Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Previously on Design Star: Once again, murals were evil. Temple insulted Donna. Vanessa cried. Alice cried. Cynthia Rowley tried not to cry. Alice called out Vanessa. Joseph got the boot. Teman warned that bickering would lead to booting.
Sleeping designers. Waking designers. Donna reports that it takes her an hour to get ready, what with the makeup and the teasing of the hair. More grooming designers. Donna asks Temple for a truce; she just wants to get along. Temple might have made an agreeable sound, but nothing explicit.
Teman summons everyone to the parlor for the reading of "Clive mail." A van will pick them up and take them to their next work location, where Clive will meet them. And sure enough: designers exit townhouse, designers ride in van, van gets in elevator -- which impresses designers -- and designers arrive at big, loft-like space. Vanessa does this touchdown-type victory dance because she's happy to see individual rooms. More like individual cubicles -- in the middle of the open space, eight smaller spaces have been partitioned off, each with three walls (so open to the front). Each space has a white couch, a square coffee table, a round side table, a bookcase and a little lamp. Each space looks about 10' square. Vanessa rejoices that this is what she wanted. Teran warns that "there's always a catch."
And here it is, in the form of Clive carrying paint cans. Everyone chooses a can. Clive announces that two designers will be cut after this challenge. David demonstrates his math skills by calculating a 25% reduction in the number of designers. There is much rejoicing when Clive continues that the designers will be responsible for their own work -- designing, shopping and execution. They will shop at one of four specialty stores: automotive, beauty, pet, camping. There is not much rejoicing now. Each paint can has $500 and a store type; two people will shop at each type of store. Everything for the challenge must be purchased from that store.
- Tym -- pet
- Alice -- camping
- Vanessa -- beauty. She takes the opportunity to bring up her "I'm not repeating that stupid name" style.
- David -- pet
- Temple -- automotive
- Donna -- automotive
- Teman -- camping
- Teran -- beauty
They get 1 hour for shopping and another 11 hours of work over two days. They can pick one gallon of one color of paint. Tym interviews that they have to pay $25 for paint, so that limits what they can spend at the store. The designers have a toast with their paint cans.
On the way to the beauty store, Teran asks Vanessa if she thinks "the whole Donna threatened by Temple thing" is for real. She thinks it's a little true; Donna and Temple are like "before and after" -- Teran sees that, too -- and they just see themselves in the other person.
Automotive store: Temple is happy because her baby daddy is a mechanic, so she knows this stuff. Meanwhile, Donna has never been in an automotive store and has no idea what she's going to do. She feels very alone as she looks for someone to answer a question. Temple is also happy to be working on her own. She wants to show that car stuff can look spiffy. Donna tries to think about what might be in a garage. She doesn't know what she's going to make with her items.
Camping store: Teman has never been camping or in a camping store, so most of his design has to come from reacting to what is in the store. Alice does a quick scan of the store before pulling her selections. Teman finds a couch cover: a heavy blanket with orange and red, which forms the basis of his color scheme. He finds some tape to match. Alice is thinking green.
Beauty store: Vanessa uses her stupid word again. She's thinking about a dressing room for a glamorous woman. Teran has more of a Victorian drawing room in mind. Vanessa doesn't want to get ahead of herself, but she's feeling confident. Teran doesn't want to mess up.
Pet store: Tym has a design already sketched out. Wow, that was fast work. He goes for the dog cages. David doesn't have any kind of plan, so he goes for things that are textural and sculptural. Tym describes his style as "livable modern." See? No word-smushing required. He likes to use ordinary things in new ways. David is psyched to find hay bedding and reptile bedding; he loves the colors and textures for a rug. Tym starts to let the shopping experience go to his head, but he comes to his senses and keeps to his plan.
Everyone piles into their vans. At the checkout, Tym realizes that he didn't save enough for paint. He decides to keep everything and skip the paint. Donna asks Temple if she saved money for paint; Temple says she remembered "at the last second." Donna forgot. Shopping just went to her head. Teman also forgot. Back at the loft, he tells Teran about it. Teran tells him he'll just have to make it work. I know Tim Gunn doesn't have a copyright on the phrase, but he says it so much better than anyone else.
Donna takes the coffe table apart and uses jacks for the supports. Temple interviews that she's a single mom and she's doing all this to make a better life for her family. As opposed to all the other contestants, who are just doing this on a whim? Don't the other contestants have families? Why don't we get to hear about them? Well, okay, Teman and Teran, but surely they have parents and other relatives.
