• Saturday, February 17, 2007

    Top Design Recap: Beach Blanket Bitching: or It takes a gay village!

    by Eric3000

    Legal disclaimer: This recap is %100 organic, using only locally grown produce. It is a mix of fact and fantasy; most of the quotes are fake. Do not operate heavy machinery while under the influence of this recap.

    For crying out loud! Our stupid Time Warner digital cable is out again! What is up with that? Fortunately, we already watched the episode of Top Design Wednesday night. But I thought I would watch it again before I wrote this and now I can't. So if I forget anything, you know why.

    Jonathan Adler: "Wow, Eric3000 sounds like the mayor of Excuses Village today."

    Shut it, Jonathan!

    OK, can I just say that the theme song for the show is really starting to grow on me. I guess it's just one of those songs I had to hear a few times before I loved it.

    Just kidding!

    So, we're in the workroom at the PDC and in comes Robert from season one of Project Runway, dressed in a postal uniform and delivering packages to the designers. Robert got that job at the Post Office; congratulations, Robert! The packages are filled with completely useless crap that has nothing to do with the challenge. Except for the postcards. The designers are divided into three teams based on matching postcards. The postcards feature images from three holiday beach destinations.

    Which of these things is not like the others?:


    That's right; Saint-Tropez and Miami are beach cities while Tahiti is a whole island with many different towns and beaches! That just seems weird to me, for some reason.

    Todd Oldham: "You will be working as teams to create cabanas inspired by the locations on your postcards. You will have $2,000 for supplies, $3,500 to spend at Pier One, and the use of your three carpenters. You will be judged on ingenuity and originality."

    As apposed to what? A coin toss?

    Todd: "You think you're being funny but that was an option."

    Goil: "Is a cabana like a cabin that's in the shape of a banana?"

    Todd: "No. A cabana is a free-standing shade structure that serves as a private space on the beach or next to a pool."

    Goil: "Ha ha; I knew that. I was just joking about the banana thing. Although I could totally make it."

    Team Saint-Tropez is Carisa, Ryan, and Goil.
    Team Miami is Elizabeth, Erik, and Matt.
    Team Tahiti is Michael, Felicia, and Andrea.

    Goil actually makes use of the stupid objects that were in their packages. He makes a cabana out of flip-flops and pencils:

    Goil: "There, I finished my cabana!"

    You realize it has to be a lot bigger than that, right?

    Goil: "Oh, ha ha; yeah, of course I knew that ... Damn, could someone please explain it to me again?"

    Elizabeth chooses the colors for Team Miami:

    Elizabeth: "OK, so we all agree on these colors, right? Matt was just working in Miami and he agrees on these colors."

    Matt is standing behind Elizabeth looking at the camera and shaking his head. Matt, she can't hear you shaking your head! Maybe you should tell her you don't like the colors.

    On our television, anyway, the colors looked like a very yellow chartreuse and an almost oxblood plum, which I found to be sort of Asian and combined properly with black could look art deco. Unfortunately, while strong colors like that could be used in art deco interiors, they are not right outdoors, especially in Miami.

    Goil designs a Calatrava-inspired cabana that looks nothing like a banana. It's definitely the most interesting structure. Unfortunately he is not paying attention to the fact that his teammates are totally screwing up the furnishings.

    Ryan: "Since Carisa has experience choosing furnishings for set designs and I'm an artist who likes to make all my own furniture, obviously I should be the one to go shopping at Pier One."

    Goil: "He's making a lot of sense, Carisa. Plus, buying fabric is totally a girl's job. That's why Matt and Michael are doing it."

    Carisa: "Fine! But I'm going to buy shitty fabric! And be prepared for me to complain about everything."

    Ryan: "Oh, I'm ready! Bring it!"

    Ryan buys some cute trendy/retro crap at Pier One. It would actually look good in a little girl's room; maybe one without a cat. But it definitely does not look like the conservative yacht culture of Saint-Tropez. It also doesn't go with the clean, modernist structure Goil designed."

    Carisa: "Oh, my god! I hate everything you got!"

    Ryan: "You haven't even seen it yet!"

    Carisa: "I don't need to see it to know I hate it. I'll just cover everything with this hideous fabric."

    Ryan: "The angle on this overhang needs to be one degree closer to the vertical."

