Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's gonna be good!

Did you tune in on Sunday night to HGTV’s Design Star? If you didn’t, you missed out—the show was fabulous! It blew away last season by a mile, and let me tell you why: Everything was better—the judges, the contestants, and the design. And the home that they’re staying in!

Judges Candace Olsen, Vern Yip and Genevieve Gorder were brutally honest, fair and very helpful in their critiques. One contestant even mentioned in the waiting room after being ripped to shreds that she learned more listening to the judges than she had in school.

All in all, the contestants seem better, stronger and more interesting than last season’s lot. I’ll just mention what I thought were the best and worst designs of the week.


First, the worst. NataLee and Tashica’s room was unfinished and poorly executed. Crybaby NataLee got booted off, and deservedly so. However, I do not believe they had the worst design. They had a decent concept and design, they just could not execute it well. I still think Natalie should have been voted off, but in my opinion the worst design belonged to Jason and Jen. They tried to be unique and interesting, but their design fell flat. After they explained, in response to puzzled questions, that the room was designed with a National Geographic writer in mind, Candace Olsen even said that no space should have to be explained. It didn’t make any sense, it wasn’t functional, and it wasn’t designed well. There was one lonely chair in a corner, a chair at a desk was way too small. A room can be interesting and over the top, but still cohesive.

The best design, hands down, belonged to Dan and Nathan. My prediction: These will be the guys to beat. They both seemed cool and collected, had good vision and execution, they worked well together, and right away came up with the brilliant idea of going bold with a wall mural that Nathan drew from one wall down to the floor and up the other wall. Simply amazing. Dramatic, beautiful and in his word, chaotic.


They balanced that chaotic feel with wood planks on an adjacent wall that added something natural and with more symmetry. And Dan built a big, bold, white dining table that grounded the space and created balance, because it was such a big space with a lot of chaotic pattern. It blew me away. All the judges loved it.

The worst idea of the show was allowing the 10 contestants to pick their 11th cast mate. They brought in three more design contestants, each said a few words and showed their body of work and credentials. Then the 10 contestants cast their blind votes. Obviously they weren’t going to pick the best possible challenger. They voted in the least threatening, who became the final contestant, Torie. The strongest one by far, who should have been on the show, was the brunette.

So, if you didn’t get a chance to tune in, I’m telling you, this is a show to watch! Check it out this Sunday night—and let me know what you thought!