HGTV Unofficial Star Reunion at High Point Market

The Theodore Alexander Showroom was filled-to-the-brim with talented, high-profile designers during the HGTV Unofficial Star Reunion at 2018’s High Point Market on October 14th.

This first of its kind event, hosted by Surya and Design Talk LIVE, featured dozens of television stars who’ve helped to bring fun and informative design television to the masses.

During the exclusive reunion, House Tipster celebrity host Christopher Grubb spoke with the stars themselves to learn about some of their current and future projects as well as pro tips that they’re eager to share with you.
Here’s a breakdown of the interviews.

Richard Fleming

You’ve probably seen Richard as the Detail Guy HGTV’s Rate My Space. He’s a designer with offices in Newport Beach and London, and he’s got a unique flair that sets him apart from others in the design world. “I integrate neuroscience and architecture,” he explained to Christopher Grubb, adding “I believe that emotions are the gateway to design.” This perspective helps him create emotional designs in residential, commercial, and hospitality properties.

Currently, he’s designing sculptural outdoor pavilions, which provide the ideal indoor/outdoor climate combined with an artistic feel.

Richard’s Pro Tips:

  • Remember, trends change, but philosophies last. Don’t just commit to a style; adhere to a philosophy.
  • Use art as a point of inspiration. It helps to build on a classic elegance look, and adds a personal touch.
  • In terms of color, Richard believes that if it isn’t in your wardrobe, it shouldn’t be in your home.

What’s next for Richard? He’s going to continue developing strategies for new products, and focus on his favorite design element: the curve.

Donna Moss

Donna Moss, the Queen of Bling, starred in the first season of Design Star, a show that essentially kickstarted the entire genre of design television. And today, Donna is the lead in Donna Decorates Dallas and is a Design Talk LIVE co-host.

With over 30 years of experience under her belt, Donna is quite literally taking over the design world. In Donna Decorates Dallas, she’s filmed a whopping 30 episodes in two years, and each and every one of those episodes featured her real, paying clients in and around the Dallas area. “There were no ghost projects,” she told Christopher.

Donna’s Pro Tips:

  • I’m known as the Queen of Bling, so I like to add anything sparkly wherever and whenever I can. I add sparkles, glitter, and metallics into everything; even fabric and paint.
  • Minerals are big now, such as a big, chunky piece of amethyst. They’re timeless and beautiful.
  • Black goes with everything. You can dress it up or down, and pair it with bright metallics like gold. When black is surrounded in light colors, it takes on a whole new dimension.
  • Mercury glass is very on-trend, and it provides an elegant yet casual sparkle.
  • Mixed metals are also not going away anytime soon.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for the modern cubist style, with straight lines and new angles.

What’s next for Donna? Naturally, she’s a design adventurer and she’s working on a new web-based design network, Home Design TV, that will feature on-demand streaming and shoppable products geared for other designers.

Barrie Livingstone

Barrie Livingstone, a good friend of House Tipster, worked on a Designer’s Challenge. Here at High Point Market, he’s busy meeting with fellow stars and sharing his expertise with his peers.

He’s also gearing up to start a brand new furniture collection; one that’s focused on both scale and comfort. He’s drawing inspiration from international furniture styles that are more tailored and less boxy than American variations. “I think a chair or sofa should also look nice from behind,” Barrie said.

Barrie’s Pro Tips:

  • Although furniture is getting smaller (for small space living), but it still should be comfortable.
  • Look for maintenance-free furniture

What’s next for Barrie? In addition to his new furniture line, he also recently filmed a show for Bravo.

Kimberly Rider

Kimberly, of Kimberly Rider Interiors, was featured on HGTV’s Curb Appeal. Besides being an intuitive designer, she’s a go-to resource for all things sustainability. She’s authored two books: The Healthy Home Workbook and The Organic Baby to help other people connect with the idea that a home should be a healthy and comfortable sanctuary.

She’s fresh from working on eco-friendly design projects with the likes of Green Day and the founders of Cliff Bar. Kimberly’s specialty is helping others pick things that they care about, and that are from the earth.

Kimberly’s Pro Tips:

  • Go vintage! The beauty of vintage is that there’s a history, and so you mix old and new.
  • Look for sustainable products from the earth.
  • Contemplate value. When something is well-made, you hang onto it longer.

What’s next for Kimberly? She’s currently working on design projects throughout Napa Valley; helping homeowners turn the tragedy of fire damage into beautiful new homes.

Jennifer Ferrell

Nowadays, Jennifer Ferrell is everywhere. She’s the star of Find Me a Vacation Home, and she’s also working on two exciting projects: a Design Talk LIVE live-network program on Facebook, and Design Hot Seat.

Definitely keep your eyes and ears open for Design Hot Seat, which puts a new trend in the “hot seat” once a week. “I interview experts on the latest trends in design. We’ll talk about the high price point, and the low price point,” Jennifer said.

Jennifer’s new favorite product: Portuguese tile.” You’re seeing them now in lots of great designs. There are just so many great black and white and other painted tiles out there!”

Libby Langdon

Interior designer and star of HGTV’s Small Spaces, Big Style Libby Langdon, is an expert in small-space living. She’s the author of Small Space Solutions, a book where she breaks down the ins and outs of small space luxury. Libby also contributes to the publication, House Beautiful, designs multiple product lines, and runs her own interior design business which keeps her “on the front lines.”

She encourages homeowners to remember that sometimes, “living with less is the ultimate luxury.”

