Design Star, Episode 6 Recap.

So sorry that this took me so long. I’ve been on the road and my computer has a weird virus where i can’t view any videos online.  So i just watched this episode and i loved it.  The big winners this week are the producers in my mind for sending the designers to prop houses and giving them what seemed like a lot of help from contractors.  The prop houses have EVERYTHING you can think of, although i’m sure there were some restrictions – i saw very little accessorizing this week so maybe they didn’t have the time to shop and wrap them up, but otherwise it seemed like skys the limit.  

Here’s the challenge:  They designers had to create a loungy party space based on a time period/style in 2 days in celebration of hollywoods 125th birthday.  That is not very many days, you guys.  The ‘before’ space looked like this:

It’s pretty daunting.  No sense of intimacy at all.  But i love this challenge so much….I think it shows knowledge of time periods as well as taste and style.  They had lots of resources and lots of help.  
There were some superior rooms, soooo great. But also some kinda big failures.  
We’ll start with the good ones…
Britany lucked out and drew Hollywood Regency, a style she knows and loves.  Here’s what she did:
It’s good.  Super strong, high contrast colors, obvious focal point, tons of architectural details.  You could take ‘hollywood regency’ in so many different ways, and possibly crazier ways, but in two days i think she did a killer job.  
As a monday morning quarterback i do of course wish there were more vintage items and the color palette isn’t totally my jam, but again i think its a super pulled together, well balanced, well composed room for 2 days.  
They clearly had a florist this week.  Remind me never to hire him or her.  
Britany should have won this week but her ‘live hosting’ was off and she flubbed a bunch.  Speaking in front of a huge audience and cameras with a days notice is very, very hard.  I think with practice she could be great. Yes, i would like to see more personality from her, but it could also all be in the editing. 
Danielle scored art deco which i’m a massive fan of, by the way.  Always have been.  And i like her room, i do.  
Those sofa/chairs are pretty dope, and the room is totally well composed.  I love the shell focal point (in theory more than in actuality).  She chose to do the floors in peach and black which i thought was EXTREMELY risky but i liked how it turned out.  
Brown, black, peach and creams…..i don’t know, the color palette isn’t doing it for me. its just not ma thing.   It’s sophisticated and moody, but just so dark and masculine.  Brown is the one color that i just never want to be around or design with. I use wood tones instead and natural fibers to bring in that warmth, but i think i just don’t really like brown that much.  Personal preference.  

Art deco was full of dark greens and dark red tones, which can be scary but can also be beautiful if done right.  Her hosting was fine.  But again, they had to do live hosting – public speaking basically which can be extremely nerve racking if you aren’t used to it.  (i’ve since gone to coaching for it and have improved like 1 million percent, by the way….so practice kinda does work).  Regardless, i like Danielle.  She’s a good designer, she has good style and i think she is likeable.  
Yeah!!! I love Hilary, i do.  Personality-wise she is who i want to watch the most right now. I get excited when she comes on camera and she is my new prediction to take it home.  
She drew the 80’s time period and while i iked her room on the show, in these pics I’m way less into it. She painted the floor all mondrian-like and i liked it.  She put pvc piping as the ‘walls’ with studded trimming.  Overall design wise it was a fun reference to the 80’s and definitely had a lot of cheese like the 80’s, too.  I”m not freaking out, but there are some good moments here.
But she’s funny and her Deloreon joke was good – just sadly not so well received.  I want her on the network.  
And then there is Khris.  He chose the 70’s.  
Yes Khris, i agree we should all have more mirrored balls.  I mean, look how gorgous these massive mirrored graphic spheres are.  
It just doesn’t feel like the 70’s. Its way more 60’s.  I love some of the furniture he chose, don’t get me wrong. But they aren’t iconic furniture from the 70’s.  The wood walls are 70’s, sure, the colors are a bit cuckoo.  And the kicker is the sofa shoved in the corner.  Totally baffling. Why is the hanging chair so high? dunno.   I love that hot pink chair and ottoman, that might be the 70’s, not sure…but i like it. 
Whatever, i don’t want to beat a dead horse.  With the way the others said goodbye to him i’m assuming he’s actually a really great person – they all loved him.  His live hosting was not exactly easy to watch.  Lets just say it was his time.  
I think he is creative and has a point of view. This week, though, his hosting and weird room doomed him.  
Ah, Mikkel. 
i’m slightly confused with what ‘midcentury contemporary’ means.  Those are two words that connote very different style ideas.  
Not awesome, Mikkel. But he knew that.  I like him too much to go on and on about it, but its disappointing to say the least. I love his personality and his style, but he froze up this week. And i’ve totally been there.  This is also a good lesson of what works on TV. White just doesn’t work very well without pretty natural sunlight.  White works in beautifully photographed rooms with lots of controlled light bouncing around and photoshop to give it more texture and depth, but not in spaces with florescent lights. it just looks laboratory.  
It’s not great. But i’m still rooting for him.  He’s gotta step it up, which is what i’m sure everyone was saying about me at the time.  Don’t freeze, Mikkel.  You can do it. 
Up next:  Rachel.  
Rachel pulled ‘victorian’ which she was unhappy about, but i would have been PSYCHED.  Sure, it can be terrible and cheezy and full of dust and bunnies and doilies.  But it can also be so beautiful and old world and romantic and feminine full of beautiful florals and ornate tufted furniture.  I have a crazy english grandma inside of me, that’s no secret so i could have killed this one. 
But rachel didn’t, unfortunately.  
 I’m so not in the mood to tear this room apart, she’s too nice. The one thing about the challenge that i didn’t understand was whether the styles were supposed to be totally accurate to that time period or a modern version of it.  Maybe Rachel didn’t understand either.  It looks like she was trying to do a modern take on it, but it just no worky. 
I think she is missing her family and sabotaging this competition a little.  She’s freezing and it makes me sad. Pull yourself together, Rachel, you killed it the first two challenges, don’t give up now.  
Stanley drew ‘Futuristic’.   
I like that sofa and two chairs – totally weird and sculptural.  But how he laid it out……oh man….
Furniture on angles = weird…… Just don’t do it.  
Look at that table.  i instinctually clench every orifice in my body when i see it.  
Such a labial tabial.  
Also maybe don’t use those fingers next to that table, Stan.  Shocker. 
But he’s still growing on me and he seems to get along with everyone else so i like that.  
All in all, such a good episode.  We saw real design chops considering the time constraint was TWO DAYS. Thank you so much HGTV for letting them go to a prop house, it showed us such variety and really set the best apart from the not so best.
My current wants/hopes/predictions:
1. Hilary
2. Britany/Mikkel
3. Danielle
4. Rachel
Hilary and Mikkel have the most likeable personalities but i know how editing works and yes, its tricky. I think i came off kinda boring and wide-eyed and bumbling on my season.  And i’m not.  So while i like Danielle and Britany’s styles the most, i just want to see more personality, more humor, more something.  
But we have 4 more weeks and as it gets down to the final 6 you do end up seeing so much more of their personalities so stay tuned.  
As of right now, though, who do you guys want to win?
  1. Mizz Mitten

