Top Design: The Weekly Dish

October 2, 2008

It’s time for the weekly Top Design Dish with our weekly guest writer Becky Harris who blogs not only over at Hatch but now… (drum roll please) she has her very own blog called The Bubb Report so please pay her a visit. The Bubb Report covers pretty much whatever Becky wants it to from her reality show obsession to how much physical pain she feels when she spots a Louis Vuitton handbag walking around. Congrats on your new blog, Beckster!

It’s time to tune in to Miss Becky and her weekly TD dish… Take it away, girl!


Perhaps it was the two glasses of wine I had, perhaps it was that I could not listen to Kenley whine or be rude on Project Runway anymore (also, all four designs were disappointingly ugly tonight), but I LOVED tonight’s episode of Top Design. I think the production work of the Magical Elves was really obvious tonight. The contest was a triathlon which included three INDIVIDUAL (Hooray!) LEGS, including the Chair Leg, the Dining Table Leg, and the Design a Room for a Magazine Spread with Stuff from the Garden Store Leg. It was fun, fast-paced and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. It made me want to take four girlfriends to Homegoods with $100 each and a half-hour time limit and have a dining table setting contest. Also, Nathan CRACKED ME UP the entire time. From telling us he’s “not a triathlete, but a smoke-a-lete” to saying he was sure the other contestants wanted to “put Visene in my coffee,” he kept me laughing.

Top Design: The Weekly Dish

The episode really made certain contestants really stand out for me, while it became crystal clear that others have been slipping through the cracks. I also feel like I’m starting to get to know their personalities. Natalie and Ondine seem so sweet, and Andrea has really grown on me. I wonder if we all would have liked her from episode one if we had not known she was married to Ricky Schroeder.

Did you think Ondine’s table looked the slightest bit Lilly Pulitzer? I’m a huge Lilly fan, and that looked like something someone would keyword spam on eBay and say “Lilly Pulitzer-like” when it’s TOTALLY

By the way, I made up a drinking game for cliches on design shows on Hatch about two years ago. If you’d had a drink when Theresa said “zen” tonight, you’d be three sheets to the wind right now. Ugh. Also, just for the record, “plant material” and “water feature” are not words landscape architects like to hear. Add “hardscape” to that list as well. I’m just sayin’. For some reason, I felt “tablescape” coming and it didn’t bug me like “bedscape” did last week. Go figure. Maybe it was the wine.

I digress. So how did you all like the format for this episode? Who has become a standout contestant for you? Do you think any of the rooms were worthy of an Elle Decor spread, or are you keeping your fingers crossed for Margaret that it will be a thumbnail-sized photo? What would you have grabbed at the garden shop? What event would you have styled your dining table for? Were you scared Wizit’s opera singing would break the glasses on the table? Is anyone boring the pants off you? Do you think Ondine’s room was Kelly green? Do you feel you’ve been too hard any of the contestants so far, or were your suspicions confirmed by the individual challenge? Who were your picks for each leg of the triathlon? Would you have trouble getting out of your own personal style and taking risks if you were on the show (I know I would!)? Did you think anyone was hit in the face by karma? Would you have been more successful and one leg over the others?

More importantly, what did you think of Kelly’s hair? How about that black and white hat? — Becky

(text written by becky harris for decor8, image from bravo)


  • Reply Linda Merrill from ::Surroundings:: October 2, 2008 at 7:36 am

    Hi Becky! I loved the challenge as well, although I would have liked to have better views of the finished work – especially the chairs. I couldn’t see a whole lot of difference between the winning and losing chair.

    Kelly’s hat was something, but at least she looked really pretty under it. But the wild pompadour at the end… even Kelly couldn’t pull that one off!

    Linda Merrill from ::Surroundings::s last blog post: Arclinea Redecorates/Kitchen Sale!

  • Reply Kate October 2, 2008 at 8:34 am

    WHAT is up with Kelly and her hair? She scares me! She’s always telling Natalie that she tends to over do it….and she needs to “show some restraint.” Kelly needs to practice what she preaches! Her fashion sense is so over-the-top – it’s a joke!

  • Reply Carey October 2, 2008 at 8:39 am

    I really enjoyed last night’s episode as well. I think Teresa was the natural choice to go home — nothing she did last night (or in the past) wowed the judges (or me). My favorite chair was Ondine’s — I’m not a huge Betsey Johnson fan, but that chair was RIGHT ON THE MONEY for her inspiration (side note: I could totally have seen that in Carrie’s apartment on Sex in the City too!).

    I didn’t really think any of the tables were outstanding, but I would have chosen Nathan’s too, because it was more typical of how I set a table for a gathering — casual and homey. The best shot of the whole evening (the whole show so far, in my opinion) was the shot of Eddie after Nathan won the second challenge! WOW!!! The look on his face said it all. I thought his head might explode — LOL! He was smiling, but the look said, “I can’t BELIEVE they chose this bozo over me! I’m a PROFESSIONAL, people! Jeez.”

    As for the final leg, I liked Wisit’s interpretation — the painted furniture on the wall and the herringbone floor — I thought it was the most creative of the rooms; however, Nataile’s seemed to be better executed and I liked it too.

