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Top Design: The Weekly Dish

Miss Becky is back to share her opinion on the finale of Bravo’s Top Design. Yay! I’ve loved having her here to comment on the show each week, I’m sure you’ll all agree that often Becky is MORE entertaining than the actual episode. Becky, the stage is yours, my dear! ? Holly


The Finale! The first order of business before we discuss the show: Holly, are you missing the shower curtain from your apartment in Germany? I’m pretty sure that Kelly Wearstler was wearing it in this episode!

Kelly wearing a dress by Marni.

I really enjoyed this episode. The contestants had a couple of days, a couple of carpenters, a seamstress and an auffed (thanks Kristin – I’m using that for every reality show now) contestant assistant to complete an entire house. By the way, was I seeing it correctly? Were the kitchen, dining, and living rooms all on the top floor of the house? Were there views? If not, I don’t get it.

Room by Ondine.

Room by Ondine.

Each contestant really showed their individual style this week. Ondine seemed to have grown the most throughout the competition, though I recognized the photo of her headboard from some magazine – does anyone remember where that was from? I think it might have been Elle Decor, but I’m not sure. I thought that was a little weird. I also wished that Big Daddy had built something like that headboard for the David Hockney window that resulted in his auffing. Ondine’s style was really fun but seemed to simply emulate Jonathan Adler’s. There was the C. Jere-esque sculpture, the bright BOOM! POW! colors and foo dogs galore. It was all straight out of My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living. That being said, I thought she did a good job.

Design by Preston.

Design by Preston.

While Preston’s design was very polished, I don’t think he took the judges’ advice from last week. They begged him to add that extra layer of his own personality, but he didn’t. While he had very clean and modern rooms, it all had that Jeff Lewis staged-to-sell or impersonal hotel look (that’s a shout-out to you, Eleise!). As they panned through his rooms, all I could think was “Man I wish ‘Lost’ was on!” He seemed to have an inability to have fun, whether at the pool or when designing.

Design by Nathan.

Design by Nathan.

My favorite, Nathan, was wackadooarama, and I loved it. He took huge risks, and his designs were the only ones that seemed to have any originality and excitement. While this crazy funkiness can impress judges, it is also a major gamble. Nathan was far and away the gutsiest competitor throughout the entire season. When he hits, he gets a bulls-eye. When he misses, he misses by a long-shot! He clearly knows the difference between designing and decorating.

A few other random notes: If I had only seen this episode and the first two episodes, I would have liked Eddie just fine, and I would have found him entertaining. I cringed when I saw him return, but he didn’t offend or appall me at all this week! I finally saw Margaret smile – she’s been speaking with quite a crisp tone to the other judges the past few weeks. India seemed to warm up a lot as the season went on and I found myself wanting to have a drink with her by the end. Jonathan Adler actually made a Samantha Fox reference, and now I can’t get “I Wanna Have Some Fun…” out of my head! (SaSaSamantha Fox!)

So, I’m dying to read what you all thought of the finale. Do you think the right person won? If not, who were you pulling for? Which house was your favorite and which was your least favorite? Is there such a thing as a “traditional twist,” which was part of Preston’s weird explanation for his style, or is that an oxymoron? How funny is it that Nathan comes up with style names like “Bohemian Bourgeouisie,” and calls a large chest a “giant coffin S and M holding pen”? Do you think that seeing her own style copied so much on this show drove Kelly to switch it up and go all Bravura Modern, as featured recently in Domino? Do you read so many design blogs every day that a lot of this looked really done to death to you? Did you think anyone’s style was “love it or hate it”? Whom would you like to have a beer with the most? Who would you take to a Kathy Griffin concert? Do you remember Samantha Fox? (If not here’s a YouTube video, don’t say I never gave you anything.) Where is she now? What did you think about Preston switching his lounge, which was supposed to set the whole tone for the house design, into a dining room? Please just comment on anything you want!

One more note: It has been my pleasure to be able to dish with you all every week! After I post here, I find myself compulsively checking the comments every ten minutes to see what you have to say, and I find myself chuckling and nodding as I do. It’s been an absolute honor to be posting on decor8 and to be able to have discussions with you every week! Thank you so much! – Becky Harris


Thank you Becky, it’s been our pleasure having you. LOVE your post each week. :) – Holly

(images from bravo’s top design)

Posted in guest bloggers, reality tv on November 06, 2008

Boston’s Brand New Artisan Market!

NEW: Prudential Center Artisan Market!

Posted in uncategorized on November 05, 2008

Daily Discounts: Gifts Define

Handmade birdies! Chirp! Here’s another discount for lovely handmade toys, dolls, and other felt-y goods from Gifts Define! They are offering us a 20% off site wide discount (with the exception of already discounted/promo items), just enter code prodecor8 upon checkout. This offer is valid until November 21, 2008.

If you live outside of the U.S., please email your order to info so that they can send you their int’l shipping costs, apply the discount, and process the order. US orders can be processed through their online shopping cart so no need to email them if your mailing address is in the US.

(images from gifts define)

Posted in uncategorized on November 05, 2008

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

It’s Take Five Tuesdays time, one of my favorite posts to pull together! Last week I missed writing this column, and I feel so bad — I hope you aren’t upset with me. I hate to let anyone down, it’s just like I was a bit of an airhead last Tuesday (I specifically recall that day and how much work was on my plate) and I forgot to write my Etsy post. I promise to make it up to you now with the best batch of sellers yet. I find these especially sweet. I’ve even included a 6th to win your love back. :) So here you go, your weekly Etsy dose!

I love the mini original paintings by This is all I know in Portland, OR. I cannot stop looking at them ever since Ez showed them on her wish list. I seriously cannot peel myself away. I would love to own each of these shown above, I’m absolutely smitten by the little faces looking back at me.

Krize: Smiling Shop from Spain. Digital prints, cards, and more to tickle your fancy. Aren’t the illustrations (and colors) sweet?

Luxe Deluxe in Scotland. Jewelry that I think I seriously need to own at least 10 necklaces from. OMG. Somebody talk me out of it, quick! Oh wait, you need talking out of a major splurge as well? Sorry, I guess we have to just give in to maybe one…

Sharon Montrose Photography out of Los Angeles. Does it ever feel like LA is the new Brooklyn or something? I hear more and more about LA this and LA that. And just look at the cutie pie animals. The owl is calling me, but I haven’t a vacant wall to spare… Sorry little hootie. Maybe you can adopt him?

Sea Unicorn in Los Angeles. More jaw dropping gems. Seriously people, these sellers on Etsy are blowing my mind. Why would I ever need to shop in a mall EVER AGAIN. I cringe now when I walk by all of those accessories chain stores because for not much more money I can own something that benefits a seller and her family, supports the local economy, and has some heart behind it. Am I right?

B O N U S seller, here’s #6: Trumpery laser cut pendants (or whatever you want them to be, just add string!) in San Francisco. I cannot for the life of me recall when I found out about them, it may have been on a blog. If so, please raise your hand if you blogged them so you can get full credit here. Don’t be shy, call out your find sista!

(images linked to their sources above)


Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.


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