I’ll get to my review of last night’s Design Star in a minute, but why would I rush to serve up crap on a silver platter when I can highlight good design? Turns out HGTV’s stale Design on a Dime has had a pretty amazing makeover, including a 150% increase in decorating budget (now $2,500/episode vs. $1,000 before) and a shiny, happy new host–Design Star Season 5 finalist, Casey Noble.
I find it interesting that in a down economy we’re upping the budget, but I’ll play along because even though I know we all want to get away with spending less, that $1,000 budget forced previous designer hosts to include a lot of tacky projects few people would want to repeat in their own homes.
Casey’s an engaging host, and some of the projects and tips showcased during this sneak peek episode are inspiring to even the most jaded designer. I will say, however, that I find it difficult to believe the average viewer will find many of these projects approachable enough to do themselves. Dipping curtains into bleach for an ombre effect is something most people can pull off successfully, regardless of their skill level. Yet, heading out to my backyard to throw chemicals on mirror tiles and torching them up? I don’t think I’ll do that anytime soon…at least not without having the fire department on speed dial. Having coffee tables and side tables welded? Don’t see most viewers doing that either.
Still, when you compare last night’s Design Star and the episode of Design on a Dime that followed, all of the designers had a budget of $2,500 (nice segue between shows, HGTV) and some furniture to start with in both scenarios. Yet look at the crazy contrast in quality level between the two shows: