• Saturday, March 10, 2007

    Top Design Recap, Episode 5: All in the Family (garage): or You can't just design a room around a car!

    Posted by Eric3000

    Legal disclaimer: Eric Three Thousand recaps are a mix of fact and fantasy and most of the quotes are fake, blah, blah, blah ...

    Ugh. Just when you thought this show couldn't get any more annoying, say hello to the Bell family. The Bells have just flown in from Planet Clueless:

    Bell Family: "We live in a forty thousand square foot mansion so obviously we want to spend all our time in the garage. We need a theater, a home office, storage for tons of garbage, room for our new GMC Aircraft Carrier, and we would be very disappointed if you didn't also put in an Olympic-size swimming pool."

    Ryan: "Here's an idea: why don't you donate all that shit to charity and just park your fucking cars in the garage?"

    Wow, I am so with Ryan on this one. If something doesn't fit inside your house, you do not need it! I can almost understand wanting a stage area for the girls to put on shows (although I bet it would fit in the family room) but I have a hard time believing there is no place in that house to put a small desk.

    And why do the designers have to clean up all the crap these people have stuffed in their garage? That's just disgusting! As you can tell, I did not enjoy this episode. But let's get on with it:

    First we find out that every member of the Bell family, including the dog, likes a different color. The designers are torn between making the garage look like a giant gay rainbow flag or going with the standard color palette of grape and banana.

    Then Todd informs the designers that they will be working with models this week:

    Carisa: "God, I hate models! They always complain when you try to make them wear a thong and they are so damn skinny it makes me sick!"

    Todd: "Sorry, by models I mean maquettes."

    Carisa: "Oh, that makes more sense."

    The designers have to present their maquettes to the Bell family and the person who is chosen becomes the team leader and has immunity in this challenge. I have to say that this is the only thing I liked about this group challenge. Usually there is very little motivation for someone to want to be chosen as a team leader because they get blamed for everything so I thought this was an interesting way to do it. It actually made all the designers want to be picked as the leader. On the one hand, it doesn't give the leader much motivation to do a good job in the actual challenge but, on the other hand, the leader also has no motivation to have someone else screw up. It would have been good to have an additional reward for anyone, including the leader, who did the best job.

    The designers present their ideas to the Bell family:

    Ryan: "As I said, I think you should simplify your lives a little and get rid of some of that junk, which would give you a lot more space in the garage."

    Bell Family: "Our revolting conspicuous consumption is part of the American way of life! If we don't keep buying and hoarding unnecessary consumer products then the terrorists have already won! This is the best way we know how to support the troops in Iraq, you freedom-hating communist freak!"

    Michael talks so fast that his voice reaches frequencies only the dog can hear.

    Bell Children: "Mommy, I think that's the gayest person we've ever met."

    Mother: "I think you're right. Other than the time we met Tom Cruise, of course."

    Children: "Oh, yeah. And also our priest."

    [That was for you, Michael!]

    Andrea has the winning design so she gets immunity and is the team leader for this challenge. Before we begin, the designers pick carpenters, though it will have absolutely nothing to do with this challenge. Why didn't they just wait until next week? Anyway, Carisa chooses first because she won last week. She chooses Carl, Andrea chooses Blair, Matt chooses Ed, Goil chooses Sarah, Michael chooses someone (I can't read my writing), and Erik is stuck with Jared. Are there only six people left? Wow.

    So they get $5,100 dollars (that's an oddly specific amount) and one day. Andrea divides up the responsibilities pretty well. Everyone seems to be in charge of something: Goil helps in designing the architectural spaces, Matt is in charge of storage, Carisa is in charge of the office area, Erik and Michael are in charge of fabrics, and Ryan is in charge of painting. This probably would have worked fine if the designers didn't have to spend most of their time clearing out the garage and organizing the family's junk. Oh, yeah, and then there was this:

    Bell Mother: "In your spare time, maybe you could redesign this four-square-foot shed and turn it into a beautiful, spacious office."

    Andrea: "Well, I don't see why not. We have several hours for this project. Let me just redraw all the plans."

    If the shed was part of the project, they should have been told that in the beginning! Anyway, since Carisa was in charge of the office space, it now means she is in charge of the shed. Since the office space seems to be one quarter of the project (stage, storage, parking, office) I don't see why one of the six designers shouldn't be focused on it. But, for some reason, everybody gives Carisa a hard time about the fact that she was working in a separate space and wasn't part of the team. If Andrea had wanted her to stop working on the office space and help in the garage, she should have said so. Other than Matt, nobody seems to mention to Carisa that she should be doing something other than her assigned task until they all complain about it afterward.

    And then we get the charming scene with Matt and Michael giggling and joking about how fat Carisa is. Why don't those two just get a room.

    Well, they finish and it's not very exciting but they gave the family everything they asked for and like I said, considering the fact that they had to spend most of the time cleaning, I think they did a good job. Everyone complains about Carisa but she did the job she was assigned to do. Michael picks out terrible colors, as usual, but he was probably given color swatches to work with so I don't know who's fault that is. While I don't like purple, a royal purple could have worked for a theater curtain (maybe even in velvet) but that subdued color he picked didn't quite work. According to the guest judge, Mark Rios, Matt organized but did not compose. Since nobody has any idea what the hell that means Matt is safe. Goil and Erik didn't do anything very inspiring but I think they did their jobs. Ryan seemed to be working really hard but he didn't add the artistic touch that should have been his main objective:

    Margaret: "Yeah, Kelly! You're the one who is so in love with Ryan! Where was his 'big idea' this week?"

    Kelly: "I got your big idea right here, Margaret!"

    Margaret: "Oh, yeah? Bring it, bitch!"

    Ryan: "I hate to break this up but I'd just like to say something. First, I'd like to apologize for saying such insulting things in previous challenges and then I'd like to say some even more insulting things."

    Jonathan: "Go on."

    Ryan: "I'm sorry for the things I said about interior design. However, I still think all designers are idiots and it's a pointless profession. I'd like to be an interior designer who just tells people they don't need an interior designer. I hope I've gotten my sociopolitical message out there."

    Jonathan: "Wow. You've totally changed all of our lives. We're all going to give up designing and join the Peace Corps."

    Ryan: "Really?"

    Jonathan: "No, of course not. Goodbye. See you later, anti-decorator."


    Friday, March 9, 2007

    Diva Of The Week

    Carisa was pretty close to winning again,

    but was beat out by the holier than thou attitude of....

    Dude, just who do you think you are?
    You went into the presentation with an
    "I don't give a shit" attitude .
    That was the first nail in your coffin.

    You bitched and complained enough during the challenge
    that you made Rosie look nice.

    Well, maybe not, but you did bitch a lot.

    Ohhhhhh, and let's not forget that you told the judges
    that you wouldn't have taken this "commission",
    that you would turn away from the money,
    that it was a waste of your time? Big mistake!

    And you must not have liked what has been said
    about you on the blogs, because I noticed that you took
    every single blogger that was on your friends list off.
    Tsk, Tsk, didn't you like reading all the
    wonderful things that were being
    written about you?

    Guess not.

    Posted by TheHoInMo


    Last Day To Enter

    It's your lucky day and the final day to enter!!!!
    That's right, we have 2 T-shirts to give away.

    The TD designers each designed a T-shirt that are for sale over on Bravo.com.

    So how can you win?

    Email Us - Your First Name, Last Initial and the State you live in. That's it!!!

    The 2 winners will be selected by

    Carpenter Ed

    and announced next Wednesday.

    Before you enter, remember you will need to provide an address, if you are the winner. This way we can mail the t- shirt to you. But do not send addresses now. We will contact you if you are the winner.

    Good luck everyone.


    Wednesday, March 7, 2007

    I Can Do That...

    Well, I’m not one for over-haulin’ my garage and if I did I don’t think it would include a stage. I think kids are great...hell, I have one...but I’m not sure a permanent stage should be a part of anyone’s decor, except maybe J Alexander from America’s Next Top Model. My problem might be that I don’t watch enough design shows and don’t know that the garage is the new “media room” which was the new “family room” which used to be the “living room”...I could keep going. Honestly, the whole design looked very first-season-Trading-Spaces to me, but who am I to judge what gets someone going. So, since I am here to help you create the same thing in your home...I think I will start at....

    ..The Container Store. In fact, I would not be surprised if that is where they started. It has every bin, basket, and bobble that they used in their organizing. And if you by chance want to use a different color than all the primary colors of the rainbow...maybe something more neutral...it has them too. All the storage units range from $9.99 to $24.99.

    The basic desk that Carisa put in the shed can also be found at The Container Store for anywhere between $180.00 and $224.00 depending on how much storage you want it to have.

    Ok, let me say this...benches are not cheap. If you want benches for that stage that you are going to have to build you might want to save some wood and build them yourself. If not, you’ll have to go to Benches by the Bunches and pay something like $104.00 for something similar.

    But the tiki hut?...is $69.98 at Century Novelty. I wonder if they did the tiki hut because the girls plays are always either about Girls-Gone-Wild at spring break or 40 somethings in the Bahamas trying to relive the spring breaks they missed in their youth. I wonder....

    I think that Erik was attempting a roman shade in his praised window dressing. I found this beige roman blind at Ikea for $19.99 and if you add some black ribbons...voila!

    Oh and you can check the car out at GMC. The MSRP is only $29,495 so I’m sure it will add the finishing touch to this lovely family retreat you’ve created in the least interesting room in your home, because come on, who actually does their living in their home anymore? You know who the real winner of that challenge was? The dad. He got the kids, wife, and dog out of the house for good!

    Congratulations, Andrea

    You won immunity for your design. The challenge was IMPOSSIBLE, but you pretended it was achievable. The Bell family had so many conflicting desires for one room that it seemed a miracle to please them all.

    Avery: "Aw, Mommy. There are too many people working on this project!"

    Good move # 1: You chose Blair Toland as your carpenter. He knew how to take your orders.

    Good move #2: You gave sound and fair advice before the judges made their decisions.

    Even Mac, the family dog, approved of your win.

    Good Bye, Ryan

    Real Tire Tracks

    Ryan's tire tracks

    Despite the the fact that he thought this was a goofy challenge,

    even Ryan figured out why he's gone.

    Good Bye, Ryan. We'll miss your passion and conviction. We WON't miss your arrogance, but we do thank you for the apology you gave sincerely tonight.


    It's Live Party Time.

    You’re invited to the Top Design Party
    Over at Blogging Top Design to discuss Episode 5!

    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!

    Don't forget to catch Andy's post show,
    "Watch What Happens" over on Bravo.com
    Tonights guest is Padma from Top Chef and
    the designer who is eliminated.
    You can email questions or call
    into the show with questions.
    Enjoy Everyone!!!


    Who's Going Next?

    Finally a New Episode.

    7 Remaining Designers. Who's going next?

    Share your thoughts with others?


    Tuesday, March 6, 2007

    Prize Time!!!!

    It's your lucky day!!!!
    That's right, we have 2 T-shirts to give away.

    The TD designers each designed a T-shirt that are for sale over on Bravo.com.

    So how can you win?

    Email Us - Your First Name, Last Initial and the State you live in. That's it!!!

    We are working on a special guest to draw the 2 winning names.

    You have between today and this Friday March 9th to enter. The 2 winners will be announced next Wednesday.

    Before you enter, remember you will need to provide an address, if you are the winner. This way we can mail the t- shirt to you. But do not send addresses now. We will contact you if you are the winner.

    Oh what fun.

    Good luck everyone.


    Monday, March 5, 2007

    Oh It Is A Week Of Carpenters. Yea!!!

    This weeks preview.

    Remeber picking a carpenter was the prize for Episode 4 winner, Carisa. Who will she pick?

    Want more, Bravo has their preview video HERE.

    Garage Band !?!?! What will the mighty seven be doing this week?


    Sunday, March 4, 2007

    Taste Patrol

    During this week’s hiatus of Top Design I decided to rate the judges’ blogs on the official Bravo site. After all, they take up over half the show with their walkabouts and nonsensical prattling. So I asked myself, "Do the judges’ blogs add to our understanding of the designs, or are their bullshit meters set at a level to deceive our unerring eyes?" Let’s see, shall we?

    Three Hula Men Bobble Award

    My Three Hula Men Bobble Award goes to Margaret. Though she comes off as a snooty Garden Clubber on the show, Margaret’s blog is actually thoughtful and informative. It turns out that even she is dismayed with how her more positive, insightful comments are cut out by the editors: "The worst is seeing how nearly every positive, constructive comment I make in the White Room never sees the light of day."

    She also attempts to explain why Ryan, despite his negative attitude towards designing a "pretty room," survived and why Felicia was let go.

    "It’s true. I wanted Ryan to go home, and not because he was belligerent (much more argumentative than what appears on the show and so was Michael; fortunately, most of that was cut). Ryan set the tone by wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the numbers 666, the universal sign of the devil. His attitude matched the outfit, and although we didn’t know that he boasted, "I don’t care what the judges think; if I lose, f***k ‘em" until we saw this week’s show, in truth it was irrelevant. … Ryan was given a reprieve because he is inventive, creative, and ambitious; Kelly admired his iconoclasm and we all thought him capable of better work. I had trouble getting past his condescension toward the design profession and popular culture in general."

    Bravo, Margaret. So did I.

