Tuesday night’s episode of Design Star features the seven remaining contestants designing square faux rooms. Wait a sec, didn’t we do the White Room Challenge already? This time we’re pretending to throw a party for Hollywood, to celebrate its 125th year in existence. All of the designers draw for a style to use as inspiration for individual “lounges.” The party premise is hokey and lame and not really worth staying up to watch on the dee vee aaaaargh, but at least it gives Stanley an opportunity to get his drink on.
BRITANY SIMON – Hollywood Regency
I put Britany’s room on top and her camera challenge near the bottom, but gawd do I sympathize with her lapse on the public speaking part. Awkward. The crying in the designers’ lounge after the judges award Danielle the top spot is regrettable too, but full of truthiness.
You know I’m no fan of molding treatments on this show, but Britany’s door panels are a smart use of this look and right in line with Hollywood Regency. Her styling is impeccable and her flowers are pretty.
Do they have a floral designer on staff this season? I don’t remember floral arrangements ever looking so good on Design Star before. The furniture is on point and the whole room looks camera-ready. This is the second time this season I haven’t had anything critical to say about one of the designers’ efforts, and Britany’s signature is on both of them. If she can get more acclimated to the camera challenge, she has a good shot at winning this thing.
HILARI YOUNGER – ’80s
When Hilari draws the ’80s, I imagine a cheapo space full of tacky touches, and Hilari almost takes us there. Oooooh, girl, that DIY spandex rug attempt is WHORE-i-fying, so I’m thrilled when Hilari abandons it in favor of painting a Mondrian pattern on the floor.
Mondrian’s heyday is more ’30s than ’80s but the colors Hilari uses make this element work. Her lighting is genius and her seating is perfect.
The splatter border around the room takes me back to college. I’m not a fan of the PVC walls, but they don’t ruin the look for me. I’m sad that Hilari’s DeLorean joke falls flat during her camera challenge, but she doesn’t let the resulting crickets derail her.
DANIELLE COLDING – Art Deco
Although the judges declare Danielle the winner of this challenge, her lounge depresses me a bit. It looks like a stinky antique store, although I do applaud her floral arrangement on the coffee table.
I like Danielle’s individual elements–the pair of lights flanking the sofa, the panther, the gorgeous seating–but when combined, we cross over into Old Lady Towne. I want it to be a modern homage to Art Deco instead of a literal time warp.
“MIDDLE” MIKEL WELCH – Mid-Century Contemporary
Man, talk about phoning it in. Here we have a symmetrical furniture arrangement featuring done-to-death furniture and pattern-free pillows, collected around a dull rug, drawing your eye to a boring canvas. Wake me when this is over.
STANLEY PALMIERI – Futuristic
All hail the meteorite chairs, how we love you.
Stanley’s lighting selections are great and the inset red shelf on the back wall is pretty inventive. But man, that giant vagina swallowing the red vase in the middle of the room? No bueno. If Patrick Nagel had made a coffee table, this is what it would look like. The stacked silver planters in the back don’t do anything for me either. While watching Stanley’s camera challenge, I want to buzz cut his hair so bad. How handsome he’d be if he’d just shave that mess the eff off.
KRIS SWIFT – ’70s
The only reason I would boot Rachel over Kris is that whole desk vignette with the tangerine typewriter in Kris’s Wayne’s World basement. I covet this tangerine typewriter with every fiber of my being.
Other than the desk, the space looks like a parking lot for iconic furniture. The egg chair is parked next to the lounger, which is parked next to the orange vinyl sofa, which is parked next to the damn wood paneling. When Kris picks up the microphone and starts talking, things go from bad to worse. Everyone’s flesh starts crawling from the verbal slime and they physically recoil. Even judge Vern Yip gets a bad case of twitchy eye.
I’m not going to say I’m sorry to see Kris go home, because good gawd, there’s no fixing that smarmy schtick of his.
RACHEL KATE – Victorian
Okay, I challenge anyone to make Victorian look good, but this challenge + last challenge = Rachel’s lost, lost, lost. First, she channels her Bungalow 5 coffee table from the first episode and makes a gigantic, topless version of it to wall off her lounge. Then she starts painting sconces and a coffee table Smurf blue, and I’m thinking she’s not only sleep-deprived, but taste-deprived as well.
If she’d painted these elements pink, this would be the perfect venue for My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding brides to tie the knot with their betrothed. The furniture is oddly placed in the space, as if we’re visiting distant relatives for Thanksgiving and all of the chairs in the house have been brought together to seat the assembled in some kind of hodgepodge semicircle. The only reason I can imagine why the judges send Kris home instead of Rachel this week is that they don’t want a used car salesman hosting their next show. Girl better get busy next week or she’s going home soon.
I’m pleased to admit that at this stage of the game, I can’t decide who I want to win. I’m torn between Britany, Danielle, and Hilari. I still think Mikel is cute as a button, but he’s destined for more of a supporting role. There hasn’t been this close a competition in forever, and even if the designs are hit-and-miss this season, the talent and personalities of these three women makes this season much more watchable than last season.