Design Star has reached week three and it’s time for the white room challenge. The nine remaining designers will have to stop blustering and execute a design based solely on their design concept and know-how… or shirk responsibility and get by solely on good intentions.
Let’s join the action…
Jason enters, stage left and retrieves a note, presumably from host Clive Flynn, telling the contestants to meet him at Paramount Studios. HGTV has obviously read my last post, recognized my genius and will have the nine remaining contestants design the set of the Robin Hood reboot starring Clive Flynn, The Adventure of Robin Host… or Clive Hood… or Host of Thieves. Hmm..
… or not, they just set up a bunch of empty rooms.
Waiting for them at Studio 27 is Clive Flynn, with nine white, 10×10 rooms. The designers each select a paint can and Clive introduces the white room challenge. Each designer is responsible for one space containing only a sofa, a set of shelves, an end table and a lamp, which can be altered as the designer see fit.
Dan was excited to see a blank canvas… which is always good, but I don’t know what he thought stood in his way in the white, empty dining room and empty kitchen. Those were pretty straight forward, no?
Maybe he’s just thinks they space looks more expensive in multiples?
That will be funnier later.
And the twist? Clive announces that all the materials for their white room challenge will be purchased at the grocery store. The designers will also be provided two gallons of paint and 15 hours over two days.
Now if my reality show training is progressing as it should, with approximately 20 credit hours logged each week, I would advise the designers to avoid garbage bag pillows and plastic cups lamps. But hey, this could finally be Joy’s challenge, trailer parks are breeding grounds for this type of… ehem, design innovation? The culture that brought us car seats as living room furniture and crates as end tables has nurtured Joy’s mind for years!
By the way, have you ever typed “trailer park” in Google Image search? It is not for the faint of heart, please be warned.
Clive releases the merry designers to give them time to explore their spaces before it’s time to hit the grocery store.
Cowboy Dan wants to be bold, but understands that the items purchased from the grocery store will be small and he must think of a way to arrange them to make a big impact. He is wise to keep this nugget of wisdom to himself and watch his competitors dig their own artificially sweetened graves by trying to decorate with sugar packs and toothpicks. Seriously.
Joy heads to the store with certain items in mind. She’s looking for burlap and plans to accessorize with plastic wrappers. Too literal, Joy. You understand the meaning of literal, right? Like you should “literally return to the trailer park,” ’cause you have no place on HGTV. Got it?
Nate wants an orange chandelier suspended in his room to add color. Which is a nice idea, but I am now convinced that Nate is going to make his room look like the formal dining room at King Kandy’s castle. Also, he will continue to base all his designs around semi-traumatic games from a 1980′s childhood.
That’s so done.
If we’re subjected to a bedroom inspired by Operation or a kitchen designed around Mouse Trap these recaps will end. I will fill the remaining weeks will random uninformed musing about interior design. Topic number one, Futons: modern instruments of torture, by Medusa. No one wants this to happen.
Tash says she’s planning a three dimensional transfusion from the wall down to the furniture. Transfusion of what? Connected to the furniture? I don’t know what she’s saying but all I’m picturing is a blood red room, with platelets and plasma inspired pillows. I don’t know where I’m going with this… but neither does she.
Torie wants to do a teen hangout room with a trendy look, which is surprising. I don’t expect a Sugarbaker to even use the word trendy. They rocked good old fashioned slave labor until 1991. I’m just kidding Anthony was an indentured servant… until 1993.
Jason espouses the value of being creative, little do we know that he conducted this interview after facing the judges to defend the space he completed. So, I recommend reading this section again after you’ve seen his final design. Once again, he said it’s really important to be creative. Ha. Haha.
So the contestants arrive at the grocery store with a massive $1K budget and one hour to get their supplies. Some of the contestants have already decided on their innovative designs, and some people have already decided on what they believe will be an innovative design, but will end up being a crappier than duct tape prom dresses.
Oh, snap. Can’t you see this on Joy?
Jason says its race through the grocery store, “like it’s a hurricane and you have to get all your stuff before it hits.” Is that the game you play when you’re stocking up on cookie dough on Friday night with your cat, Jase? Like when 5 year olds jump from the couch to the coffee table because they’re pretending the floor is hot lava? Instead it’s “C’mon Mrs. Poopsie with have to get to the store before Hurricane Jasonia hits! We need cookie dough, stat!” I’m not judging, just asking.
Nate is planning to use milk on the wall to achieve an elegant room with the illusion of iridescent wallpaper – that consequently smells like a Dairy Queen Dumpster.
Joy is using Asian wrappers to add pop to her room. The wrappers do have cool designs, but they designs are all of an inch tall. This isn’t your indoor/outdoor Barbie dream house Trailer Park, you have to designs for adults.
I have concluded that there is no such thing as a degree in color theory, she was supposed to get degree in design, but they downgraded her to a degree in color theory when she handed in a Lisa Frank coloring book, instead of a masters’ thesis. It’s the GED of design degrees; Finland just needed to get her out of the country as quickly and cheaply as possible before she crowded the streets of Helsinki with the homes of her visiting relatives.
Meredith Baxter-Birney is lost, she’s looking for clear plastic cups, but she’s wandering around the floral section like she’s killing time before picking up Jennifer from marching band practice, contemplating which centerpiece to use when Alex brings his economics professor home for dinner.
No time to decide on a Republican approved table cloth.
Her big idea was clear plastic cups for as an art piece… stunning. She wants to attach to the wall. Best case scenario, this looks like a new era of sound proofing and the HGTV producers offer her a union gaffer job, because she sucks as a designer. Fingers crossed.
Antonio has some foam floaties, Fruity Pebbles and flowers, with a Design Star blue color palate. He wants to “blow it out of the water.”
Hardcore flowers dude.
So it’ll be blue, with floaties and flowers and some soggy cereal. So your inspiration is the abandoned kiddie pool at the family picnic? Are you going to add some Smurf decals to the floor, because that would bring the memories flooding back. See I can make water puns too…
At some point before the age of 8, everyone I know came to the conclusion they were an engineering pioneer for devising this summertime thrill. Ass burns be damned.
Joy knows what I’m talking about, abandoned kiddie pools and trampolines are the crux of all her dirt garden designs.
Jase had picked up some matzah because looks like tile — tile that is much like the personality Jase is hiding under his wardrobe of pink ruffled shirts — bland and tasteless.
Tash is looking for redemption after her first two epic failures. She’s revisiting the black, white and green color palette that she and Nada Star wasted in the Hollywood home challenge. Since that was a colossal failure, I don’t see how revisiting it is wise. Distance yourself from that Tash, like the rest of the designers are distancing themselves from you.
Jase has found the dog food. One more time – (shouting) He’s found the dog food. Wow… Joy didn’t round the corner the sound of the bags opening? I half expected her to come running past the meat section, lose traction in the turn and tackle Jason at the sound of the Iams pellets being disturbed.
Jason is adding the dog food to his collection of the most unappealing grocery items ever: brown bags, dog food and crackers. What no Vienna Sausages for candle holders or lima bean garlands? C’mon man.
Dan plans to draw inspiration from an apple orchard, going for red apples and fire wood. This goofy bastard is going to make me choose between Johnny Appleseed and Woody the Cowboy reference for rest of the post? Okay, you can be Johnny Appleseed today, but it’s back to the toy box next week.
Clive gets on the loudspeaker and calls time.
Back at Paramount studios, the designers begin to organize and dissect their purchases.
Antonio has a bunch of kids’ toys, Joy is gutting a bear and Torie is rolling up the napkins for her wall design.
Jany is excited for the first individual challenge, since each designer will be responsible for their own design. Each designer has made this comment at least once by the 10 minute mark, so we’re supposed to be super confident in all their abilities to produce a great room. Since they are unencumbered by their fellow designers. Once again, I must repeat, we see Antonio has a bunch of kids’ toys, Joy is gutting a teddy bear and Torie is rolling up napkins for her wall design.
