A huge thanks to MotherSister for her fabulous recap of the premiere episode of Top Design last week! Not surprisingly, we saw lots of drama and two people sent packing for being too themey, and now 10 designers remain. Now, I really have to apologize about the lateness of this recap, but if our designers’ task tonight is to design and build a brand new car for me that won’t die on the highway, that would be great. If not, it will be less great, but still good TV.
Funny, I didn’t notice any aggression.
You may have noticed last week that John had a slight problem with aggression, (just slight), and tonight he reveals his reason. He announces to the group that he has been HIV positive for 13 years, and since the virus messes with his testosterone, his doctor shot him full of 400 milligrams of testosterone and anger before sending him off to compete on a reality show about interior design. He admits that that his agitation towards Michael last week was a little more serious than he thought, but he doesn’t hate Michael, and he doesn’t wish him any ill will. He thinks there’s too much tension in the house, and that he was the major cause of it, and just wants everyone to be cool with the fact that there are serious medical reasons behind his behavior. He’s not just an asshat.
Michael is shocked by this news, and by the fact that John doesn’t hate him, Elizabeth hopes John is feeling well, and Ryan calls John an “aging prizefighter,” whatever that means.
This challenge sounds kind of hard.
Today’s challenge is an individual one, so at least the designers will only have themselves to blame if their rooms turn out horribly. Michael knows he has a lot to prove after last week’s fiasco, and hopefully he will do a little better on his own without John screaming at him.
Today, Top Design has 10 folders with client information, and each designer will randomly pick a folder, and then design a bedroom for this client. They will each have 30 minutes to come up with a game plan, and then will be give $600 for paint and materials, and $8000 and one hour to shop at Pacific Design Center for the furnishings. Oh, and they don’t get to actually meet the client before they buy all the furnishings, so I hope the designers are psychic, because that Pacific Design Center stuff is pretty pricey! Oh, and the designers will be supplied with a mattress, but they have to design and build an original bed frame. Anything else? Yes, the winner will be given immunity, and the loser will be sent home.
Really designers, you didn’t see this coming?
The designers rush around designing rooms for their mysterious clients, and then rush out to do all their shopping within the one hour allotted time. The shopping is difficult, because things are not so cheap at Pacific Design, and the designers have the added stress of needing to buy appropriate furnishings without knowing who they are designing for.
It’s presentation time, and the designers are very, very shocked to see that their clients are… children. Children who probably do not need $4000 silk chairs and expensive chotchkes that serve no real purpose.
The designers meet with their clients, and things seem to go pretty smoothly. John works well with his client, Erik’s client loves him and they decide on a pirate themed room and Andrea is freaking out because her client is a tweener girl, and she knows nothing about girls. Even though she was one once.
Todd reveals that the designers get one more shopping trip and another $300 to spend on items to finish the rooms, and that the mattresses they’re supplying are all twin sized. This is disheartening for our designers who have all designed queen bed frames They all head out to Target, where Ryan goes a little pink crazy, and Michael is a little annoying about his budget, and then it’s back to the Design Center to paint their rooms. After last week, Michael considers himself a painting expert, and insincerely offers everyone else his help. John’s got the painting down, but is a little screwed because he ended up without a floor. I hope his client likes painted concrete!
There’s 6 hours left for the designers to get everything pulled together, and most of the rooms are coming along nicely. Some of the designers are having a rough time though, especially John. His bed frame is too big, and he still doesn’t have a floor, but he’s just going to deal with what he has and not be a drama queen.
I can’t wait to see John explain the painted floor.
It’s time for the designers to clean up and put on their finery, and face the judges. Todd Oldham introduces Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wreastler and Margaret Russell and guest judge Liz Lange, (ahh, so that’s why they went to Target!). On the Liz Lange note, don’t you hate it when you find a cute top on clearance at Target, only to realize it’s a Liz Lange maternity shirt? Is it just me then? Okay.
The judges take the walk down the design corridor and start with Goil’s room. To me, the room looks kind of sparse, but Goil explains that the room is “fun” because everything is on coasters and can be flung haphazardly all around the room as 11 year olds like to do.
