Top Design: The Weekly Dish

September 11, 2008

Ready to dish about Top Design again this week? Here’s Becky from Hatch with the latest report… Take it away, Beckster! – Holly

OK Top Design watchers – who caught it last night? If you didn’t, don’t worry, Bravo airs all of its shows about 500 times per week, but if you want to be surprised, DO NOT CLICK ON THE COMMENTS SECTION HERE; we will be talking about the final results!

So, one theme for the night was “sad dorm room.” It’s amazing how much a dorm room resembles a 12′ x 14′ bunker, except for that most of them are even smaller than that. Haven’t the contestants seen those rockin’ Target ads where the two new roommates throw their room together while dancing? Maybe some of them needed to dance more while accessorizing. My favorite part of the show was the FLIRTING between Wizit and Nathan. Wizit is a funny bird, Nathan is a pessimist who I actually really like. He obviously suffers from low self esteem, or high overestimation of his competition.

I thought Natalie and Theresa’s room was not a “zen den” at all, and they get major points taken away for using the word “zen.” I would NEVER chillax in there, because the decor would give me a migraine. Did Natalie steal that word from Jamie Kennedy? Todd was right on (he always is, have you noticed?) when he advised them with the old Diana Vreeland quote about taking one thing off, except they needed to take 30 things off. While I’m at it, Andrea and Eddie get points taken away for saying “bring the outdoors in,” and while I have been keeping an open mind with Andrea, she said “my husband is Rick Schroeder” AGAIN and she put a picture of him in her room, so sorry Andrea, I’m over it. Shazi and Big Daddy get points taken off for saying “spa-like.” These people clearly watch too much HGTV.

I want Eddie to win the whole thing so that he can become a judge in the future. He’s hilarious and totally on point, well, except for that preschool classroom “Tree of Life” mural. When he said that Jennifer and Robert’s room looked like “tribal meets Cape Cod,” I about fell off the couch! That was exactly how my first-year roommate and I started out, only it was more like Malcolm X meets Laura Ashley. Anyway, I just really want to take Nathan, Big Daddy and Eddie to Mary’s in East Atlanta to sing karaoke. I’ll make sure none of them are sporting plumber’s crack when they do. C’mon editors, did you REALLY have to include that?

So, enough from me, what did you think? Did the correct team win (I think NOT)? If not, who did you like them best? What did you think about the people who were sent home? Oh, I’m dying to talk about them and how one of their faces got redder and redder as the judging went on, but I won’t spoil it! Have you EVER considered putting fruit on a wall? Do you like it when people stage a space that includes full place settings on the table? I’ve been to a friend’s house where she does that and her wedding gift stuff is all set out but never used and is covered in dust – it’s totally bizarre! Anyway, in the 30 minute planning session, what issues would you have addressed before devouring fabric samples? Which contestants addressed the issues the best? OK, and probably the most hair-raising issue to discuss, AGAIN…

Top Design: The Weekly Dish

Not just Kelly – did Jonathan just go see Get Smart? What’s up with his outfit? He needs to take a few style cues on Brad from The Rachel Zoe Project.

(image from bravotv.com. As I go to post, they don’t have anything up from episode 2, so I had to take screen shots from one of their short videos.)


  • Reply Jessie September 11, 2008 at 8:05 am

    Spot on, my dear!

  • Reply bluestar September 11, 2008 at 9:27 am

    I was also not a fan of the tree of life. They kept calling it that over and over again and it was like folks, you painted a tree on the wall in your bomb shelter so that you could pretend you were outside. That sounds really, really depressing to me.

    I also thought that Natalie and Theresa’s room was not great. WAY too much stuff in there and way too much dark stuff too, made the whole room feel like a cave if you ask me. I was surprised they didn’t catch more flak for that. It looked like an over styled display area in a Pier One store. Also, Natalie irritated me throughout the episode. I wish reality contestants wouldn’t try so hard to be cutesy and funny and just be.

