No, I’m not talking about the election, silly, I’m talking about Top Design! I just finished watching the finale and it was a doozie! I hope I’m not spoiling it for you if you Tivoed and plan to watch later.
I’m so excited because my early fave, Nathan, won the title and in my opinion was totally deserving. The final challenge was incredibly daunting. It was to design and fully furnish a townhouse, about four rooms, in just a matter of days. As Ondine says, it normally takes her up to a year to do an entire house—this was absolutely insane. But of course this is made for TV, so there needed to be stress and trauma-drama, and I’m sure we only saw a fraction of it.
So where do I even begin to give you a recap? Let’s start with Preston, or as the judges called him, Perfect Preston. He’s won a number of challenges with his perfectly polished, pristine design style and execution. His rooms all looked finished and were styled impeccably: clean, masculine, subtle, elegant, but ultimately a little too safe for the judges.
Ondine completely surprised me. Throughout the season, her designs have been quite erratic. She’s done a few great things but a lot of times she found herself in the bottom two. I was surprised when she made the final three and was completely wowed. Her rooms were playful, original, and I loved her pink, black and white room—it was fresh and fun and really looked like a room you would want to hang out in. It was a space that put you in a good mood—isn’t that what design is all about?
And finally, Nathan. Truly a talent. Many of his rooms, you could totally see them being photographed for Architectural Digest or Elle Décor, which is one of the prizes he won. His style is controlled, wild creativity. He was fearless. When I saw him dripping paint on a canvas, I thought, oh my God, that is so brilliant, it’s going to be amazing. It was such a simple thing, but it made such a huge impact in the room, and the judges loved it.
The other room that I really enjoyed was his office, where he chose some quirky pictures to put up on the wall—Jonathan Adler called them ex-boyfriend pictures. It was so out of the box and something you would never think of, but seeing it made you smile, and it spoke to his talent and fearlessness.
One of the things I hated about this show is how they bring back contestants who were just kicked off, like Eddie. Gag me, he was so obnoxious that I was glad to see him leave last week, and then to expect him and everybody else who just got booted off to help the others who are still around goes back to more trauma-drama. But that’s television!
So it’s a new day. We have a new president, and bravo! We have a new top designer!