Meg's Road to Victory
Relive the top moments from Design Star season six winner Meg Caswell's journey to stardom.
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November 25, 2014
Meg's Design Star Journey
Meg Caswell is the season six winner of HGTV Design Star and host of HGTV's Great Rooms. Revisit Meg's highest and lowest moments of the season.
Meet Your Competitors
On the rooftop of their Brooklyn penthouse, Meg met the 11 other designers who would fight her for the Design Star title.
Week One: Design Your Living Space
The designers' first challenge: Redesign their Brooklyn penthouse. Meg and Tyler are paired together to design a soft, feminine bedroom. They receive high praise from the judges for their use of fabric and the color palette of green and purple; however, they fall short on styling the bookshelves.
Though Meg's designs don't shine in week one, her ability to be a fun, energetic team player is evident from the start.
Week 2: Colorful Inspiration
The designers travel to 5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center in Long Island City, where graffiti artists from around the world are invited to express themselves. This week's test: the white box challenge!
Shopping for Ideas
Meg finds lots of pieces that spark interest, but struggles to come up with an overarching concept. "I haven't designed a room that isn't functional in probably...10 years. This is probably the hardest type of challenge for someone like me," she says.
Advice From the Mentor
Still struggling for a concept, Meg works through her white box with mentor David's advice. "You were just safe last week. This is the time to push yourself," he says.
Meg's Scattered Space
"Uh-oh" is the judges' first response when they lay eyes on Meg's misguided effort.
Coffee Table Collapse
Meg's coffee table, which was balanced atop painted glasses, collapsed just as time was called. Overall, the space confused the judges, and Meg has to face the elimination panel in the bottom two. But, she gets another chance to prove herself.
Week Three: Real-Life Makeovers
Meg and the other nine Design Star hopefuls face their first homeowner challenge, where they must take unused rooms and turn them into functional, stylish spaces.
Before: Uninspired Dining Room
Meg and Tyler pair up again in week three to transform this sad dining space. The owner wants more seating and an indoor-outdoor vibe.
Meg reimagines the homeowner's existing hutch by sanding down the piece and finishing with a strie paint technique.
After: Beach-Inspired Dining
Meg's style starts to emerge in this Palm Beach-inspired space with weathered furnishings and beachy hues.
After: A Reimagined Hutch
Meg's faux finished hutch looks like it's just washed ashore, completing this room's beach-chic look. The judges think her hutch is really successful and timeless.
Week Four: A Jersey Shore Bed and Breakfast Makeover
In week four, the remaining designers head to the Jersey Shore to turn rooms in this dated bed and breakfast into boutique hotel-inspired spaces.
Shopping for a Concept
Karl, Mark and Meg are paired to rework the B&B's two-bedroom suite. After a rough start, Meg's leadership brings the trio together. Their theme: whimsical and modern with beach-inspired accents.
Before: Not-So-Masterful Suite
This two-bedroom suite is scattered and doesn't evoke a beach feel. "There's nothing that reads 'cute bed and breakfast on the seashore,'" Meg says.
After: Multipurpose Area
Guests can either enjoy the fireplace or catch up on favorite shows from this cozy sitting area.
Before: Not-So-Sweet Dreams
Uneven velvet curtains and a tired mirror provide a nightmareish backdrop for this sleep nook.
After: Meg's Dreamy Bedroom
"I love how she's drawn the colors from the headboard into every area," says guest judge Kathy Ireland.
After: Meg's Custom Headboard Panels
The perfect vintage Palm Beach-inspired fabric for the headboard brings the bedding and accent colors together.
Meg's Dresser Makeover
Meg refinished an existing piece with a deep red hue that picks up on the floral headboard. Bright white accessories with a subtle beach motif complete the look.
A Winning Space
Meg grabs her first win working alongside collaborators Karl and Mark. "In six years of being on this panel, your room is the most impressive room we've ever been in," says Vern.
Week Five: Design a Dream Kitchen
The designers take on their toughest challenge yet — build a dream kitchen, from scratch, in just two days.
Partners Meg and Kevin show mentor David Bromstad their daring color choices: brick red and citron yellow.
Kevin and Meg's Loft-Inspired Kitchen
The daring duo pose in their industrial-style kitchen, complete with bold colors and bright accessories.
"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.
Meg's Pot and Pan Wall
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. Guest judge Paula Deen is a fan of the peg board-turned-pot-wall.
Week Six: Plan a 24-Hour Wedding
The designers work as a group to plan a wedding reception for a lucky (and brave) couple. The catch: There's only 24 hours until the big day!
Meg Tackles The Flower Arrangements
"I've never done flowers before, but I feel confident in my design eye that I'll be able to pull it off," she says.
Last-Minute Flower Arrangements
Meg again shows she's a team player by adding small flower arrangements when she sees Cathy isn't creating anything for the sweetheart table. "Her flowers aren't my responsibility, but if the bride's flowers are not finished, that's sad," says Meg.
Week Seven: You've Been HGTV'd!
Meg and the other five hopefuls complete a challenge based on the popular show HGTV'd. Each designer will make over a different room in a lucky fan's home.
Meg Makes Over the Foyer
Meg is assigned the family's foyer in the whole-house makeover.
Before: A Blank Slate
The high ceilings dwarf the foyer's only element, a sad houseplant.
After: Full of Life
A lantern wall and a table make this home look welcoming and lived-in. The judges love Meg's installation.
Meg's modern art showpiece pops against the neutral gray walls.
Before: Wasted Space
The large stair landing was completely empty.
