- Design U
Design U Genre Design Created by Tim Alp Starring Maureen Ross Neilson, Ernst Hupel, Melanie Martin, Baron Bryant, Christina Maureen Rice, William Mood, Blair Varden, Penny Southam, Ramón Robleto, Tyler Hamilton, Jeff Palmer, Lucie Soulard Theme music composer Bartmart Audio Country of origin Canada Language(s) English No. of seasons 4 No. of episodes 52 Production Executive producer(s) Tim Alp Producer(s) Marisa Fusaro Location(s) Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Running time 30 Minutes Production company(s) Mountain Road Productions Broadcast Original channel HGTV (Canada) Original airing April 4, 2005 External links Production website
Design U is a Canadian television series which premiered on April 4, 2005 on HGTV (Canada). Produced by Mountain Road Productions the series takes the design-clueless back to school for a crash course in interior design. After one intense day with a professional designer—learning the ins and outs of design theory—the design student gets to test their newly acquired design savvy during a two-day makeover. With $3000 dollars and a team of renovators at their disposal, the student has to transform one room in their house. At the end, the design professor returns to review the results to see if the student makes the grade.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Faculty
- 3 Episodes
- 4 Awards
- 5 International Syndication
- 6 External links
Design U is the pre-eminent institution of higher learning for the design-challenged. Through training and education, Design U attempts to bring out the inner designer hidden deep inside those that show no signs of design life.
The design-challenged can be easily spotted - those people with the groovy wood-paneled basement or the plastic coffee table and lovely floral-patterned sofa in the living room. Or maybe this sounds familiar: an attractive milk crate nightstand next to the queen size bed propped up by stacks of telephone books. A sad lifeless space with no one to care for it.
Well now there is help. It’s time to revitalize that poor neglected space and send the design-less to Design U.
The premise: Concerned friends and relatives know someone among those nearest and dearest to them who needs help. By enrolling them in Design U, professional designers provide the education and training the design-challenged need to become masters of their domain.
Design U takes our students and gets them into shape by registering them for “Interior Design 101,” a crash course in design, taught by the best designers in the business. Our neophyte designers learns about colours, textures, spatial division, scale, symmetry, and even learns about different design styles like contemporary, country, and classic. After a one-day crash course at Design U, the real test begins: they must put their newly-acquired design savvy to use in redesigning a space in their home. Along with our host, Maureen Ross Neilson, lead carpenter, Tyler Hamilton, and assistants Will Mood and Christina Maureen Rice, our students are given two days and $3,000 to complete the project. At the end of 48 hours, our Interior Design Instructors hand out the final grades. Will our students pass or fail? Will they ever look at curtains the same again? Will they recall their untroubled days of stereo on milk crates with joy or sadness?
While the spaces undergo transformations, our students discover that filling and designing a space isn’t as easy as buying some Swedish furniture and replacing the velvet Elvis. Design U is there to educate, inform and ultimately allow the final decisions to be made by the participant. Should the walls be painted in mocha or caramel? Should the shag rug be thrown out or turned into funky throw pillows? Can there be such a thing as too many lamps? These are the kinds of design dilemmas our participants face as they tackle their 'home work' with an eye toward making their space livable again. In the end, they hope to make the grade and graduate with an honorary degree from Design U.
Because a good space is a terrible thing to waste!
Maureen Ross Neilson
Host Seasons 1-4
Originally from Ottawa, ON, Maureen Ross Neilson graduated from Canterbury School of the Arts. She then continued her studies in Toronto, studying the performing arts at Ryerson University.
Maureen comes from a strong background in improvisational comedy. She was very involved with The Canadian Improv Games, both as a participant, and then later as a workshop programmer and adjudicator. In Toronto she has toured with several different comedy troupes, thoroughly enjoying the fan base that laughed their way with her through the 90's.
Maureen has had an eclectic career to date, from playing several of the Bard's ladies as a clown, to puppeteering on the popular CBC children's television series, Mr. Dressup. Most recently, Maureen has appeared in numerous memorable roles. She starred as Laraine Newman alongside Jamie Gertz in It's Always Something: The Gilda Radner Story on ABC. She also played a young Sophia Loren in the movie Between Strangers and appears has Dr. Sharon DeLauro on the hit series DOC.