    On the other hand, Robert seems like the most humorless person. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he was edited to look that way, but damn man, bring some levity into your life. He just seems very negative and like he goes into every challenge with all walls up and ready to deflect, you know? His and Jennifer’s room was awful and I’m sorry, but I thought it was more his fault than hers. She’s been open about her inexperience as a designer and I think would have been more open to guidance from him if he weren’t such a sourpuss about it. It DID look like she was choosing an awful lot of muddy browns, but I feel like if he had been more pleasant and personable he could have talked her into a more light, soothing color scheme. Instead he was dead set on what he wanted and that was the end of that. Not good teamwork (from either of them, but again, he’s the more expeirenced designer here so you’d think he’d know more about gently steering clients in the right direction, no?).

    I TOTALLY agreed with the judges that Shazi and Big Daddy’s room was boring. It was fine, but it was boring. Not much more to say about that.

    Wizit and Nathan. I’m sorry, but I find Wizit almost impossible to watch. It just seems like he’s VERY talented, but like he puts on this very childlike, ditzy persona and it just is so grating to watch. I also really didn’t care for their room all that much. I think it was Margaret who said it was really well edited? Yeah because there was almost nothing in there! I just didn’t get at all how they were chosen as the second place team. Now that I say that though, I’m not really sure who I would have put in their place. Maybe Big Daddy and Shazi just because it may have been boring but it was balanced and well done.

    Oh, and re: the Andrea making a comment that her husband is Rick Schroeder thing….I had the SAME initial reaction as you did Becky, but then I thought that it was entirely possible that that was just her initial statement of the fact that he’s her husband re-edited into this episode, you know? And while the camera DID linger on that photo of them and show it more than once, that’s the camera’s work and not hers. Again at first I was like well whatever, she must have wanted that attention from the camera, but then I thought you know, he’s her husband…if I were doing that challenge I would probably put a picture of my husband and I in there too, it just wouldn’t get any attention because he’s not famous. I don’t know, like I said my knee jerk reaction was to be SO over her, but then I thought it through and felt a little bad. Still, I thought it was weird that she was SO fawning all over Eddie and how she could learn so much from him. I understand that his background in the industry makes him very attractive from that perspective, but it seems like if you’re there to establish yourself as a designer you could learn new things without making it sound like you’re just there to be his apprentice, you know? On the other hand he did say at the end that he really enjoyed working with her. Who the heck knows!

    Oh and I know I might stand alone in this, but I liked Kelly’s look last night :)

  • Reply Terrah September 11, 2008 at 10:00 am

    The little Asian opera singer and his friend should of won in my own humble opinion. There at the end when they announced the architect was getting booted off… the look on her partner’s face was CLASSIC. He looked so happy and full of himself… then “Robert, we feel like we can live with your design either. You are going home.” WOW did he turn red. LOL He must have been a gay in the closet for WAAAY too many years because he seems to always be on the verge of going ape.

  • Reply Andy Mathis September 11, 2008 at 10:01 am

    I happen to catch this last night while channel surfing with the remote.

    I can’t remember everyone’s name, but those 2 that went home should have done Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who gets to decide and pick an item.

  • Reply So Lovely September 11, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Ok where do I start? I thought Wisit and Nathan should have won. Not only because of the “one” bed idea, which was hysterical, especially when they giggled, but also the ceiling.

    Andrea needs to go – who cares that she’s married to Rickie Schroeder. She is out for blood, you can feel it.

    Robert needed to go – I think he felt he was above everyone else and I did feel that Jennifer was completely shut out.

    I agree – Eddie should win overall. I feel as though he was pulling Andrea along on this episode. He could have done that room on his own.

    So Lovelys last blog post: A Musical Interlude with Empire Of The Sun

  • Reply elizabeth September 11, 2008 at 10:51 am

    I gave Top Design a second change last night. I thought the first episode was absolutely horrible. Last night was a little better. I did like what Andrea and the guy pulled together (the mural I could take or leave). I do find it irritating that she has to name drop her husband and show his picture on both episodes so far. Who cares that your married to Rick Schroder.

  • Reply Henri September 11, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Who da duck is Rick Schroeder?

  • Reply Kim September 11, 2008 at 10:59 am

    I just tune in to see what Kelly does to her hair.

    Seriously, I sort of liked Natalie and Theresa’s room–I actually like the chaos of too much stuff. And everything that came out of Natalie’s mouth was unintentionally hilarious (unintentional on her part, probably not the editor’s).

