Monday, August 3, 2009

My Thoughts: Design Star White Room Challenge

Ok, so what would you do? Someone walks you into a space 10'x10' with 10' ceilings. They give you $1000, and say design something. You get a sofa, ottoman, coffee and side table, lamp and 6' 5 shelf bookcase. Oh, one more thing - that money - use it at the grocery store! Last night certainly presented a challenge to the designers on Design Star, a challenge that I think most of them conquered. Each room said a lot about the designers' unique vision for design, and how well they can plan, create, and finish a design when left to their own devices.

This week I was most impressed with two rooms, and you can probably guess which ones those were. The first:


Dan's "Apple Orchard" Re-envisioned. Now, for the record, Dan is my pick this year for winner of the show. I think he has a unique and tasteful vision and a flair for design that several other designers on the show just haven't found yet. And for the design: shopping for items to design a room at a grocery store is not easy, I took a spin around the local store here the other night with this challenge in mind; so with that said I loved:
  1. That he painted the sofa to mimic leather - such a fantastic idea of the space he created around it.
  2. Love the firewood graphic on the walls, and the firewood used as legs to the console table.
  3. Love the fact that he used three basic colors for the design: brown, red, and white and that he repeated so many of the textures and accessories to create a continuity that reads expensive.
  4. Really like the space plan.

Things that I question a little:

  1. Where did he get the extra lumber he used in some of the creations here? Am I the only one who saw this? I know that the vertical frame to the apple graphic behind the sofa is the two side pieces to the 6' bookshelf. Where is the top piece from? Evidently, it is the unused side to Nathan's bookshelf he decided not to use in the space, but was that fair to the others?
  2. The art in this room (in theory) is nice. I love that he used the shelves from the unit to create canvas, but I think that the art could have had a larger scale circle. For me, the art missed the mark.

Overall, though - this room was by far my most favorite of the night, and I see the most potential for design success in Dan.

Moving on to my second favorite of the night:

Now there are a lot of things about this room that make me tilt my head. You know, that sorta confused animal head tilt. But I picked this room as my second favorite because of his thoughtful use of grocery store items. As creative as I might be, I would have never used milk to create the striped effect on the walls of that room - and as beautiful as it was, I still feel sorry for the team of prop staff who had to work at deconstructing that space. Ewww. The things I loved:
  1. The wall treatment. As confusing as the idea was, and as smelly as the days after must have been, the fundamental theory of the technique is fabulous. Really fabulous.
  2. The orange ring chandelier! Now, if that wasn't your favorite grocery store item put to good use of the night - then you weren't watching! :) The idea of a capiz shell chandelier made with oranges by hanging the provided lamp upside down, and linking orange cuttings together around it - that was genius.
  3. The flokati-esque rug made from oatmeal and rice.
  4. The use of twine to create interest to the provided tables.
  5. The graffti "fabric graphic" he created on the sofa.

The things that I questioned:

  1. The candles. They just had me a little perplexed. I understood the idea, but I think overall they didn't add anything to the overall presence. I would have liked the room without them, or seem them used as sconces on the wall with orange peel covers.

I again, will say that the challenge, overall was conquered by all the designers. I was impressed with so many of the ideas in almost all of the rooms - but these two were my favorites of the night. And, really had me saying, "I would have never thought of that."

Now, what would I have done? Who knows - it's so hard to say without having $1,000 to spend at the very same grocery store on the very same day. My mind travels to reynolds tin-foil though, and having that backwall fully covered in a basket woven pattern in the mirrored-like finish of the foil. Of course, I could have just used foil on the walls to create a series of mirrors too, for a repetitious look. In fact, I think that corn husks woven together would have been a fantastic idea too, but time allows for very little of that sort of creative work. What about you? What would have done? Who was your favorite? Do you think they made the right choice in sending the "color expert" home?