HGTV finalist visits South Whidbey Island

Brooks Atwood - Photo courtesy of Brooks Atwood
Brooks Atwood
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Brooks Atwood

Brooks Atwood, a finalist on the TV show HGTV Star, visited South Whidbey Island over the weekend.

Atwood, the husband of Whidbey Island native Amy Estelle Nichols Atwood, was visiting the Nichols family during the Fourth of July holiday.

The couple has been married for three years.

The TV show follows 10 contestants as they compete in a series of design challenges to in hopes of winning their own TV show.

Atwood is the principal designer and co-founder of POD Design, founded in 2003.

Based in Brooklyn, New York, the studio works on architectural and industrial design for houses and retail spaces. Atwood is also an assistant professor of industrial design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology where his students call him the “mad scientist of industrial design.”

Atwood said it was his students who found the application and persuaded him to apply for HGTV Star. He said it was encouraging to know they thought he could be successful on the show.

“I’ve had a really amazing time. It’s frightening, and electric at the same time,” he said. “It’s a real challenge to put my design right on the spot.”

“I like to obsess with 30 versions before I know what I want to go with. It’s terrifying, but awesome the way the show challenges you as a designer.”

Atwood said the challenges he faces on the TV show are similar to what he teaches his students.

“What I would tell my students, and the questions I would ask them, now I have to ask myself these questions,” he said.

Atwood said he has been designing his whole life. He said he remembers that, as a child, he took apart everything and reassembled them in new ways.

His design style combines the feel of the movie “Cool Hand Luke” and Mick Jagger, or avant-garde with American vintage and electric rock and roll.

Atwood said he wants to be original and show people good design.

Viewers seem to have taken notice — he said he’s received great feedback from people on the street.

“Whether I win or lose I’m going to take that with me, the amazing feedback.”

Atwood spent the weekend celebrating the holiday with the Nichols family, which included fireworks, checking out the beaches and having the in laws playing tricks on him, he said.

Cassie Nichols, his mother-in-law, said he had a fun weekend with the family.

“Brooks is a funny and entertaining guy,” she said. “He’s got a lot of things going on.”

“I’m getting the Whidbey Island welcome,” Atwood said.

The current season of the show is down to the final four contestants and last two episodes.

You can watch Atwood in the next challenge, which airs 8 p.m. Sunday on the HGTV channel.

Atwood said he is asking viewers to vote for him as fan favorite on HGTV’s website at


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