Who Went Home Last Week? Week 6 Exit Interview

Who Went Home Last Week? Week 6 Exit Interview

Tara Bellucci
Feb 29, 2016
(Image credit: HGTV)

Last week, everyone was spared, but this week—someone actually goes home. Who's couch didn't sit well with the judges?

(Image credit: HGTV)

It seems like this week, more than any week so far, someone had to go home for a truly great piece. Kyle's teak sofa had a gorgeous frame, sunny upholstery, and meaningful inspiration of ikigai. We're going to miss what he does with his wood.

Seeing your designs each week, it’s amazing that you’ve only been designing for two years! What’s the learning curve been like, in general and on the show?

The learning curve in the last two years has been steep, but I am lucky to have had a lot of great people; family, friends, and members of the creative community, who’ve helped me keep my momentum, encouraging me to persevere and continue to follow my passion.

Competing against a group of talented designers from the top art schools in the country on Ellen’s Design Challenge was a whole new level of steepness. I am grateful to have had such an excellent sherpa in Matt Muenster to help me climb to the top of the field. I think we made a great team and did an excellent job of representing the Midwest with true craftsmanship.

(Image credit: HGTV)

Looking back, would you do anything differently?

I think I went out on a very good design, so no I wouldn’t do anything differently. Well, on second thought I might revise that Sea Monster design of mine from the outdoor challenge! Though the piece turned out to be a comfortable spot for all day pool partying, I could have done more justice to my favorite armored member of the animal kingdom, the pangolin.

What will you remember most about your time on EDC?

I know it sounds cheesy, but I will remember the amazing camaraderie between all of the designers, and the friendships we quickly formed. I was sad to see people eliminated, but knew that we shared an experience together that we’ll never forget. I am grateful for that, and for the opportunity to take my skills as a designer to a whole new level. It’s incredibly empowering to have the affirmation of my design skills on display on national television.

What’s the reception been like back home?

My hometown of Jackson, Michigan and my adopted home of Detroit have both shown a huge outpouring of support. I have even had a few strangers stop me and say, “aren’t you that dude from HGTV”? Business has increased and I am planning to expand from a one-man studio into an operation that can handle larger commissions and corporate clients.

(Image credit: HGTV)

Has your experience on the show changed your work?

Having designed and built furniture on such an intense time crunch while meeting specific challenge requirements, its clear now that I work extremely well under pressure. I am thinking about inviting Cliff and Christiane over to my studio in Detroit with stop watches in hand for my next big project!

Before being on EDC I hadn’t spent much time in the past several months developing new designs to expand on the aesthetic of signature style; mid-century inspired designs featuring carefully selected lumber, turned legs, and exposed joinery. I had gotten caught up in commission work and my style that I really want to show the world took the back burner. The show experience allowed me to come up with entirely new designs that I had never tried before, pushing my aesthetic into new territory, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

What’s next for you?

My business Hunt & Noyer is about to celebrate it’s 3rd birthday, and after EDC I think it’s time to shed the training wheels! I am developing a signature line of furnishings, handcrafted in my studio and distributed to major markets throughout the US. I’ve also joined a collective of talented Detroit makers who will be exhibiting at the NY NOW show, where I plan to launch a new line of home decor and personal accessories that compliment my signature line of furniture.

Thanks, Kyle!

We'll be live-tweeting the show along with the cast & judges every Monday at 9|8c. Follow us @apttherapy & join in using #EllenDesignOnHGTV. And check back after each show for our episode recap!
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