Speaking of Teman, he's trying to improvise wall color with his camping tape. Teran thinks it will be cool if he can pull it off. David is using paint -- orange paint. He wants to use it to draw the eye up to the full height of the 10' ceilings. Tym feels good working by himself, with no one to step on his ideas. Alice has an apple green for her paint and Vanessa is using red. Donna bought some spray paint, so she's using that on the walls. Teran's cobalt blue is too deep to cover well; he'll need two coats, but he only has a gallon of paint. Running out would be bad. To put color on his walls, Tym is using abstract art made from dog food bags. Temple has grey paint.
Vanessa makes a collage of beauty items for artwork. Teran and Teman consult about the latter's tape situation. Teran compares Teman to a "defenseless animal stranded by the side of the road." He just has to help. So, now that we've covered the single mom thing, it's time to hear about Temple's lack of formal training: She wants to win so the other designers will take her seriously. Now we just have to see how they'll work in the Miss Utah thing and they'll have covered the Temple trifecta. Tym is spending a lot of time on his artwork, which is supplying the color. Teran reports that Vanessa shared a tip: with dark paint, instead of rolling up and down, go on the diagonal. He calculates he has enough paint for the walls. Alice cuts up the bookcase to make some boxes. Donna interviews that she enjoys working alone, so she can do things her way.
Clive arrives for an inspection tour.
- David is trying to disguise the fact that he's using pet store items. Clive checks out a bag of reptile bedding, which David is going to use for a rug. Clive makes the mistake of seeing what reptile bedding smells like -- and this is before the reptiles have bedded in it. So I'm guessing it's probably not cedar.
- Teman has switched to using the beige tape. Clive is worried about time, but Teman thinks he has a rhythm going now.
- Temple chose grey paint because it looks like concrete but is still elegant.
- Clive busts Tym on the no-paint thing. Tym didn't want to put anything back, so he had to give up the paint. He spent a lot of money on dog food for the colorful bags. Clive verifies that Tym didn't eat all the dog food.
- Clive prods Alice for a description; she says it will just be a "clean, modern room." She's trying to make it look like she didn't shop in a camping store.
- Teran describes a formal Victorian room with "a '60s mod twist." Clive figures it has all the design bases covered. Teran has a pretty clear picture of what it's going to look like. Clive asks about budget; Teran has $6.31 left.
- Vanessa repeats her stupid word but comes up with a similar stupid word to describe the room. Clive makes fun of her words. She is, as always, feeling confident.
- Neither Donna nor Clive have any idea what she's making art out of. Clive asks if "secretly" it isn't better to work on your own. Donna gets close and says, "Don't tell anyone, but yes."
I get the sense that this was not just an inspection tour but an interview test -- can they have a give-and-take with Clive? David, Teman and Teran all banter easily. Temple is a little rambly. Alice is rather matter-of-fact but speaks up, while Vanessa leaves most of the conversational burden to Clive. Tym's story runs a little long. Donna is a little slow to start, but gets into it and has good facial expressions. Clive wishes everyone luck and departs.
David describes the day as "a mad scramble." In his opinion, "first days are notorious for getting nothing done." Temple interviews that people were willing to help with hanging things. Donna spreads the word that they have 15 minutes left to work. She's a little nervous about time because her spray-painted wall took so long. Teran interviews that no one feels safe. The next day will be the do-or-die day.
Back at the house, Teran and Tym review the competition. Teran doesn't really get Tym, but maybe that's just him. David thinks it's a torn-up dog cage and Teran thinks it looks like a pet store. Temple thinks the twins are "the least put-together." Vanessa has figured it out: they can only work as a team.
Morning. People get ready. Alice interviews that Tym emptied his electric razor on the carpet. Okay, he's off my list. That's just so wrong. Alice has to find a vacuum cleaner that hasn't been spackled. She interviews that they've been living on top of each other, so they're all really tired. I guess it's a good thing two designers are leaving, so they'll have more room to spread out.
Back at the work space, they have 5 hours to finish. Tym reports that he changed all the furniture pieces except the couch; he thinks that's an important part of the challenge. Temple thinks the judges will finally get to see her style. She's using the red and chrome of classic cars. Vanessa is pleased with her "bold" and "glamorous" room; she's really happy with it. Alice compliments David's rawhide-chew-toy sculpture as she works on trimming her lamp. He's pleased with the way his room is turning out; it really shows his style. Alice thinks her room is coming together. She has remade the things she purchased and "designed instead of displayed." She has a reason for everything she does. Except maybe almost cutting off her hand when the bookshelf she's sawing falls in.