    I was impressed by Eddie this show, though. Looking forward to seeing more.

  • Reply Erin September 11, 2008 at 11:10 am

    I was so glad to see Robert go….he was such a sour puss! But, I was sad for Jennifer, although her designs were extremely lackluster anyway. She just seemed like a sweet girl in over her head.

    Erins last blog post: rachel zoe

  • Reply mrslimestone September 11, 2008 at 11:22 am

    If only Andrea would shut up with being Ricky’s (he’ll never be anything than the Silver Spoons kid to me!) wife, I could actually like her. Eddie seems to have the most sense and style so far although Im a bit biased being a Martha-phile. He might be a one trick pony. But I do think the right team won – that was the room I would have picked as well.

    mrslimestones last blog post: Hello adulthood…

  • Reply Ellen Crimi-Trent September 11, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    I thought the two who were sent home, needed to go home! That room was to divided and they did not get along. In whatever career you choose you have to get along even with those you do not agree with or like. Its part of the business and if you can’t handle that then you will not be successful.

    I am not an interior designer but as a person who is in the licensing business I deal with clients all the time and although I might not agree on what they want I always try and come up with a compromise.

    Ellen Crimi-Trents last blog post: IF- Clutter

  • Reply adam September 11, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    I’m not happy with last night’s results.

    I thought the fat guy and shazia created and executed a very nice design for their bunker. It was cool and sophisticated with various areas set up for dining and relaxing. It may not have been edgy, but the design and the color palette were very very strong. I would call it mainstream sophisticated, and you can tell that it came from a guy with strong design chops.

    Second would be the zen den. Again, strong design elements, nice color pallete, and good execution. I agree it was a bit overcrowded and it wasn’t laid out as well as the team above, but it was still good.

    Now, towards the bottom, I would have placed the Martha Steward guy and the celebrity wife. The tree of life was artsy craftsy (which explains why Adler liked it), the white wrought iron piece looked liked it was picked up at a yard sale and sprayed white and the overall look of the room looked like a garage sale. I could not have been less impressed. To me, the only one worse was the fighting duet.

    I really hope the judging for this competition gets better. Adler is very wedded to his own style, and the others don’t have a strong commercial design sense.

  • Reply becky from hatch September 11, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Hi Jessie!

    I put my notes up on flickr again, if anyone is interested. They are neater this time as I used lined paper. I used lined paper, because I couldn’t find my sketchbook, which as it turns out was still sitting on the scanner. Hmmm, I’m such a genius sometimes!


    becky from hatchs last blog post: Chanel?s Contemporary Art Container

  • Reply Sarah September 11, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Oh my goodness, I was thinking the EXACT same thing about the commercial with the girls decorating their dorm room last night! Especially with the pair with the “clashing aesthetic” issues during the planning process. Have they never shared a room in college?

  • Reply ellen September 11, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    I laughed out loud when Natalie said “chillax” (and then went on to explain the term) — but my favorite part was when she speculated why the bunkers might come to be used, because the world has come to an end since the Chinese have bombed us to avenge Hiroshima?

    Oh dear — let’s hope there are no history-related pop design challenges …

    ellens last blog post: just might have to have this …

  • Reply simone September 11, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    I will limit my narrative –

    1) Chillax: “home chick” who used that – is soooo dated. It’s so 5 years ago. Seriously. This is why they had problems editing their room. Stuck in a time warp and she is naive- no life experience. I mean, she seems nice, but not so fresh.

    2) i did like the nathan’s room but ANDREA- oh my gosh! for someone who’s trying to “carve” her own identity, she sure does she her boo’s name A LOT! she seems so “angry” or “discontented.” something. not feeling her at all. besides, WHO is still into Rick Schroeder? THAT is really the question.

    3) i think wizit’s room should have won.
    4) the people who put the wicker on the wall – it wasn’t a bad idea if you were going to be living there FOR REAL… but not inspiring.

    i’m really loving todd this season. he’s in a much better capacity on the show. india hicks, not so much.

    simones last blog post: Stylish Giving! – Cuff links with Personality

  • Reply Diann September 11, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    The “I’m married to Rick Schroeder” thing makes me wonder how much the contestants are baited by the interviewers when they are asked for their views. Sometimes it seems on these shows that the contestants are terrible gossips (Project Runway especially) but then I can imagine the guy behind the camera saying,”what did you think of Blayne’s garment?” “okay..now what did you think of Kieth’s garment?” I would love to hear what ANY of them think of Kelly Wearstler’s garments! Love her…hate her clothes. I would also love to see a ban on the expressions “spa like” ..”zen like”..Let’s list all the cliches and promise never to use them again!

