Behind the Scenes with Ellen's Design Challenge Winners Katie Stout and Karl Champley

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By Brandi Andres
The winners of Ellen's Design Challenge, Brooklyn designer Katie Stout and her Aussie carpenter Karl Champley, share never-before-told details about their experience on the HGTV show, in preparation for their appearance at Dwell on Design Los Angeles next month, where they'll speak with Dwell editor-in-chief Amanda Dameron.

Take a look at any of the bold furniture pieces Katie Stout created on Ellen’s Design Challenge with the help of her partnered carpenter, Karl Champley, and it’s clear why the pair stuck around until the final episode of the HGTV design show. Aside from a slightly dramatic twist at the end of the competition, which began with a less-than-desirable finale for the creative duo, the Brooklyn-based Stout is quite deserving of her favorable win and the success that’s sure to follow.

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Brooklyn furniture designer Katie Stout took home the top prize of $100,000 when she won Ellen's Design Challenge with the help of her appointed carpenter, HGTV veteran Karl Champley.

A graduate of RISD, Katie Stout has already seen her work exhibited at Art Basel and in Milan. Plus, she’s graced the cover of New York Magazine’s Design Issue.

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On week five, the three remaining contestant were transported to the Interior Mover Specialist's salvage yard to collect the pieces for their upcycled projects, which were to be of designs they hadn't yet created on the show. Katie and Karl worked on a modern desk made with bullet-proof acrylic and a chair that also integrated colorful electric wire as a seat.

In preparation for Stout and Champley’s appearance at Dwell on Design Los Angeles next month, Dwell asked them to share a few previously untold details about their exciting journey on Ellen’s Design Challenge.

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Stout and Champley created this sideboard cabinet made of steel, walnut and acrylic for the first challenge of the HGTV show.

Dwell: What was your most memorable experience during the making of the show? 

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Master builder and certified home inspector Karl Champley has been involved in the building trade for more than 20 years, and on two continents. He has appeared on a number of DIY Network programs, including as a host on Wasted Spaces and DIY to the Rescue. In episode one of Ellen's Design Challenge on HGTV, Champley paired with Katie Stout for a successful final outcome, winning the top prize of the show.

Katie Stout: I have to say the cow table (laughs).