• Friday, April 13, 2007

    Top Design Recap: Season Finale Shocker!

    Posted by Eric3000

    Wow! Who saw that coming?!

    Oh, yeah; everyone.

    Matt: "Was there ever any doubt?"

    Unfortunately, no. It was pretty clear weeks ago who the judges wanted to win. Of, course, it didn't help that Margaret accidentally leaked that Elle Decor article about Matt winning. And I didn't buy her lame explanation about writing an article for each designer. [joking!]

    But, I have to say that when I saw how much better Carisa's loft was I did have a tiny bit of doubt, thinking, "Maybe the judges will have no choice but to reward the best design, even thought they've already decided who the winner should be."

    We start the episode with a clip of Matt telling us he's going to kill himself if he doesn't make it into the final two. Well, that's certainly a mature and professional attitude.

    Then we play a little game of catchphrase:

    Jonathan: "He's the mayor of excuses village."

    Kelly: "I feel like I'm in an assisted living facility."

    Margaret: "You can't just design a room around a cat."

    Yep, those are classics.

    Todd: "Designers, you will be designing a 1,700 square foot loft in one of the hottest areas of downtown Los Angeles."

    What difference does it make that the lofts are in a hot area of town? We don't have to live there; we just care what the designers do to the inside, right?

    Todd: "Santa Fe Lofts is paying us to say the building is in a hot part of town."

    Oh, of course.

    The lofts are identical. They laugh alike, they walk alike, At times they even talk alike; what a crazy pair of lofts.

    The designers will have two months to plan the space and then five minutes to actually do the project. OK, they actually have five days for the project. But I still wonder why they have such a generous amount of time for planning and then have to rush like crazy at the end. They also have a generous budget: $12,500 plus $150,000 from the PDC and $25,000 in GE appliances.

    Matt: "Well, I'm not used to such a small budget but I guess I'll just have to do my best."

    Todd gives them envelopes containing their clients. They are designing for themselves:

    Matt: "My client is me! I couldn't ask for a better client! I couldn't ask for a better designer, either! I am so in love with myself!"

    They get to see the loft space.

    Carisa: "Do you want to measure together?"

    Matt: "No. you won't measure it as well as I will because I have so much more experience."

    OK, it's two months later and the designers are back in Los Angeles, ready to start work. Todd tells them he's going to have their floors done while they are shopping. Carisa is getting black lacquer "hand carved" something-or-other floors. How can you tell they are hand carved? And how can you tell what kind of wood they are if they are covered in black lacquer? Matt just has his concrete floors painted black. I happen to like concrete floors but this is still a little surprising since Matt is usually all about the floors and this is a little boring. I also wonder if those floors are going to get messed up with all the work that's going to go on.

    We get reacquainted with Ed and Carl. It's the Ed and Carl show! Oh, wait, no, it isn't. But they both work really hard and do a great job, with the assistance of some other carpenters.

    The stupid freight elevator for the Santa Fe Lofts doesn't hold shit so they have to carry everything up the fire escape, which really sucks. We get a weird scene with Carl talking with two of his helpers and Carisa comes in:

    Carisa: "What's going on?"

    Carl: "They didn't know they were going to have to carry things up the fire escape."

    Carisa: "This is bullshit!" [storms off]

    Two Guys: "What the hell was that?"

    Carl: "That was your boss."

    Two Guys: "Oh. She seems like a real bitch."

    Carl: "Yep. OK, let's get back to work."

    Two Guys: "OK."

    Seriously, what the hell was that scene about? Were the guys threatening to quit? Were they demanding more money? Were they just complaining for the hell of it? Anyway, they get all the stuff up to the lofts with only minor injuries: Ed shows up with his hand bandaged on the second day:

    Matt: "What happened?"

    Ed: "Oh, I lost my thumb in a freak elevator-call-button accident. Don't worry; I'll be fine."

    Oh, that Ed; what are we going to do with him?