After: Family Reading Nook
Meg creates the perfect place for bedtime stories, with chairs, pillows and an ottoman with built-in storage. "I remember playing on my landing as a little kid, and I'm excited to give them these wonderful memories," Meg says.
Meg Feels Defeated
Despite her successes, Meg is let down that she wasn't able to finish the design of the landing. "I feel totally defeated and I didn't accomplish what I know I'm capable of," Meg says of her unfinished space. The judges decide to give Meg a chance to redeem herself in next week's challenge.
Week Eight: Design a High-Fashion Apartment for Less
Meg, Mark, Kellie and Karl are getting close enough to taste victory. This week's challenge: Redesign a NYC apartment in three days with less than $2,500.
Last Chance Challenge
After being in the bottom four last week, Meg knows she has to step up to stay in the competition. "I know that if I don't complete a room...I'm going home. There are no excuses at this point," says Meg.
Meg decides to keep all the furniture in the space and use the coffee table for her camera challenge. "When you have this type of budget...it's about making what your client has look good," she says.
Before: Cold and Cliche
This generic apartment has run-of-the-mill furnishings and absolutely nothing on the walls.
After: Worldly and Inviting
"I have to say I'm pretty taken with this space. I like the color scheme," says guest judge Nate Berkus. Vern's impressed by the whole space: "I love that Meg showed up this week...we got to see her vision," he says.
Before: Stark, White Modern Lines
Bland furnishings with sharp edges make this space feel cold and clinical.
After: Meg's "Mo-ditional" Room
Meg mixes angular modern pieces and softer traditional furnishings to create this spunky, sophisticated space that she calls "mo-ditional." "I felt every nickel of the $2,500 dollars in that space," says Nate.
After: Added Architectural Detail
Meg adds stripes with moldings, and hangs staggered shelves for added interest. "You were the only one who treated all of the walls," says Genevieve. "You added architectural interest where there was none."
A Judge Favorite: The Coffee Table
"She handpainted this in a way that feels modern and very chic," says Nate. And Vern thinks so, too: "I'm delighted in the fact that she is showing us the sophisticated eye," he says.
Meg's Taste of Success
"I think I created a room that looks great for less. It looks like I spent $5,000 instead of $2,500," says Meg.
A Glimpse of Fame
The designers head onto the set of The Nate Berkus Show to do their camera challenges — and get a taste of what it would be like to be the next Design Star.
Meg Gets Inspired
Being on the show's set reinvigorates Meg and reminds her what is at stake. "We walk into the green room and, holy moly. This is absolutely hitting me at the core of why I'm here. I want this in my life," says Meg.
Meg Shines on Stage
"I love your energy," says Nate. "I love it here. I could work here every single day," Meg says. With her stunning space and crowd-pleasing camera challenge, she takes top honors for this week.
Week Nine: Design A Tiny House
In a Design Star first, the final three are tasked with the hardest challenge yet: Create a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living space in a 100-square-foot house.
Meg Plans Her Space
Meg talks with Chip Wade, carpenter on Curb Appeal: The Block, about the installations she'd like him to work on, including floating shelves, a bench seat and a kitchen work area.
"I have a unique design sense that's coming through," says Meg. "I know I can bring a boldness to a space without using a lot of pattern." She chooses bold kelly green trim and pastel yellow walls inspired by the plant life. outside.
Meg and Chip Hard at Work
"Meg has a personality all her own, completely different from any of the designers I've worked with," says Chip. "I can tell she has a ton of passion...she is just a firecracker."
Meg's Camera Challenge
David stands by as Meg finishes her camera challenge. "This could be the end or the beginning of my career in TV," says Meg. As usual, her bubbly personality shines through.
Meg's Finished Tiny House
"It's cozy, it's cute...my boyfriend and I could definitely live in one of these," says Meg. The judges loved her cottagy decor and the openness of her tiny house.
Week 10: The Final Challenge
Meg and Karl are the last two designers standing. There's one last task: Film a five-minute TV pilot.
Meg Meets Her Clients
For Meg's pilot, Design Crimes, she'll indentify the "crimes" in this couple's entryway and dining room and turn them into focal points. They'd love to turn this multi-use space into an area for entertaining.
Meg Get Toungue-Tied
While shopping for furnishings, Meg struggles with even short bits of her pilot. "I'm doing take after take and my words aren';t coming out right. Talking to the camera has never bothered me before, so why am I having trouble now?," she says. But when she realizes what's at stake, she pulls it together.
Hard at Work
Back to being friends with the camera, Meg films the introduction to her pilot.
One Last Chance
As Meg adds the finishing touches to Andre and LaToya's home, she hopes she's put enough of herself into the room to impress the judges. "I just hope the panelists see who I am as a designer," Meg says.
Before: Half Workout Room, Half Dining Room
This entryway didn't make a good impression, with random piles of workout gear mixed with mismatched furniture.
After: All Style and Function
Meg transforms this multi-use area into a beautiful, cohesive space. Added storage by the door conceals clutter, while the lounge area adds ample seating for guests.
The Big Reveal
Andre and LaToya are shocked and awed by the transformation.
The Moment of Truth
Karl and Meg have one last elimination before they find out which of them will become the next Design Star
Meg's Winning Moment
The judges think Meg is the total package, wrapped up with a girl-next-door bow. "There's lot of design entertainment out there, but what people can't alway get is entertainment, and you offered that up in spades," says judge Candice Olson.
A Round of Applause
Meg's fellow contestants salute her after the big win.