  • Reply Keli October 2, 2008 at 8:52 am

    I definitely think the right person went home (and Preston should be next, in my opinion), but my biggest problem these days is Eddie. He’s so obnoxious and overmedicated… And his garden room was terrible. Why didn’t ANYONE say anything about those crazy stripes on the wall? He was so smug each time the judges complimented his chair or his table, but then the look on his face when Nathan won both legs was priceless.

    ps, I hated his yellow and silver chair.

    All that aside, I think the most uncomfortable moments of the show were watching JA’s facial expressions each time Theresa talked about her rooms. She was going down fast and I just kept wanting someone to point out how bad it was so she could do better the next time. Second place goes to Wizit’s opera singing. That guy creeps me out.

  • Reply Kristen October 2, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Ok…so I finally have internet after buying our new home. It’s been 3 weeks and I’m so happy to be back reading your blog!!! Holly, it’s definitely one of my favorites! Oh and Becky…I haven’t had tv for 3 weeks, so I’m waiting to catch up on Top Design then I can come back and comment! Congrats on the new blog!!!

    Kristens last blog post: Our final closing.

  • Reply D. October 2, 2008 at 9:31 am

    First and foremost, Kelly’s hair was amazing! I want her to be my girlfriend (though I looked at the spread in Domino on her house and I’m afraid that might be the deal breaker…did anyone see it? It’s awful!).

    Increasingly, I’m becoming a bigger and bigger fan of Nathan. His background being surrounded by architecture, then his great formal training, is evident in what he does. I bet Margaret is wishing she could have Nathan’s tablescape in Elle Decor instead of any of those garden rooms! Though, I do think Wizit’s should have been choosen. At least it was somewhat editorial. I think Ondine had the right idea, but didn’t execute it well (or choose kelly green…someone get her a color guide!).

    I’m becoming more annoyed with Natalie (her room was ugly and have never been impressed with her performance, in fact, quite the opposite). Finally, I’m glad to never have to hear zen beat to death again. Ugh! What are we watching, HGTV?!? Get over saying you like to do ‘zen’ design people!!!

    I guess that was not finally: does anyone know where Nathan’s gray hoodie (the one with the crosscut fabric detail) came from? I really, really want one…

  • Reply Andy Mathis October 2, 2008 at 9:48 am

    I thought it was very clever of Nathan to do his table different than everyone else.
    As far as rooms go, I think Natalie’s stood out for me. I too would have used the potting bench as furniture, and glad that she considered things other than just “plants as plants”. I like the green room too for the same reason- it had furniture in it. As far as the color green, it seemed neon to me, but my tv has a big green spot in the middle of it when it fell off the stand during season 4 of American Idol. Almost cause heart failure for me and the dog, but I digress. . . . .

    I have to go look up Zen in the dictionary. Not liking Zen so much.

    Andy Mathiss last blog post: Little Pumpkins- on Yupo

  • Reply PJ October 2, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Ondine’s room was definitely NOT Kelly green. Yuck. Wisit is beyond annoying, I wish he would go. Kelly’s hair, while certainly Bride-of-Frankenstein atrocious, was still not as bad as it was a few weeks back on the window challenge, when it was that huge rat’s nest with a purple beret perched on top, and during the judging, she was wearing what appeared to be purple leg warmers with high heels.

    I would have trouble taking design advice from someone who dresses like she does.

    It is all highly entertaining, that’s for sure!

  • Reply moodboard October 2, 2008 at 10:43 am

    I have to agree with Linda with the chairs. I liked Natalie’s choice of color and patterns. I’m not sure how it was any different than Eddie’s except for the construction. As for Eddie, while I love his blog, that super competitive behavior has always been a turn off for me.

    You should be first in the competition because of your talent, not because your hold your arm out like you did when you were 5 to keep someone from passing you.

    moodboards last blog post: Sparkle Comes Early This Year

  • Reply ladybird October 2, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Oh Kelly…I can’t decide if her hair was fab, or bride of frankenstein, or both. I was also quite disappointed with Kelly’s Domino spread. Vom. Maybe I’m not enough of a trendsetter to know, but I hated everything about it…and I was so excited about it too!

    I am really rooting for Natalie, and loving everything Nathan does. I think Nat has the eye, it just needs a little refining. Her garden room was precious. I hope she sticks around awhile. And Eddie needs an ego check stat.

  • Reply simone October 2, 2008 at 11:00 am

    *project runway* – can we just say that kenley suffers from a lack of home training? I’m just sayin’. Imagine! Ugh. She is so injured – she needs therapy. And that NASAL – grating!!!

    Anywho, on to much more pleasant things – Top Design.

    1) Whizit and Kenley should both be made to refine their accents. How absolutely whiny is he? It’s just not right. His chair on the other hand was 2 snaps fab!

    2) Natalie garden room was super nice – you could really see it as an off shoot of a home. You go girl.

    3) I think it interesting that the Martha Stewart Guy is accused to being granny-esque… um, hello! He works at Martha Stewart – while some thing can be “fresh” – the aesthetic is really for a yesteryear persona.

    4) It was nice to see Andrea give like a genuine smile than a scared scowl. Although she really does need to go home. I don’t think she’ll last past next episode.

