• Saturday, January 13, 2007

    Are Jai and Erik Related?

    Dear Bravo,

    Thank you for choosing my brother Erik to be one of the Top Design challengers. I promise to not unduly influence him.

    Sincerely, Jai

    Posted: Ms. Place

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    Michael's Story

    Well, now we know what happened to Ralphie!
    He grew up and morphed into Michael Adams.
    Will he use "The LAMP" or won't he?
    Stay tuned and find out!

    Posted: Ms. Place

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    What is this?

    Dahlings, guess what this object is.
    Hand blown in Venice, it has a rather ordinary function.

    Posted: Ms. Place

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    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    Funterior Scapes

    Karim Rashid's home page on his website is visually and tactically the funnest (yes, funnest) I've seen in a long, long while!

    Click here, dahlings, and run your computer mousie back and forth over the little symbol thingies at the bottom. Play a tune. Or keep twirling those doo-hickies.

    And then when you're exhausted, enter the pages these symbols represent to find more funterior scapes like this one at Deutsche Bank below or the dining room at the top. Oooooh, how I wish Rashid had been around when I was setting up house as a blushing, not so virginal bride! I would have spent ALL of our savings on these cravable objects.

    You've just gotten a notion of Ms. Place's taste, which is a tad out of the ordinary. Keep it in mind when she dishes the designers on this blog.

    Now check out the fahbulously fun lamps below. Who'd have thought Mae West's underthingies would land in Nashville and find a bright future there?

    Posted: Ms. Place

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    While We Wait - Look out Victoria...here comes Kelly.

    Since we have a few weeks before Top Design begins, we are having fun finding unusual design sites and getting into the design mood. Take a few minutes and learn about...

    Tramp Lamps

    Yes, you read this right. Tramp Lamps are "Illuminated Lingerie Lamps."
    What a clever idea!! Fashion and Design. Oh... a great challenge for Project Runway season 4.
    Kelly Butler runs her business out of her basement in Nashville.

    Thanks Kelly

    Posted: CaLady

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    Tuesday, January 9, 2007

    My Blue Bunny

    I am going to drive my family crazy before the first episode of Top Designer even airs! I've caught the decorating bug after reading all of the contestants bios and just thinking about Tod Oldham & Jonathan Adler is giving my stagnated ideas on where to put what new life.

    My living room has been shifted here and there for the past three days until I finally found an arrangement that I was not only pleased with, but excited about. My poor hubby just shakes his head and walks away. Come to think of it, he does that a lot. If he only knew what I'm planning on doing at Pier One this weekend...

    (now envision me sitting here rubbing my palms together and laughing wickedly).

    I am looking forward to getting some good tips on interior design while watching the show, I know I've made many a decorating faux pas and welcome the opportunity to repair my interior design blunders. I have an idea that my blue ceramic bunny will be saying bye-bye. What do you think?

    Posted: TheHoInMo

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    Sunday, January 7, 2007

    Judging by the “Design Book” Cover

    So in the spirit of all the TOP shows that came before, we come to the interior design field where we will search high and low ...or at least in 3 major cities...for the next it person to tell us to paint our living rooms aubergine (a.k.a. dark purple) for that more relaxing, homey feel.

    And while we have an entire season to get to know these designers, first impressions are key. After taking time to read each bio and watch some videos I thought I would share my initial thoughts about the de-sasters...I mean designers.

    I have three words for her after watching the sneak peek...
    “Pushy, pushy, pushy.”

    Graduated from Yale, but wants to be on a reality show...
    His parent must be proud!

    “Not afraid to do whatever it takes to be successful.”
    ...I can see he’s going to make this interesting.

    Worked for Prince, huh?...
    According to Kevin Smith that ain’t so easy.

    Attended a “special” design school...
    is that like for the colorblind?

    Allergic to the suburbs?
    So snobbery isn’t owned only by the overly educated.

    Mother of 2, speaks 4 languages,
    owns a design/architecture firm,
    teaches at 2 universities, married…
    if she dyes her hair pink on this show
    I might have to make up a super hero name for her.

    “...Knew he wanted to be a designer in kindergarten”
    I bet he hogged the crayons
    and colored construction paper...
    and got beat up a lot.

    However, knew from the age of 7
    ...Matt would consider her a late bloomer.

    Grew up in Western Mass on a farm, huh?
    I don’t know if that entitles you to “taste”...we’ll see.

    “...works all day and all night”...
    Surprised she still married.
    I’ll take odds she’s the first who wants to go to sleep
    on a night when they are on a short deadline


    He thinks his greatest design achievement is his house...hmm...
    I don’t know what to think, let alone say about that?

    So that’s it for now...I guess we’ll see if I need to start up my own psychic hotline. I wonder if Dion Warwick is available? If not I hear Celine Dion will be in a year...but I digress.

    Go judge them for yourself and let us know your predictions!


    Posted: Damselfly


    Jonathan Adler, Happy Top Design Judge

    Jonathan Adler is a very happy man! This Top Design judge describes his design aesthetic in a few telling words: Be bold, inappropriate, exuberant, personal, and idiosyncratic! Now, how'd he get a hold of MY design philosophy? And how'd he get a hold of my little pooch? Swear to gawd our two dogs came from the same litter.

    Jonathan's phrases are even more spot on. "Decorate for yourself," "There is an "utter pointlessness to good taste without fun," and, "My chic comes from the fact that I’m a serious designer and use the best materials."