With 2 hours left, Teran decides that his circles look shabby so he has to come up with something else. He dilutes some gold hair gel to use as a paint. His first application attempt doesn't look right, so he goes through several ideas before being satisfied. Temple thinks the effect is cool. Teran reports he's using a makeup brush to paint his gold circles.
David announces the 1 hour mark. Teran helps spot Teman as he hangs a box on the wall. Temple has looked around, and some people are farther behind than others. She's not sure they'll finish in time. Donna is a little stressed because she has lots of finishing details to do. She thinks something is "a disaster." Lots of last-minute running around, and then Clive shows up to end the work. He sends them off to get ready for the studio.
Temple isn't nervous about the double elimination because she thinks her room in the top three. Tym is pleased with his work. Donna thinks it will be stressful. She has been spanked twice and expects to get spanked again. She doesn't like her spray-painted wall. Teran is nervous. David doesn't want to sound "cocky" (good idea when you're only wearing a towel) but he feels "okay". Teman is worried. At least with the camping rooms, you can't tell what store they shopped at. He praises Alice's room. Alice is worried about everyone. She feels good about her room, but she can see a few issues the judges might raise. And it's time to go see the judges.
The studio is still ugly. Clive recaps the screens and cancelling, introduces the judges (still Martha, Vern and Cynthia), and recaps the challenge. There's a quick look at the blank spaces as a "before."
- Automotive/Donna: She calls the room "industrial garage chic." Ah, yes,
"chic" -- the French word for "designer-y." The back wall is painted in
large blue and gray rectangles. The sofa is angled in the left corner
with a blue-and-silver harlequin painting behind it. The coffee table
rests on jacks and displays a random arrangement of parts on a silver
tray. The bookcase is in the right corner with fewer shelves and a couple
of art pieces. To the left of the sofa is a strange lamp made with
headlights; on the right wall is a tea-tray-like cart holding more art
and a lamp with an air-filter shade.
Cynthia doesn't look impressed. Martha isn't quite getting the chic; she's seeing random automotive parts. Donna laughs that she has no idea what anything is. Vern thinks a designer can find beautiful things in the auto store. It's almost better not to know what they are, so you can appreciate them from a purely aesthetic point of view. Cynthia likes the jacks under the table but she's tired of seeing the sofa angled.
I like the color scheme, but the room is too busy. Once again, Donna needs to edit. However, she was creative in using her finds.
- Automotive/Temple: Clive asks about her inspiration, and she mentions
mechanic guy. She talks about missing her family, and the challenge was a
sign to work harder, and her family was her inspiration. Gah. Throw in
world peace and it's the perfect pageant answer. She calls the design
"Classic Car." The walls are a steel gray. The sofa is centered on the
back wall with two small end tables. A small lamp is made from a
headlight. Silver grills are attached to the arms of the sofa. The coffee
table has been painted silver. Above the sofa is a red rectangle with a
chrome grill. On the left wall is an arrangement of parts; on the right
is another rectangle around license plate frames.
Vern and Cynthia find it clever. Vern finds it astonishing -- beautiful, detailed, thoughtful. Cynthia loves the silver on the sofa arms. Martha also loves the room. She doesn't usually think of "automotive" as clean and streamlined.
It's a little stark for me, but well-balanced with good punches of color. Solid work.
- Beauty/Vanessa: The back wall is red; the side walls have a couple of
4" stripes dividing them into panels. The sofa is centered on the back
wall. Beside it is the round side table with a wig stand and wig. The
coffee table has been painted red along the edges; it holds various
items. Each panel of the left wall has a rectangular collage of beauty
items against a red background. The mid panel of the right wall has two
smaller collages; the front panel has the bookcase with more items
displayed. Over the sofa, a black hairdryer is hung like an art piece.
Clive asks about her inspiration. Vanessa mentions a red boa. She tells the judges about her stupid style; various contestants have "Oh, god, not again" looks on their faces. Cynthia finds the room too literal. Martha likes the boa trim on the lamp, but the boas hanging next to it are confusing. Vern is okay with the basic structure of the room, but he doesn't get the collages.
