Design Star Recap: Apparently Vintage Palm Beach is Cool!


Well, Ashley picked JP and they’ll live happily ever after, I’m sure. Oh wait, wrong show. The Bachelorette finale was last night, so I was a bit preoccupied with that, but I still gave Design Star a shot. You know what this show needs to add a little pizzazz? More sex. Just saying’.

We are down to nine people on the sexless, yet entertaining, Design Star: Kevin, Kellie, Mark, Cathy, Meg, Bret, Tyler, Leslie and Karl. Side note: Cathy is reason enough to turn off this show, but I suppose its entertainment. However, I would cry if I were forced to have lunch with this woman. More on that later.

This week, the gang heads to a horrendously decorated Bed and Breakfast on the Jersey shore. They pair up and each tackle a room. Inn owners, Andy and Barb Seaman (insert snicker here), ask for warm, modern, durable rooms that really stand out. Yikes – don’t tell a bunch of over-eager, partly-wacky designers that you want something to “stand out.” You might have a salmon-paint-color-crap-stapled-to-the-wall mess on your hands.

There are four rooms to decorate. Meg, Karl and Mark get the suite. At first they whine about everything, and can’t agree on a “theme.” They basically suck as a group. Karl mentions wanting a modern interpretation of what the Jersey shore is, which sounds terrifying. I’m picturing a vintage beach photograph on the wall with neon orange paint behind it. Again, I’m not a designer. Not shocking, I know. Meg then mentions vintage Palm Beach, which is what she said last week, too. I bet her house is 100 percent vintage Palm Beach. I picture her sitting in her living room in a palm-tree patterned shapeless dress, à la Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company. Anyway, they find a store they all love, which is filled with “kitschy” items (aka crap), but it seems to pull them all together. Meg calls the room whimsical and I hide under my sofa for fear of what that could possibly mean. But their room turns out awesome, even I think so. It’s a bit eclectic, but it all works together. Meg did an entire nook, with colorful fabric as a headboard, a great red dresser, cool accessories and it looks great. Not what I’d call vintage Palm Beach, but whatever. Mark spent two days making a rope ladder, which actually turned out fantastic and not as tacky as I thought. The judges love the room. They especially love Meg’s nook and Mark’s rope sculpture. Karl painted a blue line around the middle of the room, but made it a little wavy, like the ocean. Again, sounds terrible, but it looks amazing. I’m a fan. Vern calls it the best room he’s been in on any season of this show. Wow.

Side note: Kathy Ireland is the guest judge. I thought she was a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, but apparently, she’s an interior designer slash robot. Still hot, though.

Tyler and Leslie are paired together to redo another bedroom. Not a lot of excitement in this room – probably because they’re both relatively normal and they’re both decent designers. Snooze. Tyler refinished a fireplace to look a little used and washed, which turns out to be a less-than-solid idea. It looks a little sloppy and the judges don’t like it either. Overall, the room looks tranquil, very blue and pretty. I like it. I’m not jumping out of my chair, but hey, it’s not bad. The large, somewhat-scary, red coral painting over the fireplace is actually quite cool. Leslie does something a little odd – she takes an old rug, cuts it up, flips it over and frames it. Soooo, the “artwork” is now the back of an old carpet. Odd. She actually does it three times and hangs them over the bed, and it looks mediocre, but for some reason, the judges go bananas for it. Art is confusing sometimes, people.

Kellie and Bret team up to do another bedroom. They decide on a monochromatic color scheme of gray with “bird chairs.” This is what I’m talking about when I say I’m terrified to see the result. Back under the couch, I go. However, the bird chair is incredible. It’s bright yellow, and might be considered a wing chair, but even I can see it anchors the entire room. They add some other yellow highlights to the room and I dig it. They went wrong in two places though. For one, they hang about twenty white wood squares above the bed as a headboard. I don’t get it. Neither do the judges. Second, Kellie paints a bunch of artwork by splashing paint on a couple canvases. It literally looks like it took her fourteen seconds per canvas. And yes, I could’ve done it too. Judges hate it. Besides those two things, it’s a beautiful room and I dig it. The judges all love it too.

That brings us to Cathy and Kevin, two of the most entertaining people on this show, and by “entertaining,” I mean Kevin is practically a caricature of himself and Cathy is truly one of the most irritating people I’ve ever come across. They’re paired together. As usual, the only thing Cathy wants to do is shop, so she leaves Kevin to clean out the room and paint the floor. That’s right—paint the nice wood floors. Kevin comes up with the creative (aka atrocious) idea of whitewashing the floors. OK, not totally atrocious, but certainly not durable and could be really cheesy looking. Cathy escapes to the store, and buys, uhhh, everything. Kevin is bummed because he wants to contribute to the shopping too, so he goes out and buys a dresser. That’s it. One dresser. He feels complete now. Whatever floats your boat, Kevin. They continue to fight the entire episode about every decision. Cathy wants the whole room to be about her and Kevin just doesn’t want it to look crappy, like all the crappity crap Cathy is buying. Her comforters are just unspeakable. They might have shells on them. Eek.

Anyway, they pull it together and the room looks okay, but certainly not great. Kevin makes great headboards for the room, which the judges love, but fails in the whitewashing. It looks okay, but it is already rubbing off. Cathy does an okay job with all the furniture and accessories, according to the judges. She adds a white molding around the center of the room, which looks weird and the judges hate it. It’s not offensive enough to send her home though. Dammit.

After the judge’s evaluation, they choose Meg, Karl and Mark’s room as the favorite. Meg is declared the winner. I’m fine with that because I love the room, but I will stand by my earlier assessment that I’d rather watch Kathie Lee and Hoda then a show that Meg hosts. (And that’s saying A LOT.)

Meg wins, and the judges also declare Mark, Karl, Tyler, Leslie and Kellie safe. This leaves Bret, Cathy and Kevin up for elimination, but they decide to let Cathy stay to torture us for another week. They end up sending Bret home. Not only is he a crappy designer, but they don’t know who he really is. Things don’t look good for poor Bret’s future as a designer.

Next week is a kitchen challenge, but I don’t care nearly as much about that as I do about the fact that crazy Paula Dean is there to guest judge. She is crazy as a two-dollar bill but you seriously can’t help but love her. Should be good, people. See you then!

Didn’t get to catch last week’s episode? Get the recap!

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