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.




Did being gay give you an advantage or edge over the other contestants?Galui: When I went out there, I didn't really disclose I was gay right off the bat. But you know us gays. We definitely have that flair for design and that can be intimidating to some. All of us had our advantages. I don't think being gay was a skill set that was required or needed, but I was going there proudly to represent.

Conversely, did you feel a sense of competition with Jason?Galui: When we met there was an immediate sense of brotherhood. For sure. But again it's a competition, so there could have been some conflict -- who knows. Check it out.

Is there a "villain" this season?Galui: There is. I wouldn't say villain though. A conflicting character. Definitely some strong personalities and there will be drama.

Is there a hot tranny mess?Galui: This season did not have a hot tranny mess. No Michael Stribling.

What was the biggest surprise for you taking part in this whole affair?Champion: Well, you go into it with a game plan and then you get there and it's completely different than what you thought and you have to do things on the fly. Galui: I will say that joining a reality TV show is the best weight loss plan ever. I lost 12 pounds while I was out there. It was intense. The competition is just so strong, fierce, and intense when you're going, you're eating but not eating regularly. You're constantly on the move. Definitely experiencing some weight loss. Perfect. I loved it.

Who are your favorite designers or icons?Champion: I really love Steven Gambrel out of N.Y. I think he's amazing. Handsome, got style, and can hold it together. I really like Michael Graves. Marcel Breuer. Those mid-century modern, verging on contemporary. If you look at my furniture you can see it's not your momma's wicker. It's a little over the top, bright colors. I definitely am drawn to things like that. Galui: The Campana Brothers. They're fantastic and I think are going to have a huge influence on furniture design. But the thing that probably inspires me most is travel. I just traveled to Peru. The urban culture and exposure to different places has probably inspired and influenced me the most.

Tags: television