Torie, who has competed in beauty pageants since childhood, has extensive experience working as a designer for a custom-home builder.
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Education: Two degrees in interior design from Lone Star College
Current Job: Custom home designer
Why I should win HGTV Design Star:
I have a very diverse background in interior design. I have mostly designed custom homes that range from $500,000 and up, but I have also designed and decorated many model homes with completely different budgets and constraints. I have experience in remodeling homes, designing and redecorating homes with large and small budgets, which I feel is very important to be able to do as a designer and still have a very satisfied client.
I have traveled across the United States serving as a guest speaker for national-brand vendors to the interior design industry, teaching fellow designers how to design custom homes. With that experience, I am very comfortable speaking in front of many people and on camera. In addition, having competed in pageants all my life, I also have the onstage experience and charisma that are needed to host a television show. With all of these qualities, I feel I have the key ingredients to be HGTV's next Design Star.
Describe your design style in four words.
Classic, upscale, delicious and textured
Who is your design icon?
What is your dream design project?
A second home or project anywhere in the Caribbean Islands, possibly St. Barths
Where do you get your inspiration?
To be completely honest, any fabric store. I love to sew and am inspired every time I see new fabrics, materials, textures. It gets me going.
When designing, what can't you live without?
Got to start with a good cup of coffee and my "book of custom designs." I have compiled a book over the years of hundreds of tile designs, including backsplashes, entries, bathrooms — all that I have hand-drawn. I refer to many of these drawings to help me along in designing my new home and remodeling, as well. It's fantastic.
What are your most creative hours of the day?
Usually between 10am and 4pm, but I have been known to design all hours of the day and night.
What do you think is the worst design trend?
Using any type of fruit, food or flower design in permanent designs like tile work in a kitchen or bath. Buyers may love it when they first choose it but within a few years they will grow to hate the sight of those grapes they thought they couldn't live without.
What's one thing about you that would surprise people?
I come across as a very upscale, dressy interior designer, but in my spare time I absolutely love getting muddy on my Grizzly 700 series four-wheeler. Everyone is shocked by this.
Where's the farthest you've ever traveled from home?
Nassau, Bahamas. Anytime I have a choice to go on a vacation, my choice is always to go somewhere warm on a beautiful beach. We stayed at Atlantis for one week. It was great.
What's your guilty pleasure?
Absolutely, without a doubt, Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream. It's heavenly.
What's your most unusual talent?
I can sew clothes without using a pattern.
What word/phrase do you say way too often?
When I was a kid, I thought I would be:
A fashion designer. I carried a notebook around with me all the time drawing fancy, formal gowns. I also had a strong love for decorating since I was very young. I was constantly in my room redecorating and moving my furniture around. Another thing is I would pick out furniture, lamps, rugs and comforters in the big Sears catalog and bring it to my mom and tell her to order it all to make the house look good. I would do the same for my grandmother; they got a kick out of it.
Who's your hero?
Definitely my mom. She has been through a lot, but she is very strong and always positive.
What's your fashion style?
Trendy, but not too trendy. I love to wear vibrant colors with great accessories (usually with some layered bling), but I love my classic, tailored Tahari suits a lot.
Color: Fuchsia and lagoon blue (soft turquoise) for clothes; earthy, warm caramels, lattes, chocolates for interiors, but definitely with color thrown in.
Scent: Warm sugar cookie
Music: Gary Allan, Keith Urban and Earth, Wind & Fire (they're my favorite!)
Song: "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire
Food: Seafood. I love shrimp cooked any way.
Magazine: Lux, People and Florida Design
Movie: The Holiday and For the Love of the Game
TV Show: Love reality shows and, of course, watching HGTV. Real Housewives of Orange County, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Divine Design and Designed to Sell
Room in your house: My great room
Room to design: Children's rooms and master bedrooms
Thing in your home: My stacked-stone fireplace surround and stacked-stone up the wall to the ceiling.
Hobbies: Sewing, making flower arrangements, riding my four-wheeler and softball
Vacation destination: Anywhere with a beautiful beach and sunny weather, but I would love to go to Paris someday.
HGTV show: Color Splash
Design tip: Don't be afraid to use color in your home or project. Even if in small amounts, it can give the pop or wow factor that will make a huge difference.