Top Design: The Weekly Dish

October 16, 2008

Miss Becky is back to share her take on this week?s episode of Top Design. Becky, take it away! — Holly
Hi Everyone! Before I get started talking about this week’s episode of Top Design, who caught Wisit’s opera-etic departure TWICE on The Soup this week? I almost fell off the couch laughing! I also noticed that they changed the cover of the Elle Decor they show at the beginning. It used to be the issue with a cover showing the dining room of Cynthia Rowley, a judge on competing show Design Star.

Top Design: The Weekly Dish

Well, this week’s “Room of the Future” episode was a major improvement over last week’s depressing green offices. I remember doing those kinds of exercises in 4th grade, except the future year we were told to imagine was 2000! I guess my “space car convertible” was a little ahead of its time. It was really interesting to see which designers were able to think about the future, and which ones were still stuck styling bookshelves with woven baskets. I agreed 100% with the judges’ decisions tonight. I also liked that they had two and a half days plus a carpenter to help them execute their designs. Besides the fact that it takes a good week to put together several pieces of furniture from IKEA, it really gave them ample time to execute their designs well.

Top Design: The Weekly Dish

It was hilarious to hear Ondine, “the road runner on crack,” drop the f-bomb so many times, and that she spilled big cans of paint or varnish twice. I was pleasantly surprised that Eddie handled it so well. I will give him props for that. I loved that the Pop Design challenge actually tested their knowledge of design history, and it was interesting to see who dropped out and when, though I suppose it wasn’t much of a surprise who knew their stuff and who did not. Personally, I could not tell if the vintage lamp was a garage sale find or an L.A. high-end modern furniture store piece, and I got that one wrong! My guess is that the store charging $1,200 for it today found it at a garage sale for five bucks last week.

The two funniest, or in one case, ironic things Kelly said in this week’s episode?

1) “I love the plates on the wall” to Nathan. Um, Kelly, that’s because it’s almost exactly like your design at the Viceroy Santa Monica. It’s funny that Project Runway judges pick up on those who copy Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen, yet a Top Design judge doesn’t call out her own work as an inspiration. Nathan’s plates did look great, but the rest of his styling was a bit of a hot mess.

2) “It’s like Grannies Gone Wild to Eddie, regarding his room. Um, honey, WHAT ARE YOU WEARING? Socks with pumps, beads galore, the crazy hat, purple and green, the ruffled dress, uh, if that’s not Grannies Gone Wild, I don’t know what is! I loved it though. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from these discussions, it’s that people love Kelly or hate her, but there is absolutely no middle ground. Perhaps that’s why I love her.

So, what did you think the year 2000 would be like when you were in third grade (I was in third grade in 1980, BTW)? Which futuristic plans did you think stood out in a good way? Which ones did you think were ridiculous? Do you know how to pronounce “Chaise Lounge” better than Preston does? Whose room would you choose to live in if you had to? Who is worse at receiving constructive criticism, Eddie, or Kenley from Project Runway? Were there any issues of the future you would have addressed through a design that were not mentioned in this episode? Would you ever wear a suit with sneakers and no socks? Do you think Ricky Schroeder looks smokin’ hot in that picture that Andrea brought with her?

(image from bravo, text from rebecca harris)


  • Reply Dominique October 16, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Was Kelly sporting her Boobah Costume?

    Dominiques last blog post:

  • Reply Jill October 16, 2008 at 11:52 am

    I was 1 is 1980 – but In 85 I thought for sure flying cars is 2000. And of course, those cool hover boards in back to the future 2. Well, I guess everything from that movie seemed reasonable to me…

  • Reply gesikah October 16, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    In 3rd grade, I definitely thought by the year 2000 (and omg I would be soo old then! 20 years old!!) we would be living in space pods on Mars. I guess if you think about it, compared to 1988 we are pretty sci-fi-y with our high-faluting internets, cell phones , laptops, Blackberries, e-commerce, etc.

    The other day, my husband and I were laughing at how quaint it sounded to call in a catalog order over the phone, or even more hilarious mailing in an order form.

