HGTV Design Star Season Finale Recap: And the Winner Is...

There was a moment toward the end of HGTV Design Star‘s Season 6 finale where I had a brief fantasy that the judges panel would get inspired by the recently concluded Glee Project and declare multiple winners. Imagine if they greenlit a show in which Karl conceived sophisticated rooms with daring paint choices, Meg picked out jaunty accessories and explained all of Karl’s various design techniques in her gravelly-perky fashion, and last week’s evictee Mark and His Biceps of Doom built small installations while working up a meaningful sweat. That’s worthy of a series recording slot on my DVR.

But nope, my flight of fancy wasn’t meant to be, and thus, we were left with crazy-overenunciating Cylon Tanika Ray scanning Meg and Karl with her laser-beam eyes and declaring: “All of your hopes and dreams, your passiom amd determination, have brought you to this moment.” And then, suddenly, glittery confetti fell from the ceiling, and Meg was declared the winner for producing an appealing pilot presentation called Design Crimes that had her heading into people’s homes to identify problem areas in need of drastic reboots.

Except, inexplicably, HGTV won’t be airing Design Crimes. Instead, Meg has been saddled with a far more generic concept — HGTV Great Rooms — which will find her designing kitchens and living spaces. Um, is there anything Meg-centric about this show? And does the network actually want this woman to succeed? (If they did, they might cast Mark’s green tuxedo shirt and David Bromstad’s gold tuxedo jacket as supporting players.)

Anyhow, whatever commitment (or lack thereof) HGTV is planning to give to Meg, it was pretty clear throughout the Design Star season finale that she was on her way to victory — and not just because the producers chose Mark for her “competitor compliment” sound bite, while saddling Karl with dreaded she-beast Cathy. Nope, from the start of the one-hour telecast — during which Meg and Karl were each tasked with redesigning a room in a Harlem brownstone for real-life homeowners, then turning said projects into five-minute pilot presentations — we saw tons of footage of Meg the Fun-Loving Chicago Gal With a Big Grin and a Sense of Self-Deprecating Humor, while her opponent came off more as Karl the Inventive Paint Wizard With Sweaty Palms and a Queasy Smile.

And so when judging MVP Candice Olson explained that there’s now a ton of design information viewers can get all over TV, magazines, and the internet, but “what they can’t always get is entertainment,” you knew it was going to be Meg.

Ultimately, though, based on their final projects, I’d have been happy with either contestant taking home the crown. Granted, Karl couldn’t have come up with a more generic title than Inspired Design (except maybe HGTV Great Rooms), but I liked the concept of always starting a remodel with an eye on art history or local architecture. What’s more, Karl definitely got paired with the more challenging project — a dumping ground of a living room in which the husband and wife respectively craved gritty street art and Tuscan countryside references. The wave of nausea that appeared to hit Karl as he took note of the couple’s disparate styles seemed to haunt him all the way to final judgment: Dude had to know he was Dead Designer Walking. And yet that didn’t stop him from delivering a funky, innovative living space. The way he created rails around the walls that referenced the cornices of the building across the street, the way he created distinct spaces with different shades of paint, and even the way he transformed an armoire using spray paint in teal, bright green, black, and silver (an idea I was certain would end in disaster) were all total successes. I also loved the shelving unit he placed against the stairway.

Meg’s room, on the other hand, was a tad more generic (and a lot more cramped), but she settled on a dreamy, bluebird-y paint color and wisely chose to showcase her couple’s spectacular Buddha sculpture as a main focal point. I kind of wished she’d nixed the faux-windows concept her homeowners had attempted to introduce on their living room wall, but inserting mirrors in the midst of the curtains turned out to be a decent solution. Plus, there’s no denying Meg works well with others on camera. I couldn’t help but get a case of the warm-fuzzies when she got a hug from one of her clients and immediately cooed, “You do love it!”

Whether or not we’ll be loving HGTV Great Rooms remains to be seen, but I suppose I’ll check out the first episode and see if it’s worth a spot in the DVR lineup. What about you? Will you be watching Great Rooms? Were you happy to see Meg win, or were you Team Karl (or Team Mark)? How did you feel about this season of Design Star overall? Sound off in the comments, and for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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    • MikeS says:

      Ugh, she is FAT. I will not watch her show.

      • Amanda says:

        That’s a ridiculous comment! People like you are the reason so many young girls grow up with serious esteem issues!

      • Dane says:

        Thank God the majority of HGTV viewers don’t watch the show for the bikini segments. Probably because they aren’t teenage dbags..

      • billie says:

        you are totally pathetic. think you were born breach mouth where butt should have been

      • Mary says:

        What does being fat have to do with it?

      • maggie says:

        Mike S.,
        Meg is not fat, but you have fat where a brain should be.

      • Zooey says:

        That’s ok Mike. You’re mentally handicapped and you seem to get by.

      • 2catluvr says:

        I was so glad to see Meg win if for no other reason than she is a real looking person, and someone most of us can relate to. Early in the season I figured she would never make it because she isn’t one of the “beautiful people.” Given my choice between having Meg or Karl design a room for me I’d go with Meg every time–Karl might decide to turn a decent piece of furniture into a real eyesore like he did with that entertainment center!

      • Enaid says:

        Meg is not FAT…but what the heck does that have to do with your watching her show???

      • Joan says:

        And Mike S, you are mentally challenged, extremely judgemental and are probably a big loser. what is your problem? You probably think that RAP is music. Get a life, REALLY!

