Design on a Dime

Design on a Dime
Design on a Dime
Genre Reality, Home improvement
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
Running time 30 minutes
Original channel HGTV
Original run 2000s – Present
External links

Design on a Dime is a decorating television series on HGTV. It features people who want their living space redesigned. The Design on a Dime team uses a $1,000 budget to remake a room. There have been a few variations, with episodes for weddings and more.



Design Team

  • Spencer Anderson: Anderson grew up in Houston, Texas, where he studied art and metal sculpture before moving to Tallahassee. At Florida State University, he continued to sculpt, but found a new interest in designing sets and building props for his friends' movies. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in fine arts, he moved to Los Angeles, where he began assistant art directing on small cable films. After some time, he joined the Design on a Dime team.
  • Summer Baltzer: Baltzer began her career more than 10 years ago, designing and decorating for community and equity theater productions in the Southern California area, while also running her own residential interior design business. She received her formal training at California State University-Northridge in the Family Environmental Sciences department, where she studied Architectural and Interior Design. Baltzer has many years of experience in designing interiors for all incomes.
  • David Sheinkopf: Sheinkopf grew up in New York City where he worked on TV and films as an actor from a young age. At age 19, he moved to Los Angeles. After years of focusing his talents on television and film, he discovered a love of building and designing. Eventually set design gave way to art direction on music videos and commercials. He still acts occasionally on films and TV shows.
  • Charles Burbridge: Burbridge was born in Los Angeles, where he had a decorative painting and interiors business. However, he left it to join HGTV. Burbridge has been a working actor for the past decade and is a founding member of the Bay Area improvisational sketch comedy troupe Big Boned Theatre.
  • Ali Azhar: Azhar's philosophy of design is that lighting, color and texture make a room. As a contractor, he handles lighting, building, and tiling, among other things. He likes to say his approach is to make $1 out of 15 cents. When he's not working on the show, Azhar's restoring his own home in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood.
  • Kelly Edwards: Edwards was born in Chicago. After working for three years in Los Angeles as the design assistant for one of the original Design on a Dime design teams, she returned to her hometown. She feels it was a job that served as the basis for learning how to incorporate high-end design principles with designing on a budget to create a room that homeowners can enjoy and find functional at the same time. She
  • Abraham Hopkins: Hopkins' approach is to bring green homes and eco-developments to the public. He says that Design on a Dime fulfills his passion to teach millions of Americans about green design on a budget and the positive impact it can have. Hopkins is the owner of Paradigm Building, a construction company specializing in green building. Before, he worked for 10 years as a carpenter in every aspect of construction — from concrete work, framing and drywall to tile, electrical, plumbing and roofing. He received a bachelor's degree in construction management from Cal Poly. He went on to earn his contractors license following that, and with five years' experience, he was certified as a Green Builder.


  • Lee Snijders : Designer Lee Snijders was the original Host and lead Designer to take over the first Design on a Dime makeover team. This first team consisted of Summer Baltzer, Charles Burbdrige and Sam Kivett. After one season, Sam left the show and Lee Snijders was hired to take his place. The team of Lee, Summer and Charles would become known as Team A until a second team was formed a year and a half later. SInce then four more design teams would be formed creating multiple shows through 2009. HGTV still airs Lee's team throughout the week as re-runs. Lee Snijders’ former career as a Walt Disney Imagineer taught him an important lesson: as long as you have imagination, your creativity is limitless. He'll be the first to tell you he’s not your stereotypical designer; his approach to design comes from his diverse creative background. His inviting and sophisticated interiors range from classic mid-century modern and contemporary styles to his own unique tropical environments.Snijders' passion for entertaining and design began at an early age. In 1990 he created Lee Snijders Designs, which encompassed his love of interior and furniture design. In 1995 he was given the opportunity to work with Walt Disney Imagineering as a dimensional designer, where he became part of the WDI creative team. For four years he helped create numerous theme parks and attractions. While continuing his residential interior business, Snijders’ new dream was to be a part of the growing home decorating television market. In 2001 he was asked to be the designer spokesperson for House to Home and then appeared on numerous television design shows. His newest career endeavor as host and designer for Design on a Dime has brought him back full circle, encompassing both his love of entertaining and interior design. For information, Lee Snijders biography and design site is and
  • Frank Fontana : TV Host and personality, Frank Fontana has built his long running television career and celebrity brand on such networks as NBC, ABC, TLC and WGN. Now as one the nation’s leading "High Style, Low Cost Decorating Guru's," he is the Host / and Lead Designer for one of HGTV’s longest running, top rated design shows, Design on a Dime. Franks charm, personality and ability to deliver quality information in an entertaining fashion, makes him a clear standout in the entertainment industry. As one of the nation’s most sought after Design Experts, Frank Fontana appears regularly on NBC's "TODAY Show" and WGN National News, as well as many news outlets throughout the country including Oprah and Friends Radio Network. Frank's creativity and diversity is demonstrated through his passion for writing. He currently pens a column titled, "Chicago Style", featured in the Chicago Sun Times and is the author of his new book, titled, "Frank Fontana's Dirty Little Secrets of Design." (For more information, please visit
  • Kahi Lee : Kahi Lee is an expert in interior design, fashion, art and entertainment. Her contagious enthusiasm and irrepressible passion for all things stylish, along with her spirited and witty on-camera presence, have landed her on the team of designers for HGTV's Design on a Dime. She has also appeared on FreeStyle, another HGTV show, as well as on The Tyra Banks Show and My Celebrity Home, among others. She easily adapts to the tastes and attitudes of her wide-ranging audience and credits her demographic-defying designs and versatility for much of her TV success. In addition to making TV appearances, she runs Kahi Lee Lifestyle (launched in 2005), a design company specializing in high-end residential interior design. Her style is very much reflective of her California lifestyle and upbringing. Kahi attended UCLA, where she earned degrees in art history and English literature. She also studied interior design there after her undergraduate studies. In addition to her design ventures, she has a background in fashion and entertainment journalism. She interviews celebrities, reviews fashion trends and covers events like the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. She currently resides in Venice Beach, Calif. In her spare time, Kahi can be found cultivating her shoe collection, dancing the night away or in pursuit of the perfect mac and cheese.


  • Kristan Cunningham : Kristan Cunningham knew from a young age that her passion for the arts would become her career. Hailing from West Virginia, she studied interior design at the University of Charleston, and in 1997 decided to introduce herself to Los Angeles and the city's cutting edge world of design.Having seen much success in furniture design and with her own projects, Cunningham joined a small, edgy firm, where she could hone her skills. The studio environment gave her the opportunity to exploreboth the structural and technical end of design, providing her with an even more well-rounded design sensibility. As host and designer on Design on a Dime, Cunningham relishes the opportunity to "get back to the basics." Viewers and clients alike will reap the benefits of her fresh approach to budget-conscious design. She lives in Pasadena with her fiance, Scott, and Floyd, their Yorkshire terrier. (For more information, please visit [1].)
  • Brice Cooper : Brice Cooper was headed for a career in design at an early age. His mother, a costume designer, gave him an eye for detail. His father, a carpenter, taught him how to build. But Cooper's unique, off-the-cuff approach to design is all his own. To him, design is all about bringing personality and comfort to a room. He thinks a person's environment should reflect who they are. He's part designer, part artist and part carpenter. When he was 17, his fine art skills earned him acceptance into the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago but he decided to take a more entrepreneurial path, starting his own company, Kustom Craft Papers Inc., to create one-of-a-kind handcrafted wall coverings instead. His career has led him to a variety of projects including restoring his family's Victorian home, painting murals for children's rooms, restaurants and offices, and crafting one-of-a-kind waterfalls. In 2004, his talents were showcased as a host on Fox's Design Invasion, where he shot a season redesigning homes across the country. As host and lead designer on Design on a Dime, Cooper wants to show people that a $1,000 budget doesn't necessarily have to look that way. The devil, he says, is in the details. When he's not filming, he can be found in the garage restoring vintage motorcycles and automobiles or just hanging out at the racetrack. Though he is not on the show anymore, he's working with bringing old motorcycles "Back to life".
  • Sam Kivett : Sam Kivett has a long history with Home & Garden Television. After rising from design assistant to design director for the hit series Designing for the Sexes, he appeared as a featured designer on Designers' Challenge. His latest endeavor is on Design on a Dime. Formally trained at the UCLA Department of Environmental Art and Design, he worked his way into the design industry at a notable Los Angeles design firm. Kivett resides in Los Angeles and enjoys hiking and sailing to Catalina with his friends and two dogs, Scout and Dakota.

References / External links

Design on a Dime home page at


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