    Anyway, honestly, I recoiled at Eddie’s room. I actually thought his concept was hilarious, but to me it looked cheap and gaudy. Just not my thing at all. Poor Natalie’s was just a mess. I would have liked to have seen more imagination overall. One post-Apocalyptic room would have been nice. I think more time for planning and execution would have made it a more interesting challenge in the end.

    gesikahs last blog post: Reemerging, now with a totally awesome living room

  • Reply nichole October 16, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    I was in second grade then, and I imagined it to be something along the lines of the Jetsons. ;)

    nicholes last blog post: Olive Oil Soap

  • Reply Andi-a October 16, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    OK I don’t know if its the late hour i have to catch the rerun or what, but the lighting is awful on this show. Like I said before I’m sure they dont want the harsh bright lights of Design Star, but at this point I’d take it gladly. I can’t friggin see what the designers did, and the quick pan across the room ARGH!!

    Progect runway has brighter lighting but they dont do enough slow closeups. It’s easier to understand the prelimenary suggestions on What Not To Wear or the wedding dresses on that other tlc show than to actually fully visually understand Bravo’s design shows. Maybe it’s Bravo’s way of keeping their theme of neuvo biotoch tv station.

    Ok scary to say but I think I actually get Eddies mindset for just a quick second though cause I definantly don’t come from this place or know many who do. K so perhaps in his jaded little world it’s all eat or be eaten and that you cant worry about if your designs get stolen but you have to make sure you execute them or a replace them first. You don’t get weighed down with negative remarks if you already believe you are just as good or better than those judgeing. You don’t have to recieve critisim. You must always be prepared to sell sell sell yourself always no down time.

    Margeret EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWwwww wwwww her little snarky nasty looks and remarks YuckyPoo. Everyone doesn’t desire to play along in her Devil Wears Prada veiw of herself, and as much as I think Elle Decor is America’s best shelter mag I need her to change her persona. I’m sure she’ll get right on that.

    India is starting to look depressed or maybe suppressed, we’ll see if she returns next season.

    Uhm why did Ondine want to come to a dark place about the future? Many had such dark rooms just for dark sake. Reminds me of the fashion designer. Happy aint hip I guess, but I would think presenting a space in the future you might want to show a little optimism. Maybe its the environment stuff and they think the sun will no longer exist.

    Farwell fun Natalie I think this show will only strengthen your resolve to design fun, you have shown your brand chicka and that’s more than many can say.

    I didn’t get the whole Preston knockoff claims, cause didn’t they have to choose paint in the first place or do they get to just walk about 10′ off camera and grab new paint if they change their minds? I think he is misunderstood cause he lacks open expression so people probably always tend to say whatever they will about him.

    Nathan can get a little “proud” at times and gamey.

    Andrea’s room was so cool and clean for a preteen or teenager but 2108 nah.

    OT Becky what in the world happened that they didnt pick Caruto on Progect Runway? Heidi would barely look at her in Bryant Park. Everything she designed was absolutely gorgeous, but I should have known when they were making up stuff to critique her about in past challenges. She better succeed her arse off.

  • Reply becky from hatch October 16, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    I forgot to add, my notes:

    also, I love the “what the judges wore” section of bravotv.com:

    Andi-a, I am so sad about Korto but I saw it coming about 15 minutes in. I think it was the technical success of Leann’s collection – it was innovative, sewn masterfully, and rather beautifully. It was funny though, it reminded me of Calvin Klein monochromatic style mixed with the architecture of the current Fendi collection.

    Personally, I preferred Kortos – the bright colors, the lovely pleating, the beading, the styling from the buns to the fans! I just loved her personality too, where as Leann seems like a dorky weirdo. The thing that struck me most about the show is that ankle boots are not flattering on anyone, and that Kenley’s outfit was the most unflattering thing I’ve ever seen. Leann’s wasn’t much better. I mean, I was thinking, if you are going to show in Bryant Park, blow out your hair. Everyone except Korto looked terrible on the biggest day of their lives. Korto looked radiant.