      • jt says:

        Why does her size matter? I think Meg is very good. Karl was my choice, and I’m sure he will continue to do great things.

      • Suzy says:

        WTF? Who cares about a person’s weight. People who judge from appearances are pathetic and insecure. Get to know a person first, you would be surprised…and you never know, one day you may have a few extra pounds on you and stop and think how you would feel calling you fat and telling you that you don’t want anything to do with you because you are fat…you know some of the most down to earth trust worthy and loyal friends I have are overweight…the skinny ones, are more into themselves, materialistic and plain mean to others. Get a life.

      • kathyb says:

        What does her size have to do with anything? What a jerk!

      • TRACY says:

        The only good is knowledge with crative thinking and the only evil is ignorance.

      • TRACY says:

        The only good is knowledge with crative thinking and the only evil is ignorance. What is this world coming to.

      • Ramona S. says:

        I think it is very sad that you would judge this designer this way.
        As far as I’m concerned she will give all the designers a run for their money. She is a joy to watch and an awesome designer. You obviously are a very sad person living in the past. C’mon lighten up already.

      • ms. steve says:

        What a shallow simple minded guy you are. You are the type that ends up with the shallow conceded psycho “b” and then wonder why you got your heart as well as your neck broke. Maybe one day you’ll grow up and see that its whats on the inside of a person thats important.

    • Dane says:

      Honestly.. I like Karl but he had ZERO camera personality.

      What I don’t get is why they took the concept away from Meg. I loved the idea of Design Crimes.. HGTV Great Rooms is something anyone can do..

      • KevyB says:

        Word and Double Word! Karl’s “interaction” with the homeowners was painful to watch. And I’d actually watch Design Crimes. I’m not watching HGTV Great Rooms. YAWN!

      • Helen says:

        I totally agree! I loved Meg’s “Design Crimes” idea and it was entertaining and an engaging concept. “Great Rooms”? Give me a break! HGTV had a unique idea thrown right in its lap and it swept it away for a very ordinary show. What is wrong with the HGTV head honchos? Sad!”

    • Barbara says:

      You know, Meg seems like a great gal, but her taste level is suspect. She just doesn’t seem to have any available. I won’t be watching her show either. Another dumbing down of America. Karl is brilliant, with design ideas and rooms that were spectacular.

      Come on people. Really?

      • Joseph says:

        That in a nut shell is the problem, because Meg had great personality and ease on camera, with the only person with more ease being Kathy.

        Carl on the other hand was just starting to get his hands around doing shows and probably needs more time but he his leaps and bounds better as a designer.

        So that is the problem with the winner , because with Meg you get someone that is okay with design but mostly focuses on adding cheap elements as art focal points. Versus , Carl that takes a lot of time and thought and executes elements you will not find off the rack. If you think back to some of the Carl rooms he was similar to Mark but better because he went beyond a single art element and would instead include elements that impacted the entire space.

        For design you really wanted Carl, but someone that was already ready to host a show you wanted Meg, but in her case it is not clear she has enough to say.

      • buffy522 says:

        Totally agree. The judges just keep thinking they know what the viewers want! I would pay Karl to work on my house in a heartbeat. He is a designer. Meg is a decorator. The chummy gal thing is totally not needed. They did that with whatshername from last year and her show is lame. I think there is a need to “balance” the various hosts. But if that’s true, why have the competition. Mark was actually my favorite.

        • beth says:

          I agree – Karl was the real design star. He was awesome. You’re right, Meg decorates, Karl designs. I will not watch Meg. She’s boring.

      • ms. steve says:

        Sounds to me like you got beef for Meg, dont hate appreciate;cause the girls got skills and you’re a lil jealous.

  2. jrs says:

    The RIGHT contestant won. I liked Meg. Could not stand watching Karl and that nervous laugh of his.

    • mary reed says:

      Meg won get over it! Karl is great but there were two greats left. Either would do HGTV proud. Love Meg Like Karl

      • Marilyn Jeffs says:

        I’m a great fan of Design Star and never miss an episode. I loved watching develop her confidence and skills over the entire set of episodes. I’m so pleased she was the winners Karl was a bit uptight.
        I just finished watching Meg’s own TV show and LOVED it from beginning to end. She excuded confidence and style as well as the way she communicated with the owners and honoring their tastes. Meg was awesome and HGTV design staff, you made the right choice. I will definitely be a big fan of Meg
        s and wish she could come to my house and shake it up a bit!!!

  3. Angie says:

    I thought Meg’s design crimes show was an interesting idea…why scrap it for something that’s been done a million times before? Maybe because Antonio and Emily’s shows are too quirky? (Emily’s especially is just awful). I agree that Karl knew he was not going to win, but he did a great job and I really enjoyed his personality more in this show–he grew much more comfortable with the camera as the pilot was shot. Plus, his room was more interesting and really met the client’s needs and requests. I’ll check out Meg’s show, but I don’t know if it will be one I’ll watch regularly. BTW, did anyone notice how cranky Kellie looked during much of the show? Not happy to be there!

    • Vanessa says:

      Yes, I noticed how unhappy Kellie looked!

      As for those of you who defend Meg’s weight — the flab isn’t who she is, but this is TELEVISION, after all, and the fat is distracting. It was especially noticeable after she completed her tiny house and was still wearing the too-tight sweaty t-shirt to do her camera test. The rolls were oh so apparent. Mark was smart enough to quickly toss the T and put on a nicer shirt.

