Friday, September 01, 2006


Dream A Little Dream

Previously on Design Star: Everyone remodeled a studio apartment. Temple couldn't find one of Tym's greens. The judging was based on both design and hosting abilities. Temple didn't draw Cynthia in; she got the boot. Also, Alice won and got to participate in an In Style photo shoot. Clive forgot to mention it.

The top three lounge around in the brown/orange bedroom. David recaps that this is a big challenge coming up. He would be bummed if he lost.

Clive summons the designers to the ubiquitous paint cans on stools. He announces that HGTV received "thousands" of submissions for a $10,000 dream room makeover, and three entries were chosen. We see video: a teacher's family with cute kids and an ugly basement (Alice hopes David gets them); a Katrina refugee with a severely underfurnished apartment; a soldier's family who wants to make a "man cave" for him. Clive gives them the twist: they won't know which room they've drawn until they walk into the house. The paint can only tells them the name of the state. Alice has Oklahoma (I'm pretty sure she's not getting the basement); David has Washington (I'm thinking that's a bit far for a Katrina refugee to go); Tym has New York. They'll have 28 hours of work time and the services of a carpenter. After the work is completed, they will reveal the room to the clients in "true TV design show style."

Alice interviews about the importance of the challenge, just in case anyone hasn't been paying attention. David and Alice have their little wheelie-luggage packed. There's a group hug and many good wishes before departure. David interviews that he'd rather not get the "man cave." Alice interviews that it's a "challenging challenge" because she has no idea which room is waiting for her, but they all need "major help." Tym is hoping to get the apartment. Alice explains that they all got information on all the rooms. Tym interviews that they have to review three floor plans and be ready to go with whichever room they get. David says that it's hard enough to design one room when you're tired, let alone three. Okay, anybody not clear on how this challenge works?

David and Alice are in Suburbia while Tym is still in the city. Doorbells ring. Commercials! Because there's nothing like commercials to heighten the suspense. When we get back, David gets the cute kids family (Kara and John are the parents). We see small children diving into a pile of big toy animals. Dave confirms that they want a space where the kids can be "active." Tym is happy and "honored" to get Felicity, the Katrina refugee. Alice is in Oklahoma with the "man cave" for soldier Scott and his wife, Sara. She interviews that this is the room she least wanted. I think Sara is reassured having a female designer who also speaks with a twang.

Everybody have a hankie ready? We have now reached the tearjerking portion of our program. David checks out his kid cave of a basement. Kara explains that Cammie has a birth defect and her knees only bend up to 90 degrees, and Scottie is "profoundly" deaf. Tym asks Felicity about her hurricane experience; she didn't evacuate, so she got to experience the power loss and the water loss and the window loss and the flooding. Sara talks about her husband's absence and how her little toddler son doesn't understand where his daddy is. Alice interviews that they're going to make this sunroom great for Scott so he can really enjoy it when he gets home. Tym tells Felicity that he's excited to help her out. They talk about color and design ideas. Felicity wants a space for her friends to sleep, so Tym is thinking pull-out couch. David consults with John and Kara about the space planning. He interviews that it was a productive meeting. Sara is not afraid of color, but she doesn't like the giant unfinished cedar built-in. Alice is on board with removing it. The designers all say farewell as the clients depart the premises for the next few days.

The work clock starts ticking with 28 hours. David is feeling pressed for time. Alice meets her carpenter, Keith. Tym and David also shake hands with their helpers as Tym interviews that it's a level playing field. David quizzes his guy about his skills; he wants to build some shelving and a mantel for the fireplace. Alice starts going over what needs to be changed. Tym talks about painting, but his guy doesn't have any tools. Alice is going to paint the trim and the French doors white. Somehow, white trim just doesn't say "man cave" to me. She'll try to keep the paint on the light side. Aw, c'mon, Alice, it's supposed to be cavelike. David discusses covering up the mountain mural with some plywood and a kiddie bar. Tym wants to add closet organization. David talks about another shelving unit. Tym asks his carpenter if he sees any hitches in those plans; the guy is noncommittal. David needs his carpenter to start ripping out the carpet. Alice wants the room cleared.