    5) The girl with the “zen” room — um, no boo-boo. There was nothing zen about that.

    simones last blog post: Perfect Party Clutch- A Steal!!! $5

  • Reply KT October 2, 2008 at 11:08 am

    I was disappointed in Kelly’s Domino spread as well. Oh well. I can’t afford her anyway.

    But I always love her hair (and her hat). Not because I would ever want to do anything like that myself…but because she walks out looking that outrageous without even a nod to it (no little smirks, no waiting for a response from others), as if she looks completely normal and like everyone else. I love that. I think she just does whatever she wants.

  • Reply erica October 2, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Kelly’s hair was worth the price of admission.

    ericas last blog post: to write

  • Reply Trina October 2, 2008 at 11:53 am

    I’m so jealous!!! HGTV Canada isn’t airing Top Design yet, not sure if they will either. BOO!!!! Anyone know if I can watch episode’s online anywhere?

    If not, I guess i’ll just have to read Becky’s update’s, and cross my finger’s that HGTV Canada will pick it up!

    Trinas last blog post: meet ….. Rita Vindedzis

  • Reply erin October 2, 2008 at 11:53 am

    i loved last nights show and the 3 different LEGS, it definitely made it more apparent who was really good at designing/styling, and who needed to go…. so i hope they do more challenges like that. ok, heres what i thought….

    1. i make my hubby watch it with me… and even he said something like “who says zen, this isn’t hgtv”… and at that point i started getting a little worried about our marriage. lol. btw how is 2 blaring red walls “zen”? reds the most energizing color! so i’m glad she left.

    2. andrea has really grown on me… shes not as much of a know-it-all as i thought (eddy would take that prize) and i really think the editors are the ones pushing the married to rick shroeder thing. i was surprised to see how insecure she was about her own abilities.

    3. i love nathan, and think hes hilarious. i loved the visine comment and his facial expressions… i also like his table setting- it was more realistic in my opinion. and his chair was awesome. i also thought eddys table setting was pretty- but he gets on my nerves.

    4. i’m soooooo bored with that one dark haired guy- the cute one who did the mothers day table setting. i dont even remember his name.

    5. i’m not digging the “we cannot live with your design” line… and starting to miss the “see ya later decorator” … because it rhymed and was so cheezy. i know i’m probably alone in that though.

  • Reply Charlie @ So Lovely October 2, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    I really think it should be called “Top Decorator” (if that) not “Top Design”. Last night’s episode was really dull. Wisit was really the only one that did anything inspired. Oh yes, and Nathan’s “tablescape” (thats for you, Becky).

    Nathan, in my opinion, is quietly going to win this competition. Andrea is struggling but I like her more after her comment about Eddie being fake. Ondine just keeps missing the boat but she has great ideas.

    Eddie is now showing his true colors. Its so sad that it has to be like that. People will say its the editing – trust me, its not the editing, at some stage he had to have said it.

    PJ: You made me laugh with the reference to Bride-Of-Frankenstein. Yes, at certain angles it was baddddd. KW won’t be pleased.

    Charlie @ So Lovelys last blog post: Day 1 – CINI BOERI

  • Reply Lolly October 2, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    I really enjoyed last night’s episode as well. Here are my brilliant observations:

    1. Eddie is just a brat. He is so snarky and childish and conceited. . . if I were Martha I would seriously consider firing him. I love watching his lips tremble as he holds his fake smile.
    2. I loved Wizit’s room. It was by far the most creative.
    3. I don’t understand why Natalie’s room was considered so great. It looked very basic to me!
    4. Those tables were not impressive. I see better ideas in magazines all the time! Of course Eddie’s flowers were perfect–they were straight out of MS Mag . . . it’s hard to know if he is showing his own talent, or just replaying what he’s learned on the job.

    And Keli, I agree! Jonathan’s expressions were painful to watch! He must be a terrible poker player.

  • Reply michelle October 2, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Trina, Top Design airs on Bravo in the US. Is there a Bravo Canada?

    While I can agree with those who think Wisit is from another planet, I am loving everyone minute of that guy. I crack up every time he opens his mouth. I also think his garden room should have been chosen as the winner. While I though Natalie’s room was pretty and well put together, i though Wisit’s room incorporated many more interesting design ideas.

    I was really pushing for Andrea’s room to be interesting when she first started grabbing all the veggies but it was so lame. All her talk about creating an indoor/outdoor space at home when you can grow your own food did not come together at all. And why were there piles of dirt around the base of her lemon trees? Why did she just buy to planters??

    So far everything Preston has done on this show (i guess with the exception of the store window) has been about as interesting as his personality.

    I liked the Betsy Johnson chair the best but that’s probably because when I was in high school she was my favorite designer too.

    I agree with everyone?s comments about Eddie’s horrendous attitude problem. I wish I didn’t like what he does on his blog so much; he does some really nice things with flea market finds. Also loved how he said his grandmother was his biggest design influence then later said his style is not one bit granny.

    KT pretty summed up exactly how I feel about Kelly.