Designer Seasons 1-4
Ernst is the co-owner of 2H Interior Design Ltd. and has been an interior designer for over 15 years. With a focus on custom, high-end residential and commercial spaces, he has a reputation for high quality, original and innovative design. Ernst has worked with a diverse group of clients, both in Canada and internationally, and is widely respected for his classic approach to design and for maintaining the integrity of the spaces he works on.
Designer Seasons 1-4
Melanie studied in both the Interior Design and Residential Décor programs at Algonquin College in Ottawa, ON and graduated with honours. She has been working in the interior design business since 1991 and founded her own company, Distinctive Designs, in 1995. She specializes in residential interior design, interior decorating and, with her team of design and architectural associates, works on custom new home design as well as custom renovations.
Melanie has won awards for her design work as well as for business achievement. She has given numerous public seminars for the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, TD Canada Trust, Chapters, and has been a featured expert at various design home shows. Melanie has written design and décor related articles for newspapers and magazines and has also shared her knowledge by teaching for the Ottawa Board of Education and Algonquin College. She has also been an active member with the Ottawa Carleton Home Builders’ Association since 1997 and has acted as Chairperson of the Home Show Committee for 1999 and 2000.
Project Consultant & Lead Carpenter Seasons 4
Growing up in the artistically inclined community of Chelsea, Quebec, Baron Bryant was exposed to countless artists and artisans. It was this creative environment that inspired him to pursue a successful career in carpentry and design.
For over fifteen years Baron specialized in stick frame, timber and log home construction before moving into prop construction in 2002. For three years he worked at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa with some of the country’s most renowned set designers and builders. Working with various materials he was able to bring many theatrical designs to life. He then brought his skills to film as a set builder, set dresser, prop master and special effects technician for H2O starring Paul Gross and a number of TV movies of the week. Not long after, Baron made the leap to on-camera work in 2007 when he appeared in the second season of the television series From the Ground Up with Debbie Travis. More recently Baron’s projects include building sets for Odyssey Theater’s staging of A Curious Mishap, Charbonneau Productions’ television series Moitie Moitie, and Instinct Films’ Six Days in June. When he’s not busy building, creating, and designing Baron can be found canoeing, road-biking, or cross-country skiing.
Christina Maureen Rice
Seamstress & Project Assistant Season 2, 3 & 4
Christina is a certified interior decorator who studied in the Residential Décor program at Algonquin College in Ottawa and graduated with honours in 1999. She has established her own interior decorating company, TaDa! Interior Design, and enjoys decorating her clients' homes according to their own personalities and styles. Christina is able to assist with all a home's needs from simple paint consultations to larger, more involved, renovation projects. As well as being a successful decorator, Christina is also an experienced seamstress and has become well known for her custom designs. She specializes in window treatments, bedding, and soft furnishings.
Assistant Carpenter & Project Manager Season 2, 3 & 4
Will was born and raised on a farm just outside Peterborough, ON were he developed a strong work ethic, self-deprecating sense of humour, and a quick wit. He also learned to never shy away from a challenge. A Carleton University honours graduate in film studies, Will has been on a constant quest for a career to sustain his endless thirst for knowledge. After stints as a miner, an architect’s assistant, a pipe fitter, and a production assistant for an animation company, Will answered a call for a carpenter’s assistant for Mountain Road Productions’ Gemini-award winning series Broken House Chronicles. This led to three seasons of behind-the-scenes assistant carpentry on MRP’s hit series Me, My House & I along with production work on other television shows, specials, and films shot in the Ottawa area.
During the first season of Design U Will served as the show’s Project Manager, where he assisted the carpentry team off-camera and supervised all the design projects seen on the show. Now, Will is in front of the camera helping make our design students’ ideas a reality. When not working in television, Will manages an independent video store in downtown Ottawa and plays on two or three baseball teams. Rumour has it he has seen every movie ever made.
Assistant Carpenter Season 4
Blair is a good old prairie boy born in Dauphin, MB. His family moved around for many short stints in countless Manitoba towns before being transferred to Ottawa, ON. As a teenager, Blair was bitten by the theatre bug early on in high school, performing in various productions and drama festivals. This led to his discovery of improvisational theatre and his participation in the Canadian Improv Games at the National Arts Centre as a member of the Cairine Wilson Improv team for four years.
Before leaving Ottawa to study theatre at Bishop's University, Blair developed his skills with power tools during summer employment building parks and playgrounds for the city. These carpentry skills were easily transferred to technical theatre. Set building after rehearsal became a favourite activity of his at Bishop’s. During Season 3 of Design U, Blair served as the off-camera assistant carpenter helping the crew in any way possible - usually making sure no dessert went to waste. After perfecting the art of not cracking the camera lens while in front of it, Blair made the leap to on-camera assistant carpenter for Season 4.
