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For Episode 5 of HGTV Design Star one of the prizes in addition to winning the challenge was that the winner of the camera challenge would have their winning video displayed on HGTV.com, EVERYONE wanted to win this one. There was the one catch, of having only one take and the video had to be done in precisely one minute. As someone used to having a director in my ear on an IFB pacing myself would not be a problem, if I at least had a chance to practice and knew my time marks along the way.  As we all waited our turn, we paced on the sidewalk..practicing..it was really funny to see..all of us were in our own little areas, talking to ourselves. I was part of the last group to go.  I was fairly confident I would not go over, which was key, being cut off meant you would not win for sure.  If I could at least come fairly close to one minute, I knew I could pace myself to the finish, which I did. It felt really good to win a challenge, especially the camera challenge! Thank you camera man! As far as the design challenge,  we were faced with designing the “perfect kitchen”. As kitchens and bathrooms are such critical aspects of home design and home selling, I was quite excited to see that this was the challenge.  We were presented with a number of finish options as far as flooring and cabinets, and were allowed to select our backsplash on our own if we desired to have one. My design partner Karl and I felt it was key to have one. I was the one who selected a glass mosaic backsplash with hints of orange, white and brown.  In selecting our wall paint colors, Karl and I selected an orange and celery green.  It turns out selecting the orange wasn’t a good thing, but a GREAT thing. At the end of day one, after selecting the appliances for the kitchen Karl walked in and immediately came up to me. As I had had my head down for the last 3-4 hours hard at work painting our room I had not had a chance to see what color the other designers had used to design their kitchens. To my utter surprise, literally 3 of us had almost used the same exact color green on our walls. That is when the orange paint became our savior in addition to the fact that as luck would have it I had selected a backsplash with orange and brown tones.  There were so many aspects of the kitchen design that I thought we did well. The dining room table which was made of an exotic wood and created from a single slab was praised by the judges along with a bowl from Indonesia that I selected.  The decision to pair white leather chairs with the wood dining table I also thought worked well.  The backsplash was installed impeccably. A ceiling light we selected to hang above the kitchen island was also praised especially by panel member Paula Dean.  This was a last minute find to save the least.  With just hours to go on day 2, Karl and I knew that we needed to add a light fixture and unfortunately we did not have one.  While Karl was out shopping for all of the food to style the room, I called a store that I was familiar with in New York and had the owner describe to me which light fixtures they had on the showroom floor that we could leave with immediately. Luckily it was still there when Karl arrived!

My winning camera challenge

Photographed inside the Sears Kitchen Challenge

Our contemporary kitchen

Our contemporary kitchen

The table I selected made of a single slab of wood. Love this!

Me and my design team partner Karl inside our contemporary kitchen

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