Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Previously on Design Star: 11 designers. Las Vegas. Penthouse. Lisa got the boot. Kitchens. Squabbling. Crying. Neeraja and Josh got the boot (in that order, contrary to Clive's narration). Who will be next?
Morning stuff. Robb interviews that living quarters are becoming more comfortable with fewer residents, but "bathroom lines are still heinous." Can we please just boot him now and get him off my screen? Christina sits on the vanity to shave her legs. Scott's downstairs getting his latte when he spots a note. He summons the designers and reads it aloud -- they have to meet up with Clive. In the van, Adriana is hoping for an individual challenge. Christina suggests sketching nudes. Because that's what design is all about, really. The designers arrive at their destination and find individual white roomlets, and there is much rejoicing.
Clive arrives and has everyone stand behind the paint cans on the table. Yes, indeedy, it's an individual challenge. The designers open their cans to find huge wads of cash - 399 $1 bills. They'll be shopping at the not-quite-a-dollar store. They can buy two gallons of paint; otherwise, it's all about the not-quite-a-dollar stuff. Clive specifically says that the design is "all about looks, not functionality," so we don't hear more complaints about David's pet litter rug. The winner will get to assist at an InStyle photo shoot; two losers will get the boot. The editors inflict Robb on me again to repeat the whole two-people-getting-booted thing, and I can only hope all this airtime means he's one of the two.
Will warns that stuff from the not-quite-a-dollar store will look "tacky" if you pile on too much, so he's going to avoid that. Designers measure and sketch and poke around. Josh expects to find the shopping "challenging." Scott thinks he's the only designer who hasn't experienced the not-quite-a-dollar store before. Time to shop!
The designers line up at their registers with their carts and Clive starts the clock -- they have 99 minutes to shop. Josh heads to the gift wrap section for his inspiration. Christina is trying to keep everything in proportion, since the cheap stuff tends to be small. Scott is in danger of overstimulation. Adriana wants her room to look more high-end; she's pursuing a couple of ideas so she can choose the best from either. Having learned last week that the judges hate fake plants, Will is happy to find some live bamboo. Kim knows she's good at reimagining the stuff she finds in the store. Josh can't find spray paint. Robb takes all the LED lights and hides other good stuff so the others can't use them. "Gotta win, right?" he figures. Is he clear on the whole America-votes-for-the-winner thing? Or does he just think his boorishness is adorable? Scott asks for help getting some Chinese lanterns as they hit the five minute mark. Robb and Todd race their carts down the aisles, fortunately not ramming any customers. Time's up! The designers have to count out their singles at the registers. I don't think we'll be seeing this challenge again. At least not at this store.
The designers have a total of 12 hours to work, 7 hours today and 5 hours tomorrow. Scott breaks something as he unwraps. That's not-quite-a-dollar down the drain. Todd has his shirt off again. Will is still working out his details. Josh is trying to avoid "cheap and cheesy." Everybody paints. Christina is keeping it symmetrical. Scott staples handkerchiefs together and stuffs them with trash to make pillows. Christina worries that Josh is "down." He's dealing with scale issues. Adriana has a lot to do. Scott worries that he has too much stuff. Robb's tape pulls up paint, so his straight lines aren't straight and he'll have to touch them all up. Todd thinks everyone else is "playing it safe" and he's the only one innovating. Clive calls time and sends them all back to the penthouse.
Josh still has lots to do. The designers sit around, eating and talking. Todd wears a stupid furry hat, mere possession of which should be grounds for disqualification. Scott worries that he has too much stuff some more. Robb expects to be pressed for time. The spectre of not finishing is raised.
Morning. Josh is fretting about his room coming together. The designers assemble at the workspace and Clive starts the clock. Robb repeats that he has a lot of work to get done. Clive goes around to pester people.
- Robb: Clive interrupts him as he's hanging a shelving unit on the wall and observes that the room looks "like a hospital in Switzerland." But perhaps that's not what Robb was going for. Robb is going for "extremely modern." The doodads from the not-quite-a-dollar store will "accentuate" the foundation of good design.