    Unsurprisingly, all the construction work in the lofts completely fucks up the floors. Matt has to completely repaint his, causing me to wonder why they bothered painting them first or why they didn't cover them up during construction.

    Carl and Sarah destroy Carisa's floor. The floor she loves so much and had been dreaming about having her whole life.

    Sarah: "Oh, my god! Carisa's going to kill us! Carl, what are we going to do? Oh, no; here she comes! I'm scared!"

    Carisa: "You ruined the floors? C'est la vie. You did a great job on those cubes!"

    Sarah: "What have you done with the real Carisa?"

    With one hour to go Todd makes an announcement:

    Todd: "Models, this is also a competition for you! You'll get a spread in Elle magazine!"

    Ed and Carl: "But we aren't models."

    Todd: "Oh, I forgot. We got most of the carpenters from a modeling agency so I got confused. Well, we'll give you $10,000 then. How's that?"

    Ed and Carl: "That's great. Of course it would have given us more motivation if you had told us that earlier."

    Carisa: "I'm more interested in Carl getting that $10,000 so he can send his girls to the cheapest college on earth than I am in winning $100,000 for myself. That's just the kind of selfless person I am."

    So, the finished lofts:

    Matt really butchered his loft space. The point of a loft is to have a large, open space and he made it feel very cramped and narrow. I understand that he had to incorporate sleeping spaces for his family but I think he could have done it better. He could have put a bedroom in the corner, which would have left the central space more open and he could still have used a movable wall to open it up so you wouldn't lose the corner window views. Or he could have put a small bedroom right when you come in the front door, which would have created a hallway that would lead into the living room. I don't like how you have to walk around the living room furniture to get to the rest of the apartment. I just don't think he used the space very well.

    Trudie Styler: "I don't think he has a grasp of architectural space, though he's a good decorator."

    Matt: "What gives you the right to judge my space, Mrs. Sting?"

    Trudie: "I'm the guest judge. That gives me the right to judge, you jackass."

    His daughter's room is really cute. I think his bathroom is ugly. If Michael had painted a bathroom eggplant the judges would have ripped him a new one. But Matt did it so they like it. Trudie thinks the bathroom is sexy. She would totally have tantric sex with Sting in there. She wishes Matt had made his bedroom a little sexier:

    Matt: "God, there's no pleasing that woman! I'm just going to be in the bedroom with my wife; why would I be thinking about sex?"

    Well, the judges think his loft looks really expensive. He spent almost $200,000; it fucking better look expensive!

    Carisa's loft looks really cool! As far as furnishings, I know it's subjective; I happen to share her aesthetic taste more than I do Matt's. But objectively, I think she used the loft space better. I wish she hadn't had to use the exact dining room set that Andrea used for her winning design but apparently the PDC only carries one dinette set and a ceramic pepper and that's it. No, but really, I'm sure there were lots of items that were reused in several of the challenges because they had a limited number of stores to shop in, but because it was Andrea's winning design it was pretty obvious. I didn't think her work space was very exciting, though it did seem pretty functional. her bed pit was totally groovy! I loved it!

    Margaret: "I was really prepared to hate that bed pit. In fact, I tried really, really hard to hate it. I just couldn't; I don't know what has come over me."

    Jonathan: "I could really get up to some mischief in that bed pit."

    Margaret: "That's nasty, Jonathan! Hee hee!"

    Matt wins.

    Duh.

    Carisa: "This is the best possible outcome. I'm pretty sure if Matt had lost he would have ended up as a trannie hooker on Santa Monica Blvd. but I'll be perfectly fine. I'm really happy for him. That's just the kind of caring nurturer that I am."

    Matt: "If I had lost to a design student I would have robbed a bank and spent the rest of my life drinking in Mexico. Actually, I may do that anyway."

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    11 Comments:

    Anonymous Calady said...

    "The lofts are identical. They laugh alike, they walk alike, At times they even talk alike; what a crazy pair of lofts"

    OMG, I know what I will be humming the rest of the weekend. Love you Eric.

    April 13, 2007 at 8:34 PM  
    Blogger Linda Merrill said...

