Plus get Courtland's tips for decorating spaces for childrenFans of HGTV’s reality show Design Star know that Courtland Bascon is one of this season’s biggest characters.
But he’s also talented. A native of Boston, Courtland specializes in faux finishes and painting and loves doing kids’ rooms. And in the first episode, he had one of my favorite designs.
Although he wasn’t originally encouraged to pursue his artistic talents, his family came around.
Then, “like many of his 10 siblings, Courtland spent years working with his father in the family’s masonry business,” his Design Star bio says. “He credits this work and his world travels for his knowledge and appreciation of architecture and design.”
Courtland won an early challenge, but he’s been in the bottom as well. Now, he’s one of the show’s final four contestants and is vying to have his own HGTV show.
Here’s what Courtland had to say to The Design File:
Question: What drove you to try out for Design Star and has the competition been what you expected?
I am extremely competitive and thought that it would be a great challenge to compete on such a big stage like Design Star. This competition was extremely challenging (see his episode one room below) and having to work with other designers was fun and yet tough at the same time because we didn't always agree on specific design.
A: I love the industrial feel with modern flare. I love using raw elements and reclaimed woods in my design. Scandinavian design has also been a huge influence on my design aesthetic.
Now in my children's rooms, I tend to design to the extreme. Lot's of color and tons of fun interactive features.
Challenge 2 was my favorite – obviously I won that one. I love doing feature walls and the stripes (see photo below) were the perfect fix for that blank canvas.
I am extremely handy with tools and am more than happy to lend a hand. At the end of the day it may hurt me because I spent a lot of time on other projects, which meant that I had less time for my own. These challenges are difficult because of the limited resources and budgets.
Q: In the last Design Star challenge, you added a venetian plaster to the walls of your kitchen. How did you learn to faux finish and when do you think venetian plaster or another finish is appropriate in a room?
A: I am certified in Venetian plaster (see one of Courtland’s pre-show designs at right).
I do real old world plasters and I picked up faux finishes along the way.
I am bias to specialty finishes and try to work them into any design because they help add needed texture to a space. So among the other designs I did in my challenges, I tried to work the finishes in.
Q: The Design Star community has been obsessed with your v-neck shirts and sweaters. Do you consider that sweater to be your signature fashion piece? And why do you love them?
A: Ha ha. Now to the v-neck controversy … my fiancé Dina loves me in a v-neck. She says my chest looks great in them. So no, it's not a signature of mine.
I'm very modest and I tend to be a shorts and t-shirt guy. It has been funny watching the response I get from wearing them. The necklace was a gift from Dina and I wore it as a good luck charm.
A: Trump challenge was tough for me because Tom and Stacey were basically teaming up on me and every time I suggested anything I got shot down. I warned them both about their inspirations and was counting on Tom for the art work in the space. Tom is a great artist and knew that he could add some art for the bare, naked walls. Instead he spent all of his time in the blueberry bathroom and Stacey spent her time on drop cloth drapes.
I was so mad and didn't like the space, so I tore into it. I am sorry if I hurt their feelings but it was how I felt and I needed to express my thoughts on the space – after all it was a TRUMP challenge and I knew we fell short.
Q: Why do you think you would be a good host for a TV show?
A: I like to think I have a good camera presence and a lot in common with the viewer, after all I am the biggest HGTV fan. I love hosting because you can be yourself, funny and inspiring.
Q: I saw a number of kids' rooms in your portfolio. Can you give The Design File readers some tips for creating a great kid's room?
A: I love children's rooms – after all I have 18 nieces and nephews, so I get a lot of inspiration from them. I consider myself a big kid and love expressing it in children's rooms. (See one of Courtland’s pre-show kid’s rooms at right and another below).
- Don't be afraid to go over the top with color. I even paint ceilings fun colors. Children need visual stimulation and color is the foundation to a great space.
- Painting stripes or other designs on a focal wall will help add another dimension to the space. Yes also wallpaper – I know the dreaded word wallpaper. It has come along way and is great to use as an accent wall.
- Make the room fun and interactive with a little hiding spot to read a book or hidden compartment's for storage.
- Chalk board paint is a cheap and quick way to add a little fun for your child – I know because even I have one in my bedroom.
Before Design Star I wanted to have a design show for children where I teach them how to build and design – after all they are our future designers.
And if you missed our Q&As with other contestants, you can find links below: