Top Design Recap, episode 8: A Bucket of Blood
OK, I think I'm going to be sick. Seriously. All the previews show a table-saw with blood on it and I'm just about to die. I'm not sure I can watch this episode because I'm so freaked out about the blood.
OH, MY GOD! I'M TOTALLY FREAKING OUT!
Sorry. But there are only two things that paralyze me with fear: cockroaches and blood. I don't know why.
Anyway, I'll just cover my eyes and try to describe what's going on from the audio. OK? Other Eric is in Mexico so he's no help. Let me know when it's safe to look. Thanks.
So we're down to the final four. I think I hear Matt and Goil talking about how this challenge could be really weird because it's a manageable number of designers. I'm not sure I get the logic there, but whatever.
Todd says they are at the Viceroy in Santa Monica, which was designed by our very own Kelly Wearstler. Ooh, I've never been there ... is it pretty? I open my eyes just long enough to see that the designers are talking to Zandra Rhodes. Oh, sorry; turns out it's Linda O'Keefe of Metropolitan Home. She's going to be the guest judge and she's telling the designers about boutique hotels.
Linda: "They're like hotels, only smaller."
Or something like that.
They will be designing hotel rooms. Now, you're thinking, "Oh, great; they'll be designing actual hotel rooms!" But no. They'll be creating stupid facsimiles of hotel rooms in the studio. Why? Why not let them into real rooms? I'm sure they could have found a hotel (obviously not one designed by Kelley Wearstler) that would be delighted to feature actual rooms from the show. It might cause a little inconvenience to other guests but hotels remodel all the time so I'm sure they could have done it. Of course, they wouldn't have been able to "memo out" $30,000 worth of furniture but so what? Bravo can afford to give away $120,000 worth of furniture. Oh, well; stuck in the studio again.
The designers pick elements. I think Zandra Rhodes is laying out taro cards or something. I can't really tell what's going on. Goil picks the death card. Oh, tough break.
Andrea picks earth:
Andrea: "Oh, boo hoo; earth is the worst element. I hate the earth. Recycling is for suckers. Global warming rocks!"
Goil picks fire:
Goil: "I'm a bowl of noodles kind of guy. I don't know what fire is. All I know is people tell me I'm flaming, whatever that means."
Why don't you go play with matches?
Matt picks water. God, that lucky bastard.
Carisa picks air:
Carisa: "I don't want to be literal so I'm going to suck all the air out of my room. It will be like the vacuum of space."
Well, I appreciate the desire not to be too literal, but that might be going a bit far.
The designers all create the same layout for their rooms:
Carisa: "Oh, my god! We're all putting beds in our rooms? This is a disaster!"
Everyone changes their room layout except Matt. Goil complains that this is unfair. Later, he complains that the other designers are not paying enough attention to him. He is so Jan Brady!
We actually meet Goil's seamstress. We kept hearing about seamstresses but I didn't think they really existed.
Then we finally get the answers to some of the weird pieces of preview editing. I understand that the previews are intentionally mysterious and vague but this one made it pretty clear that Carisa says something to Andrea and then Andrea tells her that it was a bitchy thing to say and then Carisa is shocked. You're wondering what Carisa said to Andrea, right? Turns out, nothing. What happened is Carisa jokingly told Matt his room looked like a nursery, mainly because that's exactly what it looked like. Matt then mentions this to Andrea, who then says to Matt that it was a bitchy thing for Carisa to say. Then, later, Andrea tells Carisa that her room looks a little "muted," though it doesn't, and this causes Carisa to say, "What?!" That was worth the wait, wasn't it?
Then the other piece of mysterious promo editing: Goil yelling "Oh, my god," with a picture of blood. Now, I was pretty sure it wasn't Goil who was bleeding because it seemed too much like that's what they wanted us to think. It's Matt's carpenter, Ed. Ed cuts his finger. Todd tells us it is pretty bad.
Oooooh ... I'm feeling a little woozy ...
What? What happened? Where am I? And why am I not wearing any underpants?
Turns out Ed is going to be fine. Who needs all their fingers, right? He's soon back at work with a bandaged hand. That Ed; he'll do anything for more camera time!
OK, well, now that that's over with I can open my eyes and look at the finished rooms:
Goil's room is apparently not finished, though I can't really tell. I know he was sliding the bed into place with only a few seconds to go so I don't know if he actually put the $3,000 sheets on it. Seriously, what was the point of the $3,000 sheets? You can't see them. Well, I guess that includes the bedspread but that still seems like a lot of money.
Goil really did have the worst element. As Margaret points out in one of the best lines of the episode, fire and hotel rooms is not something you normally want to put together. He really did spend too much time on that cushioned wall sculpture that went around the whole room. It was interesting but the room still wasn't that great. He tells us he was going with the softer side of fire and points out that metal is forged in fire, which I understand, and that fire gives life to wood, which I don't. I mean, I know there is a certain type of pine tree that can only germinate its seeds after a forest fire but, come on, that's a bit of a stretch.
I still liked his room more than Andrea's. I thought her room was a mess. There was no real couch, just an ugly bench, so it wouldn't be a very nice room to relax in. She put in fake windows, which I appreciate, but they were in places you wouldn't find them in a real hotel room. I think they were off-center and on two walls. I've never been in a hotel that had windows placed like that. Anyway, I think Andrea should have been out for this room but I think she was given a pass because of her past work and because Goil was already hanging by a thread.
Carisa puts the fake window in the right place. She covers one whole wall with curtains, which corresponds to the window placement of most hotel rooms. I really like her room. I don't love the fence in the middle of the space because I feel like it makes the room smaller, but I love the detailing on the side walls. It really gives the feeling of air vents without being too literal. This is the room I would want to spend time in.
But Matt wins it. I thought his room was very nice but it was a little too bleached out. I realize the walls were actually really light blue but the whole space looked too monochromatic to me. It could have used a little contrast. I'm sure it looked better in person; Margaret said she was mesmerized by the color so I was obviously missing something. And where was the water? Where's the Jacuzzi? Or why not a nice table-top fountain from Sharper Image?
Michael Adams: "This is a hotel room; not a bar mitzvah!"
You're right; I'm just kidding. But how about a glass of water? Can't I just get a glass of water? Is that too much to ask?
That room needed a color splash. Speaking of which, did anyone see that awful new show that they are advertising during Top Design? That HGTV show with "America's next design star," David Bromstad? Could there be a less necessary show? They should have called it, "We Promised Him a Show, So Here it Is." Yes, I'm partly to blame; I voted for him. We watched the first episode, where David excitedly tells us how great color is while he makes sexy poses and then he completely destroyed some couple's cool mid-century living room. When we saw the before picture of the room I asked, "You know what that room doesn't need?" Other Eric suggested, "A make-over?" Well, yes; but what it really didn't need was a color splash.