- Will: He wants a Zen feel to the room. The colors were inspired by the bamboo. Clive asks, "Where do you draw the line between standing out and being tasteful?" Will non-answers that he'll be happy as long as he stays true to himself, thus passing Platitudes 101.
- Scott: He misses home, so he's bringing Santa Barbara into his room. He's going to use plates as "tile metaphors."
- Christina: Her room is bold with punches of color. She's making "flower arrangements" out of some straw brooms.
- Kim: She has wall decorations cut from paper plates, which curl away from the wall for a 3D effect. She's thrilled with her room.
- Todd: Clive asks about risk-taking, and Todd is just trying to be different.
- Adriana: She thinks the other rooms are "popping" more with color than her room. Clive asks how much she wants to win, and she obligingly turns on the aspirational waterworks. It's like Temple all over again, but with not as much boobs. Clive gives her a hug.
- Josh: He was going for a mosaic effect with all his compact mirrors. Clive observes that he seems tired, and Josh confesses that it has been mentally exhausting. Clive encourages him to sparkle and Josh obligingly perks up.
Clive leaves them in peace to finish. Scott uses a camera to see his room as the judges will see it. Kim creates a rug effect with rice and peas. Time ticks and designers scurry. Clive calls time and the designers all "Woo!"
Back at the penthouse, the designers hang out around the pool and Will grills. "It will be sad for two more people to go home," Christina sighs wistfully. "Like, the house will have such a sense of emptiness." So, she's assuming she won't be one of the two leaving.
Studio. Purple walls. TV monitors. Judges. The criteria: creativity, resourcefulness and the final result.
- Will: His goal was "zestful zen." The back wall is black with 8 round
hung objects. The sofa is centered on the back wall. The two side tables
are on one side, the smaller stacked on the larger and a lamp on top. The
side walls each have a lime green stripe with 3 black round hung objects.
The bookcase is on its side along one wall; it's topped with bamboo in
pots. Low planters of grass line up along the other side wall. The coffee
table sits on a lime green rug; it's topped with a black runner holding
three clear glass plates of glass rocks.
Martha calls it "sharp" and "crisp." Will explains that the lampshade is a repurposed Easter basket, the black hung objects are trays that he painted and the white hung objects are salsa plates. Vern is pleased that he "brought it" and didn't go "over the top." I think "zestful zen" is a good description. The green has a lot of energy, but overall the room has a nice balance. He was perhaps a tad busy with the accessories, but it holds together.
- Kim: Her room is "sumptuous simplicity." The walls are chocolate brown
with large panels of rose pink bordered in white centered on each.
Paper-plate gingko leaves decorate the pink panels. The sofa is centered
on the back wall with two dark green and brown strips of cloth running
over the back and seat. A tall light box and the ottoman are on one side;
a small table and some corner shelves with white candles are on the
other. The coffee table has a mosaic-effect paint job, white "tile" on a
chocolate black background. The "rug" is white rice and green peas.
Cynthia raves over the coffee table; everyone should be doing it. She also likes the "really strong narrative" of the room. Vern quibbles that the two side tables were a little lightweight, but she had a very strong "overal concept." He's really into the paper plates. Kim is into wallpaper, so that was her version. I really like the paint treatment and the touches of white. The rug looks really good, too, but I wish she didn't have any concrete floor showing.
- Adriana: She gravitates toward "serene" spaces. The left wall starts
with white, then has a soft green that wraps around the back corner,
meeting an orange panel, then green on the other half of the back wall
wrapping the corner, then white on the right wall, ending with green. The
paints edges are covered in brown paper tape. Front left, the ottoman has
been covered in brown fabric. The left wall holds an arrangement of nine
small mirrors. The two small stacking tables are still white; a tall vase
holds bamboo. In the orange panel hangs a box around a white light box.
The white sofa is on the back wall wiith brown, white and red pillows.
