• Saturday, April 7, 2007

    Top Design Recap, Episode 9: Cover Girls: or Todd's Angels

    By Eric 3000

    Alas, it couldn't be "Cover Goil." It just wasn't meant to be. Well, at least Matt gets to be Farrah.

    Todd Oldham: "Previously on Top Design: there was blood everywhere!"

    Oh, for crying out loud, Todd, I had just gotten over that!

    OK, there are three designers left and this season is almost over. Hooray! No, actually I've enjoyed the last few episodes; it's just the team challenges that I find unwatchable. What will happen next?

    Andrea: "Well, Carisa shouldn't even be in the final three with Matt and me. Everything she does looks like it was done by the same designer. Boring! My spaces all look like some random person off the street just threw a bunch of crap into a room. I think that's what the judges are looking for."

    Carisa: "Matt guessed that this challenge will be to create an elegant living room inspired by a cover of Elle Decor magazine. I don't know where he comes up with these stupid ideas."

    Andrea: "Well, I just hope it's anything other than an elegant living room inspired by a cover of Elle Decor magazine because then Matt will be out of his element and he'll be eliminated."

    Carisa: "Oh, you're terrible, Muriel!"

    Todd: "OK, designers, you'll be creating elegant living rooms inspired by a cover of Elle Decor magazine!"

    Carisa and Andrea: "Son of a bitch."

    Todd: "You'll have to design elegance on a budget, however. You're only getting $7,500."

    Matt: "Someone please kill me."

    Todd: "That's cash, by the way."

    Matt: "Oh, good. That will be so much easier to spend than $7,500 worth of gold bullion or GE stock certificates. But there is still no way I can do that. I am not a bargain shopper. I usually try to waste as much of my client's money as possible."

    Now, I don't remember how much they get for supplies or if they get a separate fabric budget, but $7,500 is a lot of money in the real world. Sure, it wouldn't buy much at the PDC, but there are lots of places in Los Angeles where you can get a lot for a few thousand dollars. I would start at Wertz Bros. in Santa Monica, which sells used furniture. They also have a more expensive store on Lincoln Blvd. that is still pretty reasonable. Matt may be lucky enough to work with clients for whom money is no object but most clients will want as much as possible for the least amount of money so he's going to have to learn to be a bargain hunter at some point.

    Matt: "Margaret is in the back of my head. I'm always thinking, 'What would Margaret Russel do?'"

    Yeah, we should all walk a mile in Margaret's shoes.

    Matt: "God, I wish! Her shoes are hawt!"

    Last week we met Goil's sewing professional. [it took me a while to find that gender-neutral term. Wikipedia actually mentions "seamster" as the male version of seamstress but I don't think that's a real word and the term seamstress is a little old fashioned anyway. I don't think they are tailors because they aren't making clothes. I believe Todd actually refers to them as seamstresses in the first episode but I'm not sure] Anyway, this week we meet Matt's. You'll remember him from his last gig as a member of the Village People.

    Ed will be back for the finale but Sarah is filling in for him while he recuperates from his accident:

    Swift Boat Veterans for Truth: "He just scratched his finger so he could get out of combat duty. I know because I was there."

    Whatever. Anyway, Matt seems to be having trouble with Sarah. Hey, Matt, read your script; complaining about the carpenters is Carisa's job. You'll just confuse the viewers, who are expecting one dimensional characters.

    Fortunately Carisa is arguing with Carl, as usual:

    Carisa: "OK, so we're using plaster. I'm going to get plastered later! Ha, ha!"

    Carl: [just stares at her]

    Carisa: "I'm getting plastered later. Get it, Carl? ... Carl? You're just the life of the party, aren't you, Carl?"

    Carl continues to ignore her and starts making the faux-stone wall:

    Carisa: "Carl, could you make the stones a little flatter?"

    Carl: "I'm not making that kind of stone! You're thinking of slate but I'm making sandstone. I wish you would just believe that I know what I'm doing."

    Carisa: "Who cares what kind of stone it is? This isn't a geology class! Please just make them flatter."

    I almost made the title this week, "Carl Talks!" Are you as surprised as I am to learn that Carl can speak? I just assumed he was deaf and mute because he never responds to Carisa or listens to anything she says. This is almost as exciting as first hearing Garbo speak. That's right, my little Ninotchka's, maybe in the next episode we'll even hear him laugh:

    Carl: "That's not going to happen."

