It seems like just yesterday that we started out with 13 designers on Top Design. Each one was more annoying than the next. Thank we got rid of those people. Mostly. Now we’re down to the final four: Nathan the Edgy, Eddie the Egomaniac, Preston the Pretty Boy and Ondine the, well, Girl. They’ve all avoided elimination by being either a) really good or b) less sucky than one other person.

After being saved by Andrea’s attack of homesickness, Ondine is feeling pretty lucky. She tells us she wants to win the competition for Andrea. The boys wake up the morning after Andrea’s elimination and decide to celebrate Eddie’s birthday. Okay, correction: Nathan and Eddie get up and celebrate Eddie’s birthday and make fun of Preston. Nathan presents Eddie with a flaming cake. Seriously, that’s not some sort of gay pastry: the fricking cake looks like a bonfire. Eddie’s birthday gift? Another ugly vest to wear at elimination. Eddie bashes Preston some more, telling us that, while he, Nathan and Ondine are New York, Preston is L.A. and not part of the posse. Preston knows he isn’t part of the group. Even though he isn’t hanging out with everyone, he still feels like he isn’t getting any alone time: he needs that to recharge.

The final four pile into cars to meet India and hear about their next challenge. This week, each of them will be designing a room in one of four townhomes. The will have two days to complete the design. They will need to be mindful of the room and its décor, because 3 of them will move on to finish decorating the rest of the townhome in the finale.

Ondine is confident: she’s done this sort of work before. Of course, it usually takes her a year, so that might be a bit of a problem. The budget for the room will be $20,000, while the budget for the entire townhome will be $85,000. Their room design in this challenge must convince the judges to let them finish the house. The will have 90 minutes to plan their rooms, order lights, wallpaper and paint.

Eddie decides to recreate his super-rich bedroom at home, while Preston opts for a contemporary-casual dining room. Preston talks his father, a general contractor, who just recently passed away and how he would work for him during the summer. Nathan opts to design the master bedroom and Ondine chooses one of the small bedrooms. She loves designing small spaces: she says there’s an art to it. Eddie says the judges talked about wanting the rooms to have that “wow factor,” but he doesn’t care: he’s going to do what he wants to do. I’m sure that’s exactly how it goes in Marthaland.

Now it’s time for the designers to buy furniture. Their first stop is Plantation. Nathan observes that the atmosphere as they all make their choices is one of subdued stress. Eddie whines about how Preston has put his stickers on everything so he can go back later and edit his choices. Eddie’s just annoyed he didn’t think of it first. The next stop is Jackson, another store with furnishings. As the clock ticks down, Ondine still hasn’t chosen her furniture. Nathan cries out “One minute!” and Ondine quickly goes to a salesperson and tries to tell the woman what she wants. Ondine admits she’s poorly organized – a bit of an understatement – but hopes the salesperson gives her what she wants. The last stop is the Top Design showroom to pick the rest of the accessories.

My Eyes! My Eyes!
With shopping done, the designers head back to the house to celebrate Eddie’s birthday by getting pickled in booze and cross-dressing. I wish that was a joke. Eddie bashes Preston some more and tells us he and Preston aren’t ever going to be best friends. I’m sure Preston would be crushed to hear that. Preston tells us that several people close to him died as a result of alcohol, including his father: that’s why he doesn’t join in when the others have their little keggers. I seriously want to give him a hug and not just because he’s hot.

This next part may have scarred me for life. A drunkety drunk Nathan, in a green leotard and dark curly wig, pretends he’s the host of Top Design Japan: Drunk Edition. It’s seriously alarming. I’m all in favor of Top Design: Prohibition Edition after that little performance.

It’s elimination day and everyone is feeling the pressure. The designers return to the townhouses, where the painters and wallpaperers have done their job. Ondine is relieved to see that the furniture she wanted was delivered. Nathan feels good about his room and has an idea of what his design will be. With two hours to go, the movers all arrive to help the designers arrange their furniture. Ondine has chosen a gigantic desk, which the movers find will not fit through the doorway. Frankly, they don’t seem all that eager to try harder to get it through the door either. Ondine suggests various solutions, from taking the plastic sheeting off of the desk to taking the desk apart (this doesn’t work: it’s glued) to taking the door off the hinges.

Preston’s movers are at work too. He has them moving furniture around until he’s satisfied. He admits he’s a perfectionist. I’m sure the movers are pleased to hear that. Finally, Ondine’s movers manage to cram the desk into the room. She’s bathed in relief, since the room would have been pretty empty with only a sofa in it. Both Eddie and Nathan come to survey Ondine’s room and both love it. Nathan calls it “cool and graphic.” I agree.

The Best Five Minutes of TV
It’s Todd Time! *does happy dance* Preston receives the first visit and the boys bond over their love of the silver deer antlers Preston has placed on the coffee table. Ondine is next and Todd seems to love the room. He wonders if she should do drapes to lengthen the space. Eddie tells Todd he wanted the room to be beautiful and sunny. He’s confident that the room reflects him, but Todd wonders if the room is too soft. Todd questions the fact that Nathan seems to have turned away from crazy. He’s also concerned about the white space between the two windows. Todd urges them to throw the judges a curve ball.

There are 90 minutes left and the designers are working on final touches. Preston knows that his two challenge wins in a row mean the judges will expect more from him. Nathan wonder if he’;s shooting himself in the foot by doing something different. Ondine is working on the curtains Todd suggested, but they’re not coming out as well as she’d expected. Ultimately, she decides to abandon them because they don’t look professional enough.

This week’s judges are Margaret Russell, Jonathan Adler and Jeff Lewis from Flipping Out.


