Monday, August 31, 2009

Design Star Challenge 7, My Thoughts

Well, I have to say first - there is a difference between a landscape designer and an interior designer, with that said - I'm in shock at how this project actually had the biggest overall before/after transformation while the interior projects seemed to really fizzle.

The task: transform 10,000 sq. ft. of unusable backyard space into a modern oasis for a young family hoping to entertain, cook, play, and well - anything else that you might do in a back yard. The result:

Thankfully the pool existed, and whoever had the idea to pour the concrete to create a patio area around the pool was really thoughtful to a couple of things: 1) the pool needed deck/patio space, and this was a great solution because 2.) it helped to separate the pool area from the rest of the space, give it it's own corner, and it really ate up a lot of the yard. Not a bad thing in a space this big.

Unfortunately, it's just blah bland concrete. About as pretty as the side of a concrete building blocking your view of the ocean. Why they didn't opt to stamp the concrete, stain it, paint it, tint it before it was poured is beyond me.

With that said, let's get to the real problem with the space:

The $11,000 pergola. Now, let me say that Dan was my favorite and my hands down winner of the show this year. But with the blatant lying, the decision to spend 1/2 of a budget on a cheap looking pvc pergola ... I'm not excited. I 'm not impressed, and I think he should have gone home.

Similarly, I believe that it's time for Antonio to step back a few paces and stop running the challenges like a bookie. Last night I had an anonymous commenter who said: Cannot stand Antonio. Loved Lonni's comment, "arrogance and stupidity" he's definitely the arrogant one....would never want to watch his show....he just puts everyone else down.


Thankfully though, the snips from next weeks show seem to show Lonni really coming into her own. Oh how I long to see a real designer space ... that star rated room that the title promises us. Will we see it?


  1. I just haven't gotten into Design Star this season. I haven't been real impressed with anything I've seen from them so far.

  2. Missed this week's show (dinner party) but appreciated your comments because your comments are always right on.

    Also, glad to see you back visiting at Linderhof!


  3. Must share I am still pulling for Dan in spite of last night. The dialogue was confusing at best regarding how much money he had to spend on the pergola. AND it wasn't even pretty. I believe the right person went home. As the team leader she could have - and should have - taken charge! Can't wait to see what they dish up for the celebrities next Sunday! Have a wonderful week, Artie.

  4. I just love to read your posts.
    I don't care what they're about,I just love reading them!
    With that said,are we gonna do SAGS anymore?I really miss it,and all the insight you bring to gardening.....
    just sayin'

  5. What I'd like to have seen in this backyard setting is... a more intimate feel within the spaces. They seemed too disconnected.
    We have three (themed) entertaining areas (in our backyard). A masculine wood deck with fire-pit, a tented Hampton feel gazebo and a bit of Tuscany under a pergola.
    Spaced enough for definition, but close enough to be cozy.

    Sweet wishes,

  6. I could see how Dan was confused about the money but not about what the pergola looked like--yuck! I would never want him in charge of my money. I do think Antonio is arrogant, but my money is on him--I'd watch :) I'm with you on the concrete.

  7. I've thought Torie needed to go home for a while. This week really brought it home. She let Antonio run right over her, didn't keep track of the money, the overall plan was kind of boring, and she just "shopped" like Candace said.
    I'm still uncertain if Dan is lying, or confused. He claims he counted the money and had 10,000. But when he paid the guys, he just signed off, and he certainly didn't have the extra 642 to give them. Those were some foolish decisions, the final of which was that he didn't even try to return it!
    I've been pulling for these final 3. They each have something positive. If Antonio were to win, he wouldn't come across as such an a-hole because then it would be HIS show. But he definitely doesn't play well with others!

  8. Oh, I had so many issues with that show....appreciate your focusing on what was impressive. Torie volunteered to be the team leader, then let Antonio walk all over her. Carpenter Dan missed the mark entirely. Antonio froze Dan out when he returned after elimination. Lonni, who has had her share of fumbles, now has a chance to take it all.

  9. Artie, I watched the end of the show. I was intrigued because being an interior designer absolutely does not make someone smart about the outdoors. It has taken me years to learn how to have a beautiful yard. I guess they already knew some things.

    You could have shown them how to do it properly!!

  10. Artie--Check this out--Dan's aunt's blog blog

  11. Artie as you know we do not get the same Design Program here in Canada, so you could tell me what State this is in? Is it somewhere where they do NOT have to deal with extreme changes in weather conditions? (ie: For starters, plunging temps 'n snow etc.)

    IF so, then I feel they could have done so much better to create an outdoor space that could be enjoyed all year round.

    Hope I'm not sounding too critical. -Brenda-

  12. * Artie, the whole 2009 Design Star "shebang", IMHO, has been one HUUUGE disappointment!

    I found the "after" to be SHOCKINGLY DISJOINTED~~~ While none ARE "Landscape Designers" by trade, one would ASSUME even the mere BASICS of good design could/would/should have been applied & would have helped IMMMMMMENSELY!!!!!!!

    I personally would have LOVED it if they had called YOU in to do this project! THEN we'd have had something WONDERFUL to look at... as it turned out, MY EYES WERE darting everywhere, and almost "HURTING" from this catastrophe!

    When do you think, if EVER, this season will actually PRODUCE a "STAR"? The "last woman standing" is MY bet~~~ she's calming, pretty, pleasant and I think she really COULD possibly do "great things"!

    Best to you,
    Linda in AZ *

  13. I haven't watched a signle episode - how bad am I? It doesn't look like I'm missing much this season. This yard? Bleh.
    Glad to see you, Twin-o-mine!
    xoxoxoxoxo Get on that show and show them how it's done, will ya?
    xo Isa

  14. Good morning, Artie

    It has been very difficult for me to stay interested, this season. I agree with your anon. commenter about Antonio. Arrogance is not my favorite thing and he's full of it!:-)

  15. I haven't seen it yet....but have to say...have been REALLY underimpressed by EVERYTHING this year. Bummer.

  16. I used Susan's link and found Dan's aunt's blog....hmmm, so Dan was able to get the pergola project scaled down....thus Clive didn't "add" $5,000 after all. HGTV's video highlights show how the misunderstanding came about....check,,HGTV_33396_23441,00.html. I also looked at Google images of zen gardens. Judges were right about the landscaping project not coming close to zen.

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. They got ripped off on the pergola. It looks like it came from Sam's Club - el cheapo. The furniture is haphazard. They should have played up the waterfall with a patio instead of competing with it with the pergola. I'm not crazy about the concrete, either. It should have been tinted a darker color. It was a big job, though, and I am impressed that they finished.

  19. Ooh, I totally agree with you here, Artie. The pergola is just so-so. And couldn't he have done some more landscaping with big pots and urns???

    Justine :o 0

  20. I'm back, Linda/Mom makes a very good is 'disjointed'. There is absolutely little if any 'flow' from one area/space to the next. ie: A pathway, stepping stones or something leading from the eating area to the Pergola would have been nice. Yes/No?


  21. Wow! How exciting to find someone following Design Star. I don't know anyome that watches it, so now I have someone to talk to about it. :) I agree, I thought Dan was the runaway winner until the pergola incedent. But he gets a chance to redeem himself this week, so maybe he'll come through and we can pull for him again. He does seem very talented and great on camera. Lisa~

  22. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on Design Star. This season has been so disappointing that I've been tempted to give up on it. And it's hard for me to imagine that any of these contestants is a "design star."

    I was convinced that Dan would win this thing until the last two episodes. Now I think Antonio could actually pull it off.