One Man's Trash...

This season's Design Star gays -- Jason Champion and Nathan Galui -- talk Ikea, turning trash into treasure, why reality TV is the world's best diet, and design hacks like Bobby Trendy.




What is the most overlooked shop or source for housewares? And what is one item you think is genius from that place?Champion: I am so happy that people are starting to recognize thrift and Goodwill stores as great resources for design. Not only can you find fantastic items for low prices, but you're going "green" at the same time. Two birds with one stone. Galui: T.J. Maxx. You can find name brand items at discount prices. Candlesticks, the mix and match of glass, ceramic, and metals can make your place original.

Whose house would you most love to get a look inside?Galui: I would love to visit the home of Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan. I am a huge believer in Adler's design philosophy and could just imagine walking into their home and not being able to remove the smile from my face. So much fun. Champion: Tim Burton. He has an amazing talent for finding the odd and making it beautiful -- sort of like me.

Jason, you have a thing for using outdoor fabrics on indoor furniture.Champion: Yes. I design an outdoor furniture line and just started using [outdoor] fabrics a couple of years ago because you literally can pour bleach on them -- it will not change. As much as my friends drink, and as dirty and clean as my dogs and husband can be, it's the perfect thing to have on furniture. Hose it down. It's amazing.

Nathan, you like repurposing found objects. Have you ever brought home a street find and discovered it had bedbugs or other living creatures inside?Galui: I came across a couple of roaches in some dresser drawers, but that's the extent of it. A couple of them weren't dead, so I let them go out in the wild. No biggee.

Moving on to the show, what did you think of your competitors?Champion: I loved the competitors. I felt like I had a very stiff competition with everybody there. We were picked out of thousands of people to be on this show and I consider them the top in their field. We really truly were the cream of the crop.

Were you pleased when you saw there was another gay person in the house?Galui: Yeah. Honestly, it's a design show so I was expecting a few other gay contestants. When I walked in I wasn't sure who was gay or not. But I met Jason and he became my instant buddy, especially being from Florida.

Were you shocked that all the other guys were hetero-identified? As you said, this is a design show.Champion: Yes, I was. Galui: Um, no. Honestly, I think the way the show has been arranged in the past it's been a good balance of people. Half straight guys, half gay guys, so I was definitely proud to represent with Jason as one of the few.

Tags: television