    "labial tabial" LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

  2. Jeanie

    I do not enjoy Hilary, there is something about her…a "Real Houswives of ??" vibe. Ugh. Otherwise I am with you Danielle, Brittany and Mikel are in at dead heat to win it for me.

  3. lemurlassy

    Alright Emily, not having your take on this challenge for so many days was taxing, Can't HGTV pay you to write it on their blog? You aren't catty like David (I love him btw, but he has been jerky lately on the blog). Anyway, what I am trying to say is that: your take = a good thing. HGTV should recognize.

    At this point, I think all of them would be interesting to have on HGTV. I guess I think Hilary and Mikkel seem to have the most different personalities compared to the current offerings. And that has nothing to do with ethnicities at all!!! Danielle's personality has finally got me – I thought she was a little haughty before. In terms of designs, I like Danielle/Britanny the best and Rachel/Hilary/Mikkel/Stanley are all secondary.

  4. Mary

    Watching this season of Design Star, I kinda want someone to win who can partner up with someone else and do a team thing. I don't know why, but I like watching the collaborative give and take more than seeing one person doing it all. To me it is more interesting to watch and the ideas are more exciting. Isn't that why we all watch Design Star anyway?

  5. the anatomically correct coffee table, ohhhh grrrl.
    i'm with you on hillary. 80ies would totally have stumped me, and to make it pretty, as she did, would've have taken my stump and submerged it in the swamp. i think she did a terrific job.
    i hope you will write a little bit more abour freezing — and how a little more help, a better shopping venue seems to make the competition more competitive and much, much, faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar better viewing in these middle latitudes. this was, i think, the best ep i've ever seen, with several serious contenders.
    and, you justified left at least a part of your post!!!! my heart lept!!!! thanks!!!! so much easier to read!!!!

  6. I like the idea of a two person show… I think they have or are weeding out those who don't play well with others…
    The show could be based around a room with basic elements.. and each designer has to add their own spin on to the
    room and home owners choose which design they like best… Loser had to buy the winner a drink, then witty banter
    occurs between the designers….run end credits…..

  7. I love your recaps! Thanks for indulging us once again. I always end up laughing at something inappropriate while at work, this time I think we can blame your observations of Stanley's room for that.

    And I agree with you – it's SO NICE that they were able to go to a prop house – this way we can focus on the choices they made rather than if they were able to piece together something made of candies or something. It's a little less cheesy and way more relevant!

    As always (huge fan), can't wait for the next ep. :)

  8. Katy

    Okay– thank you for accurately describing Stanley's table. The judges kept calling it phallic, but I was like, HELLO do you know what phallic means? Because that's not it! You nailed it with the "labial tabial". Hi-larious.

  9. bridge

    HAAA HA LOLOL…..Shocker! Emily you are hilarious!