    Yeah, so I guess PR was much more interesting than TD this week, huh? It was hard to come down off the PR finale and watch TD; they should have reverse schedules; TD warming me up for PR.

    becky from hatchs last blog post: Top Design

  • Reply Barbara October 16, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    I swear, I don’t know how anyone with such strange and totally bizarre fashion sense can critique someone else on design. The whole time I am looking at her I keep sayin to myself “what the hell was she thinkin with that outfit?”. In answer to your question regarding Eddie or Kenley…I think Kenley has the more difficult time taking criticism (but Eddie is not far behind). Oh, and I have to agree with Becky…I don’t understand why the designers did not create some rockin outfits for themselves!
    Anyhow, back to TD…not at all surprised about Natalie leaving. I probably could have predicted that before the show even started.

  • Reply kelly October 16, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    First, I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought Korto should have won!

    Someone mentioned the lighting on this show and I could not agree more. It’s the pits! And I never feel like I have a true sense of what each room actually looks like when the designers are done.

    Eddie’s “midget” comment should help everyone come to the conclusion that he’s an absolute pig. Making fun of people who shop at JoAnn’s was the nail in the coffin. I know it’s an easy target, but for those of us who do not live in Manhattan, it’s convenient and it’s cheap.

    And his room was GA-ROSS!

    Preston calls his work “finished, clean and tailored” every GD week.
    I did like the paneling on his walls. But the living room area looked kind of like an intergalactic shrink’s office.

    I thought it was odd that Ondine would mention she goes to IKEA all the time for set design, but then had a meltdown in the store. I thought her room was really bleak.

    Judging by next week’s previews, it looks like Andrea might voluntarily leave.

    I think it’s fun to see what outrageous getup Kelly is going to show up in every week, but I would find it very difficult to take any of her criticism seriously. Actually, I find it hard to “live” with all of the judges most of the time.

    kellys last blog post: 4 Years

  • Reply becky from hatch October 16, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    I should admit I have a skirt that’s very similar to Kelly’s Marni dress, it’s made of plastic and I bought it from this amazing indie designer in Venice.

    Kelly, I’m so glad you mentioned the “midget” comment. I gasped and took a note that Eddie is now offending little people, then I forgot to mention it. Awful.

    becky from hatchs last blog post: Top Design

  • Reply Luka October 16, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    This is the first time I’ve watched Top Design so I have to ask, was last season as much of a snoozefest? Like someone else said last week, the only reason I keep watching is so I can come here and be part of the conversation.

    Remember those Tex Avery cartoons with cars of the future, houses of the future, etc? I guess once you get into your mid-30’s you start to realize that people like familiarity so to me I’d think the house from 100 years in the future would only be dissimilar in terms of technology but probably not so much for design. Look at what’s popular now, mid-century furniture, baroque touches, it’s all a flashback but with a nice little twist. These designers killed me though, everyone was floating in space. Anyway. I’m sure if this episode was watched in 2100 the people would get a big laugh just like we do about the Jetsons suitcase car.

    I like Kelly’s outfits too. They are crazy but it’s entertaining.

  • Reply Cindy Corlett October 16, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    First, I have to say reading this blog has become one of favorite Thursday things (along with the online Washington Post Home & Garden section.) Second, I’m not telling anyone what year I was in third grade!!! This week had a lot of potential, but I’m really getting weary of these 30 and 45 minute planning times, followed by snotty judge’s comments. I mean, how well would they do under the same time and shopping constraints?

    Anyway, Eddie was an ass, as usual, but I must say I prefer him to Kenley from PR, because he does have a sense of humor. Poor Kenley is sooooo
    tightly wound.

    When I saw KW’s get-up this week, I kept thinking “She’s wearing a flower pot on her head!! She did have a kind of kitchsy, Marlena Dietrich vibe going on.

    Not surprised that Natalie went home and getting worried about Andrea. She really seems very depressed!! I don’t know that I could have been away from my kids that long. You would begin to think “Is this really worth it?”