Carisa’s next with her jungle theme room, and then Andrea who kind of insults her client by telling us the girl is controlling and a perfectionist. For her little fascist client, Andrea has designed a room with clean lines, lots of choices on how to use the space, and a fully functional Murphy bed.
Now it’s John’s turn with his floorless room. He tells the judges he kept pretty close to his original plan, and just steered the adult designs in a more adolescent direction. Felicia also kept true to her original plan, but added a few touches for a nine year old boy. Since her client is an avid chess player, she designed and painted a huge chess headboard, and also painted a chess board into the floor. Next up with Elizabeth’s room, which looks to me like an Ikea catalogue exploded in there, and that’s really all I have to say about it.
Ryan explains that his client has one friend, and it is her cat. If this is true, that’s kind of sad, but I think Ryan doesn’t really know, and this is the detail from her profile that he latched on to. His goal was to create an environment for her “team,” (of his client and his cat. I’m sure they’re a “team” all right). Then it’s Matt with his Hollywood glam room, complete with a black headboard and lots of lighting.
Erik’s pirate themed room is a little over the top, but I really like it. In fact, I kind of want the design for my own room... um, I mean for my son’s room. If I had a son. Finally, we have Michael with his “scholarly” room. Michael doesn’t do the Disneyland aesthetic, and I have to say that I do not want this room for myself, or my imaginary children. The judges seem particularly fixated on a “Home Sweet Home” pillow on the bed, and I don’t think they’re fixated in a positive way.
Sometimes a bucket is just a bucket.
The designers had the chance to present their rooms, and now it’s the judges’ turn to rip them apart. Or compliment them if that’s what they chose to do.
The judges love Goil’s room, but wonder where the bed would go in a normal house. Carisa’s room has a lot of hard edges for a young boy, but the color on the walls is great, and so is the jungle theme. Andrea’s room needed more girly touches, and we see footage of her client asking for something glittery. Andrea explains that she had more girly and glittery accessories, but she simply ran out of time. The judges do not explain that they don’t care about her excuses, but I know that’s what they’re thinking.
They ask John what’s up with the floor, and then why the shelves are so far from the bed. He tells them the shelves would not have been so far away if he had been supplied with a queen sized bed. He wasn’t though, so his design is flawed. Felicia’s client liked the painted bike outline on the wall, but the judges thought the room was too serious for a young boy. Elizabeth’s client liked the soccer theme, but was really confused by the buckets in the room, and so were the judges. Elizabeth explains that the buckets are for the collecting the kid does- kind of like junk receptacles.
The judges don’t really get Ryan’s room. He explains that the shelf along the top of the room is for the cat, and does not have anything on it because cats knock things down. The judges think the room is a little too cat heavy, and question his placement of the easel and painting supplies. Ryan’s not so pleased with their assessment, and asks if the artistry outweighs the cat focus. No, it doesn’t Ryan.
The judges loved Matt’s use of the lights, but thought the room might be too sophisticated for his client, especially the use of black. They obviously don’t know his client though, because she tells us she absolutely loves the room. Erik’s room is a surprise and a little over the top, but the judges and his client really like it. Jonathan just hopes the kid really likes pirates, and didn’t just make an offhand comment about them or something.
Michael, Michael, Michael… the judges do not like your room. They call it very granny, and tell him there are much more youthful ways to express literary. The truly hate the “Home Sweet Home” pillow and say that it contributes to the feeling that the room belongs in an assisted living facility.
Goodbye, Mayor of Excuses Village!
The designers line up for the final judging, and Andrea, Matt, Elizabeth and Felicia are all declared not the best, but good enough to stay.
Goil, Carisa and Erik are brought forward. Goil’s room was innovative, Erik’s room was cohesive and successful and Carisa’s design was confident. And the winner is… Erik! Mazel tov, Erik!
We can all do the math, and the bottom three are Ryan, Michael and John. The judges tell Ryan that the artist mentality doesn’t work in design, but that he is safe… for now anyway. Michael designed an ugly room fit for a nursing home, but he is also safe, which leaves John, whose floor was a mess and room looked like a work in progress.
John is sent packing, and has a nice exchange with Todd Oldham, then with a “See you later, decorator!” John is out of our lives forever. At least until the reunion show.