    P.S. I am so pissed at Project Runway although I should have seen the “all four of you will make collections” thing coming. Kenly is a biotch, can’t wait for the reunion show when everyone calls her on how much shit she talks.

    michelles last blog post: Apartment Therapy Cure

  • Reply Trina October 2, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks Michelle,

    Yes, we do have Bravo Canada, just checked, and unfortunately they aren’t airing it yet. I’ll have to email them to see if they will in the new year possibly. Thanks! I must of had a brain-fart thinking HGTV. :-)

    Trinas last blog post: meet ….. Rita Vindedzis

  • Reply becky from hatch October 2, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Oh so much to respond to and agree with, but I am on the run at the moment – “Bride of Frankenstein” was a perfect analogy, but I did love it! I love everything KW does, mostly b/c she’s brave and beautiful. Next time she should do a big streak in it! Crimpin’ ain’t easy!!!

    Eddie’s fakeness reminds me of that guy on Design Star who wanted his mommy – Michael? I strongly dislike him now. Preston is a snore as well.

    I really did not like Nathan or Eddie’s chairs; my vote was for Wizit with Ondine in a close 2nd place. That looked like SUCH a fun challenge! I attack my chairs at home on a semi-regular basis, but I can’t upholster to save my life.

    WHERE WAS TODD? That Betsey Johnson chair was soooooo “Todd Time” from that Cindy Crawford MTV style show in the 90s! House of Style?

    Erin, you are so right – the ending line is SO dramatic it makes me miss see ya later decorator, and I could not stand that line either. Maybe they should just say “your lame design makes us want to vomit; get the heck out of here.” I still like Vivica A. Fox’s “Keep reaching for the stars, because you are not ready to style them” on VH-1’s “Glam God” the best :)

    becky from hatchs last blog post: What Do You Think About This?

  • Reply Jana Souza October 2, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Ok, I tried to like Kelly’s style this week because i felt kind of alone last week on my comments about her look—her first look, with the hat, the black flouncy top and the jeans—priceless–her lil bod and her hair under the hat was just hot; the second look, well, again so over the top—also, I noticed the lighting was horrendous on how it showed her makeup–her eyebrows were screaming in a couple of shots. The hair itself, well the crimping was darling. Oh, this isn’t a KW roast, I apologize.

    Nathan, so darn talented and witty—yes, his wit is very spot on; I didn’t think his table was incredible, but it was more innovative and simplistic—I did like how he sanded the table to quiet that ever used espresso finish that cheapens any piece.

    Eddie, so biting and ruthless; his inner brat can’t help but show and yes, his facial expressions as Carey and others said, hilarious; he was so pissed.

    The contestants really need to work on their design lingo–poor Teresa; I felt so compassionate when she would interact with the camera or the judges–she has three phrases she repeats over and over—awww

    I didn’t think anyone nailed the garden challenge—I was actually bored with Natalie’s and it didn’t read elle decor to me in the least—she gave it all she had though—her referencing her mom was very touching and she is likable.

    Wizit is a character; he just can’t really land it and he just seems so mellow, his work seems bound to be incomplete;

    Andrea and Ondine were definitely likable—Ondine face makes me feel for her—he stress is so evident; and yes, Andrea seems warmer and more real—her garden setting was well, boring as hell.

    I know I couldn’t do the chair challenge well; I am not a DIY’er—Nathan’s chair was far and away the best.

    Thanks for the weekly fun,


  • Reply Andi-a October 2, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Wow yeah get say nice things yeaaah. Congrats Becky, k I now have to admit I did a little happy dance, who else can I tell that but my once a week design reality addict critic virtual family.

    I loved the shakes that Nathan was getting thinking he was close Teresa’s style in any way.

    Since I love India on this show so much I must say I loved how much fun she was having, seems like she wants to start doing jumping jacks with funny faces just to get the judges to break out. Loved that she heard spandex from fan deck, HAHAHA. I would be loopy to sitting with those stiffs, well I wouldn’t last. She will probably start tickling Whatsit’s belly to keep him singing ear bleeding opera, just to make the time move faster.

    Preston I want to love so much, and I think he’s got it, but he has to make a live like you were dying type change and shake off all the negative comments from being in the bottom so much. He’s on bad ice, you can see it on his face.

    Miss absofrigginlutely ridiculously has a perfect name Ondine is skating on the bad ice to. K so soooooooooooorry ahead of time and if I can qualify this by saying I’m a recovering schlump frump myself, ok good. She is going to have to amp up her appearance. She doesn’t need to KW or Marge her style just really put some thought in to the statement she is making. I can relate being so in to the project you don’t want to stop for anything you just want to create create create, but I think she is going to be judged harshly with code like ” you don’t seem to really have passion for this anymore” “is this really where you want to be anymore?”. My trick is concealor- uhm Thank You Lord seriously Thank You, some powder, and some lip gloss. It’s not the most polished look, but it kept me from looking like I dragged out of bed lassoed myself to the slowest car and used everything that was left to stand up and walk into work. This isn’t a fashion statement, however Teresa on the other hand well we all saw the show so whatever.

    Andrea had me asking yet again why is she here and I think she is asking the same.

    I felt so grateful not to have to see Shaz’s anything.

