Design Star Recap: Salmon Paint Color Equals Bad Idea




I’m going to preface this post with the fact that I’m not a designer, nor do I really know anything about design. I might actually have bad taste, too. However, if there’s one thing I DO know, it’s reality TV. Sad, but true. It’s my passion. Yes, I know it sounds pathetic, but hey, I’ve stepped up a notch from the Bachelorette, don’t you think?So let’s give this Design Star show a try. It looks spunky and colorful. Tanika Ray might have to go, but besides that, I’m looking forward to it.

I started this season late – two contestants have already been eliminated, but that still leaves ten: Kevin, Kellie, Mark, Cathy, Doug, Meg, Bret, Tyler, Leslie and Karl. And we’ll always have David Bromstad, who seems like the type of guy I want to get drunk with and then we’ll make fun of other contestants.

Everyone heads out to New Jersey in fancy white vans for the Homeowner Challenge. Apparently, this means two families living in houses that haven’t seen new paint or furniture since 1972 get a makeover for two rooms. Score for them. Even if the designers completely jack this up, it will be a vast improvement. Like I said, I know very little about design but I do know these houses are both pretty horrendous. It doesn’t help that there is crap strewn about the rooms. It’s not Hoarders, people. Tidy up. Geesh.

First we have Christina’s house (she’s not cool with using her last name. Mob ties maybe?). Tyler and Meg makeover their dining room…at least I think it’s a dining room. David Bromstad attempts to give them a little pep talk and says, “It’s our job to give them something they could never dream of.” Uhhh, no it’s not. Seriously, just some nice paint and an updated table, and removal of crap — that’s good enough. Don’t go all “Trading Spaces”on me. (Remember that show? Is it still on? For $1000, the designers got creative and by “creative” I mean, terrifying. They’d staple 500 plastic plates to the wall as wallpaper. Crap like that I “could never dream of.” And would never want. Anyway, I digress…)

Tyler and Meg call the new room “Vintage Palm Beach” and I’m immediately brought back to my Mom’s condo in Palm Springs. When she bought it in the early 90s, it had pastel everything and pink wood cabinets. I cringe. But you know what? Tyler and Meg’s room isn’t bad! There’s some whitewashed wood, which sounds like a horrendous idea, but looks okay. The judges all love the space, except Cortney Novogratz. She mentions it looks a little too “showroom”. Uh, what’s wrong with that? I’d pay good money to have my family room look like a showroom and not Chuck E Cheese. “Personal touch” sometimes just means crap.

Bret, Cathy and Karl remodel the entertainment area of this house. Karl is an architect and Bret is a builder by trade, so Cathy thinks this means she can force her design on them, while they do all the labor. They’re pretty much spot on with this assessment. Cathy wants no part of manual labor and Karl and Bret hate her. She spends the day shopping where she buys a travertine coffee table and claims that it will show the judges her “global perspective.” Am I supposed to know what this means? Because I don’t. Bret and Karl finally force the damn woman to paint and she looks similar to how I look when someone makes me go camping. Not happy. Anyway, the room turns out okay and the global perspective coffee table is a big hit. Bret picked out a modern, round table and chairs, which everyone hates, so he’s in trouble. Karl took nice tile, smashed it up and hung it in the kitchen as backsplash. I’ve seen enough Trading Spaces to know homemade crap like that is never a good idea. However, it looks pretty good and the judges are big fans. Again, I’m no expert.

Let’s move over to the other house, the Callegarls (No Mafia ties, last name okay to use). Doug and Mark tackle the living room, while Kellie, Leslie and Kevin handle the basement. Let’s talk about the train wreck first. First of all, Mark and Doug hate each other and fight about every last detail. However, to Mark’s defense it seems like Doug is on a hallucinogenic drug of some sort. Nothing else would explain the pale salmon paint color he chooses. It’s horrific. Even I know it. Mark can’t convince him otherwise, so salmon it is. The judges hate everything about the room except for the wood on the wall, which was Mark’s idea. They hate the way it’s laid out, the furniture and of course, the paint. Vern questions their taste level. Cortney is more blunt: “It’s all wrong.” I’m beginning to like this Cortney character.

The basement, done by Kellie, Leslie and Kevin turns out great. They make this awesome playroom, with a bar (because moms need to drink, take it from me). They also make a little home office corner, which is certainly functional and good-looking. I want to play here. The judges also think it’s great. Genevieve thinks its got a great sense of fun. (Side note: I could certainly hang with this Genevieve chick. She’s spunky, but I bet when she’s not on TV she swears a lot. Just a hunch.) Vern loves the corner office unit that Kevin created, and the judges love the bar, so overall the basement is a big hit.

I have to comment on the camera tests. The winner of this show gets their own design show, so as part of this show, they want to make sure these people can hold their own on TV. Here’s how it went, in a nutshell: Karl looks like a deer in headlights. No wait, Cathy REALLY looks like a deer in headlights. David tells her she sucks and she’s not pleased. Leslie, Tyler, and Bret were all fine. David tells Kellie she has a nice smile and has a good tip to tell the viewers. He leaves out the fact she’s got the personality of a sea snail. We need spunkiness! Speaking of spunk, Kevin corners that market. He ends his camera test with a wink, which isn’t a great idea. Meg is terrible — I could never listen to her host her own show. She seems like she’s always a little pissy, too. Here’s her tip, “I’m going to show you how to sand a wood piece of furniture. You just lightly go straight in back and forth motions.” That’s it. I hope it was edited because “going straight in back and forth motions” could describe 99 percent of all human tasks.

At the judges’ evaluation, they tell Cathy, Meg, Tyler and Leslie that they’re good enough to be safe, neither the best nor worst. Hey, I’d take that.

The three most successful designers are Kellie, Kevin and Karl. The worst are Bret, Doug and Mark. Kevin and his wink are declared the winner. The elimination comes down to Doug or Mark, deservedly so. They decide to send Doug home, who is very surprised. He says, “I carried the weight of this room!” Exactly — you made the crappy room, so you’re out. Not rocket science to me. Next week they’re designing a bed and breakfast, which sounds like they have to work together again, which is always good TV. See you then!

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