Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Episode 6, the red team

You guys rock.  Seriously thank you for the support.  I thought about not addressing it (the cruel anonymous comment yesterday, click here), but, well, that felt lame and way too passive.  Really glad to know that you guys have my virtual back.  Thank you, thank you.

Now on to the Red Team.

You weren't the only ones shocked about the double elimination this week.  oh no.  We, the blue team, got our little reality worlds rocked when Courtland walked through the door and shut it after him. alone. He then very theatrically fell onto his knees, dropped his bag,  opened his arms and shouted happy obscenities.  Always the dramatic, that Courtland.  
So now for the Red Team.  You should know a couple things - these people are my friends which makes me biased, and i like them all personally.

Heres' what i like about their space.   Probably more than you think.  i like that they played with mixing styles, too, but kept it high end.  Their furniture had a much better scale for the room, that tufted bench is super pretty, that coffee table grounded the space and adding in a round black leather pouf created contrast in size, shape, color and brought in a bit of youth and edge.  My, my, don't i fancy myself some sort of design expert.  What makes me worried is the rug.  ish don't think so.  I do love that rug, but we actually had a ton of rugs to choose from this time, so not sure why they got one so small.  And the angle, don't want to beat a dead cow, but the only rugs i like to angle are hides.   I like the modern glass/metal table mixed with the traditional frenchy chairs, and their color palette wasn't altogether different than ours - but no, i wasn't crazy about the yellow walls.  I actually think the red team has some much needed color contrast in the furniture choices, however, that our space lacked - I think the person that lived here probably didn't spend too much time here and maybe never fully moved in, but they had good/weird taste in furniture.  I feel like maybe the judges aren't as interested in mixing styles as much as we are and they saw things as concept-less rather than an unfinished good concept.  What do I know. 

Yes, of course they needed art and accessories - a lot of them.  But we didn't have the budget or clearance for that.  

I don't totally get this tall table thing.  Sorry. 

OK.  I think that we all agree (including Stacey) that this bed needed a mattress as well as maybe to get rid of that black dead animal at the foot of the bed.  BUT, the bed itself is beautiful. I like the trunk side table, not so much the lamp, it reminds me of my hotel lobby days....woah woah,  i was a cocktail waitress (queue my lady of the night music).  As far as the drapery goes:  I actually thought that incorporating the taxi-cab paraphernalia into the drapery was interesting in a deconstructed way.  It's not like we had fabric stores to choose beautiful drapery from.  Drop cloth canvas was our drapery and Stacey thought that drapery would elevate the room.  Of course you can rip it apart and say how crazy she must be for putting drop cloths in a luxury apartment, but keep it in perspective, people.  We were also given plastic souvenirs to work into the luxury apartment, so excuse us for not being perfect and for perhaps not totally understanding the inconsistency of the challenge. I like the color of the room, the idea of the drapery, that beautiful bed, the pillows and the trunk.  Again, needed matress, art accessories, life.

Ah, the notorious blueberry bathroom.  What's the big deal?  So it's blue walls?  It's not like every guy in town hasn't had blue walls at one point or another.  I'm a Tom fan, through and through.  And I understood what he was going for, although, yes he made a mistake in the color choice (hello, mistakes are made every 10 seconds when working under this kind of pressure).  I think a dark bathroom can be weird and cool and cozy, for a guy, or a club, or a smurf brothel.  The fact that it has no natural light is the exact reason why you should embrace a color (although maybe not a saturated color) and not just paint it white like we did.  Without natural light, white can look bland and unfinished - but paint a room blue and you have yourself a mini statement - a little surprise when  you are on the john.  And who doesn't like a surprise while on the john.  Let me be clear: no, this did not look amazing, but relax, everybody, its just blue walls.  Geez. 

Elimination.  My, My it is getting heated up there.  At this point I want to press stop and rush to Chicago to give Stacey a hug.  I know that you  guys didn't get to know her, but she was snarky as hell.  She had good taste.  Not perfect when it comes to teamwork and competing, but someone you wanted around all the time because she is just overall rad.  I'm sorry that you didn't see that.  

Stacey looked pretty broken and sad and done.  I wanted to reach out and hug that little hot pink bundle of snark.  I've been there.  You just want to give up and go back to your happy life.   I think that Stacey was ready to go home.  At this point we could each go home for anything, so its not that its arbitrary, its just that we are getting down to the nitty gritty.  Working in groups is stifling.  it just is.  Her 60% comment was probably true, she was just done.  I missed her a lot.

Tom!! Talk about ready to go home.  Don't feel bad for this guy, he has a crazy amazing job and was ready to get back to it.  He did this for the adventure, not the career, so he felt like he had enough and was ready to head back to real life.  Sayonara reality.  Off to his summer house on shelter island - where i will be joining him next year, he invited me...  and i'm a big taker-upper-on-middle-of-the-night-kinda-drunk-invites.  
Not everybody got to know Tom like I did, but he'll always have a place in my heart.  

Courtland's video was shocking.  I'm glad that he apologized beforehand, because man that was...um....not nice.  at all.  Courtland is a nice guy, he must've just had it up to his v-neck with his teammates. 

Down to five.  Kinda nuts.  And at this point while we are still sad that people we like are gone without a proper goodbye, we realize that the less people around means the less people to compete with.   So I guess a double elimination just makes the whole thing more efficient.  

On to the kitchen challenge.  May you all forgive me. 


  1. It was pretty sad, how they both went home, but I did think they both exited with grace. That Tom is one classy guy. And reading your point about the bathroom makes me want to paint my white bathroom with no natural light a nice soft gray color. Hm.

    All of your talk about us not hating you has me worried, though. I don't want you to go home! You're my fave!