    I felt the chair comp was so awesome. Did Eddie do a complete KW’s Glamour book cover inspiration? Nonetheless loved the acid yellow color on the Queen Anne. I really liked Preston’s chair. I wish they would do more to show the in betweeners work. Nathan’s table was not a winner to me he used the same type of idea Preston got slammed for with having two different uncoordinated floral arrangements on the table. I was fine with the stacked dishes but his table seemed uninspired and kinda last minute friends over for dinner on the grill. I was expecting more completion or themeing like the Elle Decor tables that design companies do for whatever event. I have to say Eddie’s looked the most complete.

    Natalies room left me scratching my head and Nathan’s was real off.
    Whatsit should have won that but still somehow manipulatively sent home.

    Dream scenario India says, “Whiiiiget I’mm so soooooory to have to inform you but youuu and yooour’e work are caaauuusing inexplicable seeeeiizures for ouur crew and maaany people at home, so I’m saaadened to infooorm you but we literally can not live with your design any longer.” I can dream can’t I?

  • Reply Miss B. October 2, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Oh the hair!!!

  • Reply Beruska October 2, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    I was so happy to see everyone do their own thing last night! Pretty impressed with their chairs; ok with their tables and really dissapointed with the last challenge – I don’t thing a single room was worth an Elle Decor spread. Yes, I do hope it’s a small picture when they run it…Eddie is soo annoying at this point, but I think he will stick around for a while. Andrea was really sweet and yes, I do like her more now. I still think Preston has more to show us – maybe when they do a real room with a decent amount of time….because isn’t that more of a real interior design challenge anyways? Oh yes, and my dearest Kelly – she certainly didn’t dissapoint me last night – I want to do a hair like that now – even if it’s just for Halloween :) (Kelly on the other hand can really pull it off any day of the week)

  • Reply Kristin October 2, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    I loved the Betsy Johnson inspired chair and Wisit’s was a close second in my opinion. I really liked Wisit’s garden room best as well. I thought that a photo shoot could have been taken from about any angle in that room.

    When Eddie said that pulling table settings was so easy because it was his job, it really made me wonder if he has his own design style or if he only has the Martha Stewart design style. Everything he has done so far looks exactly as I would imagine it to look in a MS Living Magazine.

    I was so happy to see an individual challenge as I needed to really see their own styles instead of just trying to guess what it was.

    Love Love Love Kelly’s hair no matter how good or bad it is. KT, comment #12, said what I was thinking. Thanks KT!

    Kristins last blog post: Secret Santa

  • Reply Shelly October 2, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Ok first off…I have NO freaking idea why everyone doesn’t think Kelly dresses like a CRAZY WOMAN! I get fashion, but seriously, if you saw her walking down the street in any one of her getups would you not think, “Umm what the HELL!?”? Just saying. I also saw her spread in Domino and it’s not my thing. Love her work, but that was ugh!

    So on to the contestants…I think Andrea got some harsh judgement this week. She’s more subtle than the others, but also just a bit more traditional. Nothing wrong with that at all, but if Kelly is judging you, well then you know it’s not her thing. She does need to punch up her color however.

    So I can’t believe how much Nathan has stepped it up! I didn’t think much of him from the other episodes. I honestly thought he was at the bottom. I though his table was nice, but not all that.

    Wisit..ahh Wisit…he’s just too darn cute! What a little sweetie eh? While I’m watching the show my hubby will laugh everytime he comes on. He’s just so fem, but I think he’s adorable.

  • Reply Frida October 2, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    V?gat – as I would put it in Swedish!

    Fridas last blog post: Tapetsera en bokhylla

  • Reply lindsay October 2, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    I liked Wizit’s painted fabric. Very impressive in such a time crunch.

    Kelly’s hair, yikes! Kelly’s Domino spread, double yikes!

    I loved Nathan’s table setting. It was homey and relaxed :)

    lindsays last blog post: flix, and a sleep-over…

  • Reply Lucinda October 2, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    I’m not sure about the show… jury is still out for me.

    I had to laugh when Eddie got defensive and said his room wasn’t granny. Have you checked out his blog? I too can take an old french provencial chair and paint it all one color and add some contrasting fabric. What’s the big deal. I still think that he has no design beyond Martha’s influence. Show me what you really go Eddie!

    Just curious – why didn’t anyone really think more natural or sustainable with modern chic when came to designing the rooms? I’m assuming there’s such a time crunch you forget all of your ideas, or should I assumed the nursery where they shopped didn’t have stumps to use as chairs around a table, or other usable objects. Elle Decor spread – I guess I immediately think contrast and using objects in a non-traditional manner. I was really surprised that there were so many stripes instead of organic shapes. Wizit gets my vote for pushing the boundaries and going for the editorial look. I think all the designers should dig deep into their fan decks and surprise themselves.

    How does India Hicks not know what a fan deck is, or did she just really hear spandex and keep that mindset?

    Lucindas last blog post: Obsession with Faux Crocodile

  • Reply Alison October 2, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Preston’s garden room looked like it belonged in a funeral parlor. Or worse, a mausoleum. I was only impressed with Wisit’s room, for having some semblance of an idea and being way more daring and creative than the others. Natalie’s room was nice, but nothing great. When Ondine mentioned Kelly Green I had to question myself. Am I wrong in what I think Kelly Green is? Project Runway Blayne would like her version of kelly green. It’s obvious that Eddie is a talented designer, but I wish his designs would loosen up a bit. He needs to step outside the Martha Stewart box. and Zen! kill me.

