Frank Fontana Named New Host and Lead Designer For HGTV's Popular Makeover Show, Design on a Dime

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Los Angeles designer and lifestyle expert, Frank Fontana has signed a major deal to become the new host and lead designer for the Chicago based version of HGTV’s popular show, Design on a Dime.

Los Angeles designer Frank Fontana has signed a deal to become the new host and lead designer for the Chicago based version of HGTV’s popular show, Design on a Dime. Fontana recently relocated to the Chicago area and has just begun taping new episodes with Chicago based home owners that will air this fall on HGTV nationwide.

Design on a Dime makes over a space for design-conscious home dwellers who want lots of style but may not have lots of money for the project. With a budget of just $1,000, a design team tackles a problem area such as a boring bedroom, lackluster living room, cluttered dining room or outdated office space. Together the team transforms the ordinary into the remarkable. The show is taped in Los Angeles and Chicago but airs nationally on the HGTV Network.

Fontana is one of the few host/designers simultaneously appearing in two HGTV shows at once. In addition to Design on a Dime, he is also appearing in the new series Takeover My Makeover, which is currently moving to a new primetime spot on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. beginning September 28 on the network.

Audiences may also recognize Fontana as the real Italian Stallion, and underdog winner of ABCs 2004 Martha Stewart-themed reality competition The Great Domestic Showdown, where he won the competition and launched his television career. Following The Great Domestic Showdown, Fontana quickly moved to TLC where he landed a featured role on the one-hour documentary-style unscripted program Faking It. With cameras rolling, he spent a month mentoring a woman from Texas on how to become a domestic goddess. With Fontana’s help, the woman won the competition. Since then, Fontana has also had regular appearances on Soap Talk with Lisa Renna, and Leeza Gibbons Live.

Fontana’s love for interior design began as a child when he worked as an assistant for his dad renovating various portions of his home. “As a young teen I always studied design books and magazines, looking for way to express my creativity” Fontana remembers. “As a teenager I worked several years for a decorative home painter learning the skills of fine faux finishing and unique decorative paint techniques. I also worked as an apprentice with an interior decorator learning the basics of room layout and color cohesion.” Fontana prides himself in being self-taught but has taken numerous courses in design, painting, drawing and others.

In his mid 20's, Fontana started his own event design company where he designed theme parties and nightclub decor in South Florida for about 7 years. Fontana produced major events for celebrities including Halle Berry, Dennis Quaid, Jeff Goldblum, and many more.

Fontana is available for private consultation for commercial and select residential opportunities through his company, Frank Fontana Designs, Inc. More information is available at his website.

Casting for the Chicago based Design on a Dime is currently underway. More information is available at


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