Danny Appleseed hopes to achieve a rustic elegance with his design. He’s building tables with firewood legs and sleek white tops to achieve an expense look.
Torie is using garbage bags as a black lacquer finish, which is a good idea. Way to think outside the 10×10 box Torie.
Meredith is throwing cups up on the wall in an attempt at an art piece. However, as any good frat boy mid beer can tower will attest, beverage container art is a fickle bitch.
Instead of a water feature, she could have cascading plastic cups.
Antonio is planning some wicked “perspective painting” and if it’s completed on day one, he only has touch up and accessorize tomorrow.
Jany says she’s using turquoise and yellow, in fact, most designers opted for bold color choices. Everyone but Joy. The shoemaker has no shoes, the color theorist has no color. Joy has boned the color choices in the past two challenges, because color theory doesn’t include the study of how color translates, or something. So this time she’s using “her” colors and if it’s a failure, then that’s that.
Meredith is still trying to get the translucent cups to adhere to the wall. She’s getting nervous that this will be an issue. Of course’s it’s going to be an issue, didn’t you read the script? One failure per designer, per season, wake up.
Nathan appears to comment that the painted graphic are kind of a cheat. He’s using orange slices as the main element color element in his room, not painting it on the wall. Which is inventive, I agree, but dude, you painted an abstract map on the wall and got a pat on the back in the first challenge. So shut-up. Let them have their non-rancid paint effects and no one will shun you when the stench from your room starts to travel down the studio.
Meredith has time since she’s not fixing her own fatally flawed cup design and inspects her fellow designers’ rooms. She notices that Tash’s light fixture (which is she meant by transfusion, apparently) is a rip-off of a previous season’s design. Tash is also having difficulty getting her art to stay on the wall.
Can we more her to the other end of the studio? Her room is attracting failure.
I don’t think cups on a wall is ground breaking either, I’m pretty sure, every dorm room in American has contained at least one attempt at beverage art.
Some more successfully than others.
Clive arrives to the sound of Mere’s crashing cups, to announce the end of the day. Not exactly a trumpet flourish, but he’ll take it.
That night at the house, the designers compare notes in the Risk room. Danny Appleseed announces his high concept design to reconceptualize an orchard. Antonio is seemly sans concept, so he just tells us that he can’t describe design, it’s just in him. Like Hepatitis C.
At the studio day two, five hours remain:
Some contestants are not rushed in their second day of work — Dan just needs to keep his momentum and Jason is comfortable with his progress. Clive has arrived to check in with each designer.
Mere planned her room to be “simple and modern with a bright pop of color,” but is still experiencing a fresh popping of failure when the cups come crashing off the wall. Clive fails to Tim Gunn her , he just says he’s concerned. Cut away.
Clive is on to the next merry man, Jason. Jason has been making cross hatch duct tape designs in his honeybee yellow room and plans to make carpet out of paper and throw some matzah crackers on the wall. A room of matzah. I assume that’s what they construct for the diabetic retirees at the old folks homes in Boca at Christmas, instead of gingerbread houses. Looking back on my notes, I see Jason is fact from Florida and may just know his audience entirely too well…
Joy’s theme is Japanese Eco inspired. Her bright colors are in accents not from her blue walls. She basically covered her furniture in brightly colored wrappers, which qualifies her to be Bazooka Joe, not a color theorist. Idiot.
Danny Appleseed is adding apples to the wall in a three dimensional piece of wall art. He says that the design will more expensive if it’s heavily repeated.
Nate is drizzling a combination of milk and primer down his black walls to create a white striped effect. I think it looks like a set piece at the Derelict runway show, but what do I know?
Clive is intrigued by Torie mural of scrolls, and she says the scroll design is very trendy in interior design and fashion. Oh, Lordy woman are you basing your room on Ed Hardy designs? Making Ed Hardy tee-shirts the cornerstone of your career didn’t work for Jon Gosselin, please don’t make the same mistake Miss Sugarbaker.
