I may be busy shooting Candice Tells All, but I’m still keeping a close eye on Design Star! This week, extraordinary designer Thom Filicia came by to lend his style expertise to one of my all-time favorites: the White Box Challenge. It killed me not to be there. This time, the designers were each given an identical room and asked to transform it using only restaurant supplies. They were told specifically not to create functional spaces. This challenge is a great opportunity for the designers to really express themselves by thinking unconventionally (which can prove to be difficult for even some of the best designers).
I love that the first thing Tyler did was immediately get rid of all of the furniture in his room. He wasn’t afraid to think on a broad scale, and clearly understood that the challenge was not about function — it was about thinking outside the box (no pun intended). His idea to use 400 water bottles as a piece of furniture, and then turn it into a light source was stellar. In fact, I know just the spot in my house where it would look fabulous.
Design Star isn’t just about showcasing the designers; it’s also about the designers having the ability to utilize takeaway information from the panel. And Kevin did just that. Last week, we told him what we wanted to see, and this week he totally delivered. That butcher-paper wall was creative, chic and beautiful. On the downside, that wall feature was so imaginative that it actually trumped the rest of the room. I only wish he had been that risky with all of his decor.
Mark’s ode to his grandfather and the Air Force was imaginative and inspirational. His design was touchingly personal and at the same time extremely well executed. The “flying futon” was a showstopper, and his vivid use of color in the wall mural captured the symbolism perfectly. From his comfortable camera challenge to his brilliant design, he hit the nail right on the head. Or rather, his missile hit the target!
Meg, Meg, Meg … She was in trouble before she even started. Knocking the coffee table over at the last second was the least of her problems. The coffee wall shadows were innovative in theory, but they (and the rest of the room) were so poorly executed that it was hard to see past all of the missteps. I felt for her — there is nothing worse than having a vision and not having the ability to complete it.
Cathy’s spice mosaic floor reminded me of Julie’s “feather” floor from last season. It was obvious that she spent much of her time on it, but unfortunately it didn’t spell success. I have a feeling it might have smelled better than it looked. Her plate design on the wall was interesting, but it was way too controlled, much like Cathy herself. In both episodes so far, she seems on the brink of letting go, but then quickly pulls herself back. When she was declared safe this week, it was actually the first time she showed her vulnerability. If she brings that emotion into her designs next week, she might just find herself on top.
Leslie’s space was a perfect example of why I always say, if you’re going to do something, do it all the way. Her use of words on the wall was genius, but she quit before the finish line. I really wanted her to carry that edgy look through the entire room.
Bret’s room kind of, well, bombed for me — it needed a bigger wow factor.
And Doug didn’t show us who he is, he showed us Keith Haring.
With the exception of his take-out container light fixture, Karl played it pretty safe.
Kellie’s footprints and side table were great, but in the end Mark’s room