinets, floors or configuration. "It's a design network. We want to hear about your design," David says.

Kellie and Mark's Farmhouse-Inspired Kitchen

The designing duo built this warm, inviting kitchen with traditional farmhouse style in mind. "I'm drawn to farmhouse because I think it most closely emulates a kitchen that a family would actually be in," says Kellie.

Mismatched Chairs

Kellie uses several different types of dining chairs in order to give the space a lived-in feel.

Kellie uses several different types of dining chairs in order to give the space a lived-in feel.

David loves Kellie's warm, personable promo, but she ends more than 10 seconds before time is up. "I'm terrified that this mistake could send me home," says Kellie.

Edible Tablescape

Kellie carved out the centers of cabbage heads to turn them into simple, stylish candleholders.

Cozy Farmhouse Feel

This galley kitchen is wide enough to house a table in the center, so a family could gather here while the parents cook.

Dueling Backsplashes

Because of time constraints, Mark and Kellie use both tile and distressed wood-printed laminate for two different sides of the backsplash. "It needs to be one or the other," says Vern.

Old and New

The shining stainless steel backsplash juxtaposes against the weathered wood wall, giving this traditional-style kitchen a little splash of modernity.

Mark's Light Fixture Find

Vern falls for these distressed, airy chandeliers that look both trendy and timeless all at once.

Penny Tile Backsplash

Behind the sink, the other half the backsplash is made up of understated penny tile.


This worn dinner bell looks like a passed-down family heirloom.

A Pop of Color

Tulips add color to the space, while the farm crate evokes a fresh-from-the-garden feel.

Karl and Cathy's Contemporary Kitchen

Karl and Cathy's design styles and ideas mesh well for their U-shaped kitchen, but things come to a head at the end of the challenge over Cathy's styling of the room.

Clean Lines, Cluttered Counters

Minimalist furnishings and lighting keep this space modern, but the Cathy's over-accessorized surfaces give it a cluttered look. "I'm seeing all kinds of things in this room I don’t want, but it's too late to fight at this point," Karl says.

Cathy's Accessory Overload

"When I look at this kitchen, there is no space for me," says Genevieve. Vern adds: "Is there anything left at the grocery store?"

Contemporary Table

Simple, subdued chairs give the rough-hewn table a chance to be the star of this dining area.

Cathy's Camera Challenge

Despite her over-styling, Cathy's on-camera skills gave her the edge in the Camera Challenge. She won this week's prize — a chance to be featured right here! Watch her video now.

Kevin and Meg's Loft-Inspired Kitchen

This daring duo decided to go big in their industrial-style peninsula kitchen with bold colors and bright accessories.

Meg Thrives

"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.

Kevin Goes Kid-Friendly

Kevin decides to style the shelving area with toys, drawings and notes. "I want to make sure to include some kid-friendly items, because this room is very much about a mom making a salad with little Sassy over in her corner drawing," says Kevin.

Meg Gets Creative

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.

Industrial Chic Kitchen

Bright colors and non-traditional materials give this space a young, edgy vibe.

Colorful Dishes

Restaurant-style steel untensil holders paired with bright serving dishes create a kitchen with both feminine and masculine touches.

Meg's Pot and Pan Wall

Paula is a fan of the peg board turned pot wall: "I want to be able to reach and grab, my pots hanging in front of my stove," she says.

Versatile Island

The kitchen island is on wheels, which means it can be moved aside or repurposed for other activities in an apartment with limited space.

A Table for Three

Nature-inspired plates and soft napkins juxtapose the harsh metals of this industrial-style space.

A Bright Idea

Exposed bulbs hanging from brightly-colored cords create a warehouse look.

Industrial-Chic Vases

Hammered metal vases add a bit of shine to this kitchen.

Kevin's Office Nook

The judges love Kevin's use of tool shelving in this kitchen, but question his styling choices.

No-Play Zone

"Nobody's dream is to have their kids' stuff strewn all over the kitchen," Vern says. "Just because it's supposed to look lived-in doesn't mean it has to look messy."

Kevin's Camera Challenge

Kevin nails the 60-second limit for his camera challenge, but David still feels his delivery is a little forced. "You're racing. Take your time, breath a little bit," David says.

Tyler, It's Time to Go

Tyler's lackluster camera challenge and botched batik wall ultimately lead the judges to cancel his show this week. Watch what he has to say about his exit.