Eddie explains that he wanted to create a master bedroom in East Hampton. He then calls the white lacquer sideboard “modern.” Only if it’s 1984, honey. Jonathan talks about bed-scaping and cites the lack of decorative pillows on the bed. Eddie says he wanted to go for a simple, hotel feel.


Nathan says he wanted to create a romantic room that was open and fresh. He then directs the judges’ attention to the fresh cut NAILS in a glass on the bedside table. Romantic. Jonathan asks if there’s anything Nathan would have liked to add to the room. Nathan admits he wishes he could add curtains with black iron hardware, as well as some fresh cut flowers.


Preston explains that he wanted to use the grass cloth in a different way, so he affixed it to the wall in a geometric pattern Jonathan loves that Preston packed some big furniture in the small room, but he managed to make it not feel crowded.


The judges survey Ondine’s guest room / office. Jonathan asks if she considered drapes and Ondine admits she did. She then says she preferred a clean window rather than messy drapes, which is what she would have produced. Jeff praises her use of the painting as the lone burst of color in the room.

The designers head in to face the judges. Jonathan compliments them all: each presented strong designs and have made it difficult for the judges to come to a decision. Margaret loves that Nathan took on the design of the bathroom as well as the bedroom and praises his use of the over-sized mirror and grass cloth. She actually liked the bathroom better than the bedroom. Jeff feels like there was something missing in the room: Nathan could have used some modern touches, perhaps in the bedding. Jonathan calls Nathan a provocateur, but says the room didn’t reflect that. Nathan admits he was stuck on the bed. He wanted them to see he’s capable of putting together a pretty room. Margaret counters that pretty rooms aren’t memorable.

Jonathan compliments Preston on creating a polished, confident space. Margaret says she loved the use of texture on the wall and calls his room swank and sophisticated. Jeff compliments Preston’s good taste but would have liked one less piece of furniture in the room: perhaps he could have left out the orange bench, in spite of the punch of color it brought to the room. Margaret tells Preston he has exquisite taste, but says the judges would like to see more of his personality in his designs.

Jonathan tells Ondine he felt happy while standing in her room can calls it bright and graphic. However, he felt that the white wall felt a bit naked and wonders if some throw pillows on the couch might have worked. Jeff doesn’t agree: he says black and white is trendy right now. Margaret compliments Ondine on a series of good design decisions: the room was edited well, glamorous, modern and fun.

Jonathan says Eddie’s room isn’t the youngest or most personal. Eddie defends his design, saying he wanted the house to feel easy, breezy and comfortable. Jeff has trouble relating to Eddie’s style and says it’s a very specific style that skews to an older demographic….one that uses walkers and bedpans and oxygen tanks. *snort* Nathan snickers and tries to keep himself together. Eddie looks both embarrassed and furious. He’s clearly on the verge of a hissy fit. Margaret calls Eddie’s room strong, traditional and classically styled, but wishes he would show more of his personality. Jonathan wonders if a full house designed by Eddie would have any surprises: perhaps s it would just be more of the safe designing they saw today.

Ding Dong the Witch is Gone
India dismisses the designers so the judges can deliberate. Jonathan acknowledges the fact that Preston had some problems with scale, but says he’s always thinking and making it work. He thinks Preston will make the house look swanky and rich. Margaret talks about how Ondine almost went home last week. This week, she took the smallest room and pulled it together. Jonathan agrees, saying Ondine rose like a phoenix from the ashes.

Jeff says he really doesn’t have a strong opinion when it comes to Eddie. Uh-huh. He then bashes Eddie’s fashion sense, likening it to his decorating sense. Jonathan says Eddie’e room looked like he took a vat of tradition and sprayed it all over the room with a fire hose. Margaret defends Eddie, saying he’s a good designer. Jeff counters that he must not get Eddie’s style and doesn’t think it’s good. He likes the other three designers, but he thinks Eddie’s style is dated. Margaret tries to defend Eddie and says she would like to see Eddie do a sexy room. India wonders if Eddie is capable of sexy.

Margaret thinks Nathan’s room was awful considering his talent. Jonathan agrees: Nathan definitely fell down, but he also thinks that the house Nathan would design will have lots of surprises. Jeff agrees that Nathan took some risks, but points out that the room had some nice pieces. India says Nathan designed a chic bathroom. Margaret agrees, but says the bedroom wasn’t finished.

The designers file back in to hear the judges’ decision. Jonathan tells them that it was a tough decision. Ondine had a rough week last week but this time, the judges thought her room was lovely, sweet and whimsical. The judges would love to see what she would do with the rest of the house. Preston created a stylish, swanky and pulled together space that impressed the judges. Both Ondine and Preston are in.

It’s down to Eddie and Nathan. Jonathan says they’re both brilliantly talented and have brilliant futures. Well now, aren’t we throwing around the wild compliments? Jonathan tells Eddie he has great talent and has always been consistent. Even though Eddie hates the moniker, Jonathan says is a brilliant stylist. Nathan hasn’t been so consistent: he’s failed miserably, but he’s also soared to great heights. The judges had to choose between a consistent talent and someone who isn’t consistent, but who may soar to higher highs.

Glory Hallelujah! Nathan’s in and Eddie is out! Eddie golf claps and gives his fakety fake smile while pretending to be happy for Nathan. India tells Eddie he’s deeply talented. He’s also deeply annoying. Eddie says he’s busted his butt on the show and is happy with what he did. Says the show made him think about how lucky he is and how he produces great work for Saint Martha. He gushes over how great he is. He practically starts his own fan club right there.

Next week: It’s the big finale and the final three are pushed to the limit. $100K on the line and the winner will be revealed. Plus, Eddie, along with probably some of the other designers, is back to annoy. Boy, I’m so glad they eliminated him so we didn’t have to see any more of his vest collection.