    Carisa: "Ugh. It's such a small detail. That's why I'm going to keep arguing about it."

    To the camera:

    Carisa: "Goil and I are on the same page here."

    Ryan: "I think Goil and I work well together. Carisa just doesn't get it."

    Goil: "I'm going to rip both of them new assholes in about thirty seconds."

    Todd: "Oh, and two more thing: First, Bravo lost the Pier One receipt so we can't return all the stuff you just bought. That means you can go ahead and alter any of your purchases. Also, you'll need to assemble your cabanas on the beach tomorrow and you won't have access to electricity. So you'll only be able to use hand tools. You'll be working your carpenters really hard. I can just picture them now, really going at it on the beach, their skin glistening in the sun and ... oh, sorry, I think I need to sit down for a minute."

    The next day they are on the beach:

    Carisa: "I'm grumpy! I hate the beach! I hate the sun and the sand and the water! And why do I always have to the one spritzing sunscreen on these incredibly hot shirtless carpenters? It's so unfair!"

    Team Tahiti is doing really well. Their cabana is beautiful. But, you know, there's just one thing I require in a cabana:


    I'm sorry, but I sympathize with Carisa a little. Although I love swimming, I hate being in the sun and I don't get the topless cabana idea. The fact that they kept saying how it was a conscious decision made me think it was definitely not a conscious decision.

    Michael: "It takes a gay village to design a cabana without a roof."

    Oh, my god; I am always saying that! I have no idea what it means but I like it.

    Michael: "Well, I knew you would be upset if I didn't make a reference to being gay at least once in this episode."

    You're right. Thank you.

    The judges show up on the beach:

    Kelly actually looks really nice, for a change. Margaret is adorable, as usual, but she looks a little funereal wearing black on the beach. I just realized she only wears black. She's one of those people.

    The guest judge is drinking the official beer of Ireland:

    Guest judge: "Katherine Ireland, that is."

    Ooh, my sides are aching from laughing so hard. Seriously, who the hell is Katherine Ireland? I've never seen her stuff at Target so she can't be that important.

    The judges don't like the fact that Team Tahiti didn't put a roof on their cabana:

    Michael: "We didn't want to make it too literal. Did you want us to create something from Gilligan's Island?"

    Margaret: "Listen, you little shit, if you don't watch the sass I'll mock your outfit so hard your grandmother will feel the need to change clothes!"

    So, the Tahitian cabana is beautiful, other than the missing roof. The sheer fabric really works. Michael, Felicia, and Andrea win a fabulous girls' weekend getaway at the Viceroy in Santa Monica. Wow, what a getaway; that's almost ten miles away from the PDC. Congratulations, Team Tahiti!

    Team Saint-Tropez really got the furnishings wrong. Jonathan found them a "total bummer," which is about the worst criticism there is the design field. But who's fault is it?

    Ryan: "I went to Pier One. But I went with the color swatches Carisa gave me so nothing is my fault!"

    But weren't you there when she picked out the colors?

    Carisa: "I picked out the shitty fabrics but I really think I should have been the one to go shopping at Pier One."

    I'm leaning toward Carisa's side on this. Yes, she was a pain in the ass but I'm sure she would have picked out better furnishings than Ryan did. And I think the colors could have worked if they had been used differently. Anyway, they're both safe.

    Team Miami screwed up royally. I like the slats in the sides but the fabric is so heavy and ugly. And, while I actually think the yellow and plum could have looked good, they really look like shit when combined with that beige color. The interior is cramped and dark. The judges like the outdoor space but it's not enough to make up for the rest of the awful design. Erik is safe because he won last week. So the question is: should Elizabeth go for choosing those colors or should Matt go for not doing anything at all? That's always the tough decision in team challenges. It was Elizabeth's choice to take charge of the project so I guess it's fair to make her responsible for the results. I hate to see her go because I think she's really talented but that design was bad.

    In scenes from next week we see Kelly with a new hairstyle:

    Other Eric: "Is that a scene from next week or from 1986?"


