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Top Design: The Weekly Dish

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…

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 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.)

Posted in guest bloggers, reality tv on September 11, 2008

Top Design: The Weekly Dish

I’m super happy that Becky from Hatch has decided to come back to decor8 for a little once-a-week guest blogging to cover Bravo’s Top Design for us. She’ll be posting here weekly the day after the show, so please visit decor8 to catch her dish and to chime in with your own opinions. I would have authored this column myself, but Top Design does not air here in Germany and besides… Becky did such a great job last season blogging HGTV’s Design Star that I figured it would be an honor to have her back to talk about Top Design. Take it away, Becky!

The new and improved Top Design started last night with new host India Hicks. I’ve been a huge fan of Todd Oldham’s since “Todd Time” on MTV’s Cindy Crawford-hosted House of Style, but I think it was wise to place him in more of a studio critic role for this show’s purposes. Wow, I would love to have had him as my design prof!

So, the show has been retooled. Personally, I LOVED it. It was a half a million times better than last season, and at least a million times better than Design Star. The backgrounds of most of the contestants was very impressive (Sex and the City set decorator? Martha Stewart Living editor = dream jobs!). The challenge was creative – I adored that they were designing for the judges and that they had to junk shop – my favorite kind of shopping! What was funny was realizing that books by all four judges are four of my favorite, most inspiring design tomes – I glean design inspiration from all four of them all of the time! It must be hard to design for someone whose style you admire – how do you find a balance between emulating and showcasing your own style?

So let’s dish. Who were your favorite contestants, and whom do you like the least? Personally, I love Kerry just because he’s from Georgia and his nickname is Big Daddy. Kyra Sedgewick needs to study his accent closely for The Closer – she really misses the mark (THAIHNK YEEEEWWW!!!) and his is a perfectly pleasing Georgia accent. I am interested in Wizit’s fashion background. I love to study the relationship between fashion design and interior design. Jennifer’s architecture background intrigues me; it means she should have a very good understanding of spatial relationships, construction and lighting. OK, and if you are about my age (36), you dreamed of living in a Silver Spoons mansion with a mini-train going through it, and that’s all I could think about when I heard one of the contestants is married to Ricky Rick Schroeder.

As for my least favorites, it’s kind of too early to tell. I liked Shazia’s personality a lot but thought she was weak. I also did not see Natalie contributing much, and her Pop Design concept was so yearbook staff.

Speaking of which, what did you think of the “Pop Design” concept? I really liked it. One of my complaints with these shows is that when they work in groups, individuals are not able to show off their own talents. This concept takes care of that problem.

Did you get the impression that the contestants knew much about the judges’ styles? I was thinking things like “India Hicks – HELLO, do a fabulous tablescape! Think of the book Island Style! DUH!!!” I didn’t get the feeling anyone knew anything about her!

Will you be tuning in to the rest of the season? In the upcoming scenes, I spotted three of my favorite personalities of all time – Simon Doonan, Jeff Lewis, and Santino – whoo-hoo, I CANNOT WAIT!

OK, enough from me! If you watched last season, did you find this season improved? Who do you have your eye on as the winner? Which contestant do you think may get cut next? Which design was your favorite, and which one do you think was a bust?

I can’t wait to dish with you all! SPOILER ALERT: We’ll be talking about the results in the comments section!


Posted in guest bloggers, reality tv on September 04, 2008

Design Star Dish with Becky

Design Star Fans:

I am so sorry. I was so excited about finding out who won Design Star that I totally forgot to watch it and write about it. I guess I had convinced myself that it was over and I never had to watch it again! I hate it when shows make you suffer through a reunion show just to find out the winner. If you missed it too, the winner announcement video is here.


Seeing some of these flashbacks made me realize how much more interesting it was on a drama level when people I didn’t like were on the show. Is there anyone besides Matt or Jen you think should have made it to the final two? Who was your favorite? Least favorite? Was there one particular challenge-winning design that stood out from the rest? Do you think anyone unfairly got the shaft?

What do you think the winner’s show should be called. So far, past winners have shows called Color Splash and Myles of Style.

What’s the cheesiest and most pun-filled name you can come up with? Why doesn’t Sparkle Josh have a show of his own? Oh wait, he is on a show, how did I miss this? He’s hilarious. Maybe he and Blayne from Project Runway should make cameo appearances on Sunset Tan.

Alright, enough from me, what did you all think? – Becky Harris

(text by Becky Harris, Images from

Posted in guest bloggers, reality tv on August 05, 2008

Design Star Dish (with Becky)

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

Hi Design Star Watchers! Well, let’s face it — it was schmaltzy. It was one long ad for Lumber Liquidators and Kenmore’s Elite Line; even Vern had to throw in a scripted admiration for the appliances. However, it got to me. I’m so glad Design Star did something useful and helped two families who lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. I’m also glad to see attention brought to the people who are still suffering almost three years later. It was so nice to hear those New Orleans accents on the homeowners as well – if that’s not the greatest U.S. accent, I don’t know what is!

Did anyone happen to catch what their budgets were? I missed that part, but figured they were high when Matt bought a $1700 light fixture. Overall, I really like both Matt and Jen. They both seem like sincerely nice people with great energy. I tried hard to look at this challenge in terms of the needs of the families and not in terms of high design.

Matt’s Room

However, as Nina Garcia would say, I think Matt’s problem is a taste issue. He’s great for infrastructure, carpentry, and solutions, but I don’t think he knows anything about color theory or space planning, and he put tchotchke Buddhas in front of the flat screen. His blinds were ugly and didn’t go with anything, the rug, furniture and throw pillows were completely mis-matched, and the color of the kitchen cabinets was dreadful.

Jen’s Kitchen

Jen’s design was a bit dated but pleasing. One thing I don’t understand – if you have to throw together a kitchen in a hurry on a budget, why not go to IKEA? I’m having a deja-vu, I think someone here may have said that during the kitchen challenge! They have those awesome red glossy kitchen cabinets there, and it only takes an hour for someone in the store to lay the whole thing out for you. I thought her kitchen turned out fine though. The horizontal striped painting is very Laurie of Trading Spaces circa 2001, or Tom Filicia of Queer Eye circa 2003, but it looked fine and the family loved it. While the couch turned out to be a bit of a space planning flop, the whole family was able to flop on it at the same time.

It’s kind of hard to criticize when the outcome was so appreciated and needed. I think the thing that stood out the most were Trish’s amazing abs. The second biggest standout was Cynthia’s darling dress. I simply cannot think up anything else, mostly because I am DYING to go watch the new episode of Mad Men! I can’t wait to see those sets and costumes in HD!

So OK, back to Design Star

What did you all think of the designs? Who will you vote for and why? Who is a better host? Did any particular element of either design hit on one of your pet peeves? Have you ever tried to paint a room red, and if so, how did it go? – Becky

(images from hgtv)

Posted in guest bloggers, reality tv on July 29, 2008


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