Jany has a graphic design on her wall, it kind of reminds of a rattan backing in my mother’s kitchenette set in 1986. But you know, more exciting because it’s produced by a petite, perky Asian chick.
Clive finds Tash with a handful of toilet paper, stuffing pillows. Or polishing a turd??? She swears it’s the former. She’s using apples… that’s about it.
Antonio is standing in the center of a striking graphic, which is cool but I’m already bored with it. He hasn’t dressed the room yet, nor does he really have any plan as to how he’s going to use his supplies within the room.
All the final touches are going into the rooms, Tash is adding apples, and Jason is deciding what else he can paint brown. Seriously, the same man whose name is on this furniture is on television presenting a room pulled together by crackers and skid mark brown paint. Bleh.
Mere and Tash are both screwed. Tash’s lighting won’t stay on the wall and neither will Mere’s cups. Meredith didn’t use the previous night to figure out a backup plan and she begins scrambling to find a solution in the middle of day two.
Antonio calls two hours left. Torie is finishing up her floor. Joy thinks her design is exciting, but I’m sure she also thought the absence of cardboard screens at the Hollywood house was exciting.
Jany is finishing up her room with a generic “respect” art piece. Nate is writing Joyce inspired ramblings on the couch.
Mere goes to the bathroom to cry and tries to regroup. Antonio and Torie are finished so they jump in and lend a hand. Mere’s embarrassed with her final design, but I don’t think anyone would have accused her of being a design genius for have plastic cups on the wall either. So either way she’s just praying to make it through this round.
Clive calls time.
Nate is called to account for his design first and the judges love it. It’s a balanced homage to like totally important designers, but in a Nate-original concept.
Jany’s called down and says her room is a cool, modern, happy beach house. I would say it’s impressive for a Target ad featuring Dixie cups, but not for HGTV. The judges think it’s textbook, not brilliant. It’s missing a big bold element.
Torie’s room is an electric hang out. The judges eat it up. Gen loves the floor, Vern like the mural, Candy Stallion loves the inventiveness.
Mere’s room is a big ole mess. She conceived it as a simple modern room with and bold color, but with the loss of the cups it’s blah. It’s just an artichoke lamp and a couple of stripes. Candy says her show always has a back-up plan Vern calls her to account for losing everything because she lost one element. She can’t.
Tash had a “Garden of Eden” theme but her room is raggedy and weak. She has a black stripe that is painted more poorly than the off ramp near my apartment and she kind of ripped off someone else’s design. The judges ask if she remembers another designer using a similar lighting element and she doesn’t deny it… she just says “now she recollects.” And they let her get away with it.
Jase says his room is cheerful – I’d venture it’s cheerful like the waiting room at the Sunshine Carpet Cleaners’ cult is cheerful. Bright, yet disturbing. Vern says he likes the space plan, that’s it.
After, and ever after…
Danny Appleseed is up and he knows his is better than everyone else’s. The judges go ape for the design. Dannyboy has this cometition in the bag. Vern calls it the most well executed response to the white room challenge ever. And I agree that it’s the only room that looks full and not as empty and two dimensional as Steve’s living room on Blues Clues.
Joy’s theme is green and recyclable, organic pop art with a Japanese twist. Its wrappers glued to furniture and mushrooms nailed to the wall. The palate is bland and it’s doesn’t make an impact. The judges are disappointed in her for a third time.
Vern gives her a short lecture, but I suspect he decides not to waste his breath once he realizes he’s lecturing a woman pushing 40, who is wearing neon pink tights on television.
Antonio is called to account for his design, or kind of lack of design. The walls are cool, but that’s really 90% of his design. He based it on the Design Star colors and there certainly is color. But he didn’t embrace the challenge this week.
The judges meet to debate and Dan, Torie and Nate are their favorites.
Tash, Antonio, Jany are passable.
Mere, Jen, and Jase are at the bottom. I would vote to send all of them home for failing to be entertaining or a designer, but the judges have had enough of Joy and her fake accreditations and they send her ass back to Camden County.
Next week is the contestants will be redesigning a garage. Possibly where Joy is now living. We’ll see.