Two white poofy balls hang from the ceiling in the back right corner. The
right wall has nine brown frames. The right half of the floor is
wood-patterned contact paper; the left half is orange plastic. The coffee
table is topped with a mix of rocks and beans for a random pattern; a
plate of lemons sits on top.
Cynthia loves the poofy things; they're made out of scrunchies. Adriana reveals that the orange flooring is raincoats and the ottoman was reupholstered with t-shirts. Martha likes her adaptations, but she doesn't think the room comes together. Vern also thinks she was creative with her purchases, but finds the room "confusing." I think the foundation of the room is very strong, but the finishing details are off. The mirrors on the left wall are too small and the red in the sofa pillows doesn't work with anything else in the room. She also has a few too many accessories; she should let the walls be the focus. I do think the books stacked on the ottoman provide a nice, homey touch. Books are always good.
- Robb: He named his room "Cheap Thrill." The coffee table has been cut
down and mounted horizontally centered on the back wall. The back wall is
a bright yellow with a turquoise cross centered on the coffee table. The
blue stroke of the cross carries on to the sofa o the back wall. To each
side of the sofa are plant stands made of stacked silver buckets, topped
with blue pots holding bamboo; the side walls each have a small shelf in
the back corner. The side walls are white with a yellow stripe picking up
from the horizontal stroke of the cross. Yellow shelves hang in the
yellow stripe on the left wall, adorned with yellow and blue stuff. The
right wall has mirrors topped with frames holding steel wool. The ottoman
has blue sides and a yellow top. The white coffee table sits on nine
small, grey rugs lined up 3x3.
Vern is thrilled. In particular, he likes "the dimensional quality" of the back wall, with the coffee table in relief. Martha admits to being "surprised." She likes the strong focal point and the color combination. It's much too bold for my taste, but it certainly doesn't suck. Too bad the not-quite-a-dollar store doesn't sell crackle finish.
- Christina: She named her room "Simplicity Meets Bold" because she can't
tell the difference between a noun and an adjective. The walls are all
red except for white baseboards. The side walls have white panels broken
up into three squares by thick black lines. The sofa is centered on the
back wall and a shelf unit hangs above it; the wall behind the unit is
white with a center black square. White panels with inset black lines
connect to the wall unit at the ends, framing the sofa. The side tables
are black laundry baskets stacked end-to-end; the coffee table is white;
a black runner is centered down the back and seat of the sofa. The wall
is covered in black construction paper.
Christina points out the real plants (sitting on the side tables). Cynthia likes the bold color choices. Vern asks about the floor covering and the side tables. He calls the tables "smart." Overall, it's a good room but the whole paint-and-shelf-unit arrangement on the back wall is too complicated and the absolute symmetry is a little dull.
- Josh: His room is "Celebuteen." The walls are a medium grey with a pale
pink panel centered on the back wall. A white Greek key pattern goes
across the top of the back wall and wraps to the side walls. Nine shiny
silver gift bags hang in the pink panel. The sofa is centered on the back
wall with the two side tables stacked to the left; they hold a vase with
green bamboo. The bookcase is on its side along the right wall, raised up
on pots. The left wall has two candle sconces made from wavy glass
platters; the right wall has a squared-off ring arrangement of compact
Cynthia finds it too busy. Martha thinks he was heading in the right direction but didn't quite arrive; she thinks it's dark. Vern likes the colors, but it still looks like it was decorated from the not-quite-a-dollar store. I agree that it's almost a really good room -- it feels just a little off. The grey could be a little softer, and I think there's a few too many accessories. I'm not entirely thrilled with the compact piece. Perhaps if he had grouped compacts of similar colors or come up with a different shape, they might have worked better. The bags were a good inspiration, but they seem a little lost. I wonder how it would look if he swapped them for the glass sconces.
