Design Star 7: Inside/Outside

Design Star 7: Inside/Outside

group-shot-2

Season 7 remaining cast, from left: Mikel Welch, Stanley Palmieri, Hilari Younger, Britany Simon, host David Bromstad, Danielle Colding, Miera Melba, Kris Swift, Rachel Kate.

This week on Design Star: Danielle defers, Miera’s delusional, Britany ODs on chevron sauce, Stanley is manly, Kris is (gasp!) pleasant, Rachel is homesick, Mikel and Hilari just git their sh*t DONE, and apparently Wonder Bra is now a proud sponsor of Design Star. HELLO, GENEVIEVE’S BOOBS.

genevieve_gorder_bra

The challenge? Take two houses across the street from each other and redesign their identical living rooms and adjoining patios. Bring the indoors out and the outdoors in. Although this doesn’t involve a kitchen–thank you, baby Jesus–one couple gets a pretty decent makeover and the other set of homeowners gets a redo project of their own to deal with after the cameras stop rolling.

HILARI YOUNGER & MIKEL WELCH

BEFORE: Hilari Younger and Mikel Welch take on this living room and adjoining dining space.

BEFORE: Hilari Younger and Mikel Welch take on this living room and adjoining dining space.

AFTER: Hilari and Mikel's living room redesign.

AFTER: Hilari and Mikel's living room redesign.

AFTER: Hilari and Mikel's dining room and desk space are revealed.

AFTER: Hilari and Mikel's dining room and desk space are revealed.

hilari_younger_tibetan_table

Hilari's Tibetan table is a win in the dining room.

AFTER: Can we be done with the whole crates-on-the-wall thing?

AFTER: Can we be done with the whole crates-on-the-wall thing?

mikel_welch_hilari_younger_after1

Put a bird on it.

PILLOW FAIL #1: Way to ruin some beautiful chairs.

PILLOW FAIL #1: Way to ruin some beautiful chairs.

PILLOW FAIL #2: Ouch, my eyes. There's nothing about this grouping that is the least bit unified.

PILLOW FAIL #2: Ouch, my eyes. There's nothing about this grouping that is the least bit unified.

Hilari and Mikel craft a room that definitely features some fleshed out spaceplanning, but it feels a tad on the safe side. The clients start out with a WHORE-i-fyingly bright green rug–proving they can handle a bit of bold color in the room–but the designers give them a roomful of neutrals. The green paint on the walls is very Pottery Barn, circa 1989, so it’s hard to get behind that. The Tibetan console table Hilari selects is pretty and unique, the rug and chairs Mikel picks out are gorgeous, but I want them to push more saturated yellows instead of all the mamby-pamby butter tones. It’s a nice room but if you had never seen the “before” photo, would you say this is a “WOW” room? (Shrug.)

Mikel gets extra brownie points for embellishing a mirror with Stanley’s scraps of reclaimed wood, creating a nice focal point over the fireplace.

AFTER: Mikel's made-over mirror.

AFTER: Mikel's made-over mirror.

BRITANY SIMON & STANLEY PALMIERI

BEFORE: Britany Simon and Stanley Palmieri's challenge is to makeover this backyard.

BEFORE: Britany Simon and Stanley Palmieri's challenge is to makeover this backyard.

Britany's supercool chevron fence, constructed by Stanley.

Britany's supercool chevron fence, constructed by Stanley.

AFTER: Everyone, have a chevron--it's on the house!

AFTER: Everyone, have a chevron--it's on the house! The homeowners' existing chairs get new pillows with patterns that don't mesh well.

AFTER: Not sure why we need two dining spaces, but whatever.

AFTER: Not sure why we need two dining spaces, but whatever.

AFTER: Britany's pergola. Not my fave.

AFTER: Britany's pergola. Not my fave.

AFTER: Yep, Stanley, that's a deck alright.

AFTER: Yep, Stanley, that's a deck alright.

TARGASM.

TARGASM.

Britany’s chevron fence is so getting Pinned today. It’s not that we haven’t seen chevron patterns in fence designs before, but leaving those mountain peak points exposed on the upper edge takes it to a whole new level. I’m not sure how long we’ll be riding the chevron trend though, so it could become dated soon. Stanley’s reclaimed wood deck cuts down on the vast expanse of concrete–yay for that, but there’s nothing “designer-y” about it. I’m with the judges that I’m gasping for color out here. It’s just surprising the hell out of me to see nothing pop out in this backyard. Neither Jeb nor I are big fans of the pergola design. Between that and the chevron “wall art” on the back of the house it just screams, “Hey, I have some leftover mitered wood–let’s stick it somewhere!” We see Britany looking through outdoor fabrics featuring some bold colors, so it’s a shame none of that appears on her pergola. Maybe it’s some issue with stock and availability? Some paint somewhere could compensate for lack of color in fabrics. Stanley is definitely left out in the cold on the design side of life on this challenge, but that appears to consistently be his choice.

Here’s where things really start to go south…

KRIS SWIFT & RACHEL KATE

BEFORE: This backyard's a challenge for Kris Swift and Rachel Kate.

BEFORE: This backyard's a challenge for Kris Swift and Rachel Kate.

AFTER: Decent backyard setup. Nothing special.

