Thursday, September 10, 2009

Design Star: Episode 8, Narrowing it Down

Well, we finally got back from our quick, but wonderful 4-day vacation that I so desperately needed after a long, exhausting, and laborious couple of weeks at my office. With renewed spirit, and a much more energized body, I plan on getting back at the blog full steam, while finishing up a few "lost" projects around Casa de la Vanderdogan starting, in the Master Bedroom. Stay tuned for more.

And for those of you who were interested in my thoughts of this past Sunday's Design Star Challenge, here they are:

My second favorite of all the spaces for a few reasons:
  1. Lonni did exactly what her clients wanted. She gave them a comfortable, eco-friendly, eclectic, transitional-traditional space that read expensive and designed. The biggest part of that look, the wallpaper, was a great find - one that she was incredibly lucky to have screen printed at the store, and have so expertly installed. Magnificent.
  2. The scale here, on a lot of the things that Lonni used is right on target. The chairs are great, as is the shade on the floor lamp. The space really came together nicely.
I suppose the thing that drew my eye more closely than the unfinished headboard installation, was the sort of non-designer display of the wall-unit to the right of the bed. It's messy, non-cohesive. The pillows feel displaced here. Like there were too many of the same shape. It needed bolsters, euro's, and the traditional 18x18.

Overall, when the room was complete and the proud Lonni took the screen to introduce the space, I felt confident that I'd be blogging about her next week.

Then there was Dan, my favorite. For a few reasons:
  1. The organic boat frame that he constructed/developed/tasked was superb. It made full space of the awkward 1/2 cathedral ceiling, and made an interesting and textural art piece that was sure to grow with the young boy that would soon be calling this home.
  2. The colors are fantastic, and did you take notice of the chairs he picked for the sitting area? The detail of the hollow arm is spectacular. It's this attention to detail that I've missed from Dan, but he came through this week with buckets of talent and inspiring bits.
And even though his custom art piece for the wall felt a little "David Bromstad" I still felt that it was the perfect solution for art in the space, and the way he installed it was incredible. An interesting and clever solution.
The overall look, nursery - but designed to transition nicely. I felt the beach theme, but it wasn't overboard, in fact, it was so subdued that you almost forgot about there being a "theme" at all. For that reason, and that reason alone, I knew he was a definite finalist.

Then came this space, an office for 3 which included a lounge space for K. Griffin and her team. Though I thought the space was nice, and there were elements that were really cool, I ranked it last and began to say goodbye to Antonio before elimination began. Why?
  1. There are no designer details here. No finishing touches, and nothing that really feels "designed" or inspirational about the whole set up except for the dry-erase US Map on the far wall. As the judges mentioned, the scale is so off, it feels awkward.
  2. The two television idea was good in the challenge with the family that wanted that set up, but here, it feels overkill. Three television monitors in one space, along with computers, telephones, fax machines, and well, let's face it - Kathy Griffin - how much distraction could you possibly throw into a room?

It was with this reveal that I began to calculate just how the judges would react, not realizing at all that I was so very wrong. Of course my mind begins to question whether or not they are pairing Dan and Antonio together so that Dan can win - clearly, they favor him, and when put next to Antonio (no offense) Dan's designs are much more main stream, and remarkably more inspirational. And isn't that what this show is all about? Looking for America's next Design Star? The next person to have their own show on HGTV to inspire and educate the public on how, what, when and where to make their home a stunning display of their own individual and unique taste?

I see that in Lonni, I see that in Dan, but I honestly don't see it in Antonio. It's not to say that I don't see Antonio on television, or that I'm diminishing his talent, after all - they cast him and not me. But I feel Antonio more on a DIY level - a Hammerheads or Rock Solid sort of show - he just doesn't (to me, in my humble and non-professional opinion) seem refined enough to host design television.

No matter, what's done is done - and you can bet that I'll be watching Sunday when Dan and Antonio take to their final design challenge. Who do you think will win?