Welcome back to another Top Design recap. Last week John was eliminated, and hopefully enrolled in anger management classes, and this week the designers will be faced with another challenge, and the viewers are faced with the possibility of having to see another granny style room from Michael.
Did you know that Ryan is an artist?
In case you didn’t pick this up from last week’s episode, Ryan is an artist. Not an interior designer, not an architect… an artist. An artist who designed a room based on a cat, but an artist nonetheless. Oh, and if you weren’t paying attention, Ryan is an artist!! Sorry that I keep writing that, but Ryan must have said he was an artist 600 times, so I figured it was important.
The designers arrive at Pacific Design where they are presented with surprise packages filled with beach toys, sunscreen, hats, and a postcard with a beach destination on the front. Todd tells them that their challenge for the day is to design and build a beach cabana. Michael’s pretty excited, because he’s designed a beach cabana before, but Goil doesn’t even know what a cabana is, and doesn’t seem too enthusiastic once it’s explained to him.
This sounds like kind of a fun and interesting task for the designers, but a lot of work. You know what would make this a little easier? To have the designers work on teams. Okay, maybe not easier, but teamwork is certainly more entertaining for the viewers. The designers are split into groups of 3 based on their postcards, and the teams are:
Tahiti: Michael, Felicia and Andrea
Miami: Erik, Matt and Elizabeth
San Tropez: Carisa, Goil and Ryan
Todd announces that each team must use their destination as an inspiration and will be judged on originality, ingenuity, and how well they design with their destinations in mind. They all have 30 minutes to sketch, then will have $2000 to spend on fabric and materials, and $3500 to spend on furnishings at Pier 1 Imports. Erik has immunity because of last week’s challenge, but everyone else is fair game, and one of the designers will be going home.
The teams brainstorm; Team Tahiti plans on raising their cabana up off the sand, like the buildings on their postcard, Team Miami is focused on building a structure that takes cabanas to a new level of sophistication, and Team San Tropez wants a modern, minimalist design.
Pier 1 does not scream “San Tropez” to me.
The 30 minutes fly by, and Todd announces that from each team, one person will go to the store to pick out the fabrics, one to the hardware store and one to Pier 1 Imports to buy the furnishings.
This isn’t a tough decision for Team Tahiti- Andrea takes the hardware, Felicia the fabric and Michael the furnishings. Team Miami also figures this out with little strife, but team San Tropez… does not. Ryan and Carisa both want to buy the furnishings, and neither one wants to back down. Just when I think they’re about to arm wrestle for it, it’s decided that Ryan will hit Pier 1, and Carisa will buy the fabrics. Carisa doesn’t trust Ryan and tells him so, but he doesn’t really care. I don’t either.
Carisa’s unhappy that she has to shop for fabrics, and comes back with a blue, a red and a beige-y off white color. Ryan wants to have a lot of options for their cabana, so he picks up every pointless little thing Pier 1 has to offer, but does try to match them to the swatches Carisa gave him. When he presents the stuff to his team, Carisa hates it all. She thinks the pillows are scary and they don’t mesh with her vision. There is so much drama and fighting between these two that it’s obvious someone on this team is going home tonight. Ryan and Carisa continue to snipe at each other, and finally Ryan says that Carisa’s rooms are conservative and Carisa thinks Ryan is an idiot. She didn’t say that out loud, but her eye rolls certainly meant it. Meanwhile, Goil is nowhere to be found.
Team Miami is going to have indoor and outdoor space for their cabana. They don’t want to use clichéd Miami colors, so instead pick eggplant and lime green. Todd is a little concerned about their color choices, because one of the judgment criteria is that the cabana needs to represent the location, but Team Miami decide to stick to their guns and the purple and green.
Over on Team Tahiti, Michael is making a mattress for their day bed. That’s right- Michael is making a mattress. I’m pretty impressed because not only is Michael making a mattress, he’s doing it enthusiastically and without complaint.
Todd visits with Team San Tropez, (Goil has miraculously reappeared), and Carisa tells him that they are drawing inspiration from boats, the classiness of San Tropez and topless women. Todd reminds them that San Tropez is filled with crazy money, and they need to reflect this in their cabana.
He’s finished with his walkthrough, so now it’s time for Todd to drop another bombshell on the designers: they have until midnight to finish and disassemble their structures because at 12:01am, they will be loading the materials up to drive them to the beach. The following day, the teams will have to reassemble and decorate the cabanas, but can only use hand tools- no electricity allowed. Wow! This really throws a wrench in things. I wonder how our designers will react?
Team San Tropez is still filled with drama. Carisa thinks she and Goil are on the same page, Ryan thinks he and Goil are on the same page, and Goil really wishes he had a different team. On Team Miami, Matt is not loving their design, but is also not loving the thought of standing up to Erik and Elizabeth, so he just stays quiet, and on Team Tahiti, everyone is filled with love and affection towards each other.
How about some more footage of the carpenters?
All three teams manage to finish on time, and the next day the construction at the beach goes surprisingly well. Michael remarks that it “takes a village of gay designers to build a cabana,” hot, shirtless carpenters wander around and build stuff with their hands, and Carisa complains, and complains and complains. To be fair though, if I was wearing a sweater at the beach on a hot Santa Monica day, I would probably complain too. Or possibly I would have just worn something more appropriate for building on the beach.
It’s presentation time, and Todd brings out judges Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wreastler and Margaret Russell, and introduces famous designer Kathryn Ireland as the guest judge. Today’s winning team will not only be staying in the competition, they will also win a weekend getaway at the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica, which just happens to have been designed by Kathryn Ireland.
The designers had 16 hours total to complete this challenge, and in a few short minutes, one of them will be going home.
Team Tahiti is up first. Immediately, the judges ask if there was a plan for the roof, or if they just wanted an open cabana. Andrea replies that they originally had a plan, but made a conscious effort, (i.e.: ran out of time), to scrap the roof and make the cabana more of a fantasy. Team Miami based their design on architecture in Miami, but did not really base their colors on ones you would see in Miami, and Team San Tropez intended for their cabana to be a vertical masterpiece, and they wanted to leave the top unfinished.
What’s wrong with Vegas?
The designers stand before the judges for the verdict, and aren’t too happy when Jonathan tells them they all made some very poor design choices.
Team Tahiti: your curtains were beautiful, but there was no roof. You wanted the cabana to be an ethereal fantasy, but it wasn’t exotic, and it didn’t have a roof. The design was kind of nice, but it did not have a roof.
Team Miami: what were you thinking choosing those wretched colors? The indoor/ outdoor space was nice, but the indoor area should have been bigger. Erik and Elizabeth were team leaders, and we couldn’t see Matt in the design at all, which was disappointing. Overall, this cabana was much more Vegas than Miami.
Team San Tropez: The architectural structure was interesting and creative, but the furnishings were horrible. Seriously horrible, and out of place. It was too cozy, earthy and homey and did not match the structure, or look like it belonged in San Tropez at all.
Ultimately, the judges declare Team Tahiti winners, and send Michael, Felicia and Andrea off for a girls’ weekend, (Andrea said it, not me!) at the Viceroy Hotel. Erik has immunity from last week, so he’s safe, and Goil and Carisa are immediately declared safe as well.
Ryan, Matt and Elizabeth are asked to step forward, Matt and Ryan, (how did that happen?) are allowed to stay, and Elizabeth is sent back to her real life, where she will never again design around eggplant and lime green.