Design (Co)Star(s)?

Design Star, Episode 4, was, dare I say, a bit more interesting this week. Though, lest you think that implies the concept for this episode was fresh and new...think again. Alas, one more week of, "Hey, everybody, pick a random object that you're drawn to (in this case, a flower) in hopes that you will be designing your own space around this very-personal-to-you-object and then we're going to throw all of your team together with all of your items now in a bunch and make you work together to create a space that represents all of your random crap as a whole." Yeah, that's pretty much what happened yet again this week. Hey, HGTV! Can we get an individual challenge?! This show is supposed to be about finding a Design "Star" not co-stars! So frustrating to me. However! I will say that the designs seemed a bit more inspired this week, don't you think? So, here was the premise:

"This week, the designers find inspiration in flowers. The nine remaining designers are challenged to create a studio space inspired by their team's bouquet. Each designer selects one flower and uses it as individual inspiration in the team's overall space. As the studio space blossoms, one designer has difficulty catching his breath, while another struggles to find inspiration altogether. A massive mistake threatens one team, while the other struggles with a dominant personality. In the end, the judges surprise everyone with an unexpected decision and one designer is eliminated from the competition while eight survive to see another day of design." (

"Using the tulip as inspiration, Tom focuses on the luminosity one sees when light shows through a flower's petals. He chooses furnishings that allow a lot of natural light into the room to represent his inspiration. What do you think about his design?" (hgtv)
Well, thank you for asking HGTV. First, could Tom be any more handsome and the epitome of what a fabulously successful designer should look like? Reason #67 why I could never be on this show. I would forever look like the rumpled and dumpy assistant to the designers and I'm fairly sure that's not quite the look that they're hoping for in a "Design Star". Anyhoo...back to the show...I think Tom successfully was able to incorporate his flower into the space. Although it's really obvious and could have been deemed as too obtuse, I love how that floor lamp is so reminiscent of a droopy tulip. And I love me some droopy tulips!

Tom was also the mastermind behind this least I thought he was. Now that I'm writing this and researching it a bit, it seems that Michael is getting the credit for it. I'm confused. Because they were dealing with a studio apartment, this was an interesting way to separate the sleeping and living areas. I give him props for actually conceptualizing the whole piece and not just going out and buying one...although, that's exactly what I would have done in his shoes. Power tools and I haven't exactly become the best of friends yet.

"Alex creates layered artwork with square canvases to represent his flower: the snapdragon. However, the judges think there is a disconnect between the intricate snapdragon and his simple art. What do you think of Alex's design?". (hgtv)
Being in the bottom two this episode should really be Alex's last concern. If I were him, I would be absolutely freaking out wondering, based on his work so far, why anyone would want to hire me! He seems to struggle to come up with even an interesting contribution to the design, much less showing us why he deserves his own show. Nice as pie and I love his personality...but so young and either very inexperienced or just out of his league. His art piece seen below did very little to remind me of his flower and because of the simple nature of it it needed to be executed, it's a shame that it's wonky and crooked. My favorite aspect is how the gray shade of the lamp seems to be a part of the piece and grounds it a bit while the lamp base almost disappears.
"Courtland chooses to work with the calla lily, which he thinks is a warm flower with a hidden quality. The judges don't see his inspiration manifested in the space. Do you agree?". (hgtv)
Hell to the no, I don't agree! The calla lily...a warm flower? Warm? (Quizzical look on my face.) Um, I actually think it's a very cold looking flower. Modern and chic, yes. Warm? No. Frankly I don't even remember what Courtland called his portion of the design. Had he said that that black triangular chair represented his flower that would have made more sense...but if memory serves correctly, he didn't. I know he did alot of the construction work...but we all know how far that gets you in a DESIGN show.
"Michael is drawn to the ranunculus because of its layers of petals, which he represents with the open shelving that features different levels of shelves. What do you think of his design?", as I said, Michael is given the credit for the shelves and if that's true, kudos to him. You can see the pic above of the bookshelves.


On to the girl's and Dan. This was my favorite of the two designs. To me, this was the hands-down winner but the judges disagreed and said they couldn't pick a group winner. Lame. They were robbed and Dan, being part of the group that worked on this space shouldn't have even been eligible for elimination. Poor guy.
"Casey pulls her inspiration from the hyacinth, which she feels is soft, romantic and has a beautiful watery color. To represent her flower, she applies a color wash on to the walls. Do you think her translation was successful?". (hgtv)
Yes, I get it...I believe the color wash was done only on the bedroom area that you can see in the background. I would have liked to have seen sheers flanking the back of the bed on the entire wall which really would have helped with the romantic feel...or even by using a great Donghia floral for panels...maybe too literal considering the challenge I suppose. Overall, I liked it and the use of the sheer fabric separating the sleeping and living areas feels sweet and special.

"Stacey is inspired by the carnation. She sees it as a beginning moment perfect for a studio apartment, where most people start when they move to New York City. She incorporates a wood desk and simple white chair with romantic legs to represent her flower. What do you think of her design?". (hgtv)

I have mixed feeling on this one. I actually like the idea of the carnation being a beginning. When you're young and broke...or just broke...carnations in tightly formed arrangements are a great answer for the pocket book. And, when you're starting out, most of us can't afford a home office even though we're often forced to take work home with us. So, I like the idea of the desk and I'm always a fan of this furniture arrangement...the desk behind the sofa in lieu of just a sofa table. Way more functional but serves the same purpose. I also like the selection of the white chair...a take-off on a Louis Ghost Chair. So, overall, nice. Still not amazing, though. I just don't get this season.

"Emily chose the wax flower as her inspiration because of its effortless feel. Since it's a weed, she decides to spread colorful and patterned pillows across the entire space to represent its behavior. Do you like Emily's take on the wax flower?". (hgtv)

Could she be any prettier in an easy, breezy kind of way?

