Monday, August 21, 2006

Design Star Recap & Commentary #5

Just so you know, sometimes being a blogger is work! After watching Design Star last night, I didn't stay up to post my usual commentary and recap because today was the first day of school. I thought it behooved me to get a full eight hours so as to be at my professional best. In hindsight, it was a waste because, following a tradition of 24 years of first days; I couldn't sleep worth a darn. I was restless and wakeful, it seemed, until my alarm beeped this morning. As a result, I'm pretty tired from my first day of work after two months off (I hear the boos, never fear). Still, I know my duty. I'm going to give my all to my reader(s) and post my thoughts especially since, many readers have checked the site for the regularly featured Design Star recap. I can't disappoint you see what I mean? Sometimes blogging is work. ;o)

Last night's episode could be called "Studio Apartment: One Color Theme" because that was the challenge each designer individually faced. Each designer was randomly assigned a color and a professional carpenter to assist them in the re-design of virtually identical studios with nearly identical furniture. They had $2000.00 and 24 hours to complete the task. Temple got yellow. Tym got green. Alice got blue, and David got red.

Since the designers were working individually, there was no drama or discontent in the show. Most people find it difficult to fight with themselves, so the focus of the show was on how the designers were progressing in their tasks. The gentlemen seemed to be more interested than the ladies in carpentry projects, because both Tym and David planned to build walls or architectural features to delineate the living space from bedroom space in their studios. Most of the shopping was done at IKEA, although IKEA's name is never used--I just recognized the store and its contents.

Temple: I felt that Temple had a difficult color to work with when she got yellow. Too much yellow can be overwhelming--the wrong shade of yellow and it brings in an Easter/baby shower vibe. She was shooting for "beachy" as she described it later. She painted the walls a pale yellow--which she worried was too bright. She used mostly white furniture and bright yellow accents. She also had lots of baskets in a light beige color. Her floor rugs, which were both white, were placed at an angle to the furniture. She tried to make her furniture multi-functional. Her bed was both bed and couch. It was still a queen size mattress, but she put the mattress in a box and then piled lots of pillows on it. (Personally, I wouldn't want to sit all evening in my bed--wouldn't it be hot when you got 'in' bed to sleep? Ick.) Her dining room table could also function as a desk. (That's not really original--isn't that what dining room tables are doing, even as you read, all across the country?)

Tym-Tym elected to build a a kind of partition--which, as I struggle to remember it--seemed like the canopy on a bed. It wasn't a full wall, it was more like posts or something. He used two shades of green--neither of which were great choices. The shades of green were so close in tone that most people didn't noticed that he had used two different greens. His room looked kind of empty. He described his room as bringing the outside inside...while having no plants of any kind.

Alice-Taking her inspiration from Tiffany Blue, Alice created a very cool interior. She was shooting for serene, and she used white and some black for contrast. I liked her room, but I don't particularly remember details. Hmm, maybe I should have visited the website to refresh my memory.

David-The luckiest of all the designers, David got red for his color. Red, used appropriately can be very graphic and modern. He, wisely, painted one wall red as an accent, and then brought red into the room with accessories and art. He built a five foot wall--with an L-shape which he used to partition the bedroom from the living room. Problem there was, he put the living room in the furthest point of the room closed off from the rest of the studio while the bedroom was open to the rest of the studio and closest to the kitchen and door. I would have flipped those rooms, myself.

As a second element of the challenge, each designer was asked to do their first bit of camera work by taking the camera on a tour of their room.

I think the judges genuinely found it difficult to decide who would go home tonight. There was no obvious failure--just subtle weaknesses. All the judges felt that the designers had been too literal in their interpretation of the color theme because everybody relied on paint to bring the color into the room.

Temple's room was considered to be rather ordinary. It was considered to lack personality. The angling of the rugs was questioned by Martha and Temple's answer for why the rugs were angled amounted to--"I had no time. They didn't look right straight, so I angled them." She had no design philosophy/reason for how she had placed the rugs. I think that hurt her. In her camera tour, Temple got mostly good reviews. She was comfortable and confident--maybe too confident. Vern reacted more positively to Temple, than the female judges didn't as much. I wonder if there is something about the way Temple presents herself that is slightly irritating to other women...Judy (the twin) said she thought Temple makes you "discomfortable"--it's not bad enough to be called UNcomfortable, but you are uneasy. It's a theory, anyway.

Tym's room was considered to be missing something, cold. The overall impression was a dorm room or prison (it's that institutional green he used!) He was too literal in his interpretation of the color--he even painted the kitchen cabinets green. In his camera tour, Tym was "macho". He explained the room's design philosphy so well in his tour that the judges liked it better after hearing his tour commentary. Personally, I shuddered at his red muscle shirt with a brown puka shell-type necklace. That's just not a good look on him.

Alice's room received lots of compliments because of its simplicity. It wasn't overdesigned. Her space planning wasn't great because she had an empty corner, but overall she got a "job well done". In her camera work, Alice was the best of the four. She poured on the southern charm, she's great looking and had a whole Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island vibe going on which the judges loved. (They hadn't seen her white shoes with a black dress yet--I was horrified. In my experience Southern women are usually well-dressed. How did she miss the memo about shoes needing to be darker than your hose and skirt?)

David's room was also highly complimented. He did exactly the right thing with the red by painting only one wall. The partial wall was claustrophobic, however, and the way he closed off the space wasn't considered a plus. His camera tour was good, but rushed. He seemed nervous. He ended with "Peace." What's up with that? I think he threw it in--David--do not improvise coolness. "Cool" people do not watch HGTV. Since I've been keeping track, btw, David managed to show off his bod throughout this show. First, he wore a wife beater for all the time he was working in his room and for his camera work. When he went shopping at IKEA he wore a gray coat which was, I kid you not, SLEEVELESS. In fact, can you call it a coat if it hasn't got sleeves? Maybe it was a vest that was acting like a coat--I don't know anything but David's tattoo was on display through the whole show.

In the end, Alice was the winner of the challenge and David was good enough to continue. Elimination was between Tym and Temple. Personally, I felt either could go, but in the end, Temple was eliminated. As I said in a previous recap, Temple was never going to win. Not because she didn't have professioanal credentials, but because she had been too unpleasant and hadn't gotten along with the other designers. She couldn't win because viewers have to be able to LIKE her. I also don't expect Tym to last because, well, to say this nicely....well...okay, there's not nice way---he's goofy looking. TV prefers beautiful or at least attractive people. Mostly. I know there are exceptions. I predict the final two will be Alice and David. They are both very talented, good-looking, and well spoken. We'll see....


JJLynn58 said...

I thought it was a shame that they all relied on white furniture. Some color in the furniture would have been nice and frankly how long do you think it takes to ruin a white couch? Days, hours, minutes.........seconds! I agree that David should have flipped his bedroom and living room and I would hate to be laying in bed and not able to see my tv when my room is only -one room- I also thought Temple putting the tv on her desk/dining room table made that table pretty unusable as a dining room table and she had no stools at her bar which she offered for additional eating space.
Just a few thoughts to ponder.........

JJLynn58 said... is the address to my blog - I think

Robin said...

I agree with everything you said. I guess Temple couldn't afford stools. Wish they had shared how much of the $2000 got spent by each designer.