    You know who wasn't my fave this episode? Courtland. He was pretty transparent about trying to give his teammates just enough rope to hang themselves. I don't know if it's the editing or what, but the dude sort of seems like a d-bag sometimes. I hope he's not really that way.

  2. You know what? This is my favorite post yet! Yeah, yeah, I've only been following a week longer than the show has been on the air so I haven't had a chance to "get to know you" but you've outdone yourself.

    Come on, smurf brothel? Up to his v/neck. Love it!

    Getting the inside scoop from you really keeps me watching. Thank you!

  3. Love Tom too! DS fans should read my interview with him: http://bit.ly/cbz2xg

  4. your team's room looked great! poor tom because that bathroom was ugly even before it was painted blueberry. what was with the crummy sink? stacy look exhausted, which is the only way you could explain the mattress situation on that beautiful bed. courtland's videos make me laugh out loud, especially last weeks.

    i don't know how they got it so wrong when donald trump is so well-branded and the shopping was done at abc carpet. trump = gaudy & gold.

    next week should be good, i hope you shine!

  5. I forgive you...unless you stop blogging. No matter what happens, please keep blogging about your work!

  6. Why are you asking for our forgiveness? Now I am scared!

  7. Uh oh, I'm worried about you Emily! I like watching you on DS and I like reading your blog! I was absolutely shocked that they did a double elimination- that did not seem fair at all. It didn't matter that the client wasn't happy- should be 1 person a week, not two! I think she was done as well. But at least she was honest that she didn't really give her all this week. I also liked Tom, but he hasn't done a great job the last two weeks... so I'm not surprised he was gone.

  8. I guess I wasn't shocked by the double elimination, since most of the seasons had one at about the midpoint. I was kind of surprised that they didn't say outright that this would be the double elimination episode.

    I kind of agree about the blue bathroom not being a major deal. Yes, with the door and the ceiling and all the trim also blue, it was overpowering, but I actually like the dark walls... and for exactly the reason you mentioned about the light. Dark walls look better than white ones in artificial light. (I'm actually happy to hear a professional say that.) The real issues--the door and trim--were taken care of. A few more splashes of other colors and light accessories would have helped.

  9. Thanks for the scoop again this week! I still want to know what kind of budget you were working with for the challenge. Are you allowed to share that info? I think knowing how much (or little!) money allowed for a challenge is key info.


  10. I love this entry. I think this put a lot into perspective for someone like me who was so anti-Stacey this whole time. I suppose it's easy to sit back and judge an hour of competition and personalities when not given an opportunity to be on the inside.

    I read Robin's interview with Tom (she posted a link to it above) and I became an insta-Tom fan. Super cool guy. Seems like the kind of guy you'd want on your team...both literally and theoretically.

    Great follow-up post, Emily! I enjoyed reading this.

  11. Hey Emily, just recently found your blog and I think you have a great writing style, plus it's fun to read your thoughts on Design Star.

    I admit, you are rapidly becoming my favorite contestant, thanks for taking the time to write about your experience!

  12. Emily, do you think they are doing a good job of portraying your true personalities? It seems like those of you who are trying to stay out of the drama are getting left on the cutting room floor, while the ones who stir the pot are showcased. I still wouldn't have any idea of any of your (as in all of the rest of the contestants) design talents if I didn't search out some blogs. It's unfortunate, because with some of the contestants (you, Dan) I really LOVE what you do.

  13. oh no - forgive you...i can't wait a whole week to find out!!! Oh ems, you tease. oh man - i hope you stay on I think you are teasing and you are going to do something fantastic!!! much love!

  14. I had a quick question - how many years have you been trying to get on design star?

  15. Emily, we love you. *I* love you. In fact, I'd love to hire you as an interior designer once we have our own place (we rent now), and we live in SF Bay Area, so not too far ;-).
    However, this whole Designer Survivor show sucks, and audience is clearly saying it out loud from the Ep.1. And it is not your guys fault. It is HGTV's, which apparently blew all the money on Mr. Burnett, and left the contestants with a laughable amount to put into INDIVIDUAL challenges, thus we will continue to see "committee design". And no wonder no one of you guys peep a word about a budget.
    This season is covered all over the design conscious blogosphere like never before, but everybody and their mama talks about how BAD this actually is. I hope it'll turn for good for all of you even for Mean Ni-anon.

  16. enjoy your blog as it gives me a much truer perspective of this design torture test. I must admit your actual job sounds even worse and even more stressful. Courtland seems to be morphing into Nina as he struggles to survive the eliminations. He'll be heading home soon....like next week and then the saintly Alex. You'll be the dark horse of the final three. I'll be rooting for you.

  17. Watching Stacey this week was painful. You could just see her struggling and she knew it was not her best work. So glad you are still around on the show. Can't wait until next week.

  18. the show sucks, not you guys. the challenges are so contradictory, you never get a chance to work alone, budgets and time limits aren't revealed, you aren't given carpenters, assistants or even decent shopping options. i did take the time to look up some of your real work online though and you are awesome! really really awesome. if i could afford a designer i would soooooo hire you. i kinda hope you don't win b/c i think you are better than hgtv.

  19. At first I thought I would enjoy the Mark Burnett spin, but the only thing I do like are the airshots of NY. I don't know how you and the contestants dealt with all the team challenges, nevermind all those corny NY souveniors. It must have been high stress all the way.

    Speaking of stress, the anon comment from yesterday was totally out of line. There isn't any reason to be so rude and nasty to a blogger. It did seem to be from a Nina groupie and they should find their own little Nina blog. Keep up the positive spin on your blog and throw the negative people in the trash.



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