As you know, I'm a fan of Emily. So what if it's because she commented on one of my blog posts. Yeah, I'm really that easy. But, I've come to like her as a designer as well. I like her style and I can see watching her show. I will say that the idea that she simply just spread some pillows around and called it a day seems preposterous to me. I have a feeling she had her hand in alot more than just that.

"Inspired by the way daffodils grown in clusters, Dan fills one wall with a grouping of framed fabrics. Unfortunately, the judges aren't impressed with Dan's interpretation of his flower and he is sent home. Do you agree with their decision?". (hgtv)

Again, I think this team should have won which would have left Dan out of even possibly being on the chopping block...but he was and I get why. When will people learn to look out for themselves? He spent so much time working on other people's ideas that it left him with the most ridiculous wall arrangement I've ever seen. Ok. Not EVER. But, close. Come on...really? Such a sweet guy and I bet he had alot more in him than this.

"Using the orchid as her inspiration, Nina wants to infuse the apartment with structural elegance. She tapes off the walls to create the look of sophisticated molding and also comes up with the idea to add a swing in the living room for a playful vibe. What do you think of Nina's orchid-inspired design?". (hgtv)

Is she Meana or Nina? I don't even know anymore. She actually seemed fairly tolerable this episode and I liked a couple of her ideas quite a bit. Loved the swing and totally understood how it portrayed the romanticism of the orchid. I also thought that the taped off mouldings were a nice way to add some architectural interest and lend a bit of a traditional vibe. I also like the addition of the fuchsia with the blues and though I'm over her squiggly lined "artwork",  she grew on me this week. Did I just say that?

So, what'd you guys think? Are you still watching? Let's hope next week we can see an individual challenge and that Vern removes the foreign object from his rectum for long enough to see past his "If it's not clean-lined and modern I don't get it" ways.


Rosemarie Heitbaum said...

I love light as much as the next girl, but growing up in Australia & having moved to Boston I also desperately need to shut it out when the temps get close to boiling point. Bitter school experience has left me with memories of bottoms sticking to plastic chairs, they look cool & retro but in reality they are hard and perspiration inducing. On the plus side I adore the rugs.

Jen of All Trades said...

Rosemarie! You did it! I agree...sweaty bottoms are no fun. Funny, I didn't even think of that. :D

Anonymous said...

Love you blog and FB page. I am not enjoying this season at all - agree that there should be individual challenges. The only thing that I can think of is that their budget was axed and a workaround is to have team challenges.
Also, don't know if you touched on this yet, but I really dislike the main set. It is so dark and creepy feeling to me - almost crypt-like. Definitely not design-star worthy. Any thoughts?

Jen of All Trades said...

I agree about the main set. Isn't funny that a design show would have such a depressing set? Fingers crossed for individual designs next week. It's making me wish that other design show on Bravo would come back...the one Eddie Ross was him. What was the name of that show?! Top Design? I think that's right. Emily Henderson has some interesting commentary on her blog, The Brass Petal, too if you're interested. :)

Kris said...

It's like you are inside my head and sharing my thoughts, Jen! I agree with pretty much everything you said here! I liked the girls + Dan a bit more than the guys space--I could see the floral inspiration a bit more with the girls, but maybe I'm just too literal. :-) I felt bad that Dan was eliminated, but he needed to design, not just construct items for the girls!! I miss the old format, and do not like the set or Vern's attitude this season! I am definitely hoping that we're going to start seeing some individual challenges!

Jamie said...

My thoughts...well I would LOVE for you to come to my house and decorate it, it needs some fine tuning...
And I wanted to let you know I sent a women in need of some organization help, hope it works out!
Lastly, I need a new necklace from Stella and Dot ! :D

Continue inspiring the naked minds...mine especially! thanks!

Jamie said...

My thoughts...well I would LOVE for you to come to my house and decorate it, it needs some fine tuning...
And I wanted to let you know I sent a women in need of some organization help, hope it works out!
Lastly, I need a new necklace from Stella and Dot ! :D

Continue inspiring the naked minds...mine especially! thanks!

Marg King said...

Anonymous No More! Hi Jen, and thanks for your message and for including me in the drawing!

NINA said...

Thanx for the positive comments. much appreciated.


Jen of All Trades said...

OMG! Nina...could it actually be you? So, as the mortification wears off that you possibly read my not so positive comments about you in the past few posts...I'm really excited that you stopped by and took the time to comment! You must admit, whether through editing or the stress of the situation, you didn't come off as "a friend in waiting". But I was glad to see more of your talent shine through this week and will be looking forward to next week's episode. Have a great day!

emily Henderson from The Brass Petal said...

yeah!!! i'm glad someone is digging our room instead of the boys. it looks a bit nuts, i know, but i want to have cocktails there which means it has something going for it. thanks for the props. yes i did more than pillows. we all did the shopping, painting and styling. I sewed all the pillows (and picked out all the fabrics, although from Zarin's we aren't buying the most modern patterns) and i did the room dividing drapes which i still love. keep watching. and i'll keep reading.

Jen of All Trades said...

Welcome back, Emily! So great to hear from you again. I had a feeling you did way more than they gave you credit for and I donm't think the room looks crazy at all. I actually really like it considering what you were given to work with and the time given. Very excited to see this week's episode and reading your commentary about it on your blog!

Candy Collins said...

So...I'm a week behind. I just finished watcing episode 4. I always read the first sentence or two of your blog before watching the show to see what the episode will be like. I agree...this season is not much fun at all (maybe that's why I am a week behind)! I totally DISAGREE with you about being the "rumpled and dumpy assistant to the designers"! I think you would "ROCK IT"!!!

Related Posts with Thumbnails