  • Reply natasha September 11, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I was alarmed with these candles in almost every room ? =let’s take fifty= said Shazia! Come on guys, don’t you realize that you are dealing with bunker and you don’t have enough oxygen even for yourself, why burning much of it with candles?! To make it cozy?
    Oh, yeah, Andrea is Terri from Project Runway, hates everyone.
    And i love Wizit X)

  • Reply Alicia September 11, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    I love every single moment of that. I adore eddie and his cute outfits and Nathan too. They were having so much fun. I was confused (but pleased) when TWO people were kicked off last night? Why did that happen? I was totally blindsided. CAN”T WAIT for next week!!

  • Reply Brady September 11, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Did anyone else catch when Natalie commented on China “getting even with us, because of Hiroshima?”

  • Reply Crystal September 11, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    I think it was right that Robert got kicked off with Jennifer. I would have problems working with him too – waaay to inflexible!

    Also, Kelly might be brilliant but she really was reminding me of the Kid Catcher on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, like if he had a sister or something. Yikes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_Catcher

  • Reply Leah September 11, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    I kinda got upset when Jonathan knocked Ondine’s wicker baskets on the wall idea. When he first asked who did them I thought he was asking because he was impressed, but then he criticized the idea during judging. I liked the concept and while the visual appeal of it could have been played with better, I thought it was functional and creative.

    Wizit and Nathan’s unity was definitely the highlight of the episode, a harmonious match indeed!

    Leahs last blog post: Baby Shower Invitation

  • Reply Cindy Corlett September 11, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Love watching the show. Always so much to see and comment on.

    1. Natalie is sweet, but sooooo dumb. Gives blondes more bad press.

    2. Wizit is like no one else I’ve ever seen. Love to watch him, would love
    to visit his home planet someday.

    3. Is anyone else over J. Adler’s “J’adoreable”?

    4. If I had been Jennifer, I might have taken that big stick that Robert has up his bum and beat him with it.

    5. I like India Hicks. Even when she’s crtical or telling a contestant “You’re going houme,” she sounds so regal.

  • Reply becky from hatch September 11, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Hi Guys! Because of the comment approval process, I only said hi to Jessie because I thought she had the only comment, but HI EVERYONE!

    BLUESTAR, You might be right about the way the Ricky Schroeder comment was edited. It was the exact same words as last week and I don’t recall seeing her lips moving.

    TERRAH & SIMONE, I thought Wizit and Gloomy Gus should have won too. I loved the tenting, and I liked the editing. It was the opposite of the “Zen Den.”

    ELLEN and ADAM, I totally forgot about Natalie’s, um, Asian fusion comments. Is she trying to sound stupider than Brooke Hogan? I shudder at the state of our public school systems when they are graduating people who don’t know anything.

    I still feel like I heard “chillax” in some sort of Andy Dick-hosted parody of MTV Cribs or something – he had a room for kickin’ it, a room for chilling, and a room for keeping it real.

    I digress. Robert got redder and redder, and then nodded and smiled when Jennifer got the boot. Then he got the boot. Oh my God, I almost felt sorry for him even though he’s been coming off as such a jerk. If you are going to split the room, then really split it and make that the concept. Instead of tribal meets Cape Cod, truly make them opposites, yin and yang. See Martha Schwartz’s Splice Garden to see what I’m talking about. http://www.marthaschwartz.com/prjts/corporate/whitehead/whitehead.html

    I liked Kelly’s outfit too, but I’m not sure on the hair. Hey, her hair is actually a lot like the splice garden or the kind of attitude I would have liked Robert and Jennifer to take – big round bun on one side, straight lines on the other, divided by hat!

    becky from hatchs last blog post: Chanel?s Contemporary Art Container

  • Reply CB September 11, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    *I like Andrea, but I dont think she should have ever been allowed on the show: spouses of celebrities dont need the money or exposure the show will bring them

    *I predict Eddie will win the show; he is soooooooooo talented! And working at Martha Stewart magazine…I am so jealous!

