The Best White Rooms From Design Star

Since season one of Design Star, contestants have been given the ultimate blank canvas. Peek through the best white rooms from past seasons as we prepare for the biggest competition yet: The White Room Challenge.
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November 25, 2014

Season 6: Clever Repurposing

On season six's White Room Challenge, the contestants were told to design spaces that would reflect their personalities and styles as designers. In this classic Design Star challenge, the room doesn't have to be functional or livable, just creative and outside-the-box. Their source for unconventional materials? A food and restaurant supply warehouse and a budget of $1,200. The judges loved Tyler Wisler's powerful creation that actually used very few materials. The most eye-catching piece in the room — besides the wall design — is the lounge chair made of water bottles and covered with the original futon mattress. He even added a light source within the chair to illuminate the plastic bottles for an additional wow factor.

Season 6: High-Flying Design

When dreaming up his white room design, Mark Diaz used his grandfather's Air Force career as inspiration. He removed all the living room components of the original white room and converted the futon into a "flying machine." The judges were impressed by his unconventional use of the futon, and his graphic mural and imaginative idea named him winner of the challenge.

Season 6: Extreme Wall Covering

To create this contemporary and cohesive space, Kevin Grace ditched the kitsch and came out of the restaurant supply warehouse with some unique finds for his chic design. He created a textural and classy backdrop using butcher paper, "wallpapered" the dining table with guest checks and formed shag rugs from mop heads.

Season 6: Bombs Away

Judge Vern Yip referred to Bret Ritter's design as "bunker chic" after noticing the streamlined bomb graphics on the back wall and the semi-industrial kitchen elements throughout the space. Notice the symmetry? Everything has a counterpart, which makes the space feel very simple and structured.

Season 6: Pop Art

With a hip black-and-pink color scheme, Doug Hines paid a bold tribute to pop artist Keith Haring. He replicated the artist's well-known "Radiant Baby" and "Barking Dog" graphics among his recognizable graffiti strokes on the walls and floor. He further pulled the room together with his furniture trim details and stainless steel accents.

Season 6: Contemporary Living

Leslie Ezelle converted her canvas into a chic and cozy "living space" by truly transforming her warehouse finds. To contrast with the teal paint, she added a handwritten detail to both side walls. For the back wall's eye-catching sculpture, Leslie repurposed rubber floor mats and foil candy wrappers. Stainless steel pots, salt and black beans (see the area rug!) help pull in the rest of the room's creative and interesting details.

Season 6: Muted Geometrics

In Karl Sponholtz's living/dining room combo, he proved his painting abilities to a T by producing this crisp, geometric design in a muted color palette. He gave plastic to-go containers a brand-new spin by combining them into a modern light fixture. For a lively element, Karl turned stock pots into chic planters, and he added bamboo and oranges for a bolder punch of color.

Season 5: Island Dreams

Season five's White Room Challenge may have been one of the most difficult ones yet. The designers were paired with one of their opponents and each had to transform a white room based on their partner's personality, interests and style with a budget of $500 and a trip to an Asian marketplace. To represent Courtland Bascon's reference to Fiji and love of classic lines and colors, Nina Ferrer pulled in a dramatic, masculine hue, architectural molding and installed a collection of alternating umbrellas across the upper half of the wall. The room instantly evokes an island getaway Courtland could enjoy.

Season 5: All in the Details

When trying to pull in Emily Henderson's interests and style, Michael Moeller nailed it in his design, from her natural Portland roots to her laid-back attitude evident in the unmade bed. He cleverly worked with his Asian market finds by creating a recycled-newspaper headboard and using the accessories to represent an all-natural, at-home feel that's true to Emily.

Seasons 5: Calming Retreat

Tera Hampton gave her white room a tranquil transformation by turning it into a chill retreat for Trent Hultgren. She painted the furniture a rich wood tone and used accessories like high grass and bamboo serving trays to add instant texture and interest within the space.

Season 5: Serene Blues

In his white room, Dan Faires represented Stacy Cohen's city-girl side and her love of the water by pulling in a complementing color palette of baby blue, gray and white. To add a feminine focal point to the room, Dan updated an Asian grid from the market by painting it blue and embellishing it with capiz-shell lotus flowers.

Season 5: Streamlined Design

Alex Sanchez's personal design style is low, streamlined and masculine with a clean aesthetic. His challenge partner, Casey Noble, created the perfect bedroom for Alex with abstract twig art, varying shades of blue and a grass-mat meditation space. The look is contemporary, sophisticated and matches Alex's expressed personality quite well.

Season 5: Warm Modernity

Stacey Cohen knew her partner, Dan Faires, was interested in found objects and constantly tinkering with his finds, so she used this as the main theme in her bedroom design. A gray color palette with orange accents, newspaper print decor and a lamp without a shade help pull in the industrial-chic look true to Dan's personality and style.

Season 5: Dramatic Oasis

When transforming his white room, Courtland Bascon wanted to express Nina Ferrer's artistic and social interests through a rich color palette and creative paint techniques. His reinvention of the original furniture and use of accessories, like the glossy black frames and the headboard fabric, bring an additional element of ingenuity and style.

Season 5: Natural Elements

To design the ultimate oasis for partner Casey Noble, Alex Sanchez utilized the element of texture by using natural material to create a tall vertical headboard and painted Japanese mats to form wave-like wall coverings. Alex's most creative design move, however, was reinventing the bookcase by turning it into two tall light sconces on each side of the bed.