Time to shop! 26 hours on the clock. David interviews that his guy is tearing out the carpet as we see him tear out the carpet. Alice interviews that it's great working with a professional, so she can shop without worrying. Tym doesn't think Mark, his carpenter, is a real go-getter. Mark practices looking put-upon. Tym hopes the guy is a "quick painter." David is looking for carpet; he chooses something fairly quickly and pays $1126.35. Alice is at the hardware store looking for pre-primed casings; she spends $265.94. Tym is getting paint supplies for $139.74. David picks up some lumber and stuff for $393.43.

Back to work with 24 hours remaining (quick trip!). The walls in David's room are getting covered. He thinks the judges haven't liked beige just because it hasn't been done right, but he thinks he can pull it off. With 23 hours left, Alice is not so happy with her wall color; it's more silvery-grey than green. She hopes it will dry darker. If she changes her mind, she won't be able to get paint until the next day. David is happy with his paint coverage.

We see a helicopter fly across the sky as Clive reports that he'll be zipping around the country to check in on the designers. Probably not on a helicopter. Maybe from the airport to the house, but landing one of those things in a residential neighborhood is a pain, what with all the power lines. He probably took a cab.

Clive appears in the basement to quiz David. He asks if the room will have a David statement, and David says it will have a really cool feature at one end. Clive wonders if it's a secret and David assures him it is, since David hasn't figured out exactly what he'll do yet. David explains that the kids need jumping around space. Clive asks if the import of the competition has hit him yet. David's desire to win makes him a little nervous, but he's not going to second-guess his instincts. Clive teases him about stressing him out again, and David helps him find his way back out of the basement.

Tym reports that the walls are primed, so now they're putting up the color. As he works, the clock shows 22 hours left. He's using taupe in the living room and sage in the bedroom, with a different color on the returns around the windows so they "pop." The clock ticks down on the first day. Alice will need to get new paint. She hopes the room will start coming together the next day. Tym says they'll be mounting things on walls, so Mark asks if he should bring the ladder. Tym thinks that's a good idea. Mark observes that he'll have to drive, so Tym tells him not to bother. Tym interviews that he's noticing some attitude from Mark. David tells David, his carpenter, that it's time to split. He interviews that this is the biggest challenge, and if "you mess this up, you're out." Which makes it completely different from all the other challenges.

Day 2 starts with 18 hours on the clock. Mark arrives at the apartment with a ladder, so I guess he drove after all. Tym has a list of things for him to do, but he's sensing resistance. Mark just doesn't seem to be moving very fast. Alice has new paint. David is making regular shelves for a TV unit and fun shelves for the kid space. He and his carpenter bang out some shelves. David voiceovers that he's nervous about finishing everything.

The clock shows 16 hours and it's time to shop again. Alice picks out an armoire to hide a refrigerator. Aren't they kinda the same size? David wants to buy a floor model so he doesn't have to handle assembly. Tym is looking for window treatments but finds closet shelving instead. David decides to go with a shorter table so he doesn't have to worry about small children falling off. Alice relaxes in a recliner. She tells the salesman that the client like smoking cigars and he tells her that it's actually called a cigar chair. This guy is good. Everyone thanks the store people as they pay and exit. Alice discovers a downpour as she exits. She finds that the game table is still sitting outside on the lawn in the rain, so she brings it in.

Tym has some shelves that need to be trimmed down, because Mark gave him the wrong dimensions on the closet. Mark explains how things take time. That's why custom cabinetry is so good, because they do all the cutting in the shop. Thanks for the tip, Mark. That helps us out how? Tym is not loving Mark's attitude -- he's ready to go to lunch now. Tym isn't sure that he's going to get stuff done. Alice wipes down the game table. It has a lacquer finish, so she thinks the rain didn't hurt it. She just has to get the grass off it. 12 hours on the clock and Tym is shopping for a mattress that he can carry out. David and David trim out the room. He adds a purple stripe in the kids area. Alice and Keith get her room painted, and Keith puts up the molding.

