Friday, August 13, 2010

Design Star, Sunday, fools

I'm getting pretty excited for this sunday.  Individual challenge, folks. 

I remember getting back to the penthouse after elimination last week and having a total-reality-show-epiphany.   I said to Casey in a whisper, 'Um, since I'm here, i may as well win this thing.'  The same thing occurred to her,  we both laughed and were like, oh sh**.  its on.  We knew that Michael had his eye on the prize the whole time, but Casey and I just became competitive.  Then Michael came back from elimination and while we were and still all friends, there was definitely a different feeling in the air.

because we are in the


Its not that Casey and I  hadn't wanted to win the whole time, but we were running around like crazy people, glue gunning drapery, staple gunning tables together, dealing with nutty designer personalities that we had to work and live with, and I think we forgot that it was actually possible to win.  Casey isn't competitive either, so its not that we were trying to not win, but we were just trying to do good work, have fun and if it happened, great.

I started the competition thinking, sure, I could win, but after the first challenge I kinda gave up on that as a possibility because I clearly didn't work well under the constraints.  I was like, nope, its not for me.  I didn't think i was cut out for it, and frankly my style is 90% vintage and that wasn't a production possibility (til this week) so i really didn't know how to get my style into the spaces. 

 I had two rules going into Design Star:  

1. Don't do anything that you wouldn't do for yourself or for a real client.  In other words don't do something just for the sake of the TV competition, something you would totally regret later and be embarrassed by.  

Would i have design the  dining room from the last challenge for me? nope, but for the right client i would use that color palette and paint the ceiling, sure.

Would I do what i'm about to do in the glass house for a client?  We'll see.  I kinda like it,

but that's only my opinion.  

Those three people up in those chairs with all the power,  might feel differently.  
(and I'm very curious what you guys are gonna think, it could be divisive)

Rule #2:  I promised to just be myself. no performing.  and if they don't like me, that's ok.   This was much easier to stick to.  much.  in fact it was the easiest thing in the world to do.  

But back to why we are there.  The judges like all three of us a lot.

  They like Michael because he speaks the design language perfectly, has great taste and he is confident as a leader. 

They like Casey because she's a smart designer and exudes HGTV host, as she is the 'bombshell' (cut to me with a Casey voo-doo doll, chanting 'oh, yes, she will bring in the male viewers, alright' while i rip her naturally perfect hair out,  one by one) 

And with me? they keep saying over and over how comfortable i am, just being me, and how refreshing it is.   And they like my style. (and yes, it took hours of scouring Facebook to find 2 pictures that i liked.)

I think they get all of our perspectives at this point:
i'm the unfussy not-traditionally trained kinda bohemian stylist, who likes color and pattern as much as quiet and pretty. (of course i give myself a good description, come now) (pics from my portfolio below)

Casey is the traditionally trained designer that weighs function and quality equally with what is beautiful, and she can draw a space plan quicker than i can reach for my tool belt (which takes a while, because i've undoubtedly put it somewhere random like the dishwasher.)
(Casey worked for HBA - a huge hospitality firm for years, so she can't really 'claim' any of the work for her portfolio, that's why these are just mock-ups.  Check out her company's website for an insight into what she does, and click on the little heart to go to their amazing online services.

And Michael is urban yet luxurious and is unbelievably creatively quick and resourceful - his mirror last week was awesome.  truly. (pics from Michael's portfolio below)

As we went to bed the night before the glass house challenge, we made a toast: 

May the best woman win.  

and yes we used this joke a lot the next couple days, and Michael ate it up.  

Watch me on sunday.  10pm, HGTV - I know you know, but just in case.
p.s. that picture was 8 pounds ago, i highly recommend the reality show diet.  its 100% guaranteed. and yes, that is my favorite dress.  clearly.  (good will, 6 years ago, %150 polyester, cost $5 and hemmed to fit)


  1. You are just awesome and I love the "hemmed to fit" because that is just so you. Your design portfolio is amazing. I didn't understand the magazine pages until I heard them say "prop stylist" oh yeah that was episode 1. HAHA :-) I hope YOU WIN because I would love watching you. I like Casey too. Michael just seems mean. :-(

  2. Hi hi! OMG, i'm getting so nervous - why would the judges not love anything you do??? Plus it would be great to have a host who specialized in vintage stuff! - I see stuff all the time but do not know how to repurpose anything - and am always wondering how to style stuff - Good Luck Next Design Star!

  3. Emily, You would be proud of the awesome little vintage dress I bought for Erin today at our local thrift store for 2 dollar. It won't fit her until next summer but it is so cute and I love the look. Good luck can't wait until Sunday.

  4. I'm so excited to see how things go!

    Perhaps part of the reason why so many of us where drawn to you and Casey is that you weren't coming across as super competitive. Some of the frenetic types are just too jarring to watch.

    Good luck! Regardless of what happens, I'm happy that Design Star (and MFAMB) brought me to your blog and I get to have a sneak peak behind the scenes as a result.