    • Ellen says:

      I cringed at the thought of “Design Crimes” because it is based on the premise of insulting the homeowners on their choices in design/decorating. I am tired of negativity and criticism-based shows. In fact, one of the reasons I enjoyed Design Star this season was that, with the exception of Cathy, all the contestants were kind and supportive. I don’t need to see catfights and name-calling to enjoy a competition show.

      I wanted Mark to win, so I am disappointed all around. Of Meg and Karl, I thought Karl had a lot more potential. I couldn’t move past Meg’s disastrous entry with the crooked lantern display and the bogus upstairs landing. I thought she should have been eliminated that night.

      • JoMarch says:

        I agree: Design Crimes was a horrible name; it was too judgemental. When Meg mentioned design crimes to her couple, the woman cringed. Who wants a cringe-inducing experience? What’s difference what her show is called. It can be called “great rooms” and if it reflects Meg, what’s the diff?

      • Judy says:

        You are so right. Meg should have been ‘cancelled’ the first or second show. Karl has a superb eye and keen sense of creativity. Does anyone remember how awkward David Bromstad was on camera right up to the very end? Yes, he was the correct winner and is now fabulous on TV. I saw many similarities in Karl and David’s ability levels. HOWEVER, it was really obvious that the judges wanted Meg right from the start. Yes folks, you were not very subtle and you are the pros. Will I watch Meg’s show? Not likely. Not enough substance.

        • Lydia says:

          I totally agree. Karl has a great deal of potential. He grew so much from his early camera challenges to his pilot. I always looked forward to his unique and interesting design concepts. I would definately have watched his show (I hope he gets one)– Meg’s…not so much.

      • Patricia says:

        I agree, Hgtv blew it this time. Karl was way the best, and I
        probably will not watch Megs show. Her voice turned fme off the
        first thing.
        years ago I watched David Bromstad win, and he is wonderful all the time. I also love Myles!

      • Gail says:

        I so agree with you! Only I wanted Tyler to win. Meg only won because she is comfortable in front of a camera. Her decorator skills are lacking.

  4. Sally says:

    Well, between Meg and Karl Meg was the better pick for a winner. Frankly I wish Mark would have had a better color pallette in last week’s challenge. I would have watched his show.

    Not interested in Meg’s new show. Design Crimes sounded intriguing, but not HGTV Great Rooms. Yep looks like HGTV wants Meg to go bye-bye quickly.

  5. kyrjar says:

    Didn’t like the Meg win. A promising season became a little boring as none of the contestants had the right combination of skills. Meg’s designs are conventional/show room level at best and incomplete/shoddy at worst. She is good on camera, as they so often said. Carl was the overall best designer by a mile — I far prefer to see what he will do with a design, so thought out and on point to what is being asked of him. Mark was hit or miss but he was a good designer. Tyler had potential, as well.

    Oh well, like Meg fine but won’t watch her show unless flipping channels or it is on point to a project that we are doing.

    • Ramury7 says:

      Have to agree, Karl was the best by a mile. He really stepped his game up with the Nate Berkus camera challenge and never looked back.

      Meg is nice and has great “on camera” personality but I really don’t think her designs were as strong as Karls. Looking back over the season she had some pretty bad rooms.

  6. Maria says:

    Mr. Slezak,
    “Over enunciating Cylon Tanika Ray” “She beast Cathy” “Sweaty palms and a queasy smile” — for these words I will forever read pretty much anything you write. YOU need an HGTV show. Gonna go with “Hit the Nail on the Head” for the title. (Cuz, you know, HGTV doesn’t mind a cliche)

    • maggie says:

      I knew I couldn’t be the only one who thought Tanika Ray was some sort of android. Her blank smile and lack of personality were give aways to the fact that she’s not really human. Bring back Clive!

    • Kelle says:

      LOVE this post!

    • Vann says:


      LOL I totally agree. Nearly fell out of my chair with a “whoop!” when I read “she-beast Cathy”. The fact that he quoted that ridiculous speech given by Tanika Ray made me grin, as well. I’ll be back for more.

  7. Nancy G. Drake says:

    Bring back Clive!!!!!

  8. Rob says:

    Meg is the worst winner by far. Nothing she has done has inspired anything in my wife and I to ever conceivably even try to replicate. That is the point of these shows, be decent on camera but make a room you want in your own house. She is an AWFUL designer, worse than Genivieve (sp?), in that she has no good ideas. Notice how only Candace and David actually have shows playing currently? All Vern did was put paint on a wall for $1000 on trading spaces and make some “hip” urban spaces. Give me 200k and a Trump loft and I am sure I can come up with cool sh!t too. Fcuk Meg, she is awful, HGTV is going to crap like food network, if you also note on that channel it’s all “reality” and “competition” shows, no more chefs hardly at all. Wake up America!! Stop feeding into crap and supporting it as well and maybe we might get some decent programming in the long run.

    • Amanda says:

      Actually, Emily is the worst winner! Does anyone watch her show???

      • Michael says:

        At least her title is somewhat good. WTF is “Great Rooms”? That’s worse than “Inspired Design” -_-

      • Vanessa says:

        Watched it once and never again!

      • ska says:

        I love Emily’s show.

      • Ramury7 says:

        I watch it. It’s much better since they changed the format. Before she would design the room twice based on the 2 client styles. Now she just designs it once with a reveal at the end.
        I think the original idea was interesting (you got to see the room designed twice and the looks were not bad) but it’s one of those ideas that works better in theory than in practice.