Designer Seasons 1 & 2
Award winning, Registered Interior Designer, Penny Southam, ARIDO, IDC, established Southam Design Inc. in 1992. The firm has become one of Ottawa’s top residential design firms - combining modern lines with classic elements to create unique interior and architectural spaces. Penny’s firm creates everything from the smallest interior detail to award winning custom homes. Her client list extends from Montreal to Vancouver, BC.
Penny has also given many design seminars at local design shows, written a weekly design column for The Ottawa Citizen newspaper, and written numerous articles for magazines such as Ottawa Interiors and Style at Home.
More recently, Penny is one of the hots of W Network's hit series All For Nothing? alongside Paul Rushforth, giving homeowners design tips on how to increase the market value of their homes while spending as little money as possible.
Designer Season 1
Ramon studied both industrial and residential design and has been an interior designer for over seven years. Currently, he works for the Government of Canada as a design manager in the architectural and interior design unit. His main focus is on space planning and design development and he is very interested expanding his career to include architecture.
Project Consultant & Lead Carpenter Seasons 1–3
Tyler Hamilton is a self-employed carpenter working primarily in the residential market. He is a born carpenter and clients will attest to the high quality of his craftsmanship and his enthusiasm for his work. Tyler is also an accomplished singer and performer. No stranger to audiences, he first performed in his hometown church in Edmonton at the age of five. He later joined the Scola Cantorum Boys Choir and went on to perform at annual community events including fairs, talent festivals, and citywide musical productions. Tyler has sung the national anthem at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium for the Canadian Football League and was a featured soloist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
More recently, he achieved national notoriety as one of the top finalists on the inaugural edition of the popular television series Canadian Idol. In the summer of 2004, Tyler starred as Curly in the musical Oklahoma, presented by The Sunshine Festival Theatre Company in Orillia, ON. He continues to write and record music whenever he can.
Assistant Carpenter Season 1
Jeff Palmer grew up surrounded by the construction and design business. With a father who is a general contractor, a mother who is an architect and a degree in Urban Studies from the University of British Columbia, it only made sense that he join the family business. For the past two years he has worked with his parents in their family-owned company, Prospect Builders Ltd., located just outside of Ottawa. Prior to returning to Ottawa, Jeff established a small but successful construction company in Vancouver. Jeff enjoys cutting-edge design, making furniture, and painting – basically anything that allows him to work with his hands and be creative.
Assistant Carpenter Season 1
Lucie Soulard is a self-employed Jill-of-all-trades: carpenter, sewer, upholsterer, painter, mother of two boys. A native of Ottawa, Lucie began her professional life in the hospitality industry. After several years, she decided to change careers and enrolled in Ottawa’s Algonquin College. There, she received a degree in Interior Design and there was no turning back. Before starting her own company, SOULARDesign, Lucie worked in industrial and commercial design. Currently, her projects focus on residential design and renovation. Lucie loves her workshop, her woodworking tools, and her well-worn steel toe boots.