    Brava, as always!

    April 13, 2007 at 8:52 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "He spent almost $200,000; it fucking better look expensive"

    The Heidi mantra for Bravo winners.
    "It looks expensive"

    Matte wins. Woot.

    Thank you, eric3k, for the recaps that helped make TD bearable!

    nutmeg

    April 14, 2007 at 12:10 AM  
    Blogger Marius said...

    I like Matt’s style more than Carisa’s, but I was disappointed with the judges. There was no real deliberation. They just handed the victory to Matt. Come on, people; this is a competition. Carisa did a great job, but I guess her designs just aren’t compatible with Elle Decor.

    April 14, 2007 at 1:18 PM  
    Blogger Laz said...

    But I still wonder why they have such a generous amount of time for planning and then have to rush like crazy at the end.

    I think the editors would have shot themselves if they'd had to edit any more than five day's worth of footage.

    And we can only take so many eyerolls per episode...

    April 14, 2007 at 7:46 PM  
    Blogger kbryna said...

    "apparently the PDC only carries one dinette set and a ceramic pepper and that's it."

    well, you pretty much summed up most of this show's problems right there.

    i kinda think it was unfair to put Carisa and Matt in the final. the quality of work and styles were SO far apart that it simply doesn't seem like an even match.

    please do blog shear genius! i was delighted with the first episode and want more bloggy snarkiness to go with it!

    April 14, 2007 at 9:48 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Another fantastic post Eric - the show itself sucks, but because of your witty posts, I'm glad it exists. Now on to Shear Genius -

    April 14, 2007 at 11:36 PM  
    Blogger mumblesalot said...

    I agree "Matt butchered his loft space" .
    This show seemed stilted, lacking creativity and a myopic vision of style. High end and expensive being the judges overused favorite adjectives. Sure in their blogs they say they made their decision on planning, use of time etc.. but they never failed to drool and swoon over "high-end" luxury.
    For some reason I would have liked to seen this show shot in NYC. THere just seems to be a richer variety of vendors and styles. And maybe more of a appreciation of them.

    April 15, 2007 at 10:53 AM  
    Blogger trixie said...

    Using the Patty Duke show song was inspired. You are so funny. Eric.

    Todd: "Models, this is also a competition for you! You'll get a spread in Elle magazine!"
    Ed and Carl: "But we aren't models."
    Todd: "Oh, I forgot. We got most of the carpenters from a modeling agency so I got confused.


    We miss you Jared.

    Trudie thinks the bathroom is sexy.She would totally have tantric sex with Sting in there. She wishes Matt had made his bedroom a little sexier:

    Matt: "God, there's no pleasing that woman! I'm just going to be in the bedroom with my wife; why would I be thinking about sex?"


    That's hilarious. (and a bit in the "funny because it's true" sort of way)

    Well, the judges think his loft looks really expensive. He spent almost $200,000; it fucking better look expensive!

    Isn't it amusing how the judges say that a room that cost $200,000 to decorate "looks expensive" as if they have just made some sophisticated aesthetic statement?

    apparently the PDC only carries one dinette set and a ceramic pepper

    ha ha!

    Matt: "If I had lost to a design student I would have robbed a bank and spent the rest of my life drinking in Mexico. Actually, I may do that anyway."

    We all should do that now.

    Thanks for your recaps. They've been the primary reason to watch.

    April 15, 2007 at 3:34 PM  
    Blogger mumblesalot said...

    P.S. your blog is hysterical and I thank you for that

    April 15, 2007 at 7:57 PM  
    Blogger Living said...

    Your lifestyle or taste determines what the focal point of your living area is. If you have a fireplace, you can rearrange your furniture around it. Or if you have a piano, and this is the focal point of your living area, your furniture could be set around it. When rearranging your furniture, also consider traffic in your Living Room Decoration area. It is always good to arrange furniture in off-square angles. This makes the room warmer and more casual. http://living-room-decoration.blogspot.com

    June 24, 2008 at 2:04 AM  

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