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Notes On Mystery Clients

I really enjoyed Top Design last night, at least the first 10 minutes of it when the designers were assigned a mystery client with only a short bio to go on. It reminded me of the projects in design school that I enjoyed so much, and watching the show encouraged me to run upstairs and drag out my very first design board because it was based on a mystery client.

The mini bio I was assigned disclosed that my clients, Sid and Darby, had an extensive art collection, were downsizing from a home to a loft space, newly retired, loved warm, rich colors and ecclectic decor, and were big on texture and hardwood flooring. Both needed a space for books, their baby grand piano, and because Sid entertains often, he would love a bar. Although the floor plan was open concept, both wanted their own ‘area’ to do the things that they enjoyed most. Neither wanted traditional bookshelves. Both craved one leather piece in the room to bring back memories of their Texan childhood. I selected the Joshua Tree Camp Chair from Ralph Lauren.

Each student in my class had their own mystery client to work on, each slip of paper had a budget, and only two slips had a “no limits”budget — guess who was assigned that one? Yes, me. I was thrilled. We also had to work within the confines of certain space limitations in regards to plumbing and such, and each student had to work off of the same floor plan (see floor plan on left side of the board).

We were given a week to complete the project, access to the design center, etc. and within that same week, the board had to be finished and presented before the class, including a complete report detailing everything about the lifestyle of the client and why certain choices were made, and of course a larger, more detailed, floor plan (forntunately for me, models or computer rendering wasn’t a requirement back then, thankfully as I only do hand rendering and only dabble in CAD).

This acrylic built-in for books was my favorite feature. I want this in my own home someday as the appearance of ‘floating’ books is quite lovely, don’t you think?

Thankfully, unlike Top Design, we weren’t later told that our space was really for children. :)

(images from holly becker for decor8)

Posted in reality tv on February 08, 2007

Dishing Top Design – Episode #2 Open Thread

Don’t forget… Top Design is on tonight at 10/9c (an hour earlier than last week, thank God.) Then come back here, meet me on this thread, and we’ll dish like last week. Here’s our thread from the premiere episode, if you’d like to catch up. It’s pretty funny to read through all 40 comments, here are a few that stood out…

“Alexis Arquette was in the Wedding Singer and other movies–part of the Arquette clan of actors. Famous in LA for a drag show and underground performance stuff. Weird choice… I think the Elle Decor editor was horrified.” – Anon

“I thought the Heather/Lisa room looked like a typical catalog page for World Market or Pier One or something. Boring.” – Becky

“Just wanted to say that I didn’t like the Elle Decor judge very much either…she just seemed very snobby and mean. Trying to be Nina, but in a not-cool way.” -K

“For some reason home design shows always feel outdated and tacky…I’ll keep watching and try to be open minded.” – Lena

“Hated the swing.” – Jaime

“I think this show has promise, like annon said a minute ago, it seems very “Design Star” right now.” – Cortney

“Was anyone else distraced by Todd Oldham’s Mystic Tan and overdone makeup?” – Anon

“Adler’s vases! I was distracted by those vases gracing every interview and wish they would scrap them. I cannot believe he allowed this frankly tacky display of his products.” – Casapinka

“I felt really uncomfortable with Todd Oldham. As much as I wanted to like him, he’s lacking in the excitement catagory.” – John

“Sort of sympathised with Elle Decor woman not looking very impressed with any of it as I wasn’t either. Didn’t much like her though. She is far too skinny to be involved in something as voluptuous as design and I have to say that I’ve been profoundly unimpressed with Elle Decor since I got here (compared with the UK or French editions).” – Paola

Read more comments here and after the show tonight, meet me here and let’s dish!

See you later, decorators (gulp!).

Posted in reality tv on February 07, 2007

Dishing Top Design – What Did You Think?

Okay… Episode one is behind us. What did you think of the premiere of Top Design?

Posted in reality tv on February 01, 2007

Top Design – Are You In?

The votes are in, you want to dish about Top Design after the show, so look for a weekly post here on decor8 starting tonight where you can rant and rave, praise and protect, and have some fun mingling with others to talk about each episode. Tonight is the much anticipated premiere! Yeah! Here’s a sneak peek of episode 1.


I’ll post “Dishing Top Design” after the show each week. The post will only contain a line or two of text and a Top Design image. I promise not to give anything away in the actual post, just in case some of you are planning to Tivo it. The details will be in the comments section – so if you don’t want to know what happened, don’t read the comments. We don’t want to spoil it for anyone.

Psst: Tim Gunn is part of the mix, at least for tonight. I know, I know… How amazing is that? You have to click on over to the Bravo website and watch Tim chatting it up with Jonathan Adler, you’ll love it! I was so excited to see Tim surface again, I couldn’t wait until the next Project Runway to hear his voice, love that guy!

(image from bravo)

Posted in reality tv on January 31, 2007

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