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.
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
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.
BRITANY SIMON & STANLEY PALMIERI
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
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
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.
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.
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: