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Design Star Dish {with Becky Harris}

Here’s the weekly Design Star Dish with Becky Harris… The stage is all yours, Miss Becky! – Holly

Hi Design Star Viewers! After reading last week’s comments from you all, I’ve been thinking a lot about the show and my attitude toward it. I realized I have not been taking into account that this is not a cutting edge, high end design show, that it is an HGTV show set in Nashville. HGTV is for the masses; it’s not geared towards design experts, it’s geared towards people who are interested in design to help guide and inspire them, which is a great thing (I’m not trying to knock Nashville or the masses – Nashville is the new Atlanta, and I live in Atlanta). Thus, I’m going to try to approach the show with this in mind as I watch it from here on out.

That being said, this episode should have been called “The Kitschen.” The kitchen challenge always seems to beat the tar out of the contestants, as they scramble to finish overambitious projects in too little time. I was shocked at the amount of demolition and construction this group planned to accomplish from the start. I have to say I was impressed how quickly they were able to put up drywall, install a floor, and reface the cabinet doors. It was a superhuman effort in time management and accomplishment.

However, this challenge is the perfect example of what is wrong with most of the solutions the contestants have been coming up with – they think that accessorizing with a bunch of tchotchkes is the same thing as design. A glass full of jelly jars and a hideous valance does not a design make! Some bolder color choices, creative repetitive elements or vertical painted stripes on the wall probably would have sated these judges.

A few comments/questions without giving too much away:

1) No one on the show wanted Tracee to succeed as a leader. I think she actually had some good ideas in the past (silver leaf in the first challenge, the pattern she stenciled at Opryland). Time management was such an issue that she didn’t get a chance to try to design, though she did pick a hideous tile combination – I’ll take the brown walls instead, thank you! That being said, she should be self-aware about her shopping problems. Who would you have sent to do the shopping? How much more quickly do you think they would have done it?

2) Why didn’t the cameraman or anyone else tell Tracee that she had white spots under her nose? Were they trying to do a crossover show with Intervention on A&E? Someone who won’t tell me that I have lipstick on my teeth or paint on my face is no friend of mine! It was there for the entire shopping excursion! Obviously, she was not wasting time primping in the ladies room.

3) Why would you waste the time of the 911 operator, the expense of a fire truck and the resources of four firemen to remove a ring? Couldn’t the van have dropped Trish off at the fire station on the way to the challenge? Couldn’t they have put some ice on it? What would you do if you needed a ring removed?

4) Martha said “wow factor,” one of my biggest Design TV pet peeves. What’s your biggest design cliche phrase pet peeve? I’ve created a drinking game out of these and would love to add some to the list. Holly, I know yours is “make it pop,” right?

5) Who is doing the best job hosting? Do you think the judges made a wise choice?

Please chime in with your comments. I’d love to know the answers to the questions above or any others that you have. Go ahead and rank the remaining contestants in some different categories, like likability, hosting ability, and design ability. It seems that is the order of importance on this show. Go ahead and do it for the judges too. I rank them 1) Cynthia 2) Martha 3) Vern.

– Becky

P.S. I have the answers to Stephanie’s questions. I went ahead and posted them on Hatch because Miss Holly is off having a great time for her anniversary, and the answers just came in at the last minute.

Posted in Reality TV on July 14, 2008

{update} Happy Weekend!

I am signing off for the weekend so I thought I’d take a moment to wish you all fun times spent with friends and family over the next few days. Monday is our 7th year wedding anniversary so I’m taking off to enjoy every second of it but Miss Becky will still meet you here on Monday morning with her weekly Design Star Dish and I’ll have a post up on the same day (early morning) at Real Simple. I’ll meet you back here on decor8 Tuesday with a new week of posts and news about the inspiration pack giveaway. I’m still creating the ‘inspire’ packs but they are coming along just great and will be ready next week. Yay!

Currently loving… (on flickr)

{updated} — I wrote August 28th below and this is totally the incorrect date. I mean JULY 28, as in TWO WEEKS! :) In other news… The new decor8 is almost ready to be revealed! To sum it up, I’m moving the blog from Blogger to WordPress, adding lots of new features, and promise that when you stop by on August 28th (possibly sooner) you will like what you see. I’ve listened to your opinions on past surveys and have incorporated nearly everything into the new design. I can’t wait to finish this 7+ month project. Yay!

Have a wonderful weekend!

(image from flickr)

Posted in uncategorized on July 11, 2008

Cabin Fever {Salem, MA}

I recently came across a new local shop called Cabin Fever and talked to owner Roberta O?Connor who sells mid-century modern furniture and accessories just north of Boston in her historic Salem, MA. She sent over a mini store tour for us since her website is still under construction (it currently only lists general information).


What makes Cabin Fever so unique? All of their vintage furniture is imported from Brazil! Now there’s a twist for ya! Why Brazil? O?Connor loves the Jacaranda Rosewood and Honey Caviuna woods and hand selects each piece for Cabin Fever. As a native of Brazil, her appreciation for rich, tropical wood runs deep and she thinks that it only enhances the beauty of mid-century lines and that because Americans are just starting to discover the wealth of Brazilian furniture and architecture from the 50?s and 60?s that Cabin Fever is the perfect place to showcase some of it.

Brazilian designers like Sergio Rodrigues, Giuseppe Scapinelli, Novo Rumo and Branco e Preto are all represented in the collection. “These designers are starting to gain renown in the United States, just as Eames, Saarinen and Jacobsen have represented mid-century modern design,? O?Connor says.


In addition to Brazilian finds, Cabin Fever also carries DwellStudio, Jonathan Adler, Perch, Thomaspaul, and Publique Living to name a few. Local artists will also have a chance to sell their wares as handmade prints and accessories will soon be offered.

Congratulations on your new store, Roberta! And Boston locals — Why not take a trip up to Salem this weekend?

(images from cabin fever)

Posted in Shop Tours, Shopping + Products, Travel on July 11, 2008

Writing, Writing, Writing!

I’ve been writing a lot over at Haus Maus today and I wrote a piece over at Real Simple that you may be interested in. Topics include kitchen design, cute ceramics, and a few good shops that ship globally. I’ll be back here to blog this afternoon so stay tuned!

Posted in uncategorized on July 11, 2008

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