I'm with Cynthia -- this is a room with beauty items strewn around. There's not a lot of imagination and transformation. I suspect Vanessa likes the beauty supplies too much for what they are, and -- unlike Donna with her auto parts -- it's hard for her to see what else they could be.
- Beauty/Teran: The walls are a cobalt blue. The back wall has 4" gold
circles of varying color depths. The sofa is centered on the back wall
and the edges are outlined with black lipstick. The lamp on the side
table has pantyhose stretched over the shade. The coffee table is
centered and displays various round items. The bookcase on the right wall
also displays items.
Clive asks about inspiration. Teran was going for a serious room that didn't take itself too seriously. It was like applying makeup to the room. He mentions the Victorian drawing room idea. Vern likes the talk, but doesn't see it in the room. It has some interesting points, like the panyhose on the lampshade. Martha isn't seeing Victorian. She references a barbicide jar, which I had to google. It's a tall glass cylinder, rather like the straw holders at old-fashioned soda fountains, but it's used to clean barbering tools. Cynthia(?) doesn't like the price tags on the necklaces hanging from the bookcase. Vern thinks it's kid stuff. (Ouch!)
Teran clearly ran out of time. I like the color and the outlining on the couch, but his finishing touches are not thoughtfully arranged. I think he should have pursued the "applying makeup to the room" angle and skipped the whole Victorian thing.
- Camping/Alice: Her idea was to make it hard to tell what store she
shopped at. The walls are a bright apple green. The sofa is centered on
the back wall and has two green puffy pillows and a striped pillow. Above
the sofa is an arrangement of shadow boxes holding books and bright blue
items. The side table is to the left front of the sofa; two little
camping stools form another table to the right. The coffee table is
centered and has a mirrored tray with a blue bowl. Under the table is a
dark blue rug.
Cynthia thinks the green is fresh. Vern likes the pillows. He just wishes she had covered more of the room. Martha disagrees; she likes the tight focus on the center of the room. She also likes the way the bookcase was transformed into shadow boxes.
I tend to agree with Vern; I think something on the side walls would make the room more balanced. Perhaps a fabric hanging from some leftover sleeping bag fabric. But overall, it's a very sharp room.
- Camping/Teman: The back wall has a stripe-y orange pattern on top, a
span of stripe-y beige, and then solid beige; the side walls are white.
The sofa is slightly angled to the left corner and the cushions are
covered with the red/orange blanket accented with a red pillow. Most of
the bookcase is hung horizontally above the sofa as a display case
framing bright blue objects. The round side table beside the sofa has a
lamp with a tall white box shade. The coffee table is angled parallel to
the sofa and displays a blue tray with tealights. Underneath, three rows
of an orange material are unfolded to form a rug.
Clive asks Teman to explain his vision. He reveals that the wall color is all from camping tape. (A close-up shows the edges are rather raggedy.) He jokes about being on a tight budget. Martha likes it; it doesn't say "camping." She asks about the light fixture; it's the back of the bookcase folded into a triangle. Vern thinks this is a good beginning but things weren't fully finished off.
I'd say the room definitely has execution flaws, but there's a lot of creativity in arrangement and reusing items.
- Pet/David: He explains that he wanted to be inspired by what he found
at the store. The back wall is painted in large orange squares outlined by
white; the side walls have white squares outlined by orange. The sofa is
centered on the back wall and has two gerbil balls filled with reptile
bedding for pillows (comfy!). Above it is an art piece in browns with
ovals. To the left is a sculpture of stacked goldfish bowls; to the right
is the round side table with the chew-toy sculpture. The coffee table has
lost its shelf; it holds three bark sections. In front of the table are
two box ottomans made from the bookcase. The floor is covered in a pet
bedding "rug" with darker circles.
Cynthia is wowed: "It's so genius." Not to make David the judges' "pet" (which gets a laugh) but she thinks it's the perfect response to the challenge. It looks effortless. David thanks her for the compliment. Vern asks about the rug. David explains that it's wood chips and reptile bedding. Vern appreciates that he addressed the entire room. He calls it a "rock star effort."
I love the room, with the interplay of square and round. Okay, you can't actually live in it, but I don't think a room in the middle of a big empty space with only three walls and no ceiling, decorated with transformed random items, is really expected to be livable. I think this challenge was about vision and imagination, and David nailed it.