    Last thing, is it just me or is there something about Preston that says “I’m stylish, but not very bright”? I’m just sayin’…..

  • Reply belledame October 16, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    kenley’s whine is the worst thing. how can anyone tolerate that voice? i was chanting “korto korto korto” over and over. i can see why that picked leanne, but it would have been nice if they’d taken a chance this time. at least the competition btw the two. kenley’s collection made no sense. loved the colors but most of the garments, no.

    i thought maybe they considered the entire season’s work in the final decision. i think leanne had one more win (during immunity) than korto.

  • Reply Mia October 16, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Poor Andrea, I think she’s starting to really miss her family. I liked her room, it wasn’t too futuristic, but I definitely like her style. I saw pictures of her ranch house in a magazine and it was beautiful (I wonder if she did it herself?). Kelly really needs to stop saying “assessories.” It just bugs me. That lever in Natalie’s room was the worst. I wanted to rip it off, and I’m not surprised to see her go. I liked Preston’s room, and I don’t think he’s a copy cat just because he chose to paint his walls black as well. Nathan’s room was a bit mish-mashy. I did like the colors though. Eddie’s room-gasp! Not only were the colors ugly, but those walls did not go at all. And his reference to “American Psycho” scared me. If any T.D. contestants go missing we’ll know who to call.

  • Reply Linda Merrill from ::Surroundings:: October 16, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Hi Becky – I totally agree – this was a much better episode than the green challenge. That was pretty lame. It was very interesting to see who had a positive outlook for the future and who didn’t. I’m afraid that Ondine seems to be quite down in the dumps – maybe it’s she who wants to go home? Andrea may be missing her kids and lacks some confidence, but she seems to be an upbeat person in general – hence her fairly pretty and upbeat room. Meanwhile, Ondine never seems to smile, she was slamming things and swearing, hasn’t really done a great job and her vision of the future is very depressive. Just a thought…

    I refuse to admit how old I was in 1980. But I do remember when I was little thinking that I would be ancient in the year 2000.

    Linda Merrill from ::Surroundings::s last blog post: Project Runway meets Home Decor, part deux

  • Reply Andy Mathis October 16, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    I watched Top Design last night, and flipped the channel when the commercial came on, got distracted, and forgot to flip it back until it was over. So I had no idea who went home until today.

    I hope Eddie stays around till close to the end. Just for the entertainment value alone. I bet his car got egged today by Joann shoppers. With their 40% off coupon.

    Andy Mathiss last blog post: Artists-Collective- Our first Issuu Issue

  • Reply Andrea Bell October 17, 2008 at 7:04 am

    What’s a chase lounge? Pretty, tailored, efficient-yes. Intelligent? No. There is no excuse for a gay designer to say chase. If he were straight, maybe…

    I liked this challenge. Again with the ridiculous time constraints! I think they could do so much more with even an extra half hour. Half hour to think then another half hour to discuss and plan with carpenter. At least they had help this time. Let’s face it, even if you are miraculous enough to possess sewing, painting, wallpaper hanging, carpentry and installation skills to go with your design and styling talents, you will not be efficient enough at all of them to pull together a finished space in 2.5 seconds.

    I liked Natalie, in fact I now like all the contestants. Eddie for the drama and I am noticing that although couth is not his forte, he seems to be curbing himself slightly. Reading this blog perhaps? He is an ass, but he is entertaining. I think he is just trying too hard to play the bitch and it may be because he realizes they will keep him around for the E factor. I liked how different his room was. When he started I thought of what I did to my Keds in the 80s. And that is not a good thing. I was horrified, but thought he pulled a fairly decent rabbit out of that hat. Not my taste, but I see where he was going and that he was trying to show the judges something not “predictable Eddy”. The one thing you have to give this guy credit for is that he understands the game and how to play it.

    I would have been five in 1980 and there were most definitely going to be space cars by 2000. Think about it though… some of todays concept cars are pretty spacey looking, we walk around with cell phones and earpieces that are very Star Trek, we don’t eat food, everything is so convenient and processed it is close to a meal in a pill. Computers today make the first computers look like a calculator. Hell, todays calculators make those calculators look like an abicus. I think taking some classic pieces and putting them in a room with high tech finishes would have done the trick, but wouldn’t have had the Wow creative factor they were looking for.

