Let me start off tonight by saying this is one of the happiest days of my life. Tonight, Top Design will crown its winner, and I never have to see, or write about any of these people again.
Last week I think we were all surprised that Carisa made it through to the Final 2 while Andrea was sent packing with a cheerful “see you later, decorator!” I’m hoping the judges are just setting Carisa up for some humiliation, and at least I know that we’re bound to see some hardcore fighting between Carisa and Carl, so that will probably be entertaining.
First up is a little montage of the season so far, and the reason why each designer was sent home, (always remember- do not design a room around a cat!). Carisa and Matt are the last two left standing, and tonight they’re going to have a cage fight to the death the determine the winner. What? They’re not? Oh, bummer.
Finally, money these designers can work with!
Carisa and Matt roll into Pacific Design to get the details on their final challenge. Since it’s the last shebang, this one is a whopper! Each designer will be designing identical 1700 square foot lofts in one of the hottest areas in downtown LA. They’ll get two months to create the design, return to LA after the two months of planning, and will have five days to execute the design. The budget for this challenge is $12,500 for materials, and $150,000 to buy whatever they want from the Pac Design Center.
Matt is finally feeling more at home with this kind of budget, and Carisa is feeling a little overwhelmed with this budget, and with the task in general.
It’s time to meet the clients, and they are… Carisa and Matt! They are designing for themselves! The designers are very excited, and Matt knows that he has more to incorporate into his loft because of his “wife” and “daughter. Carisa knows that she’ll need a place in her loft to work, and place to sleep, and a place to entertain, hopefully not with a stripper pole.
The finalists head out to visit their lofts, and they are amazing. And I am jealous. Matt starts measuring the space, and tells Carisa “no” when she asks if they should measure together. Then he tells the camera that Carisa is going home, and losing to her is not an option. Then he makes a steeple with his fingers and laughs an evil laugh.
We’re going to hear the words “GE Monogram Collections” may times tonight.
Carisa went home to Miami too be with her family while she planned her loft. Matt tried to do most of his work from Chicago so that he could have everything planned before he went back to LA. As an added surprise, both designers got calls from Todd telling them that they could also design their dream kitchens using the GE Monogram Collection, and they had an additional $25,000 to blow on fancy-schmancy kitchen crap.
Back in LA, the designers meet with Todd in their lofts to go over the final plans, and boy are their plans “lofty!” Ha, ha. Todd is very encouraging, and makes sure to stress to the designers that they are designing for themselves, and they need to remember that. He sends them off shopping, and lets them know that while they’re gone, he’s arranged for a crew to come in and completely paint the walls, and lay the flooring. When they get back, their carpenters will be there ready to go, or in Carl’s case- ready to argue.
Addition is pretty simple.
The designers hit Pacific Design to shop for $150,000 worth of furnishings, and the next day it’s time to move all this stuff into their lofts.
Carisa is stunned by the stark white walls and black, wood plank floors in her loft, and almost cries with joy. She was really worried about the floor, but it turned out beautiful, although very expensive. Matt’s loft is how he envisioned it- very minimal and with the perfect paint.
Carisa is actually happy to see Carl, and tells us that even though they certainly had some issues, she still loves him. Platonically, I think, but I’m not sure. Matt is equally happy to see Ed and his healed hand. Hopefully he won’t cut off any of his digits during this challenge, because Matt just doesn’t have time for that.
The designers work with the carpenters, Carisa changes her plans again and again, and finally decides to just sketch as she goes, and then discovers that she’s $18,000 over budget. Oh, and Matt is also over budget which makes me think that maybe these two should have taken calculators, or some basic math skills to Pacific Design.
Why no fighting?
Carisa’s loft is kind of high up, and she has a lot of projects for her carpenters, which means that they have to schlep everything up six flights of stairs. Carl rallies the laborers, and they get most of the supplies upstairs, but when Carisa arrives, Carl tells her that the other workers weren’t told they would have to lug tons of crap up six floors, and that stuff is heavy! Carisa storms away in a cloud of cursing and anger, and Carl quietly makes the boys get back to work.
Matt got lucky because he drew the third floor loft, but Ed still complains about getting the materials up the stairs and into the loft. I’m sure Carl would be happy to straighten Ed out about the situation and who is really suffering.
This floor has got to cause a meltdown!
Just three days left in the challenge, and the lofts are really coming together, and everyone still has all of their fingers and toes. Sadly, Carisa and Carl are still getting along, and they even hug each other hello!
