Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Education: Bachelor of Architecture from University of Oregon
Current Job: Bartender
Why I should win HGTV Design Star:
This is what I am. Despite a full and varied portfolio, especially for a 27-year-old, I am a teacher, entertainer and friend. My design goal has always been to help people live in a space that makes them excited about life and proud to claim it as their own. There is a fundamental need as humans to have a home or habitat that is ours. Why not make that space as beautiful and full of life as possible?
Describe your design style in four words.
Hip and contemporary history
Who is your design icon?
My grandma. As a quilting and clothing designer, she always followed her gut to success.
What is your dream design project?
Buying an old home, revamping and updating it myself.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Everywhere: fashion, art, jewelry, graffiti. Beauty is everywhere.
When designing, what can't you live without?
Fabric. My roots in my mother and grandmother's quilt shop allowed me to see the real power fabric has in its flexibility and its ability to introduce color and texture.
What are your most creative hours of the day?
Late evening. I function just fine in the morning but at the end of the day everything has had a chance to incubate and gel in my mind and I can finally see clearly what my brain has been trying to tell me.
What do you think is the worst design trend?
Historic preservation. While I do strongly value the past and everything we can and have learned from it, I don't see any reason for replicating the past. If it was really the best we could do, we would have kept doing it. Technology influences design as well as computers, and we should always be moving forward.
What's one thing about you that would surprise people?
I am a dork. I have been my entire life. I think that will become pretty obvious pretty quick. I think what will surprise people is that I do not care that I am a dork. Laugh it off, live well and move on to the next thing.
Where's the farthest you've ever traveled from home?
Copenhagen, Denmark, to study architecture for seven weeks. The program included two weeks of traveling around Scandinavia to visit places we had learned about in our history classes. Then, traveling around Eastern Europe with friends, finally meeting up with my sister and grandma in Germany to travel around and meet our German relatives, and then another week in Paris. It was a first-time visit to Europe for both my sister and I and the last time my grandma would make it. Paris was her request. It was an amazing experience on many levels.
What's your guilty pleasure?
I don't usually feel guilty about my pleasures. Life is too short to have regrets and the term "guilt" implies you may regret it. I admit that I have occasionally been an impulsive music buyer and the Internet makes it way too easy.
What's your most unusual talent?
I am over 6'3", so I'm pretty tall already, but my wingspan is almost 6'8"! So I have a way of being able to reach almost everything. In most homes these days, with a classic 8' ceiling I can do a handstand and plant my feet on the ceiling.
What word/phrase do you say way too often?
I always feel as though I say "like" too much. Not in a valley girl way ("Like, are you kidding me!?") but when telling a story instead of saying "and then I said ?" I say, "and I was like ?"
When I was a kid, I thought I would be:
A superhero. I was convinced I was like the X-Men and as soon I hit puberty my super power would be revealed to me. When that didn't happen, I wanted to at least be a superhero in the movies. I vowed to be the next Superman. Alas, I was too late for that. It was ironic though because I know I don't look anything like Christopher Reeve but when Superman Returns came out I had strangers stopping me on the street telling me I looked like Brandon Routh.
Who's your hero?
My mother's parents, Mama and Papa Pete. They both had such incredibly strong character and so much to teach each of us grandchildren. There was a kindness and warmth around my grandpa that contrasted and complimented my grandmother's drive to succeed. I strive to do my best to become the best in both of them although they set the bar nearly out of reach.
What's your fashion style?
Varied. There are so many different moods and events in life that I cannot say my fashion style is consistent. Sleek, simple and comfortable.
Scent: Amberwood, ginger and warm spicy smells
Music: Mostly alternative, some pop, hip hop and country
Song: "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" by Meat Loaf, "Only the Good Die Young" by Billy Joel, "Angel Boy" by Tim McGraw, "A Fond Farewell" by Ari Hest, "Artificial Sweetener" by No Doubt
Food: Comfort food, things that remind me of life on the farm
Magazine: Vanity Fair
Movie: Big Fish
TV Show: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and CSI
Room in your house: My bedroom
Room to design: Dining room
Thing in your home: My computer and radio because they give me my music
Hobbies: Game night, working out, running, reading and crossword puzzles
Vacation destination: A warm beach with my friends or Germany again with my family. My parents have never been out of the country and my sister and I have vowed to take them.
HGTV show: Design Star! I have been re-watching old episodes, and I forgot how much I really connect with the finalists but mostly how passionate I am about design and wish I was there.
Design tip: Scale and texture. These two things create the flow and balance that can make a room comfortable and intriguing at the same time. Always have a good blend and range of both.
Design Star : Design Star Designers : Home & Garden Television