The Latest From Ellen's Design Challenge: Pick Your Favorite Travel-Inspired Furniture

Take a design trip around the world with the final five designers' internationally-inspired pieces.

The remaining five designers, left to right Miles Endo, Melissa Moir, Kyle Huntoon, Vivian Beer and Sef Pinney pose with Ellen after she surprised them by driving into the workshop in an electric luggage car filled with 5 suitcases to announce the new challenge. After picking a piece of luggage each containing a flag from a different country, the designers will create a piece of furniture inspired by the country they receive. At judging, the designers will explain how their piece was influenced by their assigned country, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop, a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need, the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.”

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

As both a furniture buff and a travel junkie, Ellen knows how inspiring travel can be. She even traveled around the world with her wife, Portia di Rossi, and interior designer and judge, Cliff Fong, to find unique pieces for her home, including a vintage Giudo Gambone vase in Portofino, Italy.

After surprising the five remaining designers by driving into the workshop in an electric luggage car filled with 5 suitcases, Ellen talks about her travels and the furniture found along the way, and announces a new challenge wih judges Christiane Lemieux (left) and Cliff Fong (center): after picking a piece of luggage each containing a flag from a different country, the designers will create a piece of furniture inspired by the country they receive. At judging, the designers will explain how their piece was influenced by their assigned country, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop, a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need, the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.”

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

So, this week, she challenged the final five to be design tourists, taking inspiration from countries Ellen loves to visit. (Sorry, luggage cart not included.) 

The Designs

Designer Sef Pinney's Danish inspired chair made of multi-layered curved wood is presented to the panel of judges on judging day, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. After picking a piece of luggage each containing a flag from a different country; the designers had to create a piece of furniture inspired by the country they receive. At judging; they will explain how their piece was influenced by their assigned country. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop; a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need; the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Sef's design was inspired by Denmark. Since Sef's personal design style is so closely aligned with sleek Danish modern style, he easily decided which direction to go: A classic easy chair with S-curve arms and legs and streamlined cushions. 

See More From Sef

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Flip through his Ellen's Design Challenge projects. 

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Designer Vivian Beer's Brutalist-like wine cabinet, made of wood and metal and inspired by Italy, is presented to the panel of judges on judging day, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. After picking a piece of luggage each containing a flag from a different country; the designers had to create a piece of furniture inspired by the country they receive. At judging; they will explain how their piece was influenced by their assigned country. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop; a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need; the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Vivian was asked to create a piece inspired by Italian design. A fan of the Brutalist movement, she decided to create a rugged, industrial-style wine rack with metal and rough-hewn wood. 

Vivian's Design Work

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See all her industrial-chic creations. 

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Designer Kyle Huntoon presents his table inspired by Morocco, with craftsman touches, folding panels and decorative brass, to the panel to judges, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. After picking a piece of luggage each containing a flag from a different country; the designers had to create a piece of furniture inspired by the country they receive. At judging; they will explain how their piece was influenced by their assigned country. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop; a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need; the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Kyle's international inspiration? Morocco. The country's design is characterized by rich colors, intricate woodwork, graphic tile and metalwork motifs. Because the culture is so food-centric, Kyle's first instinct was to create an expandable communal table with a lift-out tray in the center. The legs feature a modern metal take on a classic relief pattern, while the top features a more traditional carved detail. 

Kyle's 'Ellen' Portfolio

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See Kyle's pieces from the competition.

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Designer Miles Endo's winning design, a folding room divider made of light wood and translucide acryilc panels and inspired by Japan is presented to the panel of judges on judging day, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. The judges were impressed by the piece's balance, elegance and functionality. After picking a piece of luggage each containing a flag from a different country; the designers had to create a piece of furniture inspired by the country they receive. At judging; they will explain how their piece was influenced by their assigned country. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop; a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need; the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Fresh off a win, Miles chose Japan as the inspiration for his furniture piece. His concept: A minimalist room divider with translucent walls (reminiscent of a shoji screen) and built-in storage. Another feature: The rolling screen folds in half for another display option. 

Furniture Designs From Miles

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Flip through his designs from the competition. 

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Designer Melissa Moir's classic vanity, made of wood with intricate finishing touches and inspired by France, is presented to the panel of judges on judging day, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. Moir and Zimpel were eliminated, as the judges found their design "too cute" and more styling than designing. After picking a piece of luggage each containing a flag from a different country; the designers had to create a piece of furniture inspired by the country they receive. At judging; they will explain how their piece was influenced by their assigned country. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop; a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need; the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

When Melissa chose France as her inspiration, she went straight to a fashion icon – CoCo Chanel – for her piece. She created a black-and-white vanity with pink accents and lots of fine detail, like nailhead trim and scrollwork. 

Melissa's Furniture Ideas

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See her creative designs from the show.

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The Judges' Decision

Judges Christiane Lemieux (center), Cliff Fong (right), and guest judge Karim Rashid (left), address the remaining five designers on judging day, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. After picking a piece of luggage each containing a flag from a different country; the designers had to create a piece of furniture inspired by the country they receive. At judging; they will explain how their piece was influenced by their assigned country. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop; a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need; the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

After reviewing all five pieces, judges Christiane Lemieux and Cliff Fong, plus guest judge Karim Rashid, are ready for the moment of truth. They loved how Miles combined classic Japanese design with modern function. Their least favorite? Melissa's French-inspired vanity, which they felt was a too-literal translation of the country's style. Miles is the winner, while Melissa is headed home.  

Cast Your Vote 

Episode 203 designers and carpenters, left to right: carpenter Karl Champley and designer Miles Endo, carpenter Chip Wade and designer Sef Pinney, carpenter Matt Muenster and designer Kyle Huntoon, designer Vivian Beer and carpenter Matt Blashaw, designer Melissa Moir and carpenter Steve Zimpel, as seen on Ellen's Design Challenge. Ellen DeGeneres puts eight furniture designers to the test when they come to Los Angeles to compete in various challenges designing and building amazing furniture creations. With a workshop, a lead carpenter and all the tools they’ll need, the contestants will be tasked with a new build each episode. A panel of expert judges along with appearances by Ellen will eliminate them one by one until one designer is left standing to take home the cash prize and win “Ellen’s Design Challenge.”

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

Gilles Mingasson / Getty Images

The judges have spoken – now tell us what you think! See all the designers' latest work, the vote for your favorite. 

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