• Saturday, March 31, 2007

    Top Design Recap, episode 8: A Bucket of Blood

    Posted by Eric3000

    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.


    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.


    Friday, March 30, 2007

    Diva Of The Week

    Carisa's ego wins this weeks Diva of the Week award. I mean, come on now, the woman has such an over inflated opinion of herself, it's a wonder she doesn't float away with how big her head is getting.

    Need I say more?

    I would also like to take this opportunity to award The Gold Hammer to carpenter Ed.
    What a trouper. He got hurt and hauled off to the hospital, but still managed to come back and kick ass on Matt's room. You are da man!!!

    Posted by TheHoInMo


    Thursday, March 29, 2007

    I Can Do That

    Well, I thought that the designs last night were great. With the exception of Andrea, who couldn’t find an “earth tone” if it was...I don’t know...outside, everyone really captured the feel of their element. Let me just say this about Matt’s winning design: I loved looking at it, but if a bell boy walked me into it at a hotel I would honestly look at him and say “You don’t want me to stay here.” Not that it wasn’t one of the most beautiful set ups I’ve seen on the show, it’s just I would scratch those tables, spill something on the floor or seating area, and probably drool on the sheets in my sleep. But for those of you who don’t have children and keep your homes as immaculate as Colin Cowie does (If you didn’t see that episode of Oprah watch the repeats this summer for it...you will feel inadequate) here is the “Close but Cheaper” version for your home.

    The mirrored side tables I found at JC Penny. They have a little more structure than Matt’s...but hey, a mirrored table is a mirrored table.

    While we are on tables, the coffee table was not as easy as I thought it would be. I guess the world isn’t that into clear tables. Who knew? This one is at John Salibello and is the only thing I ever put in these posts that says “Please call” for price. So...The sofa comes from my “go to” furniture store Ikea. I’m sure if you actually visit a store you could find a black throw there as well.

    These were actually the hardest to find this week. Surprising, since I feel like I have seen these chairs everywhere. This one is from Thomasville and can be ordered in an array of fabrics, from my understanding. Personally, I might have picked something a bit more comfortable looking. These remind me more of the chairs you sit in while being interviewed for a job...and who wants to be reminded of that while at a luxury suite or in your bedroom.

    The lighting choices were great, but I took some liberties. The floor lamp is very similar, coming from Lamps Plus it has a slightly different shade but...who really cares? The table lamps were not an easy color combination to find and when I did find it, the base was usually black with a whote shade. So, during my searching I found this lamp at Crate and Barrel and I thought it brought more consistency to the flow of the room with it’s glass base. I have a theory that I hold to when choosing lamps for a room. Either the styles should all be flattering to each other or the shades should. If I’m wrong...oh well, not the first time.

    The two accent pieces in the room that I focused on were the mirror and the glass bowl on the coffee table. If you want a beige rug...get a beige rug. I found the mirror at Horchow. This one has a bit more detail but I kind of like it better. I do find it amusing that something we used to look at a reminder of our “Brady Bunch” days, is now the “topest” of interior design. The bowl that Matt put in was ok, but if you are going to put something as a center piece to the room this one from Light Opera has a presence and demands a closer look.

    So, there it is in all its glory. And if you do put a room of it’s magnitude in your home I would love to see it and I promise, if I visit, I’ll sleep on the pullout in the den.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007

    Congratulations, Matt

    Ha, ha, ha, so glad you won!

    Hee, hee, hee, I haven't seen that hairstyle since Mom and Dad dragged me to that Olan Mills photo shoot.


    Goodbye, Goil

    You had me at, "Hello, my name is Goil as in gargoyle."

    You never failed to surprise us with your rooms.

    Or show us your emotions.

    As far as we're concerned ...


    Live Chat

    You’re invited to the Top Design Party
    Over at Blogging Top Design to discuss Episode 8!
    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!

    Then come back and tell us what you think!


    Who's going next?

