Local Designer Chris Goddard Competes for Stardom in HGTV’s “Design Star: Next Gen”

The six-episode series premiered Feb. 24 on Discovery+

Staff Report | Courtesy Photos

A new high-stakes, edge-of-your-seat competition series, “Design Star: Next Gen” is taking over reality television! And with $50,000 cash and a shot at their own show on the line, one breakout renovation and design expert’s life is about to go supernova. Following in the footsteps of “HGTV Design Star,” the most successful and highest-rated franchise in the network’s history, the first episode of “Design Star: Next Gen” premiered Feb. 24 on Discovery+.


Hosted by Allison Holker Boss, the six-episode series features eight gifted designers, renovators and social media brand-builders as they compete in weekly challenges. During the series, designer Lauren Makk and a rotating cast of celebrity guest experts join head judge Jonathan Adler.


“Lots of designers and home renovators tell us they dream about having their own show on HGTV,” says Loren Ruch, group senior vice president, programming and development, HGTV. “For the ones selected to be on “Design Star: Next Gen,” their lives are about to change in ways they can’t imagine. This series provides a once-in-a-lifetime showcase for their talent and creativity. It will raise their national visibility, multiply their business opportunities and boost their status as social media influencers.”


The competitors, eager to dazzle judges with their breathtaking, innovative designs or else face elimination, include Springdale designer Chris Goddard, along with Anthony Allgeier (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania); Arianna Danielson (Colorado Springs, Colorado); Carmeon Hamilton (Memphis, Tennessee); Eli Hariton (Denver, Colorado); Peti Lau (Los Angeles); Marisa Molinaro (Los Angeles); and Justin Q. Williams (Atlanta, Georgia).


The series takes place in an isolated and customized “design hub,” a community built especially for the “Design Star: Next Gen” production in southern California. To keep the focus on creating gorgeous spaces, the community provides everything the competitors need, including a design center for sketching, construction workshop and a fully stocked furniture and styling warehouse provided by Wayfair.


The weekly design challenges are specifically engineered to test the skills required to be a true Design Star. Each challenge demands that the designer showcase their distinctive style and brand. The competitors will face a variety of tests, such as delivering ingenious solutions for multifunctional rooms, designing for unique up-cycled home spaces and incorporating natural elements into their creations.


“‘Design Star: Next Gen’ is the ultimate competition of creativity and ingenuity,” says Ruch. “It’s so inspiring and fun to see these competitors dream up and deliver their best design ideas in hopes of winning it all.”

Q&A with Chris Goddard
Local designer and contestant on “Design Star: Next Gen”


Chris Goddard, a designer with more than 30 years of experience, describes his favored design style as an artful mixture of elegance combined with touches of his clients’ personal history. In college, Chris started his design career creating storefront window displays. A customer loved his window so much that they hired him to do a bookshelf in their home. That bookshelf turned into more clients, and soon enough, Chris was off and running as a designer. Chris loves to create beautifully customized spaces that tell a story about the people who live there. With clients that range from families to corporate giants, Chris says he tackles each day with the expectation to change and enhance lives through design.


We sat down for a virtual Q&A with Chris to learn more about his life and career as a designer and his experience competing in HGTV’s “Design Star: Next Gen.” Here’s what he had to say…


CitiScapes Magazine: Chris, where did you grow up?


Chris Goddard: I grew up in Jonesboro before moving to Fayetteville, where I attended the University of Arkansas.


CitiScapes: When did you first become interested in design; was it something you were drawn to as a child or was it a passion that you realized later on?


Chris: I have always loved design. I grew up in a very modern house with built-in furniture. To express my creativity, I would constantly move my posters and trinkets around the room to create new vignettes. My driving force is to always work with spaces that can be changed!


CitiScapes: You’ve been in the business for 30 years now. Describe your focus as a designer in the beginning and now. Has it evolved over time or stayed the same?

Chris: “Timeless elegance” has always been my design vision, and it has driven my creativity since day one. All spaces that I create are designed to withstand the test of time, and this is a big reason why my business has stayed relevant for so long. I encourage my clients to invest in quality, not quantity, and educate them that it is better to acquire one amazing item instead of many meaningless objects.


CitiScapes: What is a highlight, or milestone, of your career that you are especially proud of?


Chris: The highlight of my career is that my grandparents and mother lived long enough to see that all their time and energy used to foster my creative spirit has paid off in the end.


CitiScapes: List some of the qualities that are important in your designs.


Chris: Originality, creativity, quality, timeless design.


CitiScapes: How would you describe your own personal style?


Chris: Eclectic and colorful


CitiScapes: You work with clients all over the world. Apart from your home base in Northwest Arkansas, where is your favorite place to work and gather inspiration from?

CitiScapes: How did you find out about “Design Star: Next Gen,” and what drew you to participate?


Chris: Early in the pandemic, the phone hardly rang at the office. Then one day I received a phone call from a person saying they were a casting director for television. I didn’t believe them at first, but agreed to a Zoom interview. Before I knew it, I was being sent a contract and signing up for the show!


CitiScapes: The prize for “Design Star: Next Gen” includes your own HGTV show… is that something you’ve thought about before?


Chris: All designers dream to share their vision with the world, and I have always joked that the design world I work in would make great fodder for television. It is still hard to believe that my wildest dream has finally come true.


CitiScapes: What was it like competing in a show of this scale during a pandemic?


Chris: Filming the show was the safest I have felt during the pandemic. We lived and worked in an amazing design bubble by the ocean in California. The cast and crew were tested daily, so we all felt very secure and protected for the five weeks of filming.


CitiScapes: What is the biggest question you’ve been asked since you joined the show?


Chris: The biggest question I have gotten is, “Why would you do the show because you already have an established and successful career?” My answer is always, “Why wouldn’t I!” Throughout the series, viewers will see my love for design expressed through insane challenges, crazy deadlines and use of limited resources. The show truly pushed me to my limits and reignited my passion for design. It also reminded me why I got into the business in the first place – to have fun and create beautiful spaces!


To learn more about Chris and his design team, visit Fans of “Design Star: Next Gen” are also invited to connect with the series across Discovery+ digital platforms at and via @discoveryplus and #HGTVDesignStar on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.



CitiScapes Magazine is Northwest Arkansas' longest running and most widely circulated monthly city/regional lifestyle magazine. 


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