After last week’s cabana challenge and elimination of Elizabeth for her wretched color choices, we’re now down to eight designers battling for the prize. As the numbers dwindle, the stakes get higher and higher, and all of the designers are feeling the pressure.
Ryan feels that he hasn’t had the chance to prove himself yet, and Matt knows that he almost went home last week for being passive, so he’s ready to be more vocal.
Designers designing for designers.
As a twist, for today’s challenge, the designers will actually get to meet their clients before coming up with their design plans. Their clients are design students, and their task is to create rooms that will act as perfect post-college living/ work spaces.
The designers meet their clients, and everyone seems well matched. They have a total of two and a half days for the challenge, but only 20 minutes to speak to their clients, and then 20 minutes to buy fabrics.
It’s 6:25 a.m. Do you know where Todd Oldham is?
Early the next morning, (6:25 to be exact), the designers are all nestled in their beds with visions of Todd Oldham recliners dancing in their heads, and are rudely awakened by the man himself. To be fair, he was pretty soft spoken when he woke the women up, but he did flip on the lights, and I hate that in the morning! He tells the women they have ten minutes to get ready and meet him in the men’s loft. He repeats the performance at the men’s loft, and when everyone has gathered in the living room, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, (what does that mean anyway? My mom used to say that to me all the time), Todd outlines some more details of the challenge.
Yes, the designers know that they need to create a living space for a design student. They’ve already brainstormed with their clients, and purchased the fabrics, and now it’s time for the furniture. Are they off to Pier 1 Imports again? Maybe Ikea? Nope- today, our designers have $500 and a few hours to take part in one of the ultimate American traditions- garage sales. They’ll have to find all of their furnishings at garage sales. Andrea has never even been to a garage sale, so she is certainly in for a treat!
The designers are randomly paired up for the shopping, and somehow all seem to end up at the same sales, and let me tell you- these are some fantastic garage sales! I would have a much cooler and eclectic place if I could find garage sales like this in my area. Instead, I have to rely on Pier 1 and Ikea. At one point, Goil puts on a kilt and dances around, and I’m happy to see him act goofy and human.
Sometimes it’s hard to work with a carpenter.
Back at Pacific Design the designers have 20 minutes to meet with their carpenters, and then the carpenters are off to pick up building supplies. Before any of this can happen though, Todd announces yet another twist in this challenge- starting with the next challenge, the designers can select their carpenters, and the winner of this challenge will get first pick. This is a great incentive for the designers, because everyone knows that a designer is only as good as his or her carpenter. Or something like that.
It’s time for the designers to get to work, and as Todd makes his rounds, I find he’s really growing on me. Sure, he still seems a little wooden at times, but I also think he is sincerely trying to help the designers and offer constructive criticism and suggestions.
Ryan is treating his room like it’s an art project. He’s painting the walls black with white stripes and plans on crushing glass to… glue on the walls? I’m not quite clear on that, but let’s hope his client doesn’t have a cat, and doesn’t ever walk barefoot.
Some of the designers are having a little trouble with their carpenters, especially Carisa. On the second day, Carisa ends up scrapping a table she had designed because her carpenter Sarah brought back wood that was too heavy, and in the words of Michael, the table was an eyesore.
Zeal, Apollo and Eden, oh, my!
It’s presentation time, and Todd introduces the judges: Jonathan Adler, the man who brought pottery back, (shhhh… don’t tell Justin Timberlake), Kelly Wreastler, Margaret Russell and guest judge Joe Stewart, a set designer who has been nominated for 23 Emmys for production design. Judging by Jonathan’s outfit, I’m glad he had some time to stop by Pacific Design on the way to the club for a polo match.
Matt’s room is up first with the room designed for sophisticated, 22-year-old Chad. The judges love the weathered dining room set and lamps from the garage sales and the client really liked the room. The only negative the judges could find was the paint color. Apparently, that green is so 2006, and doesn’t work in 2007.
Andrea’s room is next. Her client is Steve, who is just looking for a comfy place to sleep, is messy and enjoys crime novels. The judges think the room works well on a functional level, and also liked the artwork on the walls. Steve loved the room and thought the bed/ couch was comfortable.
Goil’s client is Zeal, a painter who needs a place to sleep, relax and work. Goil split the room in half and placed the bed on a higher level to separate it from the work space. He wanted it to be obvious that he listened to his client. The judges like the room, and think the recessed mattress makes the room more interesting, but might not be very comfortable for the client. Zeal disagrees though, and thinks it would be comfy enough for her and a guest.
Felicia’s client Mary likes bold colors and bold graphics, so Felicia decorated one wall with tie fabric from the 80s, and a horrible, old lady afghan on the bed. The client and judges were really disappointed in the room. Mary didn’t like the chair, and felt the afghan belonged in her grandmother’s house.
Erik designed a modern, industrial and boat-like room for his client Apollo. The judges thought he made good use of his space, and they liked the pedestal with the chair. Apollo liked most of the room, but thought the art on the wall was a bit too John Wayne Gacy-ish for his taste.
Although she couldn’t use her table, Carisa’s design for Eden is well received. The judges love the pillows and think Carisa hit the garage sale jackpot. Carisa tells them that her client is a neat freak, so she made sure everything has a dual purpose. Eden likes the room, but wishes it had more storage.
Michael’s client is a 21-year-old named Justine who likes clean, bright, happy rooms. Michael tried to design a fun room to reflect her fun personality. The judges like the lamp, but hate the purple and yellow colors Michael used. They find the room far from happy.
Finally, Ryan is up with…a mess. Ryan’s client is Carrie and she loves things that are bright, funky and glam, and wanted the room to feature Ryan’s artwork, (because he’s an artist, remember?). The judges think the room is chaotic and a lot to take in, and feel that the “screening device” is a huge mess. Carrie likes the artwork, but feels like she’s in jail. She likes eclectic, but the room is too eclectic for her. The judges question Ryan’s wish to be a designer, and he informs them that he only wants to be a designer if he can have his own rules. And glue glass on the walls.
You have all been warned about geriatric designs!
The judges deliberate and call the designers back in to announce the winner. Erik, Goil, Michael and Andrea- you were mediocre, so you’re safe for the time being. Matt- you pulled off a classy design on a garage sale budget, Carisa- your room was well edited and the color really worked. Unfortunately though, we can only have one Top Design, and that distinction tonight goes to… Carisa! Yay, Carisa! For winning this challenge, Carisa will have first pick of the carpenters and I’m assuming she’s not going to pick Sarah.
That only leaves two designers: Felicia and Ryan. Felicia- we expected more of you. Your design was disjointed and depressing. Ryan- we didn’t expect more from you, but your room was simply provocative, not practical.
Felicia is sent packing, and I wonder how much longer the judges are going to keep Ryan around for drama. Seriously, what does this guy have to do to get kicked off this show? I’m kind of afraid to tune in next week, but I’ll be there!