Libby’s Pro Tips:

  • Small spaces need big rugs, not smaller ones. A large rug helps make the room visually expansive, while a small rug chops it up.
  • Hang your drapes all the way up to the ceiling to help the room feel bigger.
  • Have fun with color. Don’t leave your walls white. Instead, paint an accent wall and contrast it with three soft, neutral walls. To add pops of color, add artwork.
  • Use light in all four corners of a room, and invest in dimmers.  

What’s next for Libby? Stay tuned for new partnerships and products from this stellar designer.

Will Smith

Will Smith has been extremely busy since he starred in Design Stars: Season 2.

Today, he works on interior design projects from his home base in Charlotte, NC and also in Atlanta. “After the show, I spent my time at speaking engagements and traveling. I’m actually still working with a client who I met after she saw me on Design Stars,” he told host Christopher Grubb.

Will’s Pro Tips:

  • If your favorite color isn’t represented in your home, then you’re probably not happy [in your home.]
  • Don’t ignore your ceilings!

What’s next for Will? In addition to his design services, Will has a furniture store in Charlotte, and another set to open in Atlanta.

Tym DeSanto

Long-time musician and Nashville resident Tym DeSanto dazzled viewers on the first season of Design Stars. But his passion for this industry started with a simple home and studio renovation project for his family. Since then, he dove headfirst into the worlds of interior and product design.

Tym’s Pro Tips:

  • Use color as a secondary feature. I like to use shades of gray and then accessorize the grey with other colors, which gives it a gallery feel.
  • I’m looking forward to using more concrete, such as lightweight concrete furniture and flooring.

What’s next for Tym? This Design Star now works on design-builds in hip, trendy East Nashville. “It’s a place that I can do what I want to do, and people still buy it,” he explained.

Shayla Copas

Design belle Shayla Copas is set to unveil a new show titled Southern Glam in December. She’s also the author of Four Seasons of Entertaining, a seasonal, 16-chapter resource for decorating for the key Southern celebrations, such as Derby and Cinco de Mayo.

What’s next for Shayla? She’s busy working on a number of residential and commercial projects, while also developing a new collection with FurnitureLand South.

Blanche Garcia

Blanche is a powerhouse in the design world. She’s a former Design Star and also stars in Travel Channel’s Design Impossible. Her book, Empower Design, takes her 24-years of residential and hospitality design experience, and shares it with readers.

Her designs are built from art deco shapes and fabrics, and she strives, not to invent the wheel, but to take a nod from the past and bring her own infusion to the mix. Blanche’s current favorite design elements include mohairs, jewel tones, velvets, and mixed metals.

Blanche’s Pro Tips:

  • Use sexy, silhouetted metallics.
  • The best way to achieve luxury on a budget is to focus on your lighting zones.
  • Try mohairs! They are uber-luxurious and are easy to maintain.

What’s next for Blanche? If you love fabrics, then stay tuned for a new fabrics line with Bernhard. She’s also working on an exciting and inspirational women-centric entrepreneurship symposium.

Vanessa Oates

Vanessa Oats is a rising HGTV star, set to appear on Chesapeake Fix alongside her husband, Scott Oates. In this show, the duo buys, renovates and sells homes. “We take what nobody wants and turn it into something fabulous,” Vanessa told Christopher Grubb.

Her favorite areas to design center around entertainment areas. “I love to entertain, and when you have something fabulous, you want to share it.” Vanessa thinks it’s important to be able to cook, watch the kids, and be with your guests at the same time.

Vanessa’s Pro Tip:

  • Use materials that excite the senses and that you want to touch, such as dark, rich velvets.

What’s next for Vanessa? Besides her new show, Vanessa also plans to help others in the Chesapeake area rebuild after the recent flooding event.

Trish Beaudet

Design Stars: Season 3 standout Trish Beaudet recently relocated to Florida from her birthplace in Michigan and started her design company “Cashmere and Wine.” Besides adjusting to the warmer climate, Trish is also getting used to the changes in design styles.

Trish’s Pro Tips:

  • Add unexpected furniture elements, such as combining a concrete table with soft linen chairs and a crystal chandelier. Mix those elements!
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks. Don’t buy a bed-in-a-bag. Instead, mix and match your textures and fabrics.

What’s next for Trish? Right now, she’s working on taking old Mediterranean-style homes around Florida and turning them into spaces that exude casual beach elegance. What does that mean, exactly? To achieve this look, Trish uses plenty of driftwood and reclaimed wood, hard and soft elements, and light fabrics.

Bryan Ramsey

Landscape designer Bryan Ramsey is set to appear on the show Chesapeake Fix, which will air in December. At the surface, his work in landscape appears different from that of traditional interior design, but he doesn’t see it that way. “The industries are really seeing a melding, of sorts. In terms of color, we’re taking our cues from interior design and fashion,” he explained.

His goal is to provide a seamless indoor/outdoor living look by adding the right materials and colors. Bryan also can’t say enough finding the perfect landscape lighting for your property, and adding tactile elements wherever possible.

Bryan’s Pro Tips:

  • For smaller spaces, use planters and container gardens, which can be positioned virtually anywhere on your terrace or patio.
  • Even if you don’t have a green thumb, these are three plants that you can keep alive: blue agave, aloe, and campus.

What’s next for Bryan? He’s hoping to bring more small-farm animals into residential environments, such as fancy chickens and pigeons.

As you can see, there’s a lot going on in the world of design! Stay tuned for more news from High Point Market, and more in-depth interviews with design stars across the industry.

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