    Two Hula Men Bobble Award

    The Two Hula Men Bobble Award goes to the guest judges. They add a refreshingly different insight to the previous week’s episode. The best guest judge thus far is Alexis Arquette, followed by second guest judge Liz Lange. However, it was Alexis who nailed the problem that Top Design has had from the start: "Overall, I was a little surprised with the lack of ingenuity I saw. To me, once something becomes repetitive, I understand that it becomes "classic" but it also becomes safe. And I was hoping that some of these people, even if they were students or up-and-comers ... I thought I’d see more innovation and a lot more original thinking."

    Darling, Alexis. You took the words right out of my mouth.

    The Bobble Won’t Wobble Award

    Call me stupid when it comes to Kelly Wearstler, because, frankly, I don’t know what to think of the woman. Between her undeniable design talent, inappropriate fashion choices (having fun with fashion is one thing, looking ridiculous is another), and inconsistent blog statements, I have come to the sad conclusion that Kelly’s bobble simply won’t wobble. Here are some of her most quotable quotes in all their inconsistent glory, and uselessness in helping us to understand why the judges made the choices they did.

    "Carisa’s wonderful use of color really wowed the judges & she ended up winning this week’s Top Design." Huh? She chose orange or red four challenges in a row! How creative is that? Oh, wait, during the cabana challenge Carisa changed things up, substituting blue for green.

    "I prefer cabanas clean, contemporary, and ready & waiting for the day’s occupants. Today’s seasoned travelers expect every modern convenience: personal refrigerators, flat screen TVs, internet hookups, and the open space to spread out and spend an entire day escaping in glorious semi-privacy." Kelly, dahling, that was not the assignment our designtestants were given. I’m sure they would prefer the above conditions too, but on their limited budgets and given their ridiculous time constraints, they were lucky to put anything that looked halfway decent together.

    "Design programs are not written in stone (which could be quite chic) and the vertiginous whims of a client are your marching orders. In addition to a fickle client, value engineering, material selection debacles, scope changes, time frame and fabrication, and even shifts in the global market can affect your job unexpectedly. This happens all the time, so get used to it." Huh? Say what? And how is this situation different from any other creative or business endeavor that depends on a client’s whims?

    The Trash it Award

    The Trash It Award goes to Jonathan. What a load of shovable crapola your blog is, Jonathan, ye of the happy visage, happy design philosophy, and oh so mean observations.

    Where to start?

    On the one hand you write, "Sometimes it's the things in questionable taste - inappropriate, vulgar, or a little kooky - that make a room memorable. Diana Vreeland once said, "A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. No taste is what I'm against." And then you go and contradict yourself when talking about Mikey’s partridges, "I don't know what was up with them birds on the wall. Anybody got any ideas about that?" Read Trixie’s thoughtful critique, Jonathan. And Linda Merrill of Surroundings knows whereof she speaks. You might get a clue.

    Also, it’s obvious that the younger generation’s color preferences are beyond you. Compared to the mud browns, rainy day grays, mustards, and other funereal color schemes our 20-somethings are into these days, Michael’s banana and mauve color scheme WAS joyfully happy.

    Here’s your rather accurate assessment of Ryan’s recent design contribution. "Ryan's message was that he is an ARTIST, not merely a designer, and he was a wee bit snotty about fabrics and decor. Sorry, luv, last time I checked this was a reality television contest about one's ability to whomp up a room, not a MoMa retrospective. And thank God for that cause his spaces so far ain't too MoMa-able."

    Given that both you and Margaret had similar negative reactions towards Ryan’s room, and that you are the lead judge, why didn’t your opinion reign over Kelly's?

    Well, dear readers, this concludes my rather snarky assessment of the judges’ blogs. However, I have two more awards to hand out before I sign off.

    The most Execrable Comments Award goes to Andy for writing this tasteless statement: "Another surprise guest who won't be on is Anna Nicole, who is presently decaying in Florida as her tale goes from sad to pathetic to I don't know how much lower it can go. And as it goes on and on, Larry Birkhead seems to be getting better looking and Virgie is starting to make sense." And he totally lost me with this inanity: "I actually am pleased that someone is interested in my dogs because I pretty much am not too into them."

    Where's Waldo? Award. My favorite Top Design blog by far is Todd’s. His insights make me wish he had more of an onscreen presence. Right now he reminds me of Waldo. Where the heck is he? Let’s hope that in the future the editors include more footage of Todd giving the designers advice, and fewer shots of the judges marking up their evaluation sheets.

    Well, dahlings, ta! See ya Wednesday night when our happy design gang will turn on Carisa en masse and pelt her with their rotten red/orange tomatoes.