Interview: HGTV Design Star Season 7 Winner & Shop This Room Host, Danielle Colding

Design Star season 7 winner Danielle Colding joined me recently to dish a few of her favorite design tips. discuss her experience on Design Star, and tell us about her new show Shop This Room, which airs on Saturdays at 8pm ET/PT!


HGTV Design Star season 7 winner Danielle Colding of Queens Village, NY.


Candace Rose: Congratulations on winning season 7 of Design Star! Can you tell us about your experience on the show and what it means to have won?

Danielle Colding: “Being on Design Star was such an incredible experience for me. When I thought about the idea of being on a reality show, I thought it would be nothing but drama. I thought it would be cutthroat designers who only cared about winning. But Design Star turned out to be the opposite of that. I would love to be able to dish crazy gossip stories about the other finalist but I actually formed lasting friendships with them. I know I know, very un-reality show like.

The most enjoyable and most gut-wrenching part of the show is everything is done in a very high-pressure environment. The show is shot over six weeks, without breaks, so each challenge is a two or three day competition. For me, the inspiration to create doesn’t typically come that fast so I really had to learn to trust my gut. Most projects that I work on can easily take six months to a year and in that time I can take weeks choosing the exact back splash tile or paint color. Here, we had to make quick choices that we had to live with in our final designs and be sure to have back-up plans for every single item in the space.

Winning was one of those things that you can never fully prepare yourself for and I was truly surprised when they called my name. Throughout the competition, I took every challenge as it came and tried not to focus too much on the big picture- the thought of winning was WAY too distracting. So, when they announced that I won it was a truly surreal and beautiful moment. – a dream come true. I am so excited to see what this experience will bring to my life.”


Candace Rose: Congrats on your new show, Shop This Room! Can you tell us about it and what viewers can expect to see?

Danielle Colding: “Shop This Room is a show that reflects my approach to design and how I go about making very personalized spaces for my clients. On the show, I use one or two items as inspiration and then design a room around that. These items can be things I find in the home or things I find while shopping for the project- either way the key is that it speaks to something unique about the homeowners and how they want their homes to feel. Perhaps my favorite part of the show is that I get to show viewers my real life- how I live and work and my process of designing. And, we have a ton of fun to boot. I have a very talented and very fun team and viewers will get to see how we get down.”


Shop This Room host Danielle Colding

Shop This Room host Danielle Colding


Candace Rose: What’s the key to picking an inspiration piece and designing a room around it?

Danielle Colding: “Picking the inspirational piece is really a collaborative effort between the homeowners and me. I start by talking to them about what they really like in their homes and why. It could be anything really and not just furniture or a piece of art, it could be a lamp or something architectural in the space. Then, I try to determine what they like about it: the color, texture, history, or feeling it evokes.  I use that to draw inspiration. When I am talking with the homeowners, I am listening not only to what they say but what they don’t say. It isn’t about what speaks to me but what speaks to them. The key is honing in on what they want their home to show about who they are and what they’re about. The design falls into place from there.”


Candace Rose: How can we incorporate this season’s latest trends with pieces we already have, all while sticking to a budget?

Danielle Colding: “The best way to incorporate the latest trends is by changing the “smalls” in a room. Decorative accessories, throw pillows, curtains, and art are all things that are easy to change out and bring in the personality and pizazz. For me the key is neutral, classic big pieces so you can rotate out the smalls and create the most flexible design. In terms of staying on budget, there are a ton of affordable, design-forward resources. I love going to thrift and antique stores for one of a kind objects. Bigger retail stores are also infusing high style design and quirky elements into their inventory. And discount stores offer a range of home decor items. I look everywhere keeping my budget in line as I go.”


Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?

Danielle Colding: “I’m a big believer in creating personalized spaces. My tip for readers is to start paying attention to what you are drawn to. Cut out pictures in magazines, look at your wardrobe and see what colors and styles are represented there. Start to get in touch with your personal style and don’t be afraid to add in that quirky element you like but you’re not sure why.”


Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?

Danielle Colding: “Check out my website  You can also find Danielle Colding Design on Facebook and follow me on twitter @daniellecolding.”


Don’t forget to tune into Shop This Room Saturdays at 8pm ET/PT!


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