    If you're eager to hear more about Jonathan's design philosophy before Bravo's show begins, you can listen to a two part, 40-minute interview taped in 2005 on the Apartment Therapy website.

    "This interview takes place on the eve of the publication of his new book, My Presciption for Anti-Depressive Living, and the dawn of JA going global." It is also extremely entertaining and informative.

    To listen, click on the arrow at the far left of tape A or tape B.

    Samples of Jonathan's happy designs,
    such as this funky Beach Fish-Shaped Platter, can be found on the Stylehive blog and the Next Site Website .

    Ah, dahlings. I am absolutely going to purchase this amazingly affordable and adorable platter. Two little fishies sucking face? Just thinking about them makes me smile!

    Posted: Ms. Place

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    First Impression!

    OK, I'm probably not the first one to notice that Lisa looks like Storm from the X-Men, but I'm running with it anyway. Lisa will be my Design Hero who rescues the world from bad design, one evil designer at a time. Who will be her arch rival each week? Will it be John, the self-taught designer who may have visions of ruling the world? Or will it be sweet Carisa? Is she really sweet or using the persona to mask her evil ways? Or maybe it's Goil who wants to foil Lisa's plans? Sorry, couldn't help myself with the rhyme thing. Tune in each week to catch another thrilling adventure of Lisa, The X-Designer!

    Posted: TheHoInMo

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    Kitsch & Tchotchkes Taste Patrol: If we don't do it, who will?

    You know it when you see it: Kitsch or tchotchkes. Kitsch consists of objects lacking in so much taste that your first reaction is to laugh (or suppress your humor if your hostess is proud of that shaggy pink chair with elephant feet.) In this land of plenty where we can shop ‘till we drop, our eyes are constantly assailed by objects of dubious taste and quality. Chia Pets, tire planters, shaggy dice dangling from rear view mirrors, and starving artists paintings are the most obvious examples.

    We can overload on too much of a good thing as well. Question: How many Lalique or Baccarat crystal objects can one cram into a room before crossing the line of good taste? Answer: Not as many as you think.

    Often our possessions own us and we wind up filling our interior spaces with STUFF. Tchotchkes are often those tiny useless hostess gifts we receive with monotonous regularity, or collectibles that seem to breed exponentially in front of our eyes like a warren of rabbits. Think Victorian Era, and you have a pretty good idea of what I mean. Sometimes the worst tchotchkes offenders are professional designers who can’t leave well enough alone, adding plants, vase groupings, candles, candy dishes, overstuffed pillows, and a series of framed prints where none are needed.

    By and large our Top Designer won’t be guilty of these failings. Their innate taste, training, and good sense will dismiss such bad notions before they take root. However, during the heat of competition, some might be tempted to use unnecessary fillers to hide an unfinished space or add fussy details at crunch time. We are ready for them and ever vigilant in spotting these lapses should they arise.

    As the season wears on, we will use our special Hula Man Bobble Rating System designed just for this blog:

    For example, should one of our designers get the bright idea to use this toilet bowl seat, I would most definitely give it The Bobble Won’t Wobble rating. That seat should be returned. Not even a debate.

    Posted: Ms. Place

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    Todd Oldham: Renaissance Man

    Todd Oldham, highly acclaimed and popular designer and host of Bravo’s new reality show,TOP DESIGN, is not only a multi-talented and multi-faceted man, but a genuinely personable and caring guy who gives back to the community and his fellow man. Todd’s biography sits on Bravo’s site, but did you know he was also involved in the following projects?

    Last April, Todd joined MTV's Design Against Fur 2006 (DAF) and designers David Carson, Milton Glaser and Karim Rashid to fight to Protect Seals. "Killing for vanity is a very sad state of affairs. No matter how you feel about vegetarianism or the meat industries, it is very hard to feel OK with these senseless, cruel and cowardly murders. Any effort that causes people to consider the sad plight of so many animals whom are raised for vanity businesses brings great awareness and growth possibilities," he said in a formal statement.

    At the Sundance Film Festival in January, 2005, when the young film crew of the 1 Second Film, a non profit collaborative project, approached Todd for a donation, he not only gave them $100, but then, much to their surprise, chatted with them for half an hour to learn more about the movie, its nonprofit mission, and its future. Here’s his photo taken at the time. Doesn’t he look scrumptious in a huggy bear sort of way?

    Our charming Tod is a man of so many divine talents. Observe, for instance, the cover of this 2001: Modern Ferret Magazine Issue #31 featuring Tama Janowitz and her ferrets. It was photographed by Todd Oldham and Oberto Gili!

    Todd also interviewed dancer Patricia Velasquez in the June 2000 issue of Interview magazine. He asked her, "Do you have any pets of your own?" When she answered that she wanted to get a dog, he suggested that she try to find one at the ASPCA first. Todd, dahling, thank you for making that suggestion! I’m already hopelessly in love with you.

    Are you as intrigued by TOP DESIGN's host as I am? Here’s more: An October, 2005 interview by Jess Latham on Blue Vinyl blog, in which Tod discusses his book, Hand Made Modern, his friendship with Amy Sedaris, and the direction his career was going at the time. He also described how he designed to book cover's font: "The font I designed for the book was called ERASE, as it was hand cut out of pink erasers and scanned into the computer. "

    I knew only the barest particulars about Todd when I agreed to join the TDBlogger team. Researching Todd whetted my appetite. Now I can’t wait for TOP DESIGN to begin, and to see our charming and hugely talented host in action.

    Posted: Ms. Place

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