Every season the White Room challenge separates those who design from those who don't, and this season was no different. Well, except that the White Rooms were set up inside LA's Union Station so "regular" people could walk by and stuff.
And tell Jordan to get to work.
As always, the challenge is to take that blank slate, along with the blank couch, two end tables, a lamp and three cabinets, and turn it into something fabulous. And it doesn't have to be a room and it doesn't have to be functional. Which doesn't explain why every designer, save two, created a functional room. And the designtestants were allowed to shop at just one place: OSH...in the design center or the garden shop.
She's a fashion designer, which explains why she's on Design Star, so she's going to go all fashion and color and pattern.
And she freaks me out a bit. She tapes X's to the wall, in a seemingly random pattern. Then she paints around them, almost in a connect-the-dot fashion, and hand-paints curves all over, and, when she rips down the tape she has this very cool Moroccan design on the back wall.
Huh? What? Huh? I may have a new favorite.
Her Camera Challenge was to tape off a cabinet and paint some boldly colored stripes on it. It was a yawn, and I wish she'd given a demo of that Moroccan wall treatment because I'd totally do that.
Still, most of her 'design' comes from paint techniques; on the wall, on the cabinet, on the floor. And then, because she designs clothes, she paints a fashion sketch along one wall. But, it looks amazing and brings all the colors from the room into one place. Very cool.
Right now I want Rachel to get her own show just to see her paint that wall again.
The judges loved the room. Gorder was practically speechless, and for the first time in many seasons, I enjoyed her. Special guest judge, Vanilla Ice--and that is not a misprint because Ice is all about the design now that his two-minute music career is over--loved the Moroccan wall, while Vern loved the fashion sketch. I loved that her room was all color and pattern and texture, and it all worked very well together. Like I said, I am leaning toward Team Rachel.
White rooms and hardware, he says, are perfect for him. But I see him in that bandanna and I'm wondering if, by white room, he meant padded room. He is seriously thinking outside the box.....
He'll keep the white room white, and use colored lights to "paint" the walls. I think that is kinda smart, because, at least having the lone all white room will already set him apart from the others.
"It's freakin' crazy." Freakin' is Stanley's word. Stanley misses his home in 1979. "Everything I do is a risk, every design I've done is....avant-garde."
And to prove that, he stands the couch on its end, on high metal legs and straps some tube lights to the underside of it and turns it into some kind of lamp. Risk? Yes. Avant-garde? Yes.
But, he also drills holes in the cabinets and puts lights inside. He stacks the lattice box end tables and puts lights inside. So, really, he is more kinda safe and dull, with a little avant-garde tossed into the mix.
And his Camera Challenge is a little dull: a simple hole in a simple box with a simple like and it's simple. Um, yeah, okay.
But the judges loved that his room was different and unexpected and totally out of the box. I found it a little too simple--not a lot going on--but I lovedlovedloved the lights in the couch. It's Art Star, I guess, which is okay, but it's not really Design Star.
And, again, I loved Manley Stanley's guns.
She wants to create a jewelry box room, with lots of bling, but, while she says she is all about design, she is nothing about hammering and nailing and drilling and sawing.
And she knows nothing about glue either, because, for her Wow moment, she wants to glue rubber tubing to a cabinet and make it a coffee table. Yes, nothing says Wow like rubber tubing; unless you're into that sort of thing. Not that I am, although this one time.....Moving on.
Needless to say, her glue won't hold the tubing, so Hilari's Wow just turned Doh! The tubes get tossed, and she decides to glue gold chain fringe onto the bottom of her couch, and use gold chain to accent the pillows. It’s like Rapper Design; mo' bling!
And, as the clock ticks away the final minutes, Hilari looks around her room, which she'd hoped was a Versace moment, though it was more of a Versace nanosecond, and wished she'd had more bling.
And, naturally, Gorder called the glued on gold fringe at the bottom of the sofa the most "impactful" piece of the room. Oh, but she did. Vern, however, disagreed, and climbed on Ice's shoulder's to look Gorder in the eye and tell her that if you're gonna do bling, you gotta bring it!
