If you’re putting together a reality show and you call Central Casting and ask for a woman from Texas, you know what you’ll get? A blonde Barbie doll who taped her boobs and pasted a bathing suit to her butt a time or two during her youth on the pageant circuit. So it’s unsurprising to discover that Design Star Season 6 finalist and blonde bombshell Leslie Ezelle used to be a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader.
Of course she was.
This would normally make me want to vomit except: (A) her portfolio shows me she’s quite the talented interior designer, (B) due to my husband’s Cowboy superfandom, the only people related to America’s Team I’m allowed to ridicule include weirdo body painter fans and Tony Romo when he wears his ball cap backwards, and (C) she’s married to a woman! This endears her to me because I assume it is hard to be a hot lesbian in Dallas when you’re surrounded by good ole boys and megachurches.
But let’s take a look at her work:
You know I’d want more color in the mix, but at least there’s a lot of contrast to keep things from getting too boring here. It’s all about the view anyway.
Look–a modern designer from Texas who’s not into Texas Tuscan and is appearing on a design show! Did you think it would ever be possible? I didn’t…
Tasteful and elegant. Perfectly appropriate for an investment firm.
Leslie also did the painting featured here. I like the homey feel of this waiting area, although I wish the lamp didn’t break dead-center into the painting. I have to admit that during previous seasons it’s been annoying to see finalists emulating Season 1 winner David Bromstad’s penchant for painting, because it always seemed like a desperate attempt to copy a winning formula. However, with Leslie I have a completely different reaction. Her work seems more intellectual than David’s or any of the previous finalists who’ve attempted to create their own artwork, so it feels like it’s in another league.
Leslie also created this artwork for her investment firm client, this time seizing upon a black and white signage-styled trend in home decor. This piece features her client’s products, much as we’ve seen these pillows and prints from West Egg Studio:
This pillow makes me homesick for my old Morton Street apartment…ahhh, the memories. But I digress.
This is what I wish I could do, every time I walk into a lame-o office like Leslie’s “before” photo. More companies need to see how this kind of makeover can elevate their business and make fiscal sense! Three cheers.
Another great example of how to keep neutrals from being boring. It’s all in the contrasts!
I don’t usually go in for faux, but this modern spin interests me.
Clean and minimal. Again, contrast-y enough to keep me from getting bored.
Bravo! Love the pink wall. Proof to all you scaredy-cat Texas boys that you can indeed feature a pinky-purple wall in a masculine space without it looking girly. Wish there were more clients in the world who would go for this!
Leslie found these chairs in the trash and had them reupholstered in leather with nailhead trim. Pretty dang brilliant-looking.
Leslie created the cornices in her dining room out of foam core instead of conventional wood, and attached them to curtain rods. A bit of DIY trickery that may serve her well in this competition!
I love the charcoal ceiling. Tall ceilings are great candidates for such a thing, but it’s hard to find clients who will commit. They’re usually gun-shy because they fear they’ll have to repaint if they want to put their house on the market. But look how great it looks! I’m not the hugest fan of the furnishings here but I do love the ceiling and the staircase.
Will Leslie make me like murals again? Love the mod petals peeking out from behind the paintings above the bed.
This room looks phoned-in. Hate the art over the chairs and wonder how anyone will be able to get out onto the balcony.
LOVE. Love Leslie’s painting, love the lamps and credenza from her eponymous line, love the marmalade tabby. Don’t need all the frou-frou left and right of the credenza, but that’s just me.
Leslie created this bench from a console table. Pretty cool presto-change-o!
LESLIE EZELLE ON A BUMPER STICKER: Leslie’s resourcefulness, design maturity and real-deal artistic talent are a triple threat. Add to that her knockout good looks and a fighting spirit that kept her going during two years battling breast cancer and she might just be unbeatable. The Devil’s Advocate in me wonders if HGTV will want a blonde winner to follow another blonde winner, but when it comes to TV stars, can there ever be too many hot blondes? If Leslie has on-camera charisma to match her design chops, I’m seeing her battle it out at the end with Cathy Hobbs and Kellie Clements.
Coming soon: We’ll take a look at Miami finalist Mark Diaz!
Is it bad that I just spent time googling Leslie Ezelle’s wife? I’m kinda curious if she’s all Dallas-y in appearance too!!! She really is the one I wanted to hate, but really love. I think that little girls room is my favorite. So freaking cute. Aaah. I’m so glad Texas is representing this year WITHOUT the tuscan.
I second Claire’s emotions. Thank God Dallas is finally slightly less embarrassing.