  10. Darlene

    I know it must he getting harder to be critical of the designers after getting to know them but I appreciate your honest assessment of the designs. Lately it seems that more and more designs shows are trying so hard to entertain that design information has become so secondary. To me design entertainment without substance is like eating a pretty cupcake that is flavorless. So please, even if it is hard, keep breaking down the rooms.

  11. Heidi

    I just watched the episode. Hiilary all the way!!! I think she is confidant as a designer and as a person and that does wonders for her. That speech from Khris was so painful I wanted to die on my couch. Good season though. Super entertaining.

  12. Lucy

    I would also love to see a two person show, Mikel paired up with Brittany or even Hilary. I would definitely watch that. As for the elimination I think Rachel's room (and presentation) was the weakest but she has survived the last two weeks based solely on early performance. I agree with your assessment of Danielle's Deco space, the colors don't work for me either, not a fan of the peach & brown combo. BTW- I went back recently and watched your glass house and the final challenge and have to say that maybe early on you were trying to find your footing with the hosting segments but by the time you got to the end you were definitely getting your style and personality across. I'm hoping the same thing happens with one of these contestants.

  13. Megan

    You just crack me up! I'm not even watching this season of Design Star (actually I only watched one season ever which was yours) but your recaps are just heavenly and fun. Actually all of your posts are so enjoyable and I'm always really excited when I open my Reader and see that there are some new posts from you! From a fellow Oregonian, Ryan Gosling lover and Designer…thank you :)

  14. Your comment on Stanley’s table made me snort giggle. Then you had to go there about his dude bra hand pose finger thing. You’re killing me!

  15. Jenn

    That table reminds me to do my Kegels!

  16. It WAS a good episode! I love the awkward moments in this one…I had to pause the video several times during Kris's speech. It was painful.

    I agree with your predictions/hopes… I'm starting to worry for Mikkel though. I really like him, but he needs to step it up.

    That table was a penis.

  17. Liz

    I enjoy your commentaries as much as watching the show. My favorite- Hilary. I also especially liked her with Mikkal- I would definitly watch them on a show together!

  18. Lauren

    Omg. Shocker? I also peed my pants laughing. You're my favorite lol

  19. sg5785

    This was hilarious! I feel so bad that I complained – pls pls pls forgive!

  20. Literally laughed out loud at "Shocker." Well more accurately snorted. Superb recap :)

  21. rebecca

    i also like hilary. although i like brittany's design style, is a bit to predictable for me, and i can't stand her poor women's version of the kim kardashian eye. her lower eyelashes just freak me out.

  22. Kai

    Loved the recap (even without a hide-and-seek trash can story that made me almost pee my pants). I'm definitely pulling for Hilary personality-wise, and I also adored her room on camera but think the pictures do it no justice. Really thought she should have won. And, BTW, you came off as endearing and quirky on your season – I was a fan from the get-go.

  23. Lynnly

    Just popping in to say that your aside about using wood instead of brown in a room, totally rocked my world. Thanks. Those little tid bits from your brain are invaluable. Thanks.

  24. Granny McPhee

    Either this show used to be way more fun, or I'm having another episode of major depression. Lovely people, but no pizzazz, if that's even how you spell it? Perhaps I was upset by the excessive drapery in this episode, I don't know. And that coffee table…if Gertrude Stein was the art director for classic horror flick"The Hunger," that coffee table would be the star.

  25. BarbaraW

    I actually like most of them at this point. Hillari is my favorite on camera, and Stanley… well, I always like the builder-type guys, but given the grief that Antonio gets in the HGTV comment threads ("Oh, my dear, he has tattoos and an unrefined accent! I may swoon from the trauma of seeing him on my television! Quick, Rachel, loan me that Victorian fainting couch!"), I doubt they'll go for another one. Danielle and Mikkel seem to have the whole package–nice on screen personalities, good design chops, and no discernible accents to trouble the oh-so-sophisticated crowd.

    This was a fun challenge, and total imagination, though I'd think with no reference materials allowed, it would be hard to get an accurate feel for the period unless it happened to be one you'd worked in (or one, like Stanley's, that was totally imaginary). On the actual shows, presumably they'd have access to materials to see if their notion of "Victorian" jibed with the homeowner/hostess's.

    What I'd really have liked to see here was the interaction of the guests with the spaces. If for no other reason, it would have been amusing to see someone try to get into Khris's hanging chair.

  26. Amy

    Shocker- LOL. You have the best posts. LOL

  27. Rose

    Can someone please explain to me how the black and silvery gray floor done by Danielle is actually black and peach? I see where some peach undertones were blotted on I suppose, but that's just black and silver… What am I missing?

  28. Nichole ML

    Oh Emily after that "labial tabial" comment I truly want you to be my new bff. I giggle every time I think of it.

  29. I COMPLETELY enjoyed watching the work of Brittany, Danielle, and Hillary. All three of them were inspiring designers to say the least-and with such crazy deadlines! Emily, thank you for blogging about the Hollywood party episode-photos are so much easier to save than pausing through DVR.