And keep the mint ice cream colors out. they don't say jewel box. And howsabout hanging something on the walls? Howsabout losing the turtle because it makes no sense? Howsabout just bringing it next week, eh?
She buys all kinds of PVC pipe at OSH to cut into smaller pieces and create a "wall" in front of her room that you must peer through. Sounds ambitious, especially for someone who's never used a saw before. Or PVC pipe. Or a white room.
And she nearly takes off a finger, or eight, while cutting the PVC pipes, so that idea is soon scrapped and Bex, who has chosen today to dress in a Lucy Ricardo style, sits on the floor, pondering her design. I'm hoping that if she just calls Ethel, she can sneak into the Tropicana and be in the show....
Oh, wrong show.
Anyway, choosing her fingers over design, Bex scraps the PVC wall project and makes smaller PVC screens for each side of the room. I kind of wish she'd gone for the whole wall, because even the smaller screen idea is very cool, very Sixties, very Bex!
And then she gives me a good idea with her Camera Challenge when she takes a towel holder, and uses it as a door pull on a cabinet. I seriously may borrow that one.
But she loses me with the silhouette art piece surrounded by pennies glued to the wall. I once took a bunch of pennies.....and bought gum...and I think that's a better usage.
But Vern liked the medallion because, oh god, who knows why Vern likes anything? It was shiny and on the wall and he didn't need a boost to see it. Ice liked the PVC wall, while we got nothing from Gorder.
And I count that as a blessing.
I liked the screen, and hated the silhouette. I wasn't fond of the pennies and didn't like the trees. And, other than that, there wasn't much in there.
I'm still loving the accent, but I worry about him as he wanders the aisles of OSH completely uninspired. I could say it has to do with over-stimulation--too many choices to narrow things down--but I'm thinking he's just lost.
With time running out, Jordan heads to the garden center and spies some bamboo arches, bamboo chairs, bamboo table, bamboo Mai Tai mugs, and suddenly it hits him: "masculine glamour....glamour Zen."
Or, bamboo. I'm still unsure.
After talking with David--whose cheering left Jordan less than inspired--he decides to paint the bamboo arbor a brilliant red. I'm thinking, Now he's got this! Asian red! Garden chic! But then he busts out more paint, and paints other pieces black, and paints other pieces, oh, I don't know, other colors.
I hear ominous drumming in the background. And I think he hears it, too, because Jordan spends quite a bit of time walking from White Room to White Room. I don't know if he's searching for ideas, or if he's looking for the exit, but, yeah, I'm worried.
And even after David tells him to step it up, Jordan takes the lattice tables, paints them, puts a light in 'em, and calls 'em lighted lattice table. I think even he knows it's over.
As the judges viewed the room, Gorder busted out her Big Book of Big Words and said she liked the "juxtaposition" of the red on the gray wall. Vern, however, kept it simple, and said it was "instant, fast food, plastic."
I, well, my motto is, 'If you can't say something nice, sit next to me,' but since i like Jordan--the man has created same fab furniture, I'll only say, G'night, Jordan.
A total HGTV whore--like me--except that he has actually practiced the White Room challenge at home--unlike myself. And I imagine that, in his head, he won it every single time!
The only problem for Mikel is that he never practiced White Room Design with purchases from a hardware store; the feather boa store was a snap; the Cosmopolitan booth was a breeze. The chains and wood store? Not so much.
But he takes the wood and creates a wall sculpture, and takes some rope and hangs it from the ceiling to make it a room divider; he's going all woodsy and organic on our asses.
In his Camera Challenge, Mikel takes one of those plastic, wrought-iron looking door mats, rolls some read paint on it, and uses it as a stencil on his area rug. What's this? I'm getting several ideas from the designers that I might actually implement and Mikel's is one of the few that doesn't involve gold chain!
Surveying the space, Vern loved the rope--he likes anything he can climb--and said Mikel shows a definite level of taste. The Goiter's one complaint was that it was really "just a room with a couch." Like Britany's and Meira's and Hilari's and Danielle's and Luca's.
