San Diego's “Design Star”

SDSU grad Jen Guerin gets a reality TV star turn next month

Jen Guerin has always been a ham. Nonetheless, she was reluctant to try out for HGTV’s “Design Star” television reality show.

A San Diego State University grad who majored in art and got a master’s degree in color, she’s serious about design. But the 33-year-old Guerin -- whose talents include the abilities to burp loudly and swallow her own fist -- was picked to be a “Design Star” finalist even though she opted to spoof Mr. Rogers in her tryout tape.

The Hillcrest resident works in Banker’s Hill at her JG Color Studios. As one of just 151 color consultants in the country who are certified by the International Association of Color Consultation, she can select color palettes for public buildings like schools and hospitals. Oh, and she once worked in an iron mine.

The fourth season of “Design Star” has been shot and begins airing on HGTV in July. In the competition, Guerin (pronounced “gare-in”) and 10 other contestants will show off their design expertise while handling kitchen makeovers and garage conversions, all while trying to deal with sharing a living space with each other (this is when a good burper comes in handy).

Guerin is excited to see the show.

“It was a fun-loving group, and we had a lot of insider jokes, and, of course, some butting of heads,” Guerin said. “But more than most of these kinds of shows, we were all pretty helpful to each other.”

Ron Donoho is a regular contributor to and a contributing editor to His Web site ( is dedicated to news, sports, culture, happy hours and all things downtown.

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