Season 1 (2005)
№ # Title Directed by Written by Original air date 1 1001 "Owen's Living Room" April 4, 2005 Roommates Owen and Chris enjoy entertaining their many friends, but all of those good times have taken a toll on their small house. Chris sends Owen to Design U to learn how to transform their living room from frat house flop to martini lounge chic. Designer Penny Southam is there to show Owen the finer points of room layout, colours, and swanky lighting. 2 1002 "Joanne's Bedroom" April 11, 2005 Marnie sends her good friend Joanne to Design U in the hopes that it will put a stop to Joanne’s incessant complaining about the state of her master bedroom. Will top notch designer Melanie Martin be able to help Joanne change from complainer to bragger? Joanne is certainly up for the challenge. 3 1003 "Marg's Foyer" April 18, 2005 Marg has only one chance to make a first impression and her best friend, Pat, knows that. So Pat enrols Marg for a one-day course at Design U so she can learn the finer points of creating a stunning foyer. Lucky for Marg, design professor Ernst Hupel opens the door to a whole new world of design. 4 1004 "Anna's Family Room" April 25, 2005 Eleni nominated her best friend, Anna, so she can transform her big, fat (and ugly), green family room into a space that makes you say, “Opa!” With frequent gatherings the norm in this extended Greek family, Anna needs to do something before the gang stops visiting. So, she hopes her crash course at Design U, with designer Penny Southam, will help keep the Ouzo flowing and the plates crashing… after she's finished of course! 5 1005 "John's Basement" May 2, 2005 John wants a room of his own and his wife, Marisa, is happy to let him have it – in the basement. But first, John has to spend some time at Design U with designer Melanie Martin so he can truly stake his claim to the one room in the house where he can let his inner hooligan run wild. Boys will be boys when it comes to basements. 6 1006 "Karen's Living Room and Dining Room" May 9, 2005 Karen has a beautiful old Victorian home in the heart of the city… that is a complete disastrously disorganized mess. Her best friend Suzanne can't stand to see this beautiful home in such a state, so she nominated Karen for a crash course at Design U in the hopes that Karen will add some style to her old house. Designer Ramón Robleto helps Karen realize that a room’s character and charm need to be supplemented with fabric, colour, and focus for its inner beauty to be realized. 7 1007 "Vance's Living Room" May 16, 2005 Lesley really wants to move back in with her sweetheart, Vance, but only if he can transform his cluttered living space into something actually liveable. Design U instructor Ernst Hupel channels his inner Cupid to help Vance win back his former roommate with lessons in multi-functional furniture, drapery, and focal points. For this bachelor, a lesson in design could turn out to be a lesson in love! 8 1008 "Bryce's Nursery" May 23, 2005 The stork is days away, and Bryce and Isabelle aren’t ready! Isabelle has waited almost nine months for Bryce to put together a nursery, and he still hasn’t delivered - even thought Isabelle is ready to deliver! After a little time at Design U, Bryce labours day and night to complete the project. Design U prof. Penny Southam is on hand to assist with this baby. 9 1009 "Corey's Bedroom" May 30, 2005 Josée is hoping to shift her mechanic husband, Corey, into a different gear so she's nominated him for Design U. Now, it’s up to Design U teacher Ramón Robleto to show Corey how to build a better bedroom and take him from mechanic to designer in just one day. 10 1010 "Geordie's Living and Dining Room" June 6, 2005 Geordie’s mom, Norma, wants only the best for her son, so, of course, she sends him to Design U. “Geordie the teacher” becomes “Geordie the student” when his design instructor Melanie Martin teaches him how to create a harmonious living and dining area. 11 1011 "Andrew's Living and Dining Room" June 13, 2005 Andrew’s cluttered space has become a danger zone for his friends and family. Luckily, his pal, Randy, enrols him in Design U to keep Andrew’s living room and dining room from becoming condemned. Design U instructor Ernst Hupel shows Andrew how to use focal points and furniture to create an inviting – and safe – space. 12 1012 "Glenn's Basement" June 20, 2005 John is boycotting his friend Glenn’s basement until something gets done about it. Glenn enters Design U with the hope of gaining some extra space in his basement for his daughter’s toys, his computer, and his 42-inch flat screen television. Fortunately, designer Penny Southam is on hand to teach Glenn about the importance of space planning and creating zones in the room. 13 1013 "Scott's Kitchen" June 27, 2005 A stint at Design U may be the only way Scott can keep his mother-in-law, Judy, from complaining about the condition of his kitchen. Design U professor Ernst Hupel is there to teach Scott about kitchen layout, room flow, and materials. If he passes this test, Judy vows to keep the home-cooked meals coming. If not? Did someone mention take out?