Again, why is she on this show, and who do I have to schtup to get her canned?
It wasn't a Wow, but it was cool and woodsy and chic, which is what Mikel planned, so he'll get props from me--and that's huge, you know--for his effort. And I'm still holding out for fabulously gay!
She's the bold glamour girl, so she'll tape the walls into pseudo-wainscot, and then paint over it in a dark blue. It's bold! It's graphic!
It's Britany, bitch.
And, apparently, because the women on this show loves them some gold chain, Britany also takes several chains to bring the bling to her space.
Only she hangs them from the ceiling, with a light bulb center, to make a chandelier. It's been done, but at least it wasn't gold chain trim and gold chain fringe. As she zip-ties the chains to the chandelier, she reminds us that she's not "just a girly girl and will get in on a project and the brunt work."
Brunt work? Does she mean she'll do the brunt of the work or that she'll do the grunt work? Either way, I'm glad she's a designer and not a teacher.
When the judges saw her room, guest judge, Vanilla Ice, AKA Rob Van Winkle, hoisted Vern on his shoulders so he could look at the gold chandelier. He says he likes it when designers "activate" the ceiling, almost as much as he likes it when they "activate" the underside of a coffee table he can walk beneath.
Ice liked the taped wainscot, as though he hadn't seen it a thousand times, while The Goiter liked the 'gold elements" in the room because, without them, the room would be boring. Like the gold, the weakest element on this show is Genevieve Gorder.
This room was a nothing, except for the chandelier. Blue walls, red and white striped rug, and a board wall piece she looks like she copied from Mikel. Bold and graphic? Not so much.
He has no ideas, and no concept, or no thoughts running through his head, except to get it done, and get it done fast, because that shows the other designers that he means business. Um, Luca, this isn't Speed Design Star; take a moment and think about what you're doing, otherwise you'll end up with, well, what you ended up with....."I don't think a concept is necessary for design," he tells us.
Note to future Luca clients: run. He's gonna come to your house and throw a bunch of stuff in a room and charge you thousands. Run! Now!
He does get one bright idea. A lamp. Get it? Bright idea? Lamp? Yeah, I'm stretching because Luca annoys me. But he groups a bunch of light bulbs together and creates a glass chandelier against the back wall. Unfortunately, the cool chandelier is the one good thing in his room, which is a hot, hot mess.
He tells us that he takes "average things and makes them look awesome" and I think, he takes "awesome things and makes them look average."
But he does take some wood patterned contact paper and use it on the floor which was kinda cool, until he danced on it and reminded us how great he is as a designer. I seriously hope he hasn't completely unpacked.
Finally, as a tribute to his swollen ego, and feeling the need to do something with a huge blank wall at the back of his room, Luca tags it with his last name. Suddenly, it's Graffiti Star!
And it worked. The judges liked the lamp and the tag but hated absolutely everything else in the space. Let's listen to Vern: "It's horrendous. It's horrendous! It's whore-rendous."
Yup, that covers it.
She says she's inspired by a picture of her mother, standing in a room with a big red, black and white X on the wall, so she paints a big black and gold X on her wall. I think she works for a movie studio and is giving a subliminal plug to X-men. Or, maybe not.
She says it's a deco lounge. I say it's a crazy X room.
In her camera challenge. She shows us how to put shelf paper on a cabinet and trim it with gold chain. In my camera challenge I show you how to make snowflakes out of binder paper. I'm just saying.....
She takes her white couch outside, tapes stripes on it--because tape and paint and stripes is design, y'all--and paints it gold. But the gold on the stripes is all shiny and purty, while the gold on the couch is a matte finish. I hope she leaves it like that because it looks very cool, but she rips off the tape, so the couch is gold and white and safe.
Upon seeing her room, Ice says it looks like a cool band room, and Vern loves how she painted the giant X a little off center. Gorder hated the lamp and wanted to run in there and take it out at once. She's an idiot.