    Alisons last blog post: a little nutella, a little tea

  • Reply dzinediva October 2, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    I really can’t stop watching this show for some reason, but found last night’s episode completely and utterly dull. I actually had to watch it twice, could not get through it the first time (fell asleep!) I am a little concerned about the true credentials of some of these contestants. In many of these challenges they are making Design 101 blunders. For instance, there has been nothing interesting in space planning and furniture arrangement in any episode. And basically, in the garden challenge everyone took a bunch of elements and lined them up against the walls!! Someone please tell what is visually interesting about that?! As annoying as Wisit can be, he was robbed on the final challenge, though. Margaret kept asking for “wow” and he gave it to her through his fantasy-like approach. In fact, Margaret said that was more what she was looking for. I am not sure what the “wow” was in Natalie’s approach. Maybe the color is off on my TV (because Ondine’s was NOT Kelly Green on my TV) but Natalie’s was a very non-descript shade of gray, wasn’t it? What is bright and airy and “wow” about that?

    But its really the judging panel that is starting to concern me and make the show kind of drag. I love Project Runway judges because the commentary is introspective and colorful. The Top Design judges seem like they are trying so hard to sound important. But last night’s show really took the cake for me. It’s like they are studying their thesauruses before they sit down to “caucus”. Now, I consider myself to have a great vocabulary. But I am not too proud to admit when someone sends me scurrying to my dictionary! But that is not necssarily a good thing for this type of show format! The show is supposed to flow. Be seamless. Interesting. Not pompous and elitist. And what’s worse is–well, you know when someone says a word, and you’re not quite sure what it means, but you just know it doesn’t mean what THEY think it means?? I mean, how do you get down to the very end of the critiques and say “insipid”? It’s just bizarre to me. One of my favorites from Kelly tonight was “disheveled” which actually describes her hair most times than the room to which she was referring. But my favorite of all time tonight was when Jonathan Adler said that Nathan’s table was “riddled with panache and INSOUCIANCE!” I really wasn’t sure what he said but it sounded more like an insult to me! I had to back up my DVR and put the thing on mute so I could read the subtitles! Apparently, this means lack of concern or caring or indifference! I do not think this word means what he thinks it means. Perhaps it was his way of saying “effortless”. The word “effortless” would have made me smile instead of doing what i ended up doing — a classic Kenley eyeroll!! I really wish they would lighten up and act like they ENJOY design like most of US do. Apparently they are trying, though and made an attempt at being “glib”…but the Spandex joke fell pretty flat!

    As usual, though, I will be back in front of my TV at the same time next week. I’m just a glutton for punishment.

  • Reply Tara October 2, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    I was really, really happy to see an individual challenge at last.

    But other than that, I didn’t get worked up over anything but Kelly’s hair. I actually spent FAR too much time thinking about her personal style today. (Sad, but *something* has to keep me going till tonight’s debate!) Her decorating often shows exquisite taste, and when her personal look is toned down, like in the recent Domino shoot, she looks extremely lovely. So why such questionable hairdos? I decided maybe she gets bored. Good taste, especially when exercised in service of clients, must get dull after a while, no?

    Taras last blog post: I Have Lots of Posts for You, I Promise

  • Reply tonya October 2, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    I feel like I have to step in and stick up for Eddie. He was robbed with that table design. I would love to have that set up in my house. It was styled, chic and modern. A little fussy, but sometimes that’s okay isn’t it? I don’t know. I sort of think he’s being punished because he works for Martha Stewart (an Elle competitor maybe?) He’s certainly full of himself and he completely expected to win which makes one less-sympathetic, but I’m sorry, the boy is talented. He’s flawless with floral and aren’t they supposed to flaunt the skills they have?

  • Reply DecorPad October 2, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    KW hair is crazy, just crazy! Such a beautiful woman with crazy hair! Eddie and Nathan are the front runners for me, but i see Andrea as a dark horse even though her chair was horrible!

  • Reply Mia October 2, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Yeah, that was definitely not Kelly green, more like lime. Kelly’s hair was magnificent, and by magnificent I mean it looked like a family of rats could have been living under there. I wasn’t impressed with any of the garden rooms, and can’t see any of them being featured in Elle Decor, although I did think that Wizit’s room was better than Natalie’s. (No offense to Natalie, who seems so sweet by the way.) Still, my home-depot plants-filled balcony has more charm than her outdoor vignette. Andrea’s growing on me too, and Eddie should be smacked upside the head and given a slice of humble pie. Oh, and that one reader’s comment about his lip quivering is so funny and so true!! I thoroughly enjoy watching the judges knock him down a peg. i hope the show’s better next week, I’m getting bored…

  • Reply Linda Merrill from ::Surroundings:: October 2, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    D. asked about Nathan’s gray hoodie. I asked Nathan and he said it’s from from a shop in NYC called Opening Ceremony in SoHo on Howard Street. He said he’s amazed at how much attention its gotten and that it’s his favorite too!

    Re: Eddie- the judges seem to know where he works and while I don’t think they are holding it against him, I do think they are making judgments based on the fact that they have an expectation of what he’ll do and if he gives them the expected, it’s not good enough. (if that makes sense). But, if they didn’t know who he was or his resume, would they judge him on a different scale? I keep wondering.