    Four are left standing - Matt, Andrea, Goil, and Carisa - and we're down to the home stretch.
    Who do you think needs to go?
    Who do you think WILL go home?

    View the preview for tonight's episode here.

    And don't forget to join Andy on Whatch What Happens, right after the show.


    Tuesday, March 27, 2007


    Top Designers

    Please note: This is a new puzzle. The other had a spelling mistake. My bad. - Ms.Place

    Labels: ,

    Sunday, March 25, 2007

    Taste Patrol

    Ms. Place is the first person to celebrate our current interest in the Arts & Crafts movement. When I lived in the outskirts of Buffalo, I would frequent the Roycroft Galleries in East Aurora, looking for a few spectacular pieces of furniture to compliment our eclectic, refurbished 1920’s farm house.

    In addition, new houses sporting Arts & Crafts features are populating our urban landscape these days, and I applaud this trend.

    So my ears pricked up when I heard what this week’s challenge would be and the amount of time and money the designers had to spend. I expected a better show and got it.

    On to this week’s awards! My criteria for handing them out is simple. I asked myself just this one question: "Would I want to stay and linger in this room over a glass of fine port and a cheese and fruit plate?"

    Three Hula Man Bobble Award

    Andrea was the clear winner. Not only would I have no problem lingering in this room, I’d probably pig out in it and chastise her for my widening waistline. How successful she was at melding Arts & Crafts with mid-20th century modern, I’ll leave to the experts.

    It takes chutzpah to use white suede in a dining room, but I love her combination of rich wood detailing and slate textures, layers of cloth, shining crystal and silver, muted colors, and well placed, atmospheric lighting.
    And, dahling, your snarkiness and self-confidence are starting to come through during your on-camera chats. Oh, how I love to see that spark of competition spiff up your otherwise sweet and quiet on set demeanor.
    Your perfect white gloves are beginning to come off, and you are starting to outmuscle the competition. You go girl!

    Two Hula Man Bobble Award

    This week I salute Bravo, for bringing back Tom Coliccio, who infused vigor and charm into the guest judge’s spot and for ordering up a room I would definitely want to dine in. Bravo is also to be commended for creating an interesting, well-produced show.

    Why did I give you only two bobbles? Because you’ve got to get these designers out of those bargain basement sets, Bravo! A room is not a room unless it has doors and windows and ceilings and architectural details, such as chair railings, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You’ve heard it all before, but thanks anyway for a great show. It is getting better and better.

    The Bobble Won’t Wobble Award

    Only one hula man goes to Matt. I’m not quite gushing over your room as some others have, though it clearly belongs to the top two choices. I asked myself, however, is this orange, brown, and black, windowless environment one in which I want to stay and linger and soak in the atmosphere over good conversation?

    Not really. Yeah, I thought the leather floor tiles were kinda, sorta interesting, but I wonder how long they would last under heavy foot traffic. And the leaf placemats would be cool for a luau, but would they impress me if I spent $200 for dinner, which is what I imagine the price would be after all is said and done? Naw.

    The Trash It Award

    I had such a visceral reaction to Michael’s dining room, that I had a hard time reviewing the photos and deciding on what I liked least about it. Why do some decorators think that paint badly splashed across a series of canvases is preferable to a blank wall?

    Those splashes of red reminded me of a cow’s blood spraying as it is being slaughtered, and I found these wall hangings extremely unappetizing in both a visual and literal sense.

    You had $40,000 to play with: Why not spend 10% of your budget on real art? (Yeah, there are art students who paint fabulous original work for no sum of money at all!) Hurriedly putting something together cheapens the room and adds a resounding amateurish touch, one that added even more visual chaos to a discordant design. Sorry Michael, but it was indeed your time to go.

    Disclaimer: While Ms. Place made playful references to Kelly’s hair in her other blog (click here) and on this one, she did not entirely dislike Kelly’s costumy look this week. I own a skirt very similar to the one she is wearing. Kudos to Kelly for always keeping us on the edge of our seats. Now, THAT takes talent.

    By Ms. Place