    *Kerry is my favorite! I love the southern accent and the Dr Phil-like one-liners!

    *I am so glad Robert was kicked off, that prick!

    *I absolutely loved Kelly Wearstler’s Madonna meets lady-in-waiting outfit!
    Has anyone out there ever stayed in one of her designed hotels? Do tell!

    CBs last blog post: Camille Paglia op-ed

  • Reply lauren alane September 11, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    I watched both episodes back-to-back and I think the editors of the show are using the same “my husband is Rick Schroeder” quote in both episodes. The Rick Schroeder comment was the same wording from the first episode if I’m not mistaken–I think the editors just reused it. I could be wrong but I felt like she is sort of trying to hide it and then the producers are throwing that quote around again. I think it was just to acquaint everyone with the designers in case we missed Episode 1. Either way I liked Episode 2 better. And Kelly’s outfit was awesome. I am also over j’adorable. Even though Jonathan Adler is really great.

  • Reply becky from hatch September 11, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    CINDY, J’adorable has got to go! I even made a note of it. He may carry it off in print (?) but he is simply unable to deliver it out loud. Plus, that whole Christian Dior J’dore thing went out back when Nicole Ritchie was chubby. I can’t even remember how to spell it, clearly.

  • Reply Andy Mathis September 11, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Cindy Corlett , #23 commented,

    4. If I had been Jennifer, I might have taken that big stick that Robert has up his bum and beat him with it.

    HaHa- that’s too funny. True.

  • Reply adam September 11, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    Yeah, I thought I heard that line about the Chinese getting even with us. But, I assumed I heard it wrong, because who, after all, could be so dense.

    I’m really surprised to hear the support for the Martha Stewart guy and the celeb’s wife. Please reconsider. Does painting a tree on a wall really rise to the level of great design? If so, I’ve been all wrong all these years about the portly southerner on Trading Spaces. That guy’s been hand-painting crap forever, and I would consider him a bush league designer.

    C’mon, throw me a bone here.

  • Reply adam September 11, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    One last thing.

    Why isn’t Candice Olsen judging this contest? Is there anyone who doesn’t think that she is the most qualified?

    Let me ask it this way. If you hired a top-flight designer (say, like Candice Olsen) for big money, and they said that they were going to fill your house with Jonathan Adler designed elements, wouldn’t you throw them out and tell them to lose your number?

  • Reply Sara September 11, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Ok, so I’m not a designer…I think that must be why I do not get why so many people like Wizit’s room. To me, the fabric draping was gorgeous and the couch was beautiful (and a good call, I thought, to get an actual couch because using a bed as a couch is just not very comfortable), BUT other than that I didn’t really like their room. Maybe my TV doesn’t show the colors right, but that pink on the walls seemed a bit too ’80s institutional (I swear I’ve been in a hospital room that color). I understand that their “editing” is supposed to be elegant, but to me, it lacked spirit or home-y-ness or personality: too bland to be in for 50 years. The whole “marital bed,” other than being cute-sy because of the flirty and a good way to work in an actual couch, What am I missing?

    Eddie and Andrea: I did like their room, despite the mural being a bit amateurish looking. I loved the colors and different textures, and while I get that the catch phrase is a cliche, I do think if you were stuck in a bunker you would like a touch of nature. Heck, I love it now.

    AND I agree that I am so over the whole dumb Rick Schroeder thing. I think the producers must be egging her on to keep mentioning him, thinking it will make viewers more interested in her and the show, but come on! If, like people have mentioned, she really wants to establish her own identity, then just ignore whatever they’re pushing you to do and keep your mouth shut. I also agree that Eddie could have done the room on his own; he is definitely one of the best! I think he liked working with her because she did whatever he said and thought he was brilliant!

    Natalie and Theresa: I actually liked their room, but agreed that their was just way, way too much stuff in there. Natalie seems way more hgtv than Adler et. al top design. I liked their color and some of their decor (but, like I said, I’m not a designer and I do actually occasionally shop at Pier 1!)