      • mona Jones says:

        I tape Emily’s show every week. I loved last season’s format because she allowed clients to alter the design even though it was twice the work for her. Her first show this season with broad granny smith green stripes and gilded birds was a little scary, but I am hoping she gets back to her charming, off-beat style.

    • Shirley says:

      Agree Meg was overall yuck with her hokey attitude and designs. Oh wow; I’ll take down the drapes and put up some mirrors and did the poor husband who wanted leather get even a leather ottoman? Not that I would be that interested in watching them but seems Antonio comes on every now and then but Kim and some of the other past winners not at all. Feel winner is picked by a marketing team at HGTV who is trying to hit the widest target audience. So they are really off or this is what the majority of Americans want. Thought Meg lost the bible belt when she said her and her boyfriend could live in that little storage shed.

  9. E says:

    I would say that I’d never watch Meg’s show (I never thought her designs were very interesting or impressive), but that’s not saying much since I’ve only watched David Bromstadt in all the years they’ve been producing these new “design stars”.

    I have to say I don’t think I’ve enjoyed the series as a whole since the first season (maybe the second). Not sure if it’s just that it’s not a novelty anymore or that the designers aren’t as good, or the challenges have less time or more restrictions (I didn’t even bother to watch the Burnett version after about 2 episodes last year).

    But bringing back Cathy to help Karl? That seems completely unfair.

    Meg’s “tiny house” was awful. The only thing going for it was she didn’t chop up the space. They never even discussed the completely uncomfortable “couch” she build from plywood and batting.

    • Bobbi says:

      Kevin and Mark helped Karl, not Cathy.

      • E says:

        Ok, I thought Slezak’s article said otherwise. I haven’t had time to watch my DVR yet (which is probably another indication of how the show didn’t draw me in – I usually won’t read a recap until I watch, but not with this show). I see now that he was referring to the editing and that Karl’s ‘compliment’ was given by Cathy. Still odd given the conflict they’d had.

    • paula says:

      NO one pointed out that Karl was the only one to come up with the idea of a loft bed until the other designers looked at each other’s work then all of a sudden all 3 did loft beds. They should not have been allowed to change their concept. That seems manipulative by the producers to assure Meg in the final.

      • E says:

        And from what I could tell, Meg’s loft bed was positioned with the head/foot along the exterior sides of the house. Which means with that sloped roof, no one could even have slept there without their head wedged between the bed and roofline. Karl’s bed was positioned with the head of the bed along the front door wall so the person could sleep centered beneath the highest point of the roof. He also created some storage up in the loft that could allow for a book or a lamp or something.

        At least that’s how it looked to me.

        • E says:

          Replying to my own post. I went to the HGTV site to look at photos from the Tiny House challenge. From what I can tell, Meg’s “loft” did not extend over the first set of windows, while both Karl and Mark’s did. This allowed their beds to actually be used, while Meg’s would have been impossible. That, coupled with her positioning of the closet and toilet, is what made her house looks SO much bigger than the others, because she had a lot more open ceiling. Nice, but kind of a bummer when someone wants to go to sleep.

          The photos also seem to show that Karl used his storage for attractive, practical items styled nicely (plates, serving pieces, glassware) while Meg’s kitchen shelving was completely bare.

      • Patricia says:

        I noticed that point,too. What another rip off for Karl.
        he really did a great job on his little house.

    • Chris says:

      You are point on – Meg never did anything inspiring. In addition to the plywood couch in her “tiny house,” how about the stupid looking “upside down vases of fake flowers”?!?!?!? I would have watched a sown with Karl or Mark, but won’t waste my time on anything Meg produces. Was HGTV under pressure to let another woman win?!?! Was so disappointed in the outcome, I’ll never watch Design Star again!

  10. Rall says:

    Meg is viewer-friendly! Personality wins. Michael dared to dream that three finalists would do a show together – too great of a concept! (That would have been a terrfic show.) I will tune-in to see what happens with Meg’s show. Maybe she can invite Mark and Carl on…

    • Templar says:

      What personality? Meg is brash, aggressive, and has a voice like a garbage disposal. I didn’t like a single one of her projects and won’t watch her show.

      • meyer says:

        I totally agree. Meg’s jumpy energy always made me nervous in all her camera challenges. And who watches HGTV to be stressed out? Karl’s camera presence, while not as casual, were just so much more comforting. Plus, i love his design style. Meg just never seem to have a real point of view as a designer so I can’t even imagine what she’d bring to her own series.

  11. CT says:

    I was really rooting for Karl. I always found Meg a little too over-the-top and bordering on annoying, rather than being as lovable as the judges always insisted. She did have a much better concept for her pilot, but seeing that HGTV scrapped it, I guess that wasn’t a factor in her win.

    Loved the comment about Tanika. I haven’t seen a reality show host that bad since Katie Lee Joel on the first season of Top Chef.

  12. Becks says:

    I doubt I’ll watch Meg’s show- I may have actually watched Karl’s. The only Design Star who has a show worth anything is David, so I hope Meg took notes all season when he gave them all advice.

    HGTV Great Rooms sounds like a snooze fest. But I guess anything is better than Emily’s schizo show or Anthony’s show that’s more suited for TLC’s tattoo crowd.

