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Design Star episode 6 recap/review

Well, this one was a tough one.  Wedding receptions are less about composition and design and more about style and creating an inspirational space.  

But man, i wish we had this challenge last year.  I would have killed it.  And i haven’t EVER said that about any other challenge.  

So lets start with why it failed for me.  First off, a space like this loft is really really hard and expensive to properly transform into a space that isn’t cheezy.  Especially with these two styles (victorian and rat pack) 

You need everything to be large scale, and a modern color palette (aka, not yellow, orange and purple).  Huge graphic patterns (like a large scale damask in grey and white maybe? or navy and white?) ANd then you need a ton of intimate light sources – candles, lamps, chandys.

2nd.  Mixing victorian and Mid-century is hard.  Man, i want to get my hands on this challenge, because Its not only possible to do, but it can look amazing.  It’s pretty much my dream apartment.  I’m sounding very self-righteous right now, i know, but everybody thinks that its impossible, and its not. But its not easy to do.  Mixing styles just happens to be my strength.

3rd.  a team challenge with Cathy as the leader is going to fail.  Straight up, fail.  

So while i didn’t like the result, i would have been super effing shocked if i had – the constraints and the lack of a common vision working with a team can be paralyzing. 

So here we are:

That’s who is left.  

Leslie: i like a lot.  she’s adorable.

Mark:  cutie, but he gets caught up in projects and time management.

Kevin:  sometimes his style is fun and I think he is probably a blast to hang out with, but he ‘performs’ to much in the interviews and the camera challenges.  I just want him to be himself because i bet he’s hilarious in person.

Kellie:  yep. adorable.  And she really wants to win this for her family, which is pretty hard to make you not like her.

Karl:  a front runner for me.  This week was the first week that i was kinda disappointed, but that’s because of his flowers. He was the only one that thought having a totally mid-century lounge would feel disjointed.

Meg:  growing on me, and i’m starting to really like her.  Her flowers hurt my heart, but she’s not a florist.  In general she is pretty likeable and relateable. 

Cathy:  no words. you all know how i feel.  

So we begin with the couple saying they want victorian and ‘crooner’ which they interpreted as mid-century, but i think it could have gone way more like this:

Not literally, but something less Mad Men and more Rat Pack.  A chesterfield would not have hurt, that’s for sure.  Or something more regency/deco, less danish.

One of their biggest mistakes was not dispersing the styles equally throughout the space.  The tables were totally victorian and the mens lounge was totally mid-century.  It made no sense together.  And looked accidental and disjointed.  


And then there is this.  Liberace much? White patent leather recovered faux-victorian furniture is not exactly my favorite style. I’ve rented it before from Props for Today when the clients have asked for it, but they also have  A TON of really really awesome more authentically victorian (but new looking) furniture that could have rocked this space.  This is just cheezy.

Pretty chandelier though.

ANd i like this place setting, too.  Not the flatware, but the plates are pretty.

Mark made this skateboard ladder thing.  I think that Mark has a thing for ladders.  (remember his rope ladder, eh?) It made no sense at the wedding reception, BUT it was interesting and if it was a bachelor pad, it would have been cool.

Karl, deal Karl, did this (as well as a some other good stuff)

I mean……

But here’s the deal, Karl’s show would probably be more an architecturally based design show, so flowers wouldn’t be so much involved.  

that fabric kills me, tsk tsk tsk….but i like the lanterns even though they didn’t have much to do with the styles.  

And those flower arrangements hurt my heart.  When in doubt:  grab 500 open garden roses, or branches (peonies if you can afford it), if you don’t know what you are doing with flowers, don’t try to do something like this.  Again, they are not florists, but i do think that flowers and fabrics are good indicators of good style and they failed epically on those two fronts.  

Where they did succeed:

The prettiest thing in this room are these flowers.  It they had just done a ton of these we would be in much better shape. 

And i like those mirrors.  That bar is incredibly cheesy, but the mirrors behind them made sense.  Good choice there.

I’m trying to figure out why i dislike this ceiling thing so much.  If it was navy would i have hated it? There is something so ‘prom’ about it.  But maybe if it was pretty white or gray gauzy linen and it fell all the way to the floor, then i might be able to get behind it.  I know that they were trying to lower the ceiling and make it feel more intimate and at the same time create a central dance area.  But it just reads as circus-y 90’s.  It was probably much prettier in person. i hope.

Here’s what i really think:

1. these photos are not doing them any favors.

2. in person it probably looked a lot better

3. i’m not into this style of wedding reception, ever, so the chance of me liking it was low to begin with.

4. producing something amazing and cohesive as a team is extremely hard. 

5. none of them were happy with it, either.

6. they aren’t wedding/event stylist.  Bash, Please would have KILLED this challenge.  

7. personality-wise i’m still into a few of them, but this just wasn’t their best moment. And that’ ok, we all have bad moments. 

I can’t wait to see next weeks episode. It’s an individual challenge, thank goodness.  And now that Cathy is gone, i can sleep so much better.  Ding, Dong.


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