    Shazia and Kerry: There room seemed fine. Ok, not great, but not horrible. What they and Natalie and Theresa did very well (but I didn’t pick up on any judge comments regarding) was the arrangement of the beds into an L shape, rather than facing each other. It gave them more floor space, made the room seem bigger and more welcoming, and seemed to give the table and chairs area a more defined space. He does seem sweet and talented.

    Preston and what is it-Ondine?: Definitely one of the worse ones, and I agreed with the judges that all that food, etc., was too much and distracting. The baskets I thought were okay as an idea, but didn’t seem to go with the the rest of the room aesthetically.

    Robert and Jennifer: Absolutely bad. I agree with the others who said that it was probably more his fault than hers, but was glad to see them both go. His reaction was awesome! Plus, the sooner they get rid of those that are less talented, the more we get to see of the better designers.

    Ok, sorry for my long comment. I need to work on my editing in my writing, as well as my decorating!

  • Reply Leah September 11, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    I’m also pretty sure they just re-used Andrea’s line about who her husband is from the first ep. Still, she’s definitely on probation with me for flauting the whole “wife of a (minor) celebrity” thing. If she does it again, I’ll officially hate her.

    SO glad Robert is gone. He was just intensely dislikeable on both episodes, and seems to be the sort of person who’s impossible to work with because he refuses to collaborate, and who thinks he has some sort of superior intelligence that means everyone around him is a cretin. Guys like that should be engineers, not interior designers.

    LOVED the ongoing flirtation between Wizit and Nathan. I think those two are sweet on each other … ;-)

    The other Leah

    Leahs last blog post: Etsy Find of the Day: Jezze Blockprinted Tape

  • Reply Alison September 11, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    I could listen to Jonathan Adler say “J’Adorable” all day. Seriously. I also would like to visit Wizit’s planet. Who is this guy and where can I get one for my awesome people collection?

    I wish more people would have been inspired by the bomb shelter scenario instead of making dorm rooms. I might have painted a delicious something or other on the wall instead of a “tree of life”. Actually, I would have painted a portrait of Tim Gunn on one side and Jonathan Adler on the other. They would given me the will to go on.

    Alisons last blog post: I Remember

  • Reply Mia September 11, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    I thought Jennifer had a rotten attitude from the start, and although her partner didn’t “deliver”, I didn’t feel it was fair to eliminate him as well. Preston and Ondine didn’t deliver and they were not kicked off the show. Also, Natalie’s cute and has a fun aesthetic, but please learn some geography. And no more chilaxing references. Am I the only one who actually sort of liked the tree in Andrea’s bunker? It seemed to add a bit of nature into such a claustrophobic space. And Andrea, if you don’t want to play second fiddle to your hubby and actually want to make a name for yourself, maybe you shouldn’t display an 11×14 picture of him everywhere you go. You don’t see Ondine going, “I designed sets for Carrie Bradshaw” every ten seconds. Wizit’s hilarious,loved Andrea’s partner(such good energy), and HATE Kelly W. weird, trying too hard style. You’re gorgeous, you don’t need a nest on your head.

  • Reply becky from hatch September 11, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Oh God Adam, THE HORROR of Country Frank! He was THE WORST!

    I think Candice is good, but I admire Jonathan and Kelly’s work much more. I’m more of an eclectic chick and their styles fit in a lot better with the way I live and what I like. I feel like Jonathan and Kelly stay much more on the edge of what’s hip, whereas Candice is just a really good, solid interior designer.

    becky from hatchs last blog post: Chanel?s Contemporary Art Container

  • Reply belledame September 12, 2008 at 12:49 am

    andrea should not be barred because her husband is famous. fame and wealth are not the same thing. lots of famous people have okay money or use their earnings to support an extended family. you don’t know how much money she has or how much is really her’s or prenup or whatever.

    the producers are editing in andrea’s rick schroeder comment. we only saw her say it on camera once, in the first episode. he has been working on tv steadily for the last several years. why wouldn’t the network try to draw in his fanbase?

    i would have liked a forest wall mural (a la kimhas6cats) to the handpainted tree. it would have been much more refreshing and transporting.

    i liked big daddy’s comment about a rotisseried fatboy with all those candles. how does one vent the smoke in a bunker? seriously.

    i was surprised people didn’t try to find some goodlooking melamine dishes. the last thing i want is to live 50 years with a bag full of broken shards.

    kelly wearstler reminds me of that song “the finer things:” “while there is time/ let’s go out and feel everything…” she’s talented, beautiful and has resources. why not be as over the top as she can stand to be? wouldn’t you hate her guts if she was gorgeous and went around frumping it up and trying to hide what so many people would kill to have? i think halle berry is an overrated talent, but if she didn’t rock that face and form, i’d think she was a huge waste.

    do it, do it, and do it well.