  13. Debra says:

    If the judges were not looking for unique, think outside of the box, design, then yes, they chose the correct winner in Meg. Her design style is so typical, nothing exciting or extraordinary. Yes, she is quirky and entertaining in a somewhat over the top manner. However, don’t we have enough “typical” designers already? It would have been more interesting, I believe, to watch what unique designs Karl would have invented weekly. Do I plan on watching Meg’s show, with her over-reaching smile – probably not. I think it will just be the same old designs we have already been presented with. As a matter of fact, unfortunately, since I seem to always be disappointed in who the judges choose as a winner, I probably won’t watch the next series of Design Star.

    • sue says:

      Karl had a unique way of tackling a room but he was just not comfortable in front of the camera. I thought he was going to have an anxiety attack every week. Meg is okay but I would have liked to see
      Kelli have a show. She could have gone with Kids rooms and ideas for the home that are inexpensive.

  14. Becks says:

    As for this season overall, I feel like everyone’s design sense was really watered down as the season progressed. Everytime someone did something out of the box, it was dissed. Mark really tried until the end to be different, but the judges weren’t having it.

    Just more beige (and bright green and yellow, gag) on boring HGTV.

  15. John says:

    HGTV casting does a terrible job at picking candidates for this show. It seems that, in order to offend no one, they are picking candidates that are beige as can be.

    The white box challenge was good but everything else was generic and sometimes off the mark (wedding reception?). The only winner of Design Star that has had a watchable show is David B. The other winners have largely been bland from a design and hosting perspective — Emily is completely unwatchable.

    HGTV — be bold and give us someone exciting! Create better challenges. I could probably come up with a zillion ideas. Contact me if you need one.

  16. pat says:

    I’m sorry Karl or even Mark couldn’t have won, I can not handle the “you guys” in every sentence, so unprofessional. Karl had some great ideas, I just have never seen anything exciting, beautiful, or Innovative come from Meg. Her little house only offered green window trim, it was pretty bad for a winner. I was hoping for something different this season. If Meg was chosen early on to win by HGTV then they should cancel the show.

    • EAM says:

      I agree about all of the “you guys” in every sentence. I started counting how many times it was said (the worst offenders were Meg and David B.)and lost count after 20.
      I was disappointed that Mark didn’t make the finals

  17. tim says:

    I never saw what they saw in Meg..her stance was so awkward, she is whiny, and while a decent designer, really not very innovative, like Carl, Mark, or some of the others. Does hgtv simply want another run of the mill design show? Yawn… Mark with his focused projects would have been much more interesting. However Carl was by far the best designer and would have made the best show. If the judges are using some other unspoken criteria they should tell us..and not take us along for a phony ride

  18. Michael says:

    What the heck is HGTV Great Rooms? That’s so bland. Who’s going to remember that? “I make great kitchens and living spaces…” Well, yes, isn’t that the point? I knew Meg was going to win once I saw her pilot because her show idea was much more on point than Karl’s, which is disappointing because he’s obviously the better designer — by a really long shot. But her show, Design Crimes, had some sort of niche feel: she would look for “crimes” and try to resolve them; she stated three specifically in her pilot, she explained to us, the audience, how to fix them while also making a good design for the room. But then they scrap that for “Great Rooms.” Give me a break. If that’s the case, it should have gone to Karl.

  19. Mary says:

    Major fail, HGTV! Meg’s personality is annoying and she is, at best, a mediocre designer. Karl, on the other hand, designed beautiful, unique rooms that also had great ideas the audience could incorporate into their own homes. And he has a charming personality. I would have gladly given up a half hour of my life each week watching him; Meg – no way.

  20. Bilah says:

    I want to join the choir in singing praise for Carl’s ability to come up with something that mixed street art and Tuscan (PEOPLE, Italy has more exciting regions than Tuscany; Americans do “Tuscan” the same way Olive Garden does italian with a little too much Disney for my taste). Meg is not talented and design crimes, really? Her designs throughout the show were boring. Carl at least had some vision. Mark, although nice to look at was fairly ineffectual as a designer who can complete a project on time. David B will always reign as the king of Design Star.

  21. carol says:

    Afer the first episode with all the designers it was clear that the producers picked a pretty safe group of people. I have always looked forward to the ” Design Star ” series, but I found myself turning to another program half way through most of the episodes. As for Meg winning….MAJOR mistake on the judges part. Karl clearly had more vision and creativity. Was that not the reason for the show? Meg is not a DesignSTAR. Sorry HGTV, you can cross me off you list of viewers for that show, and Megs show.

  22. CF says:

    “crazy-overenunciating Cylon Tanika Ray” Oh, Mr. Slezak, how I love thee for thy turn of phrase! I have to hit the mute button every time that woman opens her mouth.

    Not too impressed with Meg. Though her scratchy voice makes me want to reach for the Listerine and rest my own voice for a week, I might have overlooked that if her designs were good, but, with a few exceptions, I always felt they leaned too heavily toward quirky and cluttered. I don’t see myself setting the DVR for “HGTV’s Great Rooms”. (And why not at least call it “Meg’s Great Rooms”?? HGTV’s confidence in this winner truly seems underwhelming.)

  23. Bonnie says:

    I believe Karl was the better designer, and thought he did a great job in his one-on-one, and showed a lot more promise than Meg. His designs are more original. Meg is a good designer, but I can do the stuff she did, with the right amount of $$. Karl is more original. Good luck Karl. I won’t be watching Meg.

