In the heart of New York City, HGTV hosts Vern Yip, Candice Olson, and Genevieve Gorder welcome twelve of the country's most talented interior designers. Hailing originally from the Virgin Islands, Arkansas, Portland, New York, Los Angeles, and everywhere in between, the designers embark upon the opportunity of a lifetime, competing for their own show on HGTV. The designers get right to work on their first challenge which is to design a white box bedroom space inspired by the personality of a fellow designer. Faced with the challenge of finding all their items in an Asian market and with a $500 budget, the designers scramble to find what they need to create diverse spaces. As they get to work, plans backfire, paint spills, and questionable creative choices threaten to imperil several designers. In the end, one designer is eliminated from the competition, and eleven survive to see another day of design.
High fashion and innovative design go hand in hand. The eleven remaining designers attend a runway show, finding inspiration in fashion. But for this Challenge, the designers face another obstacle which involves working in teams! They must fight to have their individual voice incorporated while creating an overall team design. For one designer, a bold dress calls for a bold design statement. Another designer takes their inspiration too far. And as the pressure mounts, a divisive voice creates tension and threatens to destroy the team. In the end, one designer is eliminated from the competition, and ten survive to see another day of design.
The designers face the most difficult challenge in Designstar history by creating outdoor patio spaces inspired by music. On an outdoor roof deck overlooking Manhattan, the designers groove to instrumental solos on everything from the cello to the French horn. Each designer selects one sound and use it as inspiration in the team's overall patio space. As the harmony of the teams is put to the test, one designer can't quite hit the right note, while another's sound might be muted altogether. In the end, one designer is eliminated from the competition, and nine survive to see another day of design.
This week, the designers find inspiration in flowers. The nine remaining designers are challenged to create a studio space inspired by a team bouquet. In New York City's famed Flower Market, each designer selects one flower and uses it as individual inspiration in the team's overall space. As the studio space blossoms, one designer has difficulty catching his breath, while another struggles to find inspiration altogether. A massive mistake threatens one team, while the other struggles with a dominant personality. In the end, the judges surprise everyone with an unexpected decision and one designer is eliminated from the competition while eight survive to see another day of design.
This week, the designers give back to true heroes, designing spaces in real New York City fire stations for FDNY firefighters. In the most intense challenge in Designstar history, the designers go through firefighter training for inspiration. Braving fire simulators in excess of 700 degrees, the designers walk in firefighters' shoes to better understand their clients. Before they get started, the Judges mix up the teams, creating some interesting new dynamics. At the fire stations, one designer falls back on old tricks, while another takes on a major renovation job. In the race to the finish, one team struggles to complete their space when a construction accident forces one designer out of action. In the end, one designer is eliminated from the competition, and seven survive to see another day of design.
This week, the designers work for their biggest client yet, the Trump Organization. The seven remaining designers are challenged to create a model apartment in a brand new Trump property. As an added twist, the designers must each repurpose New York City souvenirs, and incorporate them into the space. When the design begins, one designer feels overpowered by teammates, while another seizes an opportunity to shine. As the spaces come together, one team falls apart facing disastrous consequences. In the end, Donald Trump Jr. visits both teams' spaces, and the judges surprise everyone with an unexpected decision.
This week, the five remaining designers create model kitchen spaces for a Sears catalog photo shoot. They are challenged to create spaces inspired by different regions of the world as represented in delicious food baskets. When the design is completed, each team works with a professional photographer to capture the perfect cover shot that highlights the kitchen and the state of the art Kenmore appliances. One team starts off like the perfect marriage, but ends up a bit on the rocks. On the other team, two long time adversaries continue their personal battle. John Gidding guest judges in this episode, and in the end, one designer is eliminated from the competition, while four survive to see another day of design.
This week, the remaining designers are treated to a gourmet meal prepared by Food Network chef Aaron Sanchez to celebrate reaching the final four. But, after the seemingly relaxed meal, the designers learn that the food in their bellies will be their inspirations for a dining room makeover. Separated into two teams, the final four designers create dining room spaces inspired by individually selected courses. As an added twist, the challenge will require the designers to rely entirely on repurposing old items. At the start, each dining room space is filled to the brim with old furniture and accessories. The designers must find creative ways to flip the room on its head, updating the space and infusing their inspiration throughout. One designer focuses all energy on a signature piece in hopes of impressing the judges, while another makes a bold decision that could prove risky. In the end, one designer is eliminated from the competition, and three survive to see another day of design.
The three remaining designers are challenged to design glass housees in New York City's Foley Square. Each designer must display his or her own personal design aesthetic, and prove to the judges that they belong in the Finale. Before the design begins, last year's winner, Antonio Ballatore, surprises them and gives them advice as a mentor. When the design begins, one designer goes for a big statement, while another tackles a time-consuming project with little time to lose. As the designers race the clock, working alone, they receive a visit from even more special surprise guests. When the glass houses are finished, all three remaining designers shoot host presentations before visiting the studio. In the end, one designer is eliminated from the competition, and the fnal two are announced.
The final two designers square off to become the Designstar. Each of the final two designers is challenged to create a presentation of the TV show they hope to host on HGTV. They are supplied with every professional tool needed to create a segment of their show including cameras, lights, microphones and makeup. All of the previously eliminated designers surprise the top two and return to work, helping them complete their epic task. When the cameras roll, one designer is overcome with nerves, while the other struggles with exhaustion. In the end, the final two report to the studio to watch their finished shows. After a grueling ten week competition, the judges decide which designer deserves his or her own TV show.