This week’s episode of Design Star finds the designers going head-to-head in individual challenges making over kids’ bedrooms (in this case, “kids” are defined as seventeen and under), and this is also the first time we’re able to see them trying their hand at TV hosting.
My opinion is completely incongruous with the judges’. Again.
My pick for the best room is Dan’s transformation for Helena, an 11-year old self-described environmentalist:
Where the judges hated Dan’s color palette, I thought it was spot-on for an 11-yr old girl and didn’t think it came across as gratuitously garish. His room had the most cohesive design and the most finished designer look out of the bunch. I loved the TV surround with a passion (too bad they didn’t shoot pics of that for me to share), and although I didn’t love the pink rectangle as a headboard so much, I thought the ironwork above that was pretty. Vern’s comment that it was something that should be discarded really missed the whole environmental angle (and it’s not exactly a novel idea to use garden ironwork indoors, Vern). Dan definitely came across like he was on poppers during the first part of his hosting bit (dating myself with that reference) but he normalled out once Helena came into the room and he was able to interact with her on-camera. I will cut any nervous designer some slack on the presentation side of the challenge because I would probably have a hard time not vomiting myself. With experience, anyone can become comfortable on camera…but it would be harder to make someone a good designer if they didn’t already have that ability. So I give greater credence to the room and less to the hosting part. But I’m not the one hiring TV designers. Oops, after publishing this post, I noticed Dan left out window treatments. Eleven year old girls need their privacy! For shame!
Antonio’s room is my second favorite, created for 5-year old Connor:
Connor wants dinosaurs and firetrucks and a big pile o’ spaghetti in his room! In which case, he couldn’t have been matched with a better designer, since that sort of surreal direction seems to be to Antonio’s liking. I might’ve been more impressed with the final outcome, but when Antonio initially described his “little man cave” bed idea to his carpenter, I had the impression he wanted to build an enclosed bed area that looked like a cave–and I was DOWN with that. Consequently, the resulting bed didn’t measure up to me. And yeah, the dinosaur stickers were something anyone can do, but I guess if they’re readily available, it’s silly to try and reinvent them. Maybe if he’d stuck the decals onto wood cutouts to make them 3D it would’ve been more interesting. The adorable idea of having Connor’s image holding up the TV was supercute, but—gasp! Poor baby’s legs were cut off!! My mom txt’d me afterwards and said she was ready to see Antonio use something other than blue paint. Valid point.
Antonio seems like a natural host, so he definitely has potential there.
My third pick is Torie’s room, designed for Carina, a budding artist who is eight:
Torie seemed to be on track for a really stellar room—I knew that any little girl would be elated to see her name backlit with rope lights like that. But the wheels fell off the bus as soon as the fabric panels went up on the wall—ech. Also, no window treatments for an 8-yr old girl’s room? Big no-no. As for her hosting ability, Torie herself exclaimed, “I’m so country!” when she watched herself during elimination. While we Texans tend to have some big, southern accents (and I’m no exception), that hasn’t stopped TV personalities like Paula Deen from making it big. Plus, there’s a large population out there who finds our accents comforting and endearing. Or so I tell myself when I hear playback of my own pronounced accent.
Lonni did a room for 17-year old baseball fan, Nico:
Jason thinks he’s hit the Design Star jackpot when he discovers the room he’s doing is for 17-year old Paulina:
As a host, I thought Jason was a hoot, but I do cringe a little when he paws her comforter in a suggestive way. Since Paulina’s still underage, I’d pull back on that a bit. (So says the mother of a future 17-year old baby girl.) Jason’s reaction to watching himself as a host during elimination is priceless–“I’m so gay!”—as if, despite having a husband, he doesn’t know for sure until he sees himself in all his rainbow glory onscreen.
It’s not that I necessarily dispute the validity of sending Jason home this week, but I obviously would’ve chosen a different pair for the top two slots and would’ve put Lonni closer to the bottom.
Next up: my interview with this week’s eliminated designer, Jason Champion!
The lack of window treatments was confusing.
And I agree about the ‘flat cave’. Very popular with the Ponder Boys – bunkbeds with a double one on the bottom, drape with quilts, instant fort.
Also not a fan of the TVs in the kids’ bedrooms.
I find myself agreeing with you more and more.
Looks like you’re coming around on Dan. Glad to see it. I didn’t really like any of the rooms in this latest episode (maybe because I just don’t find kids’ rooms that interesting), but I do think Dan’s was the most successful. He was a little hyper in his hosting, as you note, but he was the first to acknowledge his deficiencies after viewing the segment. With practice, he’d be a pro in no time.
Like you, I keep wondering why Lonni appears to be the judges’ favorite. All she received was praise, with nary a peep about her room’s rough-edged painting and what appeared to be missing baseboards. I liked her “home base” wall as much as her chevron wall — that is, not at all. At least Vern Yip expressed concern about how some might begin to view her as a one-trick pony because of her similar, overly literal approaches to these accent walls. But I’d say that pony left the barn some time ago, and that one trick is all it’s got.
Loved Dan’s room, love the t.v. surround (though I wouldn’t put a t.v. in my daughter’s room). Not sure about the ironwork decoration – didn’t think it so much meshed with the mod, geometric look of the rest of it. ITA about the lack of window treatments.
I was pretty lukewarm about the rest of the rest of the rooms. I thought that even the dinosaur one was at best two degrees of separation from a Pottery Barn catalog.
Loving the recaps!