  24. Stanley Huston says:

    The finale, Meg picked out the wrong rug…big surprise,did she even know what the furniture would look like? Still compared to Karl’s mess of a room, where not one piece in the room went together, and the storage for shoes and kids toys was laughable, Meg did look pretty good! I was hoping Mark would win, but his small house was decor was busy and made the house look smaller and uncomfortable at best. I noticed that all the contestants seem to use past ideas that they felt comfortable with instead of trusting their insticts and showing some real creativity and having some fun!!! None of the three finalist seemed to get the “Small house” concept and just seemed to decorate it and not design with vision or concept, what if they had to live in their final product for a year???

  25. Luminosity says:

    This show is (was) still on the air?

  26. Beth T says:

    I see I’m not alone in wishing the win had gone to Carl. I actually did not find his “Inspired Design” concept generic at all, and I’m not sure what could have been a better title. I really liked his approach to finding the inspiration for the design he was creating.

    Meg’s designs were very common-place to me. I did appreciate her Design Crimes concept – especially after learning she had studied criminology – but there is just something about labeling design misses as “crimes” that was a little off-putting to me. Concentrating on “investigation” might have seemed less harsh.

    Alas – a total moot point now as Meg is saddled with the most generic of all HGTV concepts. I MIGHT have forced myself to put up with her scratchy voice and too-chirpy persona to check out her original concept. But I really can’t see “Great Rooms” taking up DVR space. It’s one of those shows I’ll more likely catch during it’s dozenth rerun later in the week at 2am when I can’t sleep.

    As far as past designers’ shows – totally agree that David Bromstead has really been the only long-term “star” to come out of Design Star. (Much like Guy Fieri from Food Network Star). I did like Kim Myles (and am glad to see she is one of the people being used for HGTV’d), but I didn’t think Myles of Style was a strong concept/show; I was surprised it lasted past one season. I never ever saw Jennifer’s “PaintOver” show. I catch “The Antonio Treatment” every now and then and like it OK. I also catch Emily’s “Secrets From A Stylist” occasionally – mostly for the laugh I get for her coming up with an actual named style for every fusion she is faced with. :D

  27. Templar says:

    Does anyone other than me want to kick the crap out of Vern Yip? That sneer, that mincing posture, that superior attitude. What an insufferable PITA.

    • ChrisGa says:

      Totally agree; always thought he was the best designer on the old TRADING SPACES but he’s pretty much an arrogant a– on DESIGN STAR. Frankly, he’s the worst thing about the whole show(though I wasn’t overly crazy about the new “mentor” concept; David Bromstad is one helluva hot man but then the mouth opens and several hundred purses fall out and I want to just put the mute button on–John Gidding would’ve been a better choice), including Tanika Ray, who I actually think is okay but a far cry from the superior Clive Pearse.

      As for the winner, Meg’s show concept was interesting but Karl’s design work throughout the competition was superior on almost every level. So yeah, I think they picked the wrong person.

      • rose says:

        Oh yeah baby john gidding for the win, karl’s final room was delightful and that brooklyn bridge armoire was killer, seriously when they said tuscan street art fusion i thought poor karl is doomed, but that room and window treatments yes he did it. Can’t listen to Meg’s sorority girl accent and when she walked into the room of her HGTV costars I thought, one of these things is not like the other and she is not on their level. Yes bring back Clive, at least he moved like a human LOL!

  28. John says:

    Airing the big premiere of Meg’s show at 6 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon does not sound like they have high hopes for it.

  29. cathiecat says:

    Of all the Design Star winner shows, only Antonio’s bears regular watching. Apparently his is the only quirky design niche allowed on the network. As for Emily, I see her original concept (humiliate the female with an exaggerated display of “her” style before discarding it) has been abandoned in favor of a purported fusion style. Watched once, not again. I might have watched Great Rooms with Mark, because he was at least creative, unlike Meg.

    • janiegirl says:

      I do not like Antonion’s designs at all. Everything he does is bizarre. I have watched maybe 3 of his shows. Never again

  30. Mikey says:

    I am frankly give out on all these “So called” Design winners. Over the past years, They have flopped and even not shown past 6 months! Only David B is the Best, continues to be most innovative,inspiring,
    artistic, design focused personality on air.. I really think some of the past “runner’s up” i.e. Todd, show that they (judges) Continue to pick out wrong winners! B T W speaking of judges, What is up with Dear ol Candace..Did she get cheek inplants or New dentures? Looks different from days of old… and ALL of us need/crave, new ideas for our homes to fresh em up/but we don’t all live in NYC or LA and their ideas do not fly in the Mid west.. Oh well, more HouseHunters!

  31. Sandy C says:

    I’m with all the other questioners – “What’s HGTV afraid of?” More specifically, “Why is HGTV so afraid of the guys?” I think they’re terrified they’ll get another David Bromstad and they’ll almost all be overwhelmed by his potential and personality. I think their choice of David was right on when they made it originally, but I don’t think anyone ever dreamed that he would become so successful, and certainly no winner since then has come close to his success. Antonio was a guy but from a different planet than any other of the guys and I don’t even know if his show is still running. Vern Yip has never impressed me and neither has Genevieve Gorder. Candice Olson has wonderfl class and taste and she used to showcase it with a mix of serious and fun with her crew. Now the show seems to be a straight documentary and quite dull. Frankly, David’s show is one of the few I actually enjoy. I don’t always like the intensity of his color choices, but he seems genuinely concerned about what his clients want or don’t want and he seems to be having a ball as does his crew. His show fits in well with some of the shows they used to offer when I first started watching HGTV around 2004. I think Meg is going to get old hat really quickly as have all the others. I think Karl had more potential.