    I am going to build me a Preston light wall one day. Where do you buy that corrugated glass that he and Andrea used?

    All in all a far more entertaining show this time.

    Andrea Bells last blog post: Cute, cute, cute!

  • Reply Keli October 17, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    I think Andrea should have gone home this week. Her room was so basic and plain with very little creativity… The pod idea seemed an afterthought. And there is never an excuse to use that much wicker in one room. I thought it was funny how she seemed to think that the ikea light fixture she couldn’t get to stay together would have made all the difference…

    Eddie’s room was actually fun and I liked the red and gold together. I still don’t understand why he did the paint effect, though. I would have liked to hear some sort of explanation as to why he thought it would be a good look for the future. To me, it seemed like he just wanted to shake things up, not be called granny again, etc. and figured this challenge was a good challenge to take risks.

    I was SO happy with his attitude adjustment this week, though. I’ve disliked him since day one, but he seemed so much better this week. When Ondine spilled her varnish all over his furniture, he was so calm headed and even tried to soothe her and reassure her that it was fine. And he didn’t throw her under the bus with the judges either, which was a nice change on reality tv lately.

    I was sad that Natalie got the boot. I thought her room had some flaws, but the platform was interesting and I liked her glass and fabric panels or whatever they were. I agree with the person above who complained about how we can never really see the rooms in detail. The cameras pan through so quick and focus more on the designers verbal explanations instead of letting us see the rooms for ourselves.

    Preston is creepy… He talks about his mom every week, which kind of weirds me out, but whatever. I thought his room today was pretty nice, but I haven’t been impressed with him in the past. I still laugh about the fake flower petal thing. I wonder if he ever buys fake flowers for his mom by accident?

    And last but not least, I just want to mention how glad I am that Wisit is gone… Not because I found him incredibly annoying but because challenge after challenge he completely disregarded what his client asked for and went with his own style instead. So disrepectful…

    Anyway, fun show overall. Looking forward to next week!

  • Reply Wall Mounted Fountains October 17, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    I have a mirror wall fountain that would be a good alternative to those wall plates. It adds good white noise as well as the cool look.

  • Reply mackenzie October 17, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Dressed like the grapes from Fruit of the Loom, I had a hard time taking Kelly Wearstler seriously.

    mackenzies last blog post: candy bars

  • Reply PJ October 17, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    Eh, they were all forgettable. Seriously, I can hardly remember one of them, and I just finished watching a rerun. Nathan’s was at least a bit ‘futuristic,’ so whatev. Eddie, working for Martha or not, is really amateurish. Seriously, paint spattered on walls? Yeah, that sort of crap shows up in ‘faux finish it yourself’ mags you can pick up at Ace Hardware. TEN YEARS AGO. Oooh, maybe next week he’ll do a ‘sponge painting’ technique, maybe on a pillow or a purchased vase! Such originality! Natalie was seriously out of her league though, so…yeah, buh-bye. I still pick Nathan to win.

    I remember AGES ago, when I was in college, thinking, if and when I had kids, how so very different the world would be when they were the age I was then. Now they are 22 and 17 and you know what? Not so different at all! Go figure.

    Why did you have to ask me to non-choose between Eddie and Kenley? Arrgh! If made to choose…Kenley for her nasally voice, but Eddie wins for overrating his talent and influence. Some of Kenley’s dresses were not SO bad.

  • Reply Diane October 19, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    I can’t really take any of this seriously design wise. It’s more like set design than interior design. I love Kelly W’s designs, but I agree that it is difficult to take her serously when she looks lke every day is Halloween. This is a woman who has looked beautiful in Vogue and has the most amazing house. She’s an absolutely incredible designer, but her clothing is strange and sad, and her nasally monotone voice makes me nuts. I prefer Kelly between the pages of a magazine.

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