  • Reply paola September 12, 2008 at 2:16 am

    The challenges are much better this year, but India is grating on my every last nerve. And still nobody has explained to me why she is qualified to be there. Americans must like being patronised by posh Brits. (Though sadly this episode she avoided saying ‘my father David Hicks’ which was going to be a part of my TD drinking game).

    I didn’t like a single room. They were all cluttered and boring and I couldn’t have lived 50 minutes in most of them let alone 50 years. And why are Americans so OBSESSED with brown?

    I do like cuddly teddy bear guy though and Nathan and Wisit are very cute together… I probably liked their room most though it was camper than a whole campsite full of tents.

    Kelly Wearstler is playing some sort of joke isn’t she?

    Natalie should have been aufed for that Chinese/Hiroshima reference alone, and then aufed again when she said ‘chillax’.

    J’adoreable is execrable.

    I’m glad Mr Robert stick up the bum is gone. Never trust a designer who dresses like an accountant.

    I found myself wishing for some of last year’s designers such as Goil and Carisa, and that’s something I never thought would happen.

    paolas last blog post: Stem

  • Reply Lucinda September 12, 2008 at 11:44 am

    I want to see Eddie do something that is not obviously influenced by Martha Stewart. I think he has talent, but he hasn’t WOWed me yet. Also, please cut him some slack on the tree mural. Okay it was a bit elementary but as a muralist and decorative painter – believe me in the time they had I was impressed that he filled the wall and they got that room completed.

    Was I the only one shocked by the fact only one team used mirrors? Unless I missed usage of mirrors in the other spaces.

    Robert needed to go, he was just too insecure which is why he was overcompensating with his “experience”. Collaboration is hard to pull off when you are insecure and guarded.

    Wizit and what’s his name’s room was just okay for me. I think they liked it for its simplicity and selection of a growing color trend – pink verging on the cooler/purple side.

    Lucindas last blog post: Street of Dreams Portland – Suede House

  • Reply kelly September 12, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    I agree that Andrea was just riding on Eddie’s coat tails. She was such a sycophant in this challenge. Also I didn’t like the wall color choice.

    Natalie’s room kind of reminded me of a Candice Olsen design on Pier 1 crack. Just TOO much stuff!

    I liked Wizit and Nathan’s room best, but it might partially be because they removed one bed from the equation thus making it more spacious.

    Vern Yip would love Shazia’s use of green apples and billions of votive candles. I do not. And I loved Big Daddy’s comment about the rotisseried fat boy. Spot on.

    kellys last blog post: Flaunt your fonts

  • Reply adam September 12, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Hi Becky –

    Well, I agree with you about Kelly’s work, and it goes without saying that design, above a certain threshold, is very subjective. I guess I disagree about Jonathan Adler’s work. I view him as an artist with very particular tastes and not very eclectic ones. Much like, say, Betsy Johnson in fashion, or Todd Oldham in design. But for me, great interior designers, like great fashion designers, should be able to cater to and re-create a wide-range of looks, and that’s what I appreciate about Candice Olson.

    The analogy may not be perfect between fashion and interior design, but you get what I’m talking about. At the contest level, I’m looking for sophistication AND versitility, and that requires judges who have those same qualities. I’m just not sure that Adler does.

    PS: Sara — I agree with you about the Wizit’s room.

  • Reply Condo Blues September 12, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    I was surprised that Eddie’s room was the only one that made up the twin beds to be day beds. Yes, it’s not the most orginal idea (the double Marriage Bed however – too funny!) but what are you going to do when you need seating and sleeping in a tiny bunker?