Season 2 (2006)
№ # Title Directed by Written by Original air date 14 2014 "Elsbeth’s Home Office" April 3, 2006 Friends and business partners, Elsbeth and Bobbi, want to take their new business initiative, “Project X,” to the big time. However, before they can reveal it to the general public, they need a place to get their business plan in order. Bobbi has found the perfect spot - in Elsbeth’s house. Designer Melanie Martin helps Elsbeth learn the fundamentals of good home office design and Elsbeth works overtime to get a good grade. 15 2015 "Tony’s Patio" April 10, 2006 Can a city girl learn to love the great outdoors? She can if she sends her sweetheart to Design U! Antonella sends her outdoorsy boyfriend, Tony, to design school so he can transform their dilapidated deck and patio into a garden oasis. Designer Ernst Hupel shows Tony the finer points of “la dolce vita al fresco.” 16 2016 "Stephen’s Living and Dining Room" April 17, 2006 Emily wants her little brother Stephen to spruce up his living and dining room in the hope that it will give his love life a boost. Designer Melanie Martin shows Stephen the ropes when it comes to putting a very modern spin on his space. “Mr. Perfect” learns he has room for improvement! 17 2017 "Tracee’s Bedroom" April 24, 2006 Tracee takes her design skill to another level when her husband nominates her and their bedroom for Design U. Top-notch designer Ernst Hupel is on hand to show Tracee how to take her bedroom from blah to boutique with colour, fabric, and accessories. 18 2018 "Marnie's Basement" May 1, 2006 Maija sends her older sister, Marnie, to Design U for some lessons on how to create a safe and fun family room for all of their kids to use. Designer Penny Southam helps Marnie realize that interior design is not child’s play. 19 2019 "Steve’s Living and Dining Room" May 8, 2006 Lyne wants her husband Steve stopped before he can do any more damage to their house. Professional designer Melanie Martin puts an end to the insanity by teaching Steve how to create a clever design for their small living and dining room. 20 2020 "Pam's Dining Room" May 12, 2006 When they were roommates, Leah and Pam hosted dinner parties using their frat house furniture and accessories. Now that they have grown up and moved into their own homes, Leah wants Pam to move on from the frat phase and learn how to create a sophisticated dining room design. Wielding all the right ingredients is Designer Ernst Hupel, who hopes to help Pam create the perfect recipe for change. 21 2021 "Matt's Living and Dining Room" May 22, 2006 Jessica will not move in with her boyfriend Matt until he does something about the party palace he calls a living/dining room. Taking him from “lad pad” to “love nest” is designer Melanie Martin, who shows Matt how to make recycled furniture and wallpaper work for him. 22 2022 "Krista's Living and Dining Room" May 29, 2006 Krista is always letting other people help her make her design and décor decisions. Her friend, Angie, has had enough of that! She sends Krista to Design U with top designer Penny Southam so that Krista will gain some confidence to truly do-it-herself. 23 2023 "Jay's Living Room" June 5, 2006 Young couple Jay and Amanda have moved to a new city. Throughout their relationship, Amanda has made many sacrifices to be with her man. Now that they have bought their first house, she thinks it’s time he did something for her to make her feel comfortable in their new digs. Jay attends Design U and studies with designer Ernst Hupel. His ideas bubble over as he decides to add water to his design. 24 2024 "Jeff's Kitchen" June 12, 2006 Now that his girlfriend, Sally, has moved in, Jeff spends some time at Design U with designer Melanie Martin to learn to make his outdated kitchen really cook! 25 2025 "Christine's Basement" June 18, 2006 Enrolling her in Design U may be the only way Anne Lise can keep her little sister, Christine, from invading her space to watch TV. Design U professor Ernst takes Christine under his wing and shows her how to use the proper room layout and the right furniture to make the most of her unusually shaped basement. 26 2026 "Shawn's Bedroom" June 26, 2006 Angus would really like to help his partner Shawn make some changes to their bedroom. However, Shawn’s idea of change is switching his “Star Wars” pillowcase for a Technicolor one. Angus sends Shawn to Design U where Penny Southam teaches him about focal points, window treatments, and how to make a bed.