- Scott: He repeats his idea of bringing Santa Barbara to him. The walls
are a mid-tone brown with panels of white and one rust corner. Two
horizontal rust stripes cut across the side walls, partially covering
rust abstract trees painted on white panels. The sofa is centered on the
back wall; the bookcase hangs horizontally above it and has sliding
doors. The coffee table is centered; the ottoman and two small tables are
sort of diagonally arranged with it. The "rug" is beans and spices with a
chili pepper "fringe." Colored Chinese lanterns hang from the ceiling.
The surfaces are covered with green mason jars, blue glass plates,
clayware plates and tons of produce.
Martha thinks there's "a lot goin' on" in the "very colorful" room. Scott knew he didn't have to use everything he bought, but he wound up using 205 items. Martha thinks he could have lost a few accessories. Cynthia thinks it makes a great retail store. Vern loves the paint and the carpet, and he could have just stopped there. I love the colors in the room, but there's just way too much stuff. The rug is great, but the "tile metaphors" of the plates are just odd. The produce is mostly unnecessary, except for the chili pepper "fringe."
- Todd: He named his room "High Tide Barrel." A wave curls up the right
wall and crashes halfway across the back wall to the left. The right side
has a little side table with some accessories and there are three small
frames on the wall. The sofa is shifted to the right; the wave painting
continues on the left arm of the sofa. The left side of the room is
filled with "broken" furniture on the slant (including a little side
table mounted on the wall) and some smashed accessories. Painted cotton
balls make the foam and kitty litter forms a sand rug.
Cynthia just loves it, especially the "oasis of banality" on the right contrasting with the "chaos" on the left. Vern thinks it's a rock star room, but he's curious to see if Todd can create a practical room rather than a graphic statement. Good point. David's winning room from last year looked cool, but it was also a room. Plus, Todd concentrated his transformation efforts into make cotton balls look like foam. It's a very striking visual, but it's not a room.
The designers go to wait in the green room. Cynthia is impressed with Todd's vision. Todd is back in the green room, cheering himself on. Adriana checks on Scott, who's sure he's on the chopping block. Martha sees too much stuff, but Cynthia defends his taste. Adriana isn't too confident either. Vern doesn't think her room was bad, but everyone did well. Kim thinks every detail mattered. Martha is looking for some pattern. Josh is worried, too. Vern was hoping for a brilliant room.
The designers return. Will and Kim were impressive, so they can stay. They go back to the green room. Christina, Todd and Robb are the top three. Sigh. Todd wins for creating a "unique experience." All three go back to the green room. That leaves Josh, Scott and Adriana. Bigger sigh. Martha tells Josh that he didn't rise to expectations; Cynthia tells Adriana that she was "inventive" but lacked "cohesive vision;" Vern tells Scott that he had a terrific foundation but didn't know "when to stop." Scott gets the boot. He's "surprised" to be leaving this early. "You make one wrong decision and you're done," he analyzes. Well, about 150 wrong decisions in his case. With some editing, it would have been a really beautiful room. Adriana and Josh clasp hands. Adriana gets the boot. Josh hugs her. She's also surprised to leave so early. She's sure she disappointed people, but she still believes in herself. Josh is warned to get it back into gear and Cynthia cheers him on. The remaining designers celebrate his return.
Right winner? Sigh. It was a distinctive space, but not exactly a room. I can see why the judges would choose him, but I'd rather see a more well-rounded room on top. Robb's room was a little stark and Christina's was too symmetrical; I preferred Will's and Kim's rooms. It was a relief to see Kim do so well after being concerned about her inexperience.
Right losers? Scott's room was way too cluttered with stuff. He just lost his nerve. Perhaps he missed everything so much that he couldn't bear to cut anything, but he needed a big dose of detachment. Adriana didn't overdo her accessories as badly, but she didn't tie everything together as well as the others. I was worried for Josh, who had done so well previously. I think he was a bit out of his element and just stumbled. It was easier to pinpoint the flaws in the other two rooms; his was off a bit, but in a less obvious way. So I had guessed that he might survive. Now lets see if he can recover his stride.
Overall, the rooms this year were a big step up over last year. They all have reason to feel proud of themselves.
Labels: Design Star