    And what was the deal with the fireplace? I don't understand what Carl was planning to make with that angled piece of wood. Well, the final result worked. I loved Carisa's room! I agree she could have done with fewer tschotchkes but, other than that, it was great! It definitely looked inspired by the picture but, other than the fact that it had a fireplace, it wasn't a copy. Carl did a great job with the wall (though you'll notice that the stones get flatter higher up on the wall, which looks better). Why didn't she win? Oh, yeah:

    Margaret: "I've said it before and I'll say it again: America: it's a problem."


    Margaret: "Sorry, what I meant to say is that this room just isn't boring enough for the cover of Elle Decor."

    Right. So which room is boring enough for the cover of Elle Decor? Well, that's a toss-up. Andrea's and Matt's rooms are both pretty dull. Which one is better? I can't decide.

    I agree with the judges that the architectural details in Andrea's room are good. Although I'm not sure about the embroidered baseboards; I'm sure they looked better in person, but on television I thought they looked strange. Everything else in her room was completely forgettable.

    Matt's room looks unfinished and I can't figure out what it has to do with his inspiration picture. In the picture there is basically a chaise and a bunch of black and white striped drapery fabric. The only thing his room has in common with the picture is the chaise. I understand he didn't want to copy the striped fabric but it seemed like he needed something to give the feeling of the picture. The room itself is OK. The floor, as usual, is beautiful. But a room needs more than a cool floor. And it doesn't even look like a living room to me. There is not much appropriate seating. The chaise together with those Rorschach-test paintings on the wall make me think of a psychiatrist's office. Anyway, Matt wins.

    Jonathan: "Carisa and Andrea, could you please take a step forward?"

    Carisa and Andrea: "Why?"

    Jonathan: "How should I know? Just do it. Carisa, you're in. Andrea, Goodbye."

    Carisa is in the finale! America shits itself!


    Friday, April 6, 2007

    Diva of the Week...

    There will not be a Diva of the Week.
    Instead we have...
    Carl wins the Carpenter of the Year award for putting up with Carisa's never ending bitching. How he has managed not to kill her yet is an amazing feat. He has the patience of a saint and the skills of a master craftsman. He has deserved his place in the Carpenters Hall of Fame.


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    Thursday, April 5, 2007

    I Can Do That

    Matt can try to sell this design, but I’m not buying it. Maybe I have an aversion to khaki, but I just don’t see how this is the winning design. Not that I liked any of them really. I guess I was not following how this design was inspired by the cover of that magazine or how the seating arrangement worked to the benefit of a social setting like a living room. And it didn’t help that Matt kept complaining about having only $7,500 to decorate this room. If you can’t reel yourself in a bit to accommodate the requirements placed on you, how good are you at your job? Besides, it really alienated me as a viewer who decorated my living room for less than $3,000 that this was “impossible” to do well. He had been my choice for Top Design-er but now I think he’s a snooty “so-and-so” who needs to get knocked off his pedestal. So, in protest I’m only doing the parts of the room that I feel like doing...I quote myself when I say “If you want a beige rug...get a beige rug.”The chaise that he so oddly placed in the center of the seating area after ripping it to shreds and haphazardly reupholstering it was a beautiful piece with elegant lines. I found this one at QVC, believe it or not. While it is defiantly more elaborate it has a similar feel...and it’s already ivory.
    The armless wingbacks are not easy to find since traditionally their purpose is to support the "sitter" and surround them with warmth which old homes didn't have. These leather chairs, from Wards have two advantages, they are a darker tone therefore removing some “blah” from the room and they’re two for the price of one...beat that, Mr. Money.
    I return to my cheap roots for the accent chairs that sat by the...wait for it...yellowy-beige curtains. Target had these fabric ones that had the right touch of orange-beige that the room needed.

    From what I could see the chest of drawers that sat lonely against the side wall had an inlaid top. This one from One Way Furniture was the only one I could find that had that style. It’s a little more gaudy with the inlay on the front too, but this room doesn’t have to worry about becoming Carisa’s room so I think it can handle the extra “oomph”.