AFTER: Decent backyard setup. Nothing special.

kris_swift_rachel_kate_after3

AFTER: We get a glimpse of Rachel's porch overhang and her disastrous kid corner.

AFTER: We get a glimpse of Rachel's porch overhang and her disastrous kid corner.

Oops, there it is!

Oops, there it is! Mind you don't get your hair caught in the trash bin, baby Madison.

At least the porch cover is an improvement.

At least the porch cover is an improvement.

Kris's tree trunk planter/table, complete with retro outdoor speaker.

Kris's tree trunk planter/table, complete with retro outdoor speaker provided by a sponsor, natch.

Ghost of Christmas Past.

Ghost of Christmas Past. That tumbleweed idea doesn't turn out so hot. Looks like repurposed "brownery" the homeowners refer to at the top of the show.

Yet another example of how NOT to combine patterns.

PILLOW FAIL #3: Yet another example of how NOT to combine patterns.

Kris takes a much-needed break from his dayjob as an asshole to play nicely with teammate Rachel this week. Cue the shock and awe, people. He’s really, really happy to be messing around with tree stumps and succulents–so happy that he doesn’t interfere with Rachel’s death spiral of doom next to the trash cans. Oh, Rachel, are you trying to get yourself fired? I cannot think of another reason why she is screwing Chinese plastic to the wall in her kid corner, or why she is doing so within fly-buzzing distance of the homeowners’ trash cans. The clients expressly ask to hide the toys in their living room, so I doubt they want them front and center in the adjacent backyard. I am WHORE-i-fied when I think of how especially craptastic the kid corner will look after it gets sun bleached.

Kris’s daddy used to work in the landscape business, so working outside with succulents turns Kris nostalgic and borderline bubbly. I know. Shocker! The tree trunk vase/table combos he creates are really smart. Kris’s tables and Rachel’s new patio overhang aren’t enough to compensate for the rest of the blandness and badness, but that patio cover is probably what saves Rachel’s bacon this week.

DANIELLE COLDING & MIERA MELBA

BEFORE: Danielle Colding and Miera Melba volunteer to makeover this living room and dining room.

BEFORE: Danielle Colding and Miera Melba volunteer to makeover this living room and dining room.

AFTER: The living room, as redesigned by Danielle and Miera. Or should I say, by Miera?

AFTER: The living room, as redesigned by Danielle and Miera. Or should I say, by Her Ladyship Miera?

AFTER: Too bad Miera wins the pillow fight. The selections Danielle makes are better.

AFTER: Too bad Miera wins the pillow fight. The selections Danielle makes are better.

AFTER: Danielle and Miera's dining room makeover.

AFTER: Danielle and Miera's dining room makeover.

AFTER: Miera's built-ins, from a far enough distance to minimize its many flaws.

AFTER: Miera's built-ins, from a far enough distance to minimize its many flaws.

AFTER: Danielle's entry table vignette.

AFTER: Danielle's entry table vignette.

All I can say is, wow. Why is Miera suddenly crazy bananas, and how on Earth does Danielle manage to remain composed when dealing with crazy partner after crazy partner? First Luca, now Miera? I’m ready for Danielle to sink her teeth into another solo challenge so we can see her do her thing. Instead, we see her running around behind Hurricane Miera, who is wreaking havoc everywhere she turns. Miera makes one screw-up after another, all the while looking around dumbfounded, like someone else is to blame for her mistakes. I cringe every time she talks to Danielle.

Miera oddly decides to design her built-ins short of the ceiling height and because of the time constraints she ignores from the start, the bookcases are left dripping with wood glue, among other travesties. I’m having flashbacks to seasons past and the many poor homeowners who’ve been left with unfinished kitchens. Danielle spends so much time cleaning up after her teammate that she doesn’t complete her art wall. I appreciate her wanting to get the built-ins done for the homeowners’ sake but Miera’s the one who should be outside rolling paint on shelving. I don’t really see that dramatic a difference between the before and after photos, to be honest. Some accent color could save this space.

FINAL OUTCOME

For me, it’s really a tie between Mikel and Hilari for the win. There are three facing elimination this week: Miera, Danielle, and Rachel. While we’re waiting for the judges’ decision to be revealed, Candis (Room Fu’s design intern), Phoebe, and I are chanting, “Please pick Miera, please pick Miera.” It is hard to take someone seriously for this hosting job after they berate a teammate, so we breathe a sigh of relief when the judges send Miera home.

Bye, Mad Miera!

Bye, Mad Miera!

Come back next week for another episodic critique of Design Star Season 7! HGTV fans won’t want to miss the interviews I’ve been conducting with DS peeps over at Williams-Sonoma’s Designer Marketplace, either. I feature bonus content from each interview here on Fu For Thought. Check it:

David Bromstad Interview / Bonus
Kim Myles Interview / Bonus
Matt Locke Interview / Bonus
Coming soon: Antonio Ballatore!

2 Comments

  1. Britany Simon June 22, 2012 at 11:38 am

    OMG I love that you found the picture of my manufactured Target ‘joy’. Hysterical. TARGASM!

  2. Shelly June 26, 2012 at 7:11 am

    I don’t know how I’m just seeing the recap, but fantastic! I was definitely underwhelmed with much of this episode.

Leave A Comment