Bellevue-Based Designers Compete on HGTV’s Popular Show, “Designers’ Challenge”

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HGTV recently selected LLK Interior Design as one of three firms to compete on an episode of their home decorating program, Â?DesignersÂ? Challenge.Â? Taped in April, the show airs later this year.

HGTV recently selected LLK Interior Design as one of three firms to compete on an episode of their home decorating program, “Designers’ Challenge.” Taped in April, the show airs later this year.

Armed with a budget of $25,000, LLK Interior Design had a few weeks to create a plan for the living room and entryway of a Woodinville, WA couple’s brand new home. They presented their ideas with the hopes of winning the opportunity to design the space and see the fruits of their labor in the dramatic “before and after” feature of the show. What was it like behind-the-scenes of a home makeover show? Unlike Trading Spaces and other “quick-turnaround / tight-budget” shows, Designers’ Challenge more accurately reflects what really goes on, but it’s still not entirely true to the real design process.

“Normally we involve the client throughout the entire process—it’s a very collaborative effort. For the show, we could ask the couple questions, but we couldn’t get specific or let them in on what we were creating,” said Karen Trubner-Kent, a principal in the two-person firm. Trubner-Kent and Leta Palatino-Ash, the other principal, agree that the best part of being on the show was having the opportunity to educate a wide audience about interior design.

“The design makeover reality show craze, overall, has been tremendous in terms of coaxing people away from white walls,” said Palatino-Ash. “Designers’ Challenge is different in that other shows promote the whims of the designers, while this one focuses on the needs of the client.”

In this case, the client wanted an “elegant” room that included their baby grand piano and seating for seven, all within a relatively small and uniquely shaped area. There was little furniture in the contemporary new house, leaving few visual clues about the client’s tastes except the piano and the home’s natural setting. Through their connections, LLK was able to secure an exclusive rug which became the foundation for the color palette and the rest of the décor. Their industry partner, Andonian Rug Services, graciously agreed to hold the rug and loaned it out for filming. The final design gave the piano center stage and surrounded it with comfortable, multi-purpose pieces.

About LLK Interior Design

The principals of LLK Interior Design have been creating beautiful, practical spaces for corporate and residential clients around the Puget Sound for a combined total of 16 years. Services include space planning, custom design, model home design, kitchen and bath design and residential lighting. In addition to Designers’ Challenge, LLK participated in “Meet the Designer” at the Seattle Interiors Show in October 2003. The principals of the firm are members of the American Society of Interior Designers, the Master Builders Association and Built Green. LLK’s studio is located in downtown Bellevue, where they hold client appointments and monthly interactive Design 101 classes.

About Designers’ Challenge

This popular half-hour series follows one homeowner per episode through the decision-making process of selecting from among three designers' unique room renovation plans. Viewers watch as the chosen designer brings about a fabulous new look for the room. The show currently airs nationwide on HGTV every day at 3:30 p.m. and several more times throughout the week.

Media Contacts:

Karen Trubner-Kent or Leta Palatino-Ash


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Jennifer Lynham
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