Season 4: An Apple a Day ...

Season four's designers were challenged to transform their white boxes with a budget of $1,000, two gallons of paint and ingredients from a grocery store. Dan Vickery completely altered his space by taking on a red apple theme. He created a striking red apple wallscape framed by a whimsical chopped wood pattern. On the floor, he formed an "area rug" made of kidney beans and black-eyed peas, which ties into the organic color scheme of the room.

Season 4: Artistic Contrast

Nathan Galui displayed a bold, artistic touch in his room through a textural wall treatment of black paint and contrasting stripes made by squirting milk down the walls with a baster. His orange-slice chandelier centerpiece really blew the judges away, though. He hung translucent orange slices strung in various lengths from pieces of the dismantled bookshelf to create the beautiful capiz-like fixture.

Season 4: Teen Hangout

Torie Halbert designed the ultimate preteen hangout by pulling in a trendy color palette and implementing her grocery store finds in all the right ways. To form the zebra print "area rug" she used charcoal and puffed rice cereal. Floral napkins and trash bags were repurposed to form the hip and whimsical scrollwork piece on the back wall.

Season 4: Blue Point

In this challenge, Antonio Ballatore immediately went for the paint cans and launched into the dynamic blue rays that evoke illusion and depth within the space and ultimately end at a bulls-eye at the sofa. He creatively turned the bookcase into a sofa headboard to display colorful mounds of cereal. Pool noodles became the sofa's new colorful accent, and a wagon of watermelons in the forefront of the space created an unexpected grocery vignette.

Season 4: Fresh Produce

Jany Lee updated her white room with a splash of vibrant hues and plenty of fresh produce. She creatively utilized her grocery supplies by creating a lemon slice "area rug," Cheerio chains, and flower art made from fresh fruits and vegetables. Paired with the colorful produce, the turquoise-and-yellow palette is an ultra-refreshing backdrop.

Season 4: Contemporary Accents

Tashica Morgan used black, lime green and white as her color palette to bring a contemporary edge to her white room design. She used green apples as the source of her inspiration and nailed them along the horizontal black stripe across the room. To create a dimensional element on the back wall, she dismantled her bookcase and switched between the black and white paint, providing an illusion of depth.

Season 3: Italian Intricacy

In season three's White Room Challenge, the contestants had to re-create the look of their assigned country within the empty white rooms. After a quick trip to a craft store, the contestants spent just 12 hours transforming their individual spaces into worldly representations. In her all-white room, Jennifer Bertrand hand-painted intricate floral patterns on the wall to represent the designs in Italian ceramics and pottery. She kept the rest of the space chic and simple to let the walls truly echo that Italian charm.

Season 3: Poolside Siesta

Stephanie Cook took the judges to Mexico with her romantic poolside cabana. With the help of a little black paint and candlelight, she was able to re-create an intimate nighttime environment surrounding the sofa-turned-longue.

Season 3: Zen on the Outside

Mikey Verdugo made his theme of Thailand well-known with a traditional interpretation of the country through his color palette and use of lanterns and bamboo. He incorporated a Zen feeling in the space — a principle common in Asian design — through simple furnishings, clean lines and balanced elements.

Season 3: Swanky Sitting Area

Trish Beaudet had never been to Mexico but wanted to re-create the look of a swanky and sophisticated hotel sitting area in her white room. She used a vibrant color palette and painter's tape to create geometric boxes on the wall. To add texture and contrast against the bright hues, she stained the floors to look like concrete and added a layer of pebbles underneath the coffee table.

Season 2: Surf's Up

For season two's challenge, each designer was given a budget of $399, two gallons of paint and free range of the 99-cent store to make their money stretch. Todd Davis immediately grabbed the cotton balls and kitty litter to turn his white room into a "high-tide barrel" with a monstrous wave crashing through the "living room," creating chaos on the left and normality on the right. He used the cotton balls to create foam and kitty litter to form sand on the floor. By sawing through the furniture and attaching it to the walls in a planned but disorderly way, he made the painted wave essentially come to life.

Season 2: "Cheap Thrill"

Robb Mariani wowed the judges with his vibrant white room transformation. The most successful elements of his design were the lime-and-turquoise color palette and the dimensional quality of the back wall that he fashioned using the bottom shelf of the coffee table. They were also impressed by his controlled and creative use of the mirrors in both the wall vignette and on the coffee table.

Season 2: Splendid Simplicity

Through an elegant white, pink and chocolate color palette, Kim Myles created an ultra-feminine and calming living space with her budget scores. To add a dimensional wallpaper quality to the walls, Kim refashioned paper plates into curled leaves. The most detailed and eye-catching element of the room, however, is the "tiled" coffee table made by using painter's tape and then painting the table a dark chocolate hue. After peeling off the tape, the white "mosaics" revealed a coffee table masterpiece.

Season 2: Balanced Serenity

Will Smith wanted to evoke a feeling of tranquility and Zen in his space, so he pulled in earth tones and kept his design clean, crisp and balanced. To Will, it was all about sophisticated repurposing, like turning an Easter egg basket into a lampshade and using white chip and dip platters to create modern wall art.

Season 2: Bold Design

Christina Ray called her design "simplicity meets bold" when referring to the crisp, modern accessories in the "living room" and the rich red walls. The judges were especially impressed with her inventive laundry baskets-turned-side tables and her black construction paper flooring.

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