Season 3 (2007)
№ # Title Directed by Written by Original air date 27 3027 "Elsbeth’s Home Office" April 2, 2007 Olenka gets lessons in curb appeal when her husband, Chris, sends her to Design U for a crash course in front yard design. Designer Ernst Hupel helps Olenka learn how to make a great first impression with landscaping and colour. 28 3028 "Jodi's Bedroom" April 9, 2007 Jodi’s love of design magazines doesn’t necessarily translate when it comes to designing her bedroom. So her fiancé Todd sends Jodi to Design U so she can learn how to create a space worthy of her very own glossy design magazine spread. 29 3029 "John's Backyard" April 16, 2007 John’s weed-infested backyard is driving his girlfriend Paula crazy so she decides to enrol John in Design U for some hands-on training in backyard design. After learning the importance of a focal point and strong colours, John completely transforms the small yard into a peaceful backyard retreat. 30 3030 "Jeff's Basement" April 23, 2007 Jeff is a radio personality with a gift for gab – not design. And his basement has, as they say, a face for radio. After being sent to Design U by his radio show partner and good buddy, Scott, it’s up to professional designer Melanie Martin to teach Jeff how to create a basement design that will be a big hit… at least with his family and friends. 31 3031 "Lynn's Kitchen" April 30, 2007 Does Lynn have the right recipe for a tasty new kitchen? Her friend, Marianne, enrols Lynn in Design U so she can find the right mix of ingredients to make her kitchen the flavour of the month. 32 3032 "Anik's Guest Room" May 7, 2007 Anik loves having friends and family stay at her house; the problem is her guest room is cluttered and drab. Her friend Kathryn sends her to Design U so she can become the hostess with the mostess and learn what happens when hospitality and interior design come together. 33 3033 "Roberto's Office" May 14, 2007 All work and no inspiration make a dull home office. And this is what Roberto is stuck with day in and day out. So his wife, Jennifer, sends him to Design U to get some design education and motivation. After taking care of business at school with professional designer Ernst Hupel, Roberto creates a home office that rocks! 34 3034 "Rupa's Baby Nursery" May 21, 2007 Rupa is an expectant mother who feels that she already has a good sense of design, but making room for baby is a challenge of a different kind. So soon-to-be daddy Denis sends his wife to Design U to help her take the first baby-steps toward a great nursery design. 35 3035 "Zhan’s Living and Dining Room" May 28, 2007 A new baby, three computers, and lots of old furniture spell design disaster in Zhan’s crowded living and dining room. To stop the walls from closing in on her, Zhan’s wife Phuong enrols him in Design U. It’s up to instructor Ernst Hupel to show Zhan the way to a clutter-free future. 36 3036 "Mike's Bedroom" June 4, 2007 Shannon has taken pity on her little brother Mike, who is blissfully unaware of how bad his bedroom design is. She sends him to Design U for a crash course with Melanie Martin. Mike learns that minimalism does not equal unfinished painting and mattresses stacked on the floor. 37 3037 "JP's Kitchen" June 11, 2007 Ann Marie sends her stressed-out pal JP to Design U for some lessons on kitchen design in the hope that he will get a least one room done in his unfinished home. Instructor Ernst Hupel manages to create a stir by showing JP some kitchens and materials that get his creative juices flowing. 38 3038 "Rita's Bedroom" June 18, 2007 Mother doesn’t always know best, as Rita finds out when her young daughters, Lindsay and Madi, send her to Design U for a much needed education on bedroom design. They want her to turn her bedroom from drab to dramatic and Rita couldn’t agree more. 39 3039 "Colt's Living Room" June 25, 2007 Colt realizes it’s time to grow up when he is sent to Design U to learn how to turn his frat house chic living room into something a little more mature. Designer Melanie Martin explains the finer points of modern style by showing Colt layout, fabric and colour options. But will he find room for his foosball table in his new grown-up pad?
Season 4 (2008)
№ # Title Directed by Written by Original air date 40 4040 "Sandra's Bedroom" March 31, 2008 Carter and Sandra are on-air partners on a morning-drive-time radio show - which means early to bed and early to rise for both of them. Carter is aware of how cranky his co- worker Sandra can be if she doesn’t get a good night’s rest. So he is sending her to Design U so that she will transform her boring, utilitarian bedroom into a comfortable and luxurious place where she can get a much needed, uninterrupted sleep every night. 41 4041 "Joanne's Backyard" April 7, 2008 Christine thinks her sister Joanne is stylish and has a great love of the outdoors. So she can’t understand why Joanne’s backyard is in such horrible shape. Christine is hoping some time at Design U with Designer Ernst Hupel will help Joanne turn her backyard into an oasis. 42 4042 "James's Basement" April 14, 2008 James loves his games, especially his pride and joy – the pool table. But his girlfriend, Stephanie, doesn’t think much of the space where he keeps them – their basement. James’s has left the space with unfinished walls, ugly industrial carpet, and no place to sit. Most of his buddies don’t mind but Stephanie does and she’s had enough. That’s why she is sending James to Design U and a date with designer Melanie Martin to see if he can change the space – if not himself! 