  32. L says:

    I think the final two were pretty evenly matched this year and I would have watched either one’s show. There is hope for Karl though because the 3rd place winner from Emily’s year has a new show coming on that is a remake of Design on a Dime. I think Karl has a shot.

  33. Sindee says:

    Interesting array of comments! Anyone who has to devolve into personal attacks on a contestant’s weight is watching the wrong show. There is plenty of programming out there to appeal to people like Mike S. Why is he watching Design Star??
    In many ways this was the best Design Star since David Bromstad won. I liked the way they minimized Candace Olson’s role this year; she and Vern together creates an overload of haughty superiority. Having David Bromstad play a key role was brilliant.
    This season, the three finalists were all very talented and deserving.
    Congrats Meg! It would be great if Karl could have an opportunity to appear on HGTV in the future as well.

  34. Debbie L says:

    Some of you are not very nice. So what if Meg isn’t the perfect bone thin model type. She is a regular gal with a great personality. I knew Meg would win from the very beginning of the Design Star season.

  35. scully8 says:

    I was not surprised by the Meg win — Karl just had no pop on camera, so chunky girl had it locked last week. My one complaint about Meg is the quality of her voice, however I think if she lost a few pounds, she’d sound better; her belly is pushing up on her diaphram which, I believe is affecting her vocal quality (just my opinion).

    My overall view of the season is that it sucked. Not since the first two seasons has the competition been good. The seasons when Kim and David won — both of their competitors could have won, as all were talented and relatively good on camera. Actually, the runner up from Kim’s season now has his own show (Room Crashers) while Kim seems to be missing. I also agree that Tanika needs to work on her presentation skills — mainly her over emphasing words and phrases. I do think she’s better than just having ‘boring’ Vern Yip handle the hosting and judging duties.

    If they don’t get better talent — Design Star will be deleted from my dvr line up.

  36. cynthia says:

    I don’t think I will be watching Meg’s show. There’s something about her voice I don’t like. Like she needs to clear her throat or something.But I don’t think I would have liked watching Karl’s show either. His smile is a tad un-nerving. I guess I’m hyper-critical, because I’ve watched David Bromsted’s show maybe twice and I couldn’t stomach the way he pranced about.
    But I DO like the Design Star show and get many amazing ideas.

  37. Leslie says:

    I’d like to make one observation. I do think Meg’s Design Crime idea was quite clever and catchy, but her execution was poor. It seemed like she immediately put her clients on the defensive by announcing that they were guilty of design crimes. I personally found it rude and off-putting. There were positive ways to approach the design problems and still maintain her concept. Anyway, I was surprised that none of the judges were bothered by that. They stressed throughout the competition how important the designer-client relationship is and dinged other designers for lesser offenses????

  38. Joyce Freese says:

    Meg has a cute personality but Karl is clearly classically trained and and has the best, most original, functional, inspring designs of any I’ve seen on HGTV…and his art is fantistic! How do I hire him???

  39. sharizzle says:

    I’ve never even seen this show until this year, but with my husband and I recently buying a new house, we’ve been watching HGTV a lot more, and we came accross this show and I must say that we got sucked in. I was always looking forward to it each week, and while I can’t say I was dying for any particular person to win, I still loved watching the different challenges each week and how they each worked together with different people each week (such drama!! Cathy was expecially horrible!) I’d probably watch Meg’s show, or at least check it out. Overall I liked her better than Karl, but I still would have been fine if Karl won. Although I honestly hated his spray painted armoire! I know he was just giving the people what they want….but still, it just was a total distraction in the room in my opinion!

    • Patricia says:

      isn’t designing doing what the people want? Karl came through
      with a design that the couple liked and it worked.
      His ideas always seemed to be some what over the top and new.
      He also came to be better with his camera pieces. How sad that
      the best one did not win this time.
      I wander if the brass at HGTV read these comments. So many more
      are for Karl and not Meg. Again I probably won’t watch Meg’s show
      not because of her size, but because of her voice and her less than
      great talent.

  40. audrey says:

    the whole thing wrong with the hgtv design shows is the ridiculous shortage of time they give to have anything meaningful done. Anything that is labor itensive or that takes timeto install will never bepart of these shows- and you can miss alot that way

  41. Milly Brown says:

    I’m happy for Meg. I think she’ll grow as a designer. Her weight has absolutely NOTHING to do with her capabilities. Besides, there are plenty of “fat” shows on tv so watch them and leave Meg alone. What I tire of are the gay men who cry all the time. Do they ever not cry or design(rooms or clothing)? The best designer on HGTV is Sarah Richardson. Candace and David come close. Emily is cute and her show fills in a time slot and does give me some ideas. Karen Macloon(?) had a show very much like it a few seasons back. Hers was a bit better. These Dina or whoever are wretched. Yes, bring back Clive.

    • maggie says:

      Emily’s show is a rip off of Karen McAloon’s show “Find Your Style.” McAloon was not only a better designer, but gave more useful information. McAloon was also more comfortable on camera. HGTV should bring her back.
      Dina’s party show is awful. And that Debbie Decorates Dallas looks really tacky.

      • Barb says:

        So loved Karl’s designs from the very beginning. I thoroughly enjoyed his thoughtful approach and his NOT over the top demeanor. Will miss his show, hope HGTV didn’t blow their chance…

      • Barb says:

        MISS Karen!!!!!

        • ChrisGa says:

          Actually, one of my favorite shows on HGTV(not on right now cuz I think it runs seasonally) is COLOUR CONFIDENTIAL(previously called GET COLOR I think) with the great Jane Lockhart. It provides good interaction and input from the homeowners and I have yet to see a design of hers’ that I didn’t love.