- Pet/Tym: Clive asks for an explanation of his "doggie designs." Tym
describes it as "Andy Warhold pop-pet meets light industrial." The walls
are white. The sofa is shifted to the right. Sections of dog crate wrap
the back corners at about the same height as the sofa, not quite meeting
in the middle. Also wrapping the corners at different heights and lengths
are the framed displays of dog food packaging. In the left back corner is
a square table made from a quarter of the coffee table and a lamp with a
cylindrical shade. In front of the sofa is a smaller coffee table with
legs made from dog crate gridding. The round table was cut into two
demi-lune tables supported by more grids, one at the left front and one at
the right middle. The right front wall has a rectangular table (also cut
down from the coffee table) supporting a sculpture made from the side
table base suspending balls on chains. There's a chain leash hanging down
over the sofa, kind of like a pull chain to nothing.
Cynthia likes the recreation of the pieces, and the coffee table. Martha also likes the coffee table, but the effect of the room is more inside-looking-out and she doesn't care for the leash. Vern hates it: "It's like a noose for a gerbil or something, I mean, it's horrendous." Also, he could have really used the paint. Tym says he made the decision to skip the paint before he finished checking out. Vern thinks he can't afford to make mistakes like that.
I don't really get this room. The balance is good, but the elements (except for the new coffee table) are pretty weird. And yeah, paint would have been nice.
Clive sends the designers to wait in the green room while the judges deliberate. Vern thinks personalities definitely showed through, and Cynthia found some surprises. Donna sighs that sometimes things work out and sometimes they don't. Vern thinks someone is a visionary, capable of seeing what a project will look like before it's completed. Tym loves his idea, but he knows he has to make that "translate visually." Someone was a shocking disappointment. Vern finds it interesting that Temple wasn't "hampered" by working on a team with time; Martha admits to getting "got" by her kiddie sob story. (This is why I hate kiddie sob stories in front of the judges.) David compliments Temple on her work. Vern doesn't love a room, but it's not the worst thing he's ever seen. David explains that Teran was saying "Victorian" when there wasn't anything Victorian about the room; Teran agrees. Clive reminds the judges that they have to boot two people. Martha thinks there are "a few that we could say goodbye to comfortably." Temple thinks it's sad that the judges might not yet have seen the best of people's work. Cynthia finds it interesting how they're disagreeing on some points.
The designers return. Clive doesn't bother pussyfooting around -- David gets the win. The other contestants clap. Alice, Temple and Donna are also passed to the next round. Vanessa gets called forth. She is cancelled. Let's just pause here a moment for the cheering to die down. It looks like it takes a moment for her to process what happened. She turns and touches hands with the others and leaves. Wow, I was worried that they'd have to pry her hands off the door jamb as they hauled her kicking and squirming from the studio, screaming, "I'm gonna win this thing! I'm gonna win!" 'Cause the girl was determined to win. She interviews that she didn't expect it: "I'm a real interior designer. This sucks. I expected to win this." Why? She has talent -- presumably, we didn't see much of it -- but so do other people.
Tym is summoned. The judges like his individual sense of style, so he passes. That leaves us with Teman and Teran. Oh, man, this is gonna suck. The judges were puzzled by some of their choices, so the question is, who did enough right to pass to the next round. Teman is cancelled. The twins hug. Teman tells Teran that he's still in it. Teman leaves and Cynthia starts crying. Teman interviews that he knew the weaknesses of the room, so he had to try to present it as best he could. Now Teran is carrying on for both of them. Clive encourages Teran to improve and sends him off to the green room. Everyone gives him hugs. Teran is taking it hard, but he's going to do his best for the both of them.
Did the judges get it right? Not much to debate about the win -- David has a great eye and put together a beautiful visual presentation. Alice and Temple were both quite strong. Donna's room was a little busy, but complete and inventive. I just didn't get Tym's room, but it was cohesive and well executed, so yes, he deserves to stay. If you want to switch him with Donna, I could live with it; at that point, it's a matter of taste, really. Vanessa's room was complete and reasonably well-done, but it didn't show any real imagination. She just scattered stuff around the space. Since the challenge was about creativity, she deserves the bottom place. Unlike Vanessa, Teman and Teran both showed creativity but had executions problems. This could easily have gone either way. I think Teman had a better furniture arrangement, but I liked Teran's walls better. Teran has a slightly better record; that might have tipped the balance in his favor. It's sad to see Teman go, because he's a funny and personable guy and because it's such a blow to Teran. I hope Teran can keep his focus in the coming challenges.