    The floor lamp is from Target, not much to say about that except I really liked how he stylishly pushed the cords under the bench the way he did. Sure Margaret, that would photograph well...(sense the sarcasim). The table lamp was interesting. I found this one at Lamps Plus. While architecturally eye catching, its defiantly more form than function.

    I went to Art.com and picked myself out these three pieces. Cheap, simple...Matt, are you paying attention.

    And last but not least, the eggs. At least they looked like eggs to me....little metallic, shiny eggs. Needless to say they weren’t easy to find. So, since I am a some what creative person, I changed direction to these. Found at Guild these little silver bud vases would provide an interesting focus for the otherwise pointless, aforementioned table lamp.

    On a final note, where I might have blamed the judges in the past for odd decisions I really have to say they didn’t have much to choose from...kahki, khaki, or Carisa’s colorful combination of crazy clustered crap. Hmmm....tough choice....

    Wednesday, April 4, 2007

    The final two top designers

    Matt and Carisa

    What do you think? Don't hold back. Give us your opinions. Were the viewers robbed, or did the right designers earn the two top slots?


    Check Out Our New Blog!

    The Top Design Blogger team, with the fabulous addition of Lazarus West, is ready to discuss, dissect, and dish any and all reality t.v. offerings, particularly all things Bravo. Our first snark fodder? Shear Genius!


    Live Chat

    You’re invited to the Top Design Party
    Over at Blogging Top Design to discuss Episode 9!
    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 Is Going, Gone, Tonight

    Oh down to three... who will it be?!?!

    Who is going home?

    Who is going all the way?

    If your favorite designer is no longer in the running. Tells us who they were and why they were your favorite.

    Let's not forget the carpenters. Who is your favorite carpenter?


    Tuesday, April 3, 2007

    Video Time

    Three are left.

    Check out the previews for episode 9 by clicking HERE for the Bravo preview.

    Don't forget "Shopping in LA" by click HERE for the Yahoo preview.

    Posted by Calady


    Sunday, April 1, 2007

    Taste Patrol

    Three Hula Man Bobble Award

    My top award goes to all our carpenters: To Ed for butchering his thumb in the quest for someone else’s glory.

    To Carl for not betraying one single emotion as Carisa nagged him for three straight days in a row.
    To Blair for quietly doing his damnedest to follow Andrea’s vague instructions.

    And to Sarah, whose mobile expressions as she viewed Goil’s designs were priceless. She used my favorite diplomatic expression when Goil asked her what she thought of his wall: "It's definitely unique!"

    Two Hula Man Bobble Award

    Two hula men go to Todd for providing such humane and thoughtful advice to exiting designers. You can see them hang onto his every word as he tells them something positive about their talents, and then wish them luck as they pack up. Todd’s gentle, sane demeanor is growing on me, and I wish he’d been given a more substantive role in this series.

    The Bobble Won’t Wobble Award

    The Bobble won’t wobble goes to Carisa’s mouth. Zip it, girlfriend. Just shut your trap. Carl’s a saint. I’d kill to have such a patient, talented man working alongside me.
    And, yes, many creative folks are a pain in the butt and I shouldn't be influenced by such a factor in deciding on whether I like your work or not, but I abhor stripes and checks, so I doubt I would ever hire you as my designer.
    I’ve also been wondering where I’ve seen your walls before. Then, eureka! Here is Joanne Mattera's painting in all its boxy, striped and dripping glory.

    The Trash It Award

    The Trash It Award goes to Andrea. I found it interesting that you hated the earth theme. Your winning room the previous week reminded me of earth, from the subdued colors, to the textures of wood and stone, to the elemental gifts that earth provides us (sustenance and the raw materials that clothe and house us). You used those design elements quite effectively, but you were coveting Matt’s and Carisa’s themes so much that you blinded yourself to any creative possibilities. Frankly, your room was lackluster and quite trite in places (plugs of grass!!?)

    and I truly thought it should have been your time to go.

    Disclaimer: This show has had such a numbing effect on my poor nerves (Carisa’s nonsensical blathering had my brain shut down completely) that I’ve ms. placed my sense of humor. If you find my funny bone, please wrap it tenderly and return it via express mail. I do so love a handsome man in uniform knocking at my door.

    by Ms. Place