Antonio Ballatore is the next HGTV Design Star!

Hopefully many of you tuned in to watch the finale of  HGTV’s Design Star, just in case you missed it, I am thrilled to announce that Antonio Ballatore is the next Design Star!


Yes, yes, you may have seen this coming, and as I have explained in previous posts about week #2 and week #8, from the moment that Tashica Morgan was eliminated in week #2, all bets were on Antonio.

Let me remind you that the purpose of the show is to find a charismatic, engaging and viewer loving host. The host need not be a fabulous, skilled, experienced interior designer, in fact, credentials as an interior designer aren’t even a prerequisite for being a contestant on the show. Nonetheless, a host is what the judges; Candice Olson, Vern Yip & Genevieve Gorder were after and a great host is what they found!  Antonio looks good on camera, is creative and is also a little rough around the edges but, it’s these things and more that make him memorable.

In short, for the final challenge Antonio and Dan had to revamp an entire home. Both challengers exhibited leadership skills and were able to pull off two very different, but attractive spaces. Dan’s space was enticing, but disappointingly expected. Dark kitchen cabinets paired with travertine floors-a great combination but a style that is splattered over every shelter magazine out there. Although, I must say, the teen room was a lovely one, that any young lady would be thrilled with – the custom bed, shows great thought and attention to detail with additional storage and its pull out desk.  Antonio’s space had a few quirks and the scale of some things didn’t seem to flow. However, he took risks with his apple green walls and antique T.V. cabinet creation. All in all, Antonio’s home won for originality and creativity.

Below is a look at the route that Antonio took to becomming the next Design Star. Starting with Week #1  The Living Room Challenge, perhaps my favourite of all. The pink birds are so unique….love, love, love it!

week 1

Week #2 The kitchen. Not a winner in my books.

week 2

Week #3Whitebox Challenge. Playful, painted perspective.

week 3

Week #4 The Garage. Comfortable, yet catalogue inspired.

week 4

Week #5 The Army House. A significant improvement, functional and attractive.

week 5

Week #6 Child’s bedroom. Engaging, unique decor and decals.

week 6

Week #7  The Backyard. Personal retreat without leaving home.

week 7

Week #8 Celebrity Home Office. Tailored to the client, practical, fresh color combination.

week 8

Week #9 Finale. What do you think?

week #9

Antonio’s Design Star portfolio demonstrates growth, bold risks and bespoke design. His rugged style and leather jackets will be a fresh injection on HGTV and hopefully Antonio will see great success with his new show and always.


  1. john

    And my Response to that is that I dont recall Antonio over-spending his budget by $5,000 on a tasteless gazebo nightmare that added nothing at all (in fact, Detracted From) the project he was a part of, and secondly I dont remember Antonio trying to blame any of his possible screw-ups on someone else, as Dan was all too happy to do. The child (Dan) does show some potential, and some of his designs were quite pleasant, especially the Apple Wall, but he needs to grow and mature as a designer and a person.

    Clearly, in my mind, Antonio was the stronger choice, and is well deserving of his win as Design Star.

    One Response to “Antonio Ballatore is the next HGTV Design Star!”
    1. Dan was robbed. Antonio’s designs are a joke and are tasteless! We want Dan!!

    • shalini

      Well said John. From the beginning, Antonio was mindful of time and budget. He has always stood strong and defended his work; episode 5- the military home, refusing to paint beige on the already beige walls. Quite a few feathers were ruffled there, but Antonio rationalized his actions and in the end it seemed like the judges respected him more for it.

      All of the designers exhibited growth as the show progressed. While they aren’t Design Stars, I’d bet that Dan and the others, will still see a boost in their careers.

  2. Kelly

    So glad that Antonio was chosen. Dan was creative however just like “all the other” HGTV shows and really — what’s the difference? They all blend together — unmemorable! I can’t wait to tune in to Antonio’s new show!

  3. Dennis

    Antonio absolutely deserved to win! He was consistently strong in every challenge. His interaction with clients was always enjoyable and entertaining. He spoke out against bad ideas. He was well organized, and a great leader. HE ABSOLUTELY IS A STAR! And I can’t wait to see what genius he unleashes in his new tv series.

  4. Kelly

    Antonio was OBVIOUSLY the winner — from the moment the pink geese hit the walls, to when Dan decided to blame Torie for going over budget. Dan might have shown potential but Antonio is obviously the “something more” that HGTV needs to become even more popular than it already is. He is the boost we’ve all been waiting for!

  5. Antonio is the best. If you are ever come to the east coast, I would love for you to visit Norfolk , Va. area, and redo my entire house. HGTV has finally selected a designer with the complete package.

  6. Pingback: 5 reasons why I won’t watch HGTV’s Design Star anymore « Design Desires

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