What All The HGTV Star Winners Are Up To Today

Few shows in the HGTV canon have had the impact of "HGTV Star." Launching the careers of a bevy of personalities who are now staples on the network, the fast-paced competition — which pitted contestants against one another in interior design challenges to ultimately win their own design show — was the highest-rated franchise in HGTV's history, per a press release from the network.

The series, which ran from 2006 to 2013, was so popular that HGTV recently rebooted the format for its new show, "Design Star: Next Gen," which saw a new set of design-savvy contestants competing for the crown — and a pretty sweet $50,000 — and featured some fan favorites from the original show, too, according to House Beautiful. But what happened to the "HGTV Star" winners after they took home the prize — and where are they now? Join us as we take a look at what the original stars in the HGTV galaxy are up to today. 

Season 1: David Bromstad

What hasn't David Bromstad done since winning the first season of "HGTV Star"? The personable presenter has gone on to become a legend on the network. Not only did he come back to serve as a mentor and host for the later seasons of "HGTV Star," but he's currently host of the long-running and hugely popular "My Lottery Dream Home" on the network. He also offers interior design consultation and custom furniture and art through his website. Bromstad has also made recent appearances on HGTV shows "Rock The Block," "HGTV House Party," and "Candy Land."

Bromstad's well aware of his status as HGTV royalty and shares the secret to his success. "I'm the grandaddy of HGTV!" he told AOL. "It's not that I've taken anything from anyone else, but the people that are most successful on our channel are the people that are themselves. That's so important because America can see right through bulls**t. If you're not true to who you are, people aren't going to watch you. I love seeing all of the different personalities on the network — they're all so real."

Season 2: Kim Myles

Season 2 of "HGTV Star" saw the ascension of Kim Myles to design stardom, with a renovated Hawaii hotel suite securing her victory. Myles quickly became an HGTV favorite with her own show, "Myles of Style," which showcased her ability to demystify interior design. She told My Fix It Up Life of her approach: "It's really about just helping people. I mean honestly I feel like yes I am an interior designer, that's what I do, but a lot of what I'm doing is just really helping — I'm like a filter for people."

Most recently, Myles appeared as a guest judge on "Design Star: Next Gen," passing on her insider knowledge as a former winner of the show to the new hopeful contestants, according to Realtor.com. In addition to carrying on her interior design work, the multi-talented Myles is also continuing with her work as a hairstylist in New York, which she did before winning "HGTV Star."

Season 3: Jennifer Bertrand

Since winning the third season of "HGTV Star," Jennifer Bertrand has kept her design work flourishing, which she attributes, in part, to being in the show's hall of fame. "Winning the show is like a pageant title — it looks great on the resume," she told In Kansas City. "Plus, there are only eight winners — I'm in great company. My life has been so bizarre from all aspects and I always joke that I am just working on my future People magazine story. But winning the show made it easy to stay busy in design — which I don't take for granted a single moment."

Bertrand's currently lending her design skills to "Military Makeover," a show on Lifetime with former Navy veteran Montel Williams as host. Bertrand has also worked extensively with the National Kitchen and Bath Association and is currently the co-host of the podcast KBTalks, which is dedicated to supporting and showcasing the best in the kitchen and bath industry.

Season 4: Antonio Ballatore

Former set designer Antonio Ballatore put his skills to work on season 4 of "HGTV Star," which he won after redesigning an entire house in the finale. Following his success on the show, Ballatore took his rock-inspired aesthetic to his own show, "The Antonio Treatment," and more recently combined his love of animals and design in a show for Animal Planet, "Animal Cribs," designing dreamy spaces for homeowners and their furry friends. Nowadays, Ballatore is busy with his design brand, Born With A Tail, which focuses on designing custom spaces for animals.

Despite his success on "HGTV Star," Ballatore spoke about how grueling the experience actually was. "It's surprising to know how really hard it is," he told Channel Guide Magazine. "There's a lot of Monday morning quarterbacks. People just come in and say, 'Oh, I could do that.' When we did it, we had no cellphones, no computers, limited time to shop. Everything was very last minute. There's a lot behind it that makes it so hard to do cool stuff."