    Friday, February 16, 2007

    Diva of the Week Winner

    By TheHoInMo

    Considering that last week's episode was as exciting as watching a piss ant crossing the road, it wasn't surprising that I had a hard time trying to figure out who was worthy of receiving the coveted diva mug. Guess what gang, I don't know who to give it to this week either.
    It wasn't Bravo's fault this time, the blame goes me alone.
    Oh the shame I must bear.
    What happened was that I was busy with something personal (get your minds out of the gutter!) and therefore missed the show.
    I know, I know, I deserve fifty lashes with a wet noodle for that.
    But you, our esteemed readers can help to redeem me. You get to vote on who you think was this weeks Diva Of The Week. It can be a designer, judge or whomever you think is deserving of this prestigious award.


    Thursday, February 15, 2007

    Cruella DeVille Has Nothin’ on Me!

    by Damselfly

    Ok so, as I’m turning the channel to Bravo for our mutual Wednesday night 10 pm show I’m trying to decide of I need to put a pot of coffee on to help me make it through. And while they are getting out of their SUV’s I’m holding my breath as to what I am in for tonight. But then Todd walks in and surprises them with beach bags I thought....dare I believe...that this might be an interesting episode...gasp!

    I loved it!

    I was actually elated with the concept and it was like they actually heard me last week (Yes, I know that this is all pre-shot) and removed the production from the world of little white boxes. And then we got our touch of human drama with the Ryan-Carisa ‘No-!-I-wanna-go-to-Pier-1’ squabble. Who should’ve gone? Who cares? It was still fun to see Goil as a human rope in a child’s game of tug-of-war. I was hoping when Todd checked in with this group he would lead us in a rousing chorus of ‘Do You Know the Way to St. Tropez? La-la-la-la-la-la.’
    Finally, just when I thought it couldn’t get any better we went to the beach and all I can say is ‘Can I get a carpenter over here?’

    If I had been Carisa I would have been sprayin’ me down a nude man too especially being trapped in the world of the Pacific Design Center with mainly gay men. While they are wonderful to have around for so many reasons there’s something about the fact that I’ll never catch one of them looking at my boobs in that special way that makes the presence of hetero-males important at times.

    It was all going so well with each cabana looking unique and beachy. And since I’ve never been to any of those destinations I believed what the designers were telling me about their choices. So everything was ignorantly blissful...and then they showed up and I could feel my entire person cringe. Who are ‘they’ you ask? None other than our happy bunch of over-egoed, under enthused judges. Where to start?

    While Margaret Russell could be a delightful person for the right amount of cash she just has an aura of negativity around her that could melt small dogs and make babies weep in the womb. As my husband says: ‘Those who can, do....Those who want to crush frail dreams, edit.’ Whenever I see her my first thought is always ‘Don’t look directly into her eyes!’

    I wonder if when Todd is introducing the judges for the umpteenth time he looks at Kelly Wearstler’s latest wardrobe malfunction and ponders whether he could turn it into a fabric design for Lay-Z-boy. What kind of world are we living in when we show successful females on TV who have very little personality and have yet to learn to use their words...as I tell my 15 month old son. She looks like she should be in a club with Paris and Brittany downing alcohol and doing away with her undies. And I’m not even touching the colored knee socks.

    On a side note...Could they find two women with more pinched and pained expressions on their highly judgmental faces?

    I think Bravo truly believes that just by being present Jonathan Adler nices up the entire judging panel....no. He actually hides his negativity behind a plaster cast smile, almost as if he got a botox treatment that permanently froze his face in an artificial grin. The priceless moment when he said something to the extent of ‘You all made really bad design choices.’ from behind the Rembrandt whitened teeth made me want to weep from laughter. I think ‘Yall suck’ is an easier phrase to articulate through a smile...just for future reference, Jonathan.

    Maybe if the judges could approach the designs with hope instead of disgust the judging would not only be better but could actually be believable. It’s not like they are making bad choices. In fact I havenít strongly disagreed with any of the ‘See you later, Decorators’ (gag). Its just if one of them could show an ounce of actual human behavior the whole thing could lighten up a bit. Oprah needs to let these three in on The Secret...’what you put out in the universe you get back’, otherwise known as ‘like attracts like’. Wait, so that means if all the designer’s designs suck then the judges...suck...as....designers....too...No. Hold on, that can’t be right, right?...hmm.

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    Wednesday, February 14, 2007

    Team Tahiti Won

    Mikey, you sullied your perfectly manicured nails for another design challenge and came out on top with your team! Congratulations, Michael, Felicia, and Andrea!

    Your reward? A weekend getaway in Santa Monica. As Andrea said, "We get to have a girl's weekend. All three of us!"