43 4043 "Julie's Front Yard" April 21, 2008 Genevieve thinks her sister Julie, a graphic designer, has an interesting sense of design, but only when it comes to the interior of the house. The exterior is the part that really needs help since it lacks any of Julie’s personality and design savvy. Designer Ernst Hupel is the instructor who teaches Julie how to raise the curb appeal of her house so it will be as exciting and interesting on the outside as it is on the inside. 44 4044 "Edith's Backyard" April 28, 2008 Edith’s teenage daughter, Samuelle, is tired of the fact that they cannot use their disaster zone of a backyard. A huge pile of rubble from the destruction of the old deck makes it look like a hurricane passed through recently. Edith is more than willing to take a stab at fixing it, but she’s clueless about design when it comes to backyards. Samuelle knows that their current style, “War Zone Chic” doesn’t cut it, so it’s Design U and Designer Ernst Hupel to the rescue! 45 4045 "Allison's Apartment" May 5, 2008 Allison is a third-year college student who has energy and enthusiasm and no clue how to channel that into a cool redesign for her bachelorette pad. Her friend Carlene spends a lot of nights sleeping on the pull-out couch at Allison’s place, so she will definitely benefit from a nicely designed space. Carlene enrolls Allison in a new course curriculum at Design U with Designer Melanie Martin so she’ll learn how to maximize her small space. 46 4046 "Tracy's Basement" May 12, 2008 Tracey is an urban planner, who can work wonders with the layout of a city. However, when it comes to her basement, all that planning skill is no where to be found. The basement pulls double duty as a family room and home office. Her sister, Shelley, sends Tracey to Design U so Tracey can get her business organized and at the same time create a nice family room for everyone to enjoy. 47 4047 "Pam's Kitchen" May 19, 2008 Marie is a college student living with her older sister, Pam. Pam has a nice little house, but the kitchen is a disaster. Marie is a busy student and she just wants to get in and out of the kitchen without having to climb over people or furniture. Pam heads to Design U with Designer Ernst Hupel to learn the finer points of kitchen layout. 48 4048 "Stephen's Guest Room" May 26, 2008 Kim is taking a dramatic step! She is letting her husband Stephen redesign the guest room in their house. She thinks he is creative and clever and but isn’t too sure about his designing abilities. With a little guidance from Designer Melanie Martin at Design U, Stephen just might be able to prove to his wife that he is more than just a guy with a brain. 49 4049 "Nella's Foyer" June 2, 2008 Nella and Shari are neighbours, constantly visiting each other. This has given Shari numerous opportunities to examine Nella’s foyer. For a space that is supposed to make a good impression on those who enter the house, Nella’s foyer makes no impression at all. Very high ceilings, bare walls, and ugly light fixtures are the first things to greet visitors to Nella’s home. It’s up to Design U Instructor Ernst Hupel to teach Nella how to make a big impact in an often-neglected space. 50 4050 "Jillienne's Living Room" June 9, 2008 Nancy loves her daughter Jillienne, but hates her daughter’s living room design. While Nancy feels that the room has some nice features, it lacks any style. The leopard print motif is a relic from Jillienne’s single days and doesn’t at all represent the woman she is now: married with a four-year-old son and a second child on the way. Her mom would like nothing more than to see her daughter’s family come together at the end of each day in a relaxed and comfortable environment without the distraction and confusion of the current clutter. 51 4051 "Bruno's Daughter's Bedroom" June 16, 2008 Maria sends her brother, Bruno, to Design U so he will pull his house out of its 1960s time warp and into the 21st century. The newly-divorced dad is starting with the cramped bedroom his twin daughters share. Designer Ernst Hupel gives him tips on putting together a space the kids can grow up with instead of grow out of. 52 4052 "Michelle's Living Room/Dining Room" June 23, 2008 Michelle is an event planner who often has to make quick decisions. However, Radji, her husband, finds her to be indecisive when it’s time to design their home. Even though they have been in the house for two years, Radji feels like they just moved in because they haven’t settled on one look for their open concept living room/dining room. Michelle thinks Radji is just being too “particular.” Radji thinks Michelle needs Design U.
Year Nominated work Award Result 2009 Design U Gemini Award, Category: Best Original Music for a Lifestyle/Practical Information or Reality Program or Series – David Burns “Bruno’s Daughter’s Bedroom” Nominated 2009 Design U New York Festivals, Category: Educational/Instructional TV - "Sandra's Bedroom/James' Basement/Bruno's Daughter's Bedroom" Won Gold World Medal 2008 Design U Summit Emerging Media Awards (EMA), Category: Media Website Won Leader Award 2007 Design U Summit Awards (SIA), Category: Movie/Film Music Website Won Bronze 2007 Design U Yorkton Film Festival, Golden Sheaf Award , Category: Lifestyle Programs Nominated
Country / Region Name Television Network Dubbing / Subtitles US Design U ION Media Networks English
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