WCL: WCL Chats With The HGTV Design Star Finalists

HGTV's reality competition, HGTV Design Star, premieres Monday, June 11th (8 p.m. CST) and three of the top-12 finalists just happen to be from right here in Chicago! Karl Sponholtz, Meg Caswell and Kevin Grace stopped by to tell us about what it was like competing on the show and give us a few quick design tips.

Quick tips from the finalists:

-Karl Says: You can easily create a more classic look by simply painting your cabinets white! Also, never ever neglect your windows. Take care of them! Put stuff on them. It can make a huge difference.

-Meg Says: You don't have to purchase all new things to redecorate a room. A rug and sofa are usually the largest investment pieces in a room so keep them and create an edgier look by adding in more color with other accessories.

-Kevin Says: Repurpose! It's the easiest thing you can do to get the biggest bang for your buck. For example, repurpose an old dresser by painting it a fresh color and adding new hardware.

About Karl Sponholtz
As a kid, Karl says his love of design was "there from the beginning." By age 10, he frequently rearranged his parents' furniture while they weren't home and was mesmerized by building blocks and floor plans. Karl, who studied architecture at the University of Illinois in Chicago, has more than 10 years of practical design experience and says that he can excite people with his passion for design. He characterizes his personal design preferences as "ultra-modern minimalist," but often completes traditional designs for his high-end clientele. As the youngest of six, Karl says he is extroverted, loud and loves to live in the moment.

About Meg Caswell
Meg says she began her career in design the moment she decided not to attend law school. After she earned a degree in criminology, she soon enrolled at The Art Institute of Chicago where she earned a B.F.A. in interior architecture. The interpersonal skills she learned during her criminology studies help her develop profiles of her clients and uncover their true design preferences. As the owner of a design firm and a home decor store in Chicago, Meg characterizes herself as a determined, direct and high-energy competitor. She describes her design style as a preppy mix of modern and traditional, but she also counts the vibrant pastel colors of "Palm Beach chic" among her favorite looks.

About Kevin Grace
Kevin, a fashion merchandise director and window dresser from Chicago, says he was first inspired to become an interior designer by watching design shows on TV. Encouraged by friends who loved his room designs, Kevin decided to follow his dreams and audition for HGTV Design Star. He describes his favorite style as "eclectic retro" ? a look with a mid-century feel that includes clean lines and pops of color. On a small budget himself, he says he designs with "cheap" in mind and understands the importance of repurposing items whenever possible. Kevin says he is a lot of fun, friendly and focused.

About HGTV Design Star
HGTV's top-rated reality competition, HGTV Design Star, returns for a dynamic sixth season. The one-hour series features 12 competitive and creative finalists executing ingenious designs, as well as an illustrious judging panel of acclaimed HGTV interior designers (Genevieve Gorder, Candice Olson and Vern Yip) and special celebrity guests. The finalists, who include professional interior designers, contractors, stylists and artists, must navigate innovative design challenges and dazzle the judges with creativity and ingenuity until one wins their own show on HGTV. http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv-design-star/show/index.html