    Re: Wisit – I meant to say in my first post that I thought his room should have won.

    Linda Merrill from ::Surroundings::s last blog post: Arclinea Redecorates/Kitchen Sale!

  • Reply Megan October 2, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    I’m so relieved that I wasn’t the only one horrified by KW’s Domino spread. It made me want to rush out and stock up on th accessories and fabrics I’ve been eyeing in case her new style really IS the next big design trend and those creepy 70’s textiles and Flintstone/Jetsons furniture pieces are suddenly all we can find in stores! Even the colors were just grim, grim grim. Thank goodness for Etsy…

    LOVED KT’s description of KW… loved it! Laughed out loud, and will probably read it again tomorrow for a giggle before work. How can KW walk around like that with a straight face? She’s probably a killer poker player.

  • Reply Ez October 3, 2008 at 12:16 am

    D. you and I are totally on the same page… I’ve been dying to know where Nathan’s gray woven hoodie comes from. It’s perfection!

    This episode Nathan had me rolling all over the floor in laughter! Especially when he dryly states that he’s sure to be poisoned after two wins in a row (by Eddie no doubt)! Loved it!
    Eddie by the way is uber obnoxious! I can practically hear Martha cringing every time he boasts about what a professional he is. Wonder how secure his position is upon his return?

    I’m glad that I’m not the only one creeped out by Wizit. I love the guy for just being himself and his room was pretty good this round, but the way he talks would work perfectly in a horror film… and then the singing… merciful heavens, make it stop!

    Great post and loved everyone’s comments!

    Ezs last blog post: Sweet Sweet

  • Reply Andrea Bell October 3, 2008 at 12:32 am

    Firstly… no dissing Kelly. Not ever dissing Kelly please and thank you. (Although I was more than a bit disappointed in the Domino spread… but still…)

    Next thing… how much to I love India’s grey shirt?!…

    Third…and please don’t throw anything at me… I am starting to wonder if Wizit is brilliant? I know, he drives me nuts too and we all know he hasn’t done really well yet. But I wonder if he is that kind of guy that does phenomenal things when left to himself. His room was the only one that was really different. I think had he had a bit more to work with, time or materials or whatever, I think his *visual* was really way beyond everyone else’s. I personally liked the cute bubbly blond one whatsername, too but only because it was more polished looking.

    I think JA says chic for every time whatserface says Zen.

    Trina, you can watch them here

    Sidebar: I wonder if Kelly’s looks have become so well known that her stylist for the show is now just trying to up ratings? I have noticed that she doesn’t look as into her style as she did at first. I still think she pulls it off, but the other day I was looking at her photo with her new stuff and she has that yellow dress on and her hair is just there and she looks like a whole other person.

    Eddie has blog? LOL, where do I find that?

    I think Ondine should have gotten more points for what she did. I know it wasn’t bang on, but when was the last time you had to do an entire room for a bunch of celebrities and half of North America watching you in a few hours? I would have given her points for at least thinking differently. Nathan’s my favorite, hands down. I love guys like that. I need a boyfriend like that. But straight.

    Andrea Bells last blog post: Thos. Moser

  • Reply seleta October 3, 2008 at 12:45 am

    I really love this show. And I heart Eddie. His ability to design with such speed and precision impresses me. He has a plan and executes it to perfection. I think his style has influenced the look of Martha Stewart magazine, not the other way around. I mean, he is Senior Style Editor, right?

    I’m worried sweet Andrea is next to go. Wisit is such a talented artist and tickles me pink with his gentle demeanor.

    My vote is Eddie, but of course I blogged all about it yesterday.

    seletas last blog post: welcome october…

  • Reply V October 3, 2008 at 3:11 am

    Kelly green? Ha! Only if “kelly” is now spelled “neon.”

  • Reply becky from hatch October 3, 2008 at 11:05 am

    Oh man, I just wrote a book’s worth of comments responding to everyone and then I popped over to imdb b/c I could not think of Paul Rudd’s last name and it was bugging me, and then it’s evil pop ups got rid of all my responses. I guess it was a sign that I was droning on too much!

    Dzine, I gasped at “insouciance” and “insipid” as well! I think of insipid as referring to a person, not a tableSCAPE :)! I think those two words, as well as “sanguine” must have been words of the day recently, b/c I’m hearing them bandied about a lot lately. I’m a crossword addict which makes me very picky about words and all of their meanings. You probably have an excellent vocabulary because of your habit of running to the dictionary! That’s the best way to improve vocabulary, IMHO.

    I’m so glad my TV is not broken and that Ondine’s room was neon lime and not kelly. She needs lessons in preppyness badly. Lesson one: pinks and greens. Lesson two: what Lilly Pulitzer actually looks like, starting w/ my all-time favorite pattern, “shrimp cocktail.”