With only two days left the designers are getting more and more nervous. Both lofts still look like a mess, but the kitchens are coming together nicely- Matt’s princess room for his daughter is so dang cute I want to throw up, and Carisa’s still working well with her carpenters, Carl included.
Then things go wrong. As Carisa’s carpenters start to pull up the tape that is covering the floor, (for protection, I assume), they find that the tape is pulling the finish off the floor, and is absolutely ruining it. It looks horrible. I’m not a huge fan of Carisa’s, but it is really sad to see such a beautiful floor so messed up. Carl looks like he’s going to have a heart attack, and I think if he doesn’t, Carisa will just go ahead and kill him anyway, so he’s screwed.
With 15 hours left, Carisa comes in and announces her carpenters are unbelievable. When they point out the floor problem, she handles it well and trusts Carl to fix it.
Very little sleep= very little beauty.
It’s the final day, and Carisa never left the loft and hasn’t slept. I’m sure she’ll be a joy to be around all day! When Carl arrives she gets her second wind and starts cranking out the projects.
Matt spent most of the night painting the concrete floor in his room, and is in pretty good shape time wise for the final day.
While the teams are hard at work, Todd comes in to make a special announcement to each of the head carpenters. He tells them that Lendingtree.com will be awarding a prize of $10,000 to the winning carpenter. Suddenly, both Ed and Carl seem much more motivated to get the lofts done perfectly. Carisa wants to win for herself of course, but since Carl has two little girls, she wants to win for him as well so that he can pay for his girls’ education. Hmmm…that statement makes me pretty sure that Carisa did not pay for her own education.
With 40 minutes remaining, it’s crunch time, and both designers spend a lot of time artfully arranging furniture and weird accessories. Todd brings the news that time’s up, and surprisingly, both designers are actually finished.
I’ll bet Kelly’s wearing something stupid.
Todd welcomes Carisa and Matt back to the White Room, goes over the ultimate prize, and then thanks the designers for offering him a ringside seat to watch their amazing journeys. To him, they are both Top Designers. Awww… Todd is so nice! He introduces Judges Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wreastler and Margaret Russell, and tonight’s special Guest Judge, award winning film producer Trudy Styler, (or Mrs. Sting).
The last challenge will be judged on overall design and execution, and without further adieu, the it’s time for the designers to present their lofts.
Carisa was inspired by the architecture and windows and always wanted to live in the loft from the movie Big. She thinks the loft is very adaptable, and great for entertaining and blasting music. She turned the bed into a bed pit and used her favorite colors in the design.
Matt loved the windows in his loft and immediately got a 40s feel. He lives with his wife and 4-year old daughter, and for them home is a place to relax. His kitchen is the perfect loft kitchen, and the huge range was for his wife, because he certainly doesn’t cook. Matt used his own pictures to decorate the walls because photos are very important to his family.
Back in the White Room for the final judging, the designers are asked some tough questions. Jonathan asks Carisa what architecture she actually created, and she rambles about a converted ping pong table and a vase. Jonathan thought the bed pit was the focus of the loft, and comments that he could see someone getting into some freaky stuff in that pit. I think his comment shocks Margaret who seems embarrassed and appalled, but I think he’s right- that bed pit was kind of kinky. And I kind of liked it.
The Judges ask Matt about the floor plan, so he explains that he had to complete a bedroom for his daughter, one for his wife and him, and some sort of wall thing to muffle sound. The Judges comment how cute his daughter is, and when they show some of the photos on the wall up close I have to agree and feel really bad that I ever doubted her existence. Trudy doesn’t think glass works well with a small child, but the bathroom was sexy. She doesn’t think the bedroom was sexy, and Matt comments that he likes to come home to a sterile, austere room. This statement does not shock me at all.
The suspense is killing me!
The Judges deliberate for one final time, and have a lot of great things to say about each of the designers’ lofts. They determine that Matt is about order and Carisa is about exuberance. Both of these things sound positive, so I’m not sure who is going to take this one.
The Judges have made up their minds though, and the winner of the title of Top Design is… Matt! Wow! I am… not surprised. Carisa is sent packing, but not as an eliminated loser, as the runner up, and Matt doesn’t have to kill himself because he didn’t lose to Carisa.
Well, what a season, and what a finale. What did you think? Will Bravo bring this show back? Will we ever see Matt with his own show on HGTV? Will Kelly Wreastler ever stop wearing utterly ridiculous clothes? Only time will tell.