    I really, really hope someone out there realizes how timely it would be to have a host who can thrift and repurpose the way you can. While it's fun to see hosts shop, it's inspiring to see hosts shop in second hand stores and reinvent what they find.

  5. Yes, may the best woman win! I caught myself thinking... Maybe the next time Emily is in Oregon she Could stop by and give a few pointers.... Then I woke up. You've got great style and on your way to making the world know it!

  6. EXCITED! Now, this is what we've all been WAITING for!


  7. God bless you and Casey, Emily, for being true to yourselves and taking the high road. Most fans of DS have been extremely disappointed in this season; I blame the producer (MB) and I think they also slashed the budget. However, your personality has really captured my attention, and so I'm following you on Twitter and reading your blog. Stay fresh!

  8. Hi Emily!

    Mark and I are still watching and so happy that you've made it this far! You should be very proud of yourself. : )
    Sounds like you are very busy lately, but we'd still love to see you...daytime is better baby-wise (she goes to bed pretty early), but we could always have lunch for you here if you have a day off or a weekend day free.
    And again, good job! You've handled yourself very well in a bizarro environment. I'm excited to see what happens, but either way being in the top three is a nice feather to have in your hat.
    p.s. Stay Fresh!

  9. Hey Emily, this week I was in our Goodwill Outlet, Yes, I said outlet. It's fantastic. Everything is sold by the pound. Anyway, I was looking for some denim sheeting or tablecloths to cover some tables with for a party. I found a remnant piece of some blue indoor/outdoor carpet and it caught my eye because it looked denimy. I figured I could cut it into pieces to make placemats for the party I'm giving my daughter. And when I walked out of the store I could not help but thinking, Thank You Emily, I'm actually learning a few things! I tell ya' I never would have even thought of using something in a different way like that before watching Design Star.

  10. Did you stylize the Domino August 08 issue cover shot? If so, wow! It is one of my top 5 fav Domino covers (yes, I'm a die-hard and own every issue). If this vintage aesthetic is what you specialize in (but haven't been able to showcase on DS), I REALLY hope you get your own TV show! Vintage and pattern-mixing is my world. Best of luck, Emily!!

  11. Emily,
    Thank you so much for doing the interview for my blog, Ohmigosh! It was posted today and I know my readers will love it. I've got my fingers crossed for you for tomorrow night and am soooo looking forward to an individual challenge. And I agree with Cassi...HGTV needs a show based on vintage and repurposed items for all of us who love a good thrift store or flea market! Have a fabulous weekend!

  12. Can't wait! I'm totally intrigued by the potentially "divisive" design and other clues you've been leaving around the internets. So glad that prison cell for a monk didn't send you packing!

  13. Keep your eye on the prize!
    I want you to win!!!!
    xo xo

  14. crossing our fingers for you!! best of luck but win or lose--the PR you are getting is AHMAYZING!!

  15. I'm currently obsessed with your style. I love HGTV, but will never have 10 grand to spend on ONE room full of fancy stuff. Spray paint will be my new friend when we get to our new house and start decorating!

    I just read the interview you did for Ohmigosh blog, and I love, love, love your idea for a new show. Design on a Dime is great and all, but I would love to see more vintage styles.

    I told my husband that in the preview for next week, it looks like the laborers are all the "husbands"... he said, "huh?" ... I had to explain that it looked like you, Casey and Michael all get to have your "husbands" for laborers! Hahahaha... yes, may the best woman win! (and I think that's you!)

  16. Big night tonight! Got the popcorn ready! Love the glass house challenge! ~Tracy

  17. I've been rooting for you since day one. Good luck!
    Valerie in Alaska

  18. I hope you win!!! :)

  19. Best of luck tonight Emily! Can't wait to see what you found in vintage stores for your glass house! Old is bold!

  20. Hey Emily ... I really want you to win. But in case the Gods of HGTV lose their minds & you don't win, please consider being a host on any other network! Then post about it here so we know where to watch you.

    I'm just now getting into vintage more and more - but more of the 40's - 60's styles as opposed to the pre-Civil War stuff my mom loves. I'm hoping for the best tonight when they air the show ...

  21. I just found out you have a blog. You have been my favorite from the beginning. Casey is a darling as well. I have felt bad for all of you this year. The challenges have been weird. Good luck tonight. I aqm routing for you. ((((HUGS)))

  22. Congratulations, Emily! Your room was gorgeous and I'm so happy that you made it to final 2! I'm so looking forward to watching you win next week!

  23. Nice job! You are beautiful and talented. Hope you win!

  24. Hope you win! I'd have sent Michael home myself. He's more than a bit stuck on himself and very hard to watch. Of course as a man I'd much prefer seeing talented and beautiful and secure women like you and Stacey. Stacey has a wonderful genuine personality as you do. I'm sure she was a victim of some HGTV marketing agenda. Your room was very beautiful! Go Emily



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