Since Mark went to lunch, Tym doesn't get to fire him in person. He leaves a note saying basically, "Thanks, but no thanks." Mark sounds kinda miffed about it. If Tym had told him beforehand, he could have taken a longer lunch. David and David manuveur big furniture down a tight outdoor stairway and around a bend. The shelf unit brushes the ceiling as they gingerly carry it across the room. Alice and Keith wrestle the top part of the armoire onto its base. Alice needs to work out more. Maybe Keith, too. The doors pop open and the shelves fall out, but no permanent harm.

Helicopter! Clive drops in. Alice describes the concept of the room for him. Wow, that's a low-cut top. Not obscene or anything -- all the important parts are well-covered, but some of the unimportant parts are severely exposed. Alice laughs that "not girly" is a hard direction for her. She's using heavy furniture to beef up the manliness. Clive asks whether it's about Sara or about the competition. Alice diplomatically answers that with all the sacrifices Scott and Sara are making, a little work is the least she can do for them. Clive claims that he has to return to his helicopter, but since we never see him standing next to it, I'm inclined to have my doubts. Alice recaps the meeting for the camera; it was nice to see him.

Tym recaps the Mark booting and it turns out he has a replacement: John, David's carpenter from the studio challenge. John finds the list of tasks and gets right on it. Tym returns with 6.5 hours left and thanks him for jumping in. John is pretty much finished with the list, so Tym has no regrets about booting Mark. Alice reviews her punch list with Keith. She interviews that she's getting more nervous with the deadline approaching. Carpenter David thinks they might have to figure out the mantel the next day, but designer David is worried that they already have a lot left to do. Tym is about an hour behind schedule.

Final day, 6 hours left. Tym gives John a list of tasks and goes shopping again. David paints a tree. He lists all the things that have to be done, like putting the table and chairs together. (I thought he was buying a floor model so he didn't have to do that.) The chairs refuse to be assembled. Or maybe it's just the same chair, being really, really stubborn. David turns the job over to David the carpenter, who can't even beat it into submission. He threatens to just bust it up if it doesn't start cooperating. Alice interviews that she and Keith have a lot to do. It looks dark outside when they start.

3 hours left. Carpenter David is still wrestling with a chair. He hopes they finish in time. Designer David carries in some lamps. Tym and John make a bed. Alice and Keith unroll a carpet. David and David wrestle a sofa down the bulkhead stairs. Work work work. 20 minutes to go. John hangs a light fixture. David and David assemble giant plastic kid toys. Work work work. 5 minutes to go. The helicopter appears again. Clive drops in and puts an end to Tym's work. David gratefully thanks David, and Alice hugs Keith. Clive asks Tym how he feels about the pressure, and Tym is up for it. He enjoys the judging sessions because each one puts him one step closer to the final goal. He and Clive shake hands.

Alice and David fly back. Alice interviews that she's always nervous about going home. David feels he's so close to the finish.

The studio. Boy, will I be happy not to have to see that room again. I'm starting to not like purple. Clive handles the usual housekeeping.

See David's room at

David goes first. Clive asks him how he felt about the basement. David knew he had to brighten it up and make it warm. Roll tape on the reveal. David leads everyone in with hands over their eyes counts down to the reveal with "A! B! C!" Cries of delight. He encourages them to walk around and take it in. He describes the original room as dark and dirty, "kind of creepy, really." He changed the carpet and added lighting. One side has the brightly colored kids area where they can jump around. The middle section with the fireplace has a big sectional for family time. The other side has a craft table; there's also a small fridge and a microwave in the corner. The homeowners are ecstatic.

Vern says that this is why he has this job: to change people's lives by changing their spaces. It's very rewarding. David agrees; he's speechless. Martha thought he was a little nervous but she enjoyed his enthusiasm. Cynthia likes the delineation of the spaces. Vern approves of emphasizing the fireplace as a focal point. Cynthia wants to hang out in the kid zone.