    Too funny.

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    Goodbye, Elizabeth

    We didn't see this one coming. Bummer. Your color choices for the Miami cabana were not as awful as Ryan's furniture. You were one classy, talented lady, and we'll miss you.

    Altogether now, everyone clap for Elizabeth and wish her luck.


    Who Will Be Aufed Next?

    Here are the results of last month's poll, before the show aired. Would you vote the same way again?

    Michael Adams: 52%
    Goil Armonvivat: 21%
    Erik Kolasc: 7%
    John Gray: 7% (Aufed)
    Andrea Keller: 2%
    Elizabeth Moore: 2%
    Lisa Turner: 2% (Aufed)
    Matt Lorenz: 2%
    Ryan Humphrey: 2%
    Carisa Perez-Fuentes: 1%
    Felishia Bushman: 0%
    Heather Ashton: 0% (Aufed)


    You're Invited!

    You’re invited to the Top Design Party
    Over at Blogging Top Design to discuss Episode 3!

    Grab a seat and chat with the BTD folks
    Phaolo, The Scarlett, Laura K, and TBone
    as the show airs live tonight,
    then come back here and tell us what you think of the new episode!

    Click here to join the party!


    Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    Top Set Design

    Ms. Place has been mulling this question all day: Why the lack of excitement about Top Design? There’s no buzz at the water cooler at work and no crackling over the ether.
    Last fall, my coworkers and I couldn’t wait to dish Top Chef and comment on the food, chefs, and judges. We all had our raucous opinions and agreed to disagree. But the reaction to this show amongst my peers has so far been tepid. Why? I wasn’t expecting Extreme Home Makeover, but I certainly wasn’t expecting to see two week’s worth of set designs either. I’ll bet neither were the Interior Designers, who are chafing at the bit, hoping their 15 minutes of fame will arrive despite the lack of fervor the fans have shown thus far.

    Suggestions for improvement (Yoo hoo, Bravo, are you reading this?):

    Get rid of those stagy sets. I know, I know. You wanted to give your designers an equal playing field, Bravo. And in theory this was a brilliant idea. But LOOK at the results, will ya? Mr. and Mrs. America can’t relate to three walls and $10,000 pieces of furniture. Neither could Cary in Sex in the City. Dahlings, admit it. You goofed up bad. Those one dimensional staged rooms are horrors. They are ersatz, fake!Real rooms lead to other rooms. Windows lead to vistas. Crown molding adds richness and visual interest. Stairs lead the eye up, and high ceilings make a different statement from low ceilings. These rooms have no ceilings at all! We fans want to see something we can relate to and a white 12 x 12 room just doesn’t cut it.

    This is a set

    This is a real room

    Get our designers out in the real world. If you MUST place each designer on equal footing, then purchase an apartment building with (now this is a real bright idea) 12 apartments! They could each be responsible for designing and decorating an entire apartment unit during the course of the show. Each could design an entry hall, for example, or a bedroom or living room. Get it, Bravo? Later in the competition, you could even have them enter another designer’s apartment and redecorate the decorating. Oh what fun that would be! Fur rugs would fly!

    Let our designers find objects in the REAL world. Pacific Design Center is nice enough, I suppose. The Real Housewives of Orange County must think their stuff is a real bargain. But I don’t! Let our designtestants find inspiration at yard sales, in consignment shops or antique stores, in alleys and trash heaps, in Lowe’s and Target’s and Haynes, and estate sales as well. Let them shop in a variety of settings. Get my drift?

    Don’t auf two designers right at the start. I felt cheated. Yes I did. And so did a whole lot of other fans.
    And last, place more emphasis on the creative process and less on the judges.
    Yes Jonathan is cute, but I've had enough cute smiles to last me a lifetime. Yes Kelly has glamour, but this is not Top Glamour. And yes, Margaret is a wit. So give her an armchair and let us view the decorating.

    There, I’ve got a load off my mind or auf'd my mind. Let’s hope Wednesday’s show is 100,000% better, or I might give up my tongue-in-cheekiness on this blog and start giving NASTY reviews. Can Ms. Place be nasty? Oh, dahlings, just ask my ex.

    As for tonight? I’m watching the Westminster Dog Show. I’ve had enough of those silly Orange County Housewives and their unreal perspectives on life.

    By Miss Place