While it wasn't my favorite, because it looked like an old design--and she did base it on a photo from the 70s--I'll give Danielle slight props.
He's a little to "on" for me. He has the quip and the canned dialogue and just seems kinda phony. I'm beginning to root for him....to go home.
And his design? See if you can follow along: he's originally from Texas so he's going to incorporate Texas wildflowers. And since they are working in a train station, he's going to also incorporate California wildflowers. And he'll make half the room look like its burnt, and the other half look like the American dream.
I think someone once shared a padded room with Stanley.
And, because nothing screams wildflowers and American dream, like charcoal, Kris takes them and begins rubbing it on the walls to distress them. And then he busts out the blow torch and starts burning stuff. I almost wished he'd burned the entire room.
In his Camera Challenge, he comes off, as David Bromstad says, slick and fake. That bothered me, but not as much as his pronunciation of Voila! as Wah-lah. Really? And, as he listens to David's concerns over his slick, phony, fakery, he actually says, "Thank you soooo much for your advice. It means soooo much." Which, as we all know, means, Move along Bromstad, no one is talking to you.
The Goiter called his room "serious storytelling" while Ice said it was like Hitchcock. I dubbed it "nuclear winter" and not in a good way.
We don't get much Meira this week, but what we do get is almost comical. She has had this idea in her head for years: to glue blocks of wood to a wall. I think the idea was better left in her head. Especially after the blocks slide off the wall, drop off the wall, and leap to their death from the wall. Meira then gets a drill and screws those motherf%@#&ing blocks to the wall!
And it goes downhill from there; not all the way downhill, mind you, because Jordan is winning that race, but, in her Camera Challenge, Meira says, and I quote, "Bring all the color together with my art.....arrangement...he he." Yeah. Bad, right? But then she also takes some leftover paints and uses them to create a piece of wall art out of her rug, and so she slowly inches back up the hill.
Vern liked the hand-painted rug art, but Ice just loathed the blockheaded wall treatment. I just thought it dull, and safe, and....did I mention dull?
Mikel, Britany, Bex, Meira and Kris are safe.
Seriously? Kris's Wildflower-American-Dream-Scorched-Earth is safe?
Vern liked Danielle's Camera Challenge and Gorder called her "watchable." Whatever that means. Ice liked the musicality of the room, while Gorder store Vern's passion for the off-center X and Vern stole Gorder's criticism of the 25-cent lamp. He did however, like the couch, and said it looked like a $1,000. Is that a compliment, because most nice couches cost well over a grand, eh?
And Luca got face-to-face props for his tag and light, though Vern said he had to cover most of his eyes to find anything in the room he liked. Left side? No. Right side? God no.
The Goiter liked Hilari's gold and said she got the idea that it was a jewel box. Really? Mint ice cream colored walls say jewel box? The Goiter is obviously still stuck at age nine. Ice capped it off by saying it was bland and that there was no Wow!
The Goiter loved Rachel’s on-camera work, though she seemed to be to be a little cold. But, you know, they all loved her designs and her paint and color and pattern and texture. They loved it all, but Gorder called accessorizing Rachel’s Achilles heel. Funny, that's what I say about The Goiter on Design Star!
Jordan got props for the red. Yeah. That's all.
They all loved Stanley’s room, for its inventiveness, and Stanley would have won except for his boring camera work. But it was nice to see his guns, and his 70s hair and, well, yeah.
So, Rachel gets the much deserved win and, sorry to say, Jordan gets, and i hate to say because I'll miss that accent, the much deserved boot.
The judges got it right with the winner and loser. I kinda wished it had been Luca to get the boot because he's much too fond of himself and severely untalented.
And I don't get how every year they tell the designers to step it up, to go crazy, to think outside the box, and every year most designers create a room with a couch and a table.
I could'a done better. Seriously. And I wouldn't glue pennies to a wall, or glue chains to a couch, or create a nightmare-scape.
Let's hope next week brings more real creativity and not just from Rachel and Manley, er, Stanley.