Season 5: Emily Henderson

The season 5 finale of "HGTV Star" saw the contestants preparing their very own design show extravaganza, and Emily Henderson's creative flair bagged her not only the win but a real-life show, "Secrets from a Stylist." Currently, Henderson operates a thriving blog, Style By Emily Henderson, which shares design guides, lifestyle tips, and shopping picks. She also continues to make regular media appearances and work as a stylist for clients.

Henderson recently took to her blog to reflect on her time on "HGTV Star" and offer some advice to the contestants of the recent reboot. "I know what you are going through both during filming and after and I want to say that you are ALL doing an incredible job for something SO very difficult. It looks easy on TV but I'm here to make sure the world knows that it's NOT easy, it's VERY difficult to do what you are doing and you are killing it."

Season 6: Meg Caswell

A redesign of a Harlem brownstone saw Meg Caswell winning season 6 of "HGTV Star," and, since then, viewers haven't been able to resist her open personality and fresh designs. She went on to host her own series, "Meg's Great Rooms," and has made multiple appearances in shows like "HGTV Home Makeover," "America's Best Kept Secrets," and "America's Most Embarrassing Living Room."

As of 2021, Caswell currently sits on the board of Welcome Home Angel, a nonprofit based in Wilmington, North Carolina. The organization provides bedroom makeovers for children with chronic and physically debilitating illnesses or injuries. Caswell's work with the organization was profiled on the show "Welcome Home Angel" on The Design Network. It's clear that the designer gets a lot of satisfaction from the work. "I love giving to others," she told How To Be A Red Head. "I'm not just transforming homes, I'm transforming these people's lives. It's a really great feeling."

Season 7: Danielle Colding

Danielle Colding's unusual designs brought her "HGTV Star" glory, but the interior designer has been thriving since long before the show — and continues to today. In addition to the customary prize of her own HGTV show following her win, "Shop This Room," Colding's interior design firm, dcdny, continues to help homeowners style their spaces in the New York area. Such is the success of dcdny that the firm (and Colding) were recently recognized on the Elle Decor A-List 2020, which highlighted the "artful, cozy medleys" that the company creates for clients. 

Despite Colding's extensive design experience, she still found the making of "HGTV Star" a pretty demanding ride. "It was such a rigorous experience," she told Adventures by Daddy. "Pretty much like design boot camp. Six weeks straight, no breaks, in front of cameras every single day, and have to be creative and on point every day. It was really a pressure-cooker."

All Stars: Leslie Ezelle

With all of the incredible contestants who didn't make it to the top, it was only a matter of time before an All Stars season of "HGTV Star" appeared. And taking home the crown was Leslie Ezelle, who was previously on season 6 and wowed this time around with her Texan charm and Southern design influences. Today, Ezelle continues to manage her design firm in the Dallas area, working on both residential and commercial interiors. Her own custom-built home was also recently profiled in the Dallas Morning News.

Despite creating interiors that reflect calm and balance, Ezelle has spoken about how high-octane the show was. "When you get there, truth be told, it's exactly what they say; it's not less," she told the Dallas Observer. "Because they don't stop for cameras. The pressure is intense so everything that you see on TV is that and then some more. I felt like Goldie Hawn in 'Private Benjamin,' at one point. I was in my heels running down the street [screaming]."

Season 8: Tiffany Brooks

As the final winner of "HGTV Star" before the original show ended, Tiffany Brooks made sure the series went out with a bang. Since then, in addition to hosting "The Most Embarrassing Rooms in America" on HGTV, she's been a familiar face across the network, most recently continuing to host and be the lead interior designer on the network's "Smart Home Giveaway" series. Brooks has also been hard at work on HGTV's new "$50K Three Ways" program, adding even more to her presence on the channel.

As her media career thrives, her interior design work does, too. Brooks currently works as the lead designer at her own residential interior design firm, Tiffany Brooks Interiors, and was recognized as one of the top 100 interior designers for 2020 by Architectural Digest. She is quick to recognize the impact of "HGTV Star" on her career, stating that she got "a whole new life! I got the opportunity to compete in the Olympics of interior design and decorating, national exposure, and a contract for my own television show."