    Loving Todd in the Mentor role. He’s dead on when he advises the contestants. Too bad some of them are listening very well….

    Condo Bluess last blog post: How to Make Old Doc Martin Boots into a Hip Flower Pot

  • Reply becky from hatch September 15, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Hmm Adam, I get your point about Candice, but if it has to be someone besides Mr. J’dorable, I’d pick a superstar designer who is not an HGTV personality. Maybe Tom Scheerer. Maybe Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler should team up as judges as if they were in a Hollywood Square. Personally, I am a HUGE Adler fan, and remember that he is relatively new to interior design. I don’t think we’ve really seen his full range yet. It is interesting to analyze the judges row:

    Margaret – classic, elegant, editorial, “pillow police”
    Kelly – Hollywood Regency, elegance with a kick, bold and graphic, sexy momma
    Jonathan – Happy Chic, eclectic, fresh, fearless, thrift store maven, preppy, knowledge of practical issues, sassy, husband of Simon Doonan
    India – refined, spawn of design royalty, is grating on some as pompous superior Brit
    Todd – Experimental funky DIY-er who is kind, helpful, worships Charlie Harper, experienced in fashion design, treehouses and practical issues, friend of supermodels

    I think it’s a really well-rounded panel myself. Someone for everyone, and I think if there’s at least one person we all dislike on there, they’ve done a good job of rounding out the panel. Better than American Idol does, Dawg!

    becky from hatchs last blog post: From The Bird?s Nest to the Aerie

  • Reply dzinediva September 18, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    I am SOOO late because I just caught the show on my DVR. But I am SOOOO disappointed. Every week I am so excited to check out the new episode because design is my life and I really admire the work of the judges. I live and breathe design. I really want this show to be fabulous. And so far, every week, it has let me down. With the credentials of these contestants this year, there should be WOW FACTOR ALL UP IN THE PLACE at every turn. But so far…nothing. Nothing but “cute”. The “cute” ingredients that have made the reality genre what it is today. I mean let’s face it. Trading Spaces was less of a design show and more of a game show…really.So here is how I feel about the “Artsy Bunker” episode (which is not even “cute”, just plain goofy as a title!).

    As a designer, it so difficult to have to go up against the public perception of designers as people who are talented but not very bright. Shows like Top Design, with the caliber of the judging panel, are SUPPOSED to be uplifting us to the public. And what do they do? They air a designer that thinks that the Chinese might have a problem with Hiroshima. They air a designer who thinks that a 12 X 14 room is 140 square feet. (anyone who thinks that that is no big deal, try designing a 140 square ft room and then have someone tell you you actually have two more feet along one whole side of the room to work with! You’d think you’d died and gone to heaven!)

    Okay, I found the show disturbing on so many levels, but there is one main point that I want to address. And that is FUNCTION. As most designers know, every room wants to be looked at. But the true success of a room is how it is used. That’s why I love Christopher Lowell on his new show. Even though he puts way too much stuff in a room, he has the client go through their routine to make sure there is a space for every activity. GENIUS! Ok, so lets use that concept in the winning room. As I see it, there are only five things that you can actually DO in that room:

    1. Stare at the etagere you merchandised so artfully.
    2. Stare at your bunker mate. (who incidentally has been wearing the same clothes for the last 50 years because you failed to add storage to your space. I can’t believe Kelly, our clotheshorse extraordinaire did not pick up on that!)
    3. Stare at the picture of your Hollywood star husband.
    4. Rearrange the etagere objects so that you can stare at it through new eyes–variety is the spice of life!
    5. Kick yourself repeatedly for spending half of your budget on the iconic, albeit stunning, cowhide chaise lounge instead of buying “random” fruit…other forms of nourishment…books…electronic entertainment…and so on.

    The only team that considered how the space would really be used was in the bottom two because the judges did not like their baskets. (that’s called storage, judges!!) Oh, and while the marital bed was cute, to even suggest that two adults could coexist in a twin bed for 50 years is laughable. My ten year old sleeps in a queen!

    For some reason, though…I can’t stop watching. I have faith that things will change. C’mon, Top Design. I’m counting on you. I believe in you. But you have got to start showing us some actual DESIGN instead of just DECORATING, or you will have to change the name of the show!

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