Only three designers remain, and tonight one will not only be sent home, but also have the added pain of knowing they came sooooo close to the finale and somehow tanked it. Carisa’s surprised that there are two women in the final three, and Andrea is surprised that Carisa is one of them.
The designers wonder what’s ahead of them for this week’s task, and on the way into Pacific Design to meet with Todd Oldham, Matt announces that the three of them are now like Charlie’s Angels, and he’s Farrah Fawcett. Once again, I’m kind of shocked that he has a wife and child.
How can they be expected to work with only $7500?
Todd welcomes the group to the final three and applauds them for all their hard work. He directs them to ten Elle Décor magazine covers on the wall, and tells each designer to pick the one that best represents their own design style. For this week’s challenge, the designers have three days to design a room inspired by the cover they chose. They’re not supposed to duplicate the cover- they need to make sure the design is their own. Oh, and the theme this week is “Luxury for Less,” and the total budget is $7500, which apparently is not a lot of money. All I know is that I would not have a problem redecorating my living room for $7500, but it also probably would never end up on the cover of Elle Décor.
Luckily, the designers won’t be shopping at Pac Design and will be able to shop anywhere in LA they’d like. Since Andrea is an LA native and has a little bit of an advantage there, Todd’s giving everyone access to the Internet so that they can research exactly where they need to go to get their materials.
I think Carisa voices all of the designers’ reactions to this challenge with a resounding “f***.” Matt’s scared that he’s going to be shipped back to Chicago if he loses the challenge, and sadly doesn’t even know how to spell Los Angeles for his search. I think that could be a bad sign for Matt.
The designers are let loose on Los Angeles, and Andrea heads right out to a place called The Best Little Doorhouse in Texas, which I think is genius. Carisa has some luck at some eclectic furniture stores, and Matt has huge problems finding bargain priced furnishings that mesh with his design concept. At first he thought this challenge would be incredible, but now it’s turned into a nightmare for him.
Gray is not a happy color.
Back at Pacific Design the designers check in with Todd who tells them they have a little business to attend to before they can do anything else. Since Matt’s carpenter Ed sliced his hand open last week, his doctor has recommended that he does not do anything carpentry related for a while, (or at least until he gets some better hand-eye coordination skills), so Sarah, who was Goil’s carpenter when he got eliminated, will now be Matt’s carpenter. If Matt makes it to the finals, he will again be working with Ed. The designers get to work explaining their plans to the carpenters, and I’m pleased to see that so far Carisa and Carl seem to be getting along. I’m sure that won’t last very long.
The next day, the designers get to work and although Matt seems a little stressed out, he’s very pleased to be working with Sarah, and is trying to design a dreamy living room. Andrea is trying to show the Judges that she has a heart, and plans to do this by embroidering the baseboards in her room with yarn, or rather, forcing the seamstress to embroider the baseboards with yarn, and I am just not sure at all how yarn= heart. Carisa is… Carisa. She and Carl had a peaceful day yesterday, but not so today, and there’s a bit of arguing about design plans and some eye rolls.
Toward the end of day two, the designers spend a fair amount of time trash talking each other, and it turns out that Matt is concerned that Carisa is a one trick pony, Carisa doesn’t know what is going on in Andrea’s room with her color choices, and Andrea doesn’t appreciate Carisa’s attitude and hopes she goes home tonight.
Although she doesn’t like her attitude, Andrea realizes Carisa is right about her wall color and tries to warm it up a little so that she’ll have a happier, fuzzier room. This means that she also has to paint the yarned-up baseboards, and I’m sure her seamstress will appreciate having to do that work all over again. Meanwhile, Carisa is not happy with her stone wall, and even less happy with Carl’s craftsmanship and the lecture he is giving her about early 20th Century masonry. This time I almost don’t blame her for rolling her eyes.
Chicken sandwich, Carl!
It’s the final day, and the designers only have four hours to finish their rooms. Matt has realized that he really doesn’t have any reupholstering skills, so Todd helps him come up with a solution. He’s still concerned that he’s not going to be able to finish, and has to be shooed away by Sarah when he tries to get all up in her business and micro-manage her painting. Matt’s worried because he doesn’t like the French doors, and thinks things are not being built fast enough, but I think he’s being a bit overly dramatic when he picks up a hammer and threatens to kill himself. C’mon Matt- you have a wife and child at home to think about!
Carisa and Carl are really at each other’s throats today, and I’m worried there might be a throwdown. Carl yells at Carisa for talking down to him, and Carisa tells him she does not want to get into a fight, but I think they’re already there. Carl is unhappy that they’re covering up his beautiful stone wall, and Carisa tries to patiently explain that she’s hanging mirrors to call attention to the beautiful stone wall.
Andrea’s pleased to hear everyone else fighting and freaking out and is happy that she had her paint issues the day before.
Oh, I’ll bet Jonathan Adler is tough.
It’s White Room time, and Todd announces that not only will today’s winner go on to compete in the final two, he or she will also be featured in Elle Décor, which excites the designers greatly.
Each week I look forward to Todd’s introduction of Jonathan Adler, and he does not disappoint tonight when he refers to Jonathan as a “master potter and occasional tough girl.” Oh Todd, you’re such a card! Kelly Wreastler and Margaret Russell do not get introductions that are nearly as fun, but neither are they, and today’s Guest Judge is interior designer Michael Berman.
Today the designers are being judged on overall design, execution, and how well they worked within the budget of $7500. The designers present their rooms- Carisa’s looks very similar to the cover that inspired it, Andrea is confident that she has the winning room, and Matt does not feel confident at all.
Before they deliberate, the Judges want to chat a bit with the designers. They tell Carisa they liked the stone wall, but thought the colors in the room were too much, and she needs to learn to edit herself with her accessories. Andrea’s embroidered baseboards were a big hit, and the Judges think she incorporated the two most striking aspects of the cover she selected- the French doors and color palette. The Judges think that Matt’s room has his signature sign of chic, but not his signature sign of polish, and they loved the layout.
Sell out time!
This week, Jonathan asks a variation of the question he’s been posing the last two weeks. He asks each designer to tell him why he or she belongs in the final two, and why the others do not. He starts with Carisa who answers that she thinks she has a lot to gain from the competition, and is more out of the box than everyone else. Matt knows he has been consistent, and all of his rooms have been true to the themes while still staying Matt-like. He loves Carisa style, but thinks that sometimes Carisa does more of her own thing without sticking to the challenges. Andrea is a great architect, but doesn’t have the experience to design a great room. Andrea thinks she’s versatile and that her architectural background makes her an even better designer. She thinks Carisa is strong, but does not shift or grow and Matt is afraid to take risks and step outside the box.
The Judges confer, and then call the designers back in so that they can break someone’s heart and destroy some dreams. You know who is not heartbroken? Matt, because he has the top design this week. The Judges tell him his room was sophisticated, and he has fantastic taste. Not only is he on to the final two, he also gets a spread in Elle Décor, and he’s pretty excited.
That means that either Carisa or Andrea is in the heartbreak category, and today’s loser is… Andrea. Looks like I lost on my Top Design pool, because I certainly did not have my money on Carisa going to the final two.
Tune in next week for the finale of what seems like the longest series in reality TV history!