          Speaking of Karen, was never crazy about her show but she did have a great camera personality.

          • milly says:

            I agree. Colour Confidential was a good show. i catch as many reruns as possible. Myles of style was a waste of time. I’m glad there are new For Rent shows. Love seeing how Jodie transforms ugly.

  42. celeste says:

    I think Karl should have one, his designs were awesome. I thought Meg was just average, with that ugly green in her tiny house, and her voice is classic chalk board scratchy. Won’t be watching this one, although i did enjoy the season!

  43. Mike says:

    Meg’s show will be another Myles of Style. YAWN. Let’s just hope the show and the “star” disappear just as quickly. Only a fool would allow anyone with such poor taste in her personal appearance touch anything in their home. Say what you will about Genevieve and Candace, at least they’re fairly attractive and dress fairly well with a sense of style. The best designer on the network is Sarah Richardson, and HGTV doesn’t seem to value her at all.

  44. Skeeter says:

    I could never get into the show this time around. After Antonio won his season, I lost interest. I tried to watch Antonio’s show but could not relate at all. I suppose there are those out there that like his style. I liked Dan that was second to Antonio but i have never seen him on any show. As far as the Meg or karl question, I didn’t have a favorite since I didn’t watch enough of the show.

  45. Sheryl says:

    Oh no Meg? Really. By her own comments in one of her last designs, at least I finished a room this time. Her designs were ordinary, matter of fact and standard on the wall shelfing…Really, the little houses, there was no storage but loads of places (on the wall) to sit dust catchers. Not impressed at all Mark should have own. His desgins were always inovative and fresh. Reallistic, functional (something a home could actuly use after the design star has left) is what is needed. What good is something that “looks good outside the box” if it has NO realistic functionally. What looks creative is NOT always workable. Again MEG, really……..Disappointed. I still love David Bromstadt.

  46. Marie says:

    Mark was our favorite, but between the final two, Karl should have won because he could have continued growing as a TV personality, and he has much, much more to offer not only in his classical, architectural training but his artistic style too (remember the beautiful back splash he designed and the wall paintings of trees and ocean?) Meg’s designs were never outstanding, and some even failed (the table with bottle legs, the unfinished loft). I never understood the judges’ enthusiasm for her since her voice is grating and her in-your-face energy is annoying.

    • Zooey says:

      I love Karl’s designs. Yes he is more low-key than Meg, but so what? How much “personality” can we take? Give us great designers! Seems like HGTV is dumbing down the shows. Most of the contestants this last time were not impressive. There must be thousands trying to get on. I can’t believe these are the best candidates.

  47. Audrey says:

    myles of Style was great

  48. Lori says:

    I wish HGTV would spend more time on architectural design elements and Karl could have filled that void. He has clean, interesting lines that are not overpowered by color or gaudy furniture and decorative arts. I would definitely watch his show.

  49. Tammy says:

    Wasn’t it Meg that was chastised by one of the judges toward the beginning of the competition for dissing the design choices made by someone in their home? Seems kinda odd she would now be praised for her pilot which draws attention to what she deems “design crimes” in her client’s homes. I thought the creamy curtains the homeowners in the final challenge used were much better than the mirrors with the grids to give the “illusion” of a window. I got more of the vibe of the illusion of a window from the closed curtains than seeing myself in a mirror and knowing full well it wasn’t a window. I thought it was rude of her to call these clients out for the “design crimes”. And I’m surprised the judges thought it was a cute idea. I guess that’s why her new show isn’t called “Design Crimes”. I was disappointed Karl didn’t win. After seeing how much difficulty Meg had with the pilot scenes and how she reacted to her own mistakes I won’t be watching her show. I hope they do something with Karl in the future.

  50. Elise says:

    I can’t believe Meg won. Karl was funny and genuine and his reveal was fantastic. Of all the the people on this show, the worst was Cathy & Meg. I never for a million years thought she would win. She’s annoying, obnoxious, she talks like a rejected sorority pledge from 1987, and she rarely even looked appropriate for television. Her designs were poorly executed and dull, no originality, and in the design crime pilot she came off insulting and stuck-up. Poor Karl. Actually, poor HGTV, they are the ones that will lose money and viewers.

    • Patricia says:

      THANK YOU for making me LOL! I never, never, never was fond of Meg, and I was devastated when she was selected as the winner. Can’t stand her raspy voice. Needless to say, I won’t bother to watch her show. —– Mark was my #1 choice; Karl #2. — I miss David’s shows in California. I liked his crew. The two gals in Florida add zero. Can you tell that I live in the Pacific Northwest? :-)

      • ChrisGa says:

        While I’m not a huge Bromstad fan(again, love to look at him but I’ve never been a fan of his design aesthetic..and frankly his voice makes me want to hit the mute button quite a bit) I do agree the show has lost something since moving to Miami. And the two divas who work for him add not a thing to the proceedings(although his male design assistant adds nice window dressing).

    • Tom says:

      I liked the idea of “bringing back” former designers to help Karl and Meg in the finale. Can you imagine if Cathy had been brought back, she would have been bossing everyone around, including Karl and/or Meg. This was my first time to have watched the series, my wife and I loved it, looked forward to each challenge. My choice was Karl, also liked Mark. Was surprised Meg lasted as long as she did, much less win the whole thing. I liked “J”, thought she was cute and personable, but she was one of the first to go. Fun show!