    Eddie and Kenley on PR got big buckets of karma dumped on them this week. It even wreaked physical havoc on them – one broke out, the other was a big puff face. Meow. Eddie’s blog has been getting a lot of buzz in the blogosphere. It won’t be getting it from me. I think he has a mean, obnoxious, ugly personality. He’s only 30; he cannot have been a Sr. Style Editor at MSL for all that long. I’m not finding myself wondering whether he’s the egg and Martha is the chicken, or vice-versa. Martha’s been honing her style since before Eddie was born. I wonder if she even knows who the hell he is? I wonder if that woman who didn’t know how to play Scrabble on “The Apprentice Martha Stewart” ever wound up actually working at MSOmnimedia? Who doesn’t know how to play Scrabble? Oh wow, I’ve been wanting to get that off my chest. I asked Alexis Stewart in an e-interview but she ignored my question.

    Wisit is brilliant, I agree. Yeah, he can be a bit creepy, but wow that guy is creative. I thought his room was much more ED-worthy than Natalie’s, but you know, they editors got me with the whole story of her mom dying and how her mom was looking down on her…

    Speaking of The Wizz, you know who else has an annoying voice? Leann on PR. She sounds like a dorky 5 year old girl. Did you catch her running from the bee like a spastic doofus? Listening to her is nails on a chalkboard to me. She and Kenley should have a whose more annoying? contest. Man, I really needed to get that off my chest too. Thanks.

    Andrea Bell, do you think the judges have stylists? They all seem to have such distinct taste and styles I assumed it was from their own closets. You know who needs to fire her stylist? Chelsea Handler. She’s so gorgeous, but they put her in some of the most unflattering stuff with horrible ‘dos all the time. Wow, I am really having trouble with my A.D.D. today. Sorry.

    Linda, thanks for the hoodie tip! That shirt makes me wonder if they did all the confessional moments in one day, b/c Nathan is ALWAYS wearing it. By the way you all, Linda writes for the most complete coverage blog about Top Design called bloggingtopdesign.com. It’s a great resource for interviews, opinions, photos, links, etc.. I find it much easier to navigate than the bravotv.com site.

    becky from hatchs last blog post: Staff Profile – Joe!

  • Reply Condo Blues October 3, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    I’m disappointed in Eddie. The man can pull off a floral arrangement like nobody’s buisness but it _so Martha_! I really want to see what style he can besides what he does day in day out for his current design job.

    As for Wisit, he’s very quirky. I haven’t made up my mind about him yet. I think production will keep him around for a while because he’s such a character.

    I love Nathan’s work and his attitude. I do agree with the judges that Nathan kind of gave up on his room after winning the first 2 legs of the triathalon. But then again, I wasn’t really all that impressed with any of the rooms of the final leg. At least no one did a lawn gnome landscape! Could you imagine what the judges would have said about that?

    Condo Bluess last blog post: Save Some Bucks ? How to Seal Air Ducts!

  • Reply becky from hatch October 4, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Hey Condo Blues! I think I would have preferred gnomes, if used with humor! Gnomes always make me think of “The Full Monty.” I remember sitting there with my friend Christine Reilly, who is from Long Island. We were laughing so hard we were crying at the end, with the row full of senior citizens seated in front of us. From her tears, Christine blurted out “The GNOMES! That’s SO Long Island!” Anway, I could see Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler doing something hilariously fabulous with gnomes!

    I just re-read my comments and realized I need to abbreviate Elle Decor to Elle D. and not “ED.” Calling something “ED-worthy” as I did above could certainly be misconstrued as something that has to do with certain male prescription drugs!

    becky from hatchs last blog post: The Well Lived Life

  • Reply Linda Merrill from ::Surroundings:: October 4, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Hey Becky – thanks for the Blogging Top Design shoutout! url is bloggingtopdesign.blogspot.com.

    More thoughts: I think that they do have stylists for the show although most are really how they actually dress in real life. But I think Kelly is significantly ramped up for effect. She’s very controlled personality wise, so I think it’s a way of visually upping her presence. JA is all quirks, looks and verbal quips (whether or not he uses the words correctly) and Margaret has a piercing gaze that says all one needs to know about what she’s thinking. India – eh…

    Re: Eddie – he was on Martha’s blogging show a couple of weeks ago doing craft projects with La Stewart herself – so yes, she knows who he is. I keep struggling with how to they should judge him knowing that his style is so Martha. Are they looking for a unique voice in design? If so, then no, he’s not showing unique. But, really, none of them are yet. Anyway, just a couple more cents from me.


    Linda Merrill from ::Surroundings::s last blog post: Someday Maybe Never

  • Reply Diane October 4, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    I used to work with Nathan and I can vouch for him being a genuinely sweet guy as well as a great designer. It’s wonderful to see him showing everybody what he can do. The niceness that you see on TV is genuine.

  • Reply lola weitzel October 4, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    okay, I am already over johnathan, margaret and kelly. They seem like legends in their own mind. Why is everyone drinking the kool-aid on Kelly? She seems like an egocentric trying to wear her hair, hats etc like no one has ever done- it doesn’t matter if the looks lack taste. Her design in Domino was one of the ugliest speads I have ever seen in any magazine. Who covers up a window- and that wallpaper- yucc! I hope Domino is not going to change its vintage/anthro feel and start showing off all these chic people.
    PS I like andrea best on the show…

  • Reply Laura October 5, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    Ditto on Nathan’s Sweatshirt!!! Must have it for my man … where do I get it?

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