I agree that the space organization is good. I like the rectangles breaking up the long walls and the shelving around the fireplace. However, I don't love the purples in the kid's zone; it feels too different from the rest of the room. I'd prefer something like green that would blend better.

See Tym's room at

Tym is next. Clive asks how he felt about meeting his client. Tym thinks it was fantastic to be able to help her recover and move on. Roll tape! Felicity is wowed. Tym explained how he kept open space in the living room for dancing. He found a table that converts to a coffee table; it's placed against the windows to keep the center free. The leather sofa has a fold-out queen bed. Felicity loves that, and the tray of wheat grass in the window. Tym describes the space as "clean, open and refreshing." The bedroom has a lot of calm, with the sage wall color and a nice pattern in the sheers over the windows. Felicity says it's exactly what she needed.

Vern thinks Felicity was shocked by the transformation. Cynthia drools over Tym and Vern teases her. Martha likes the transformation from empty space to home, but she would like to see a little more femininity. Cynthia agrees that it's a little masculine. Vern likes the way the wood tones work together with the floor.

I find it kind of stark. The plants are nice, but there's nothing on the walls. It just doesn't feel homey. Also, I think the space holding the bookcase might be better used as an eating area; it looks pretty empty. The bedroom is a little better; I really like the vanity Tym provided. So he didn't completely ignore the fact that his client was a woman.

See Alice's room at

Alice's turn. Clive asks how she felt about designing a "man cave." Alice describes trying to walk in the shoes of her cigar-smoking, beer-drinking client. Roll tape! She's revealing the room to a group of females and a two-year-old boy, so I don't think we're going to get an accurate read on the man cave-yness of it. However, one of the little girls immediately announces her approval. Alice describes bringing the room from the "icky" 70s to the modern period. She points out the man features: a big-screen TV (it's not all that big, actually), a leather chair, rich upholstery and a bar hidden in the armoire. Sara wishes Scott could see it. Alice tells Sara it was the least she could do, and they hug. Sara loves it.

Martha likes the modernization of the cave concept; the beer fridge in the armoire is "clever." Cynthia likes the clubby, cigar bar touches. Vern wishes she could have oriented at least one of the chairs to enjoy the view out the windows, but he finds her very watchable.

This is more family room than man cave. The cigar box accessories are a nice touch, but they don't make up for soft colors and plush upholstery. I suspect the room does need to function somewhat as a family room, and it would be nice to get a sense of how it blends with the adjoining rooms; I'm sure these are factors which influenced Alice's design. Hiding a small fridge in an armoire is original, but it seems kind of like overkill. Plus it's not really manly to hide the beer.

The judges have to talk now, so the final three get to wait in the green room. Clive turns up the tension and turns it over to the judges. Cynthia thinks they're all good. She likes David's space plan. David thinks he's out because the others are more comfortable in front of the camera. Vern explains that design is half the story; Tym and Alice are almost perfect. David continues that it's a hosting job, after all. Vern wonders if they're seeing Alice's style or if she's just catering to the client's taste. Tym thinks he and David have specific styles while Alice has been more flexible. Vern thinks it's interesting that Tym's rooms are more compelling after he explains them. Martha thinks it's exciting because they all have different strengths. Group hug in the green room. Cynthia says it's going to be tough.

The designers return. Clive ramps up the tension. Vern tells Tym he likes his conceptual approach, but he thinks the room is unfinished; however, he likes to watch him. Martha finds Alice easy to watch, but her style hasn't had any surprises. Cynthia thinks David is a great, inventive designer; his hosting style is quirky but it makes her a little nervous. The final three hold hands. Tym gets called up. After a long wait, he is cancelled. He interviews that it's hard, because he was confident in his abilities. He wanted to win. The remaining designers are sad and happy. Clive tells them that it's in the hands of the audience now. Alice wonders how she managed to get so far; she has just "done my thing." She's grateful. David was thrilled just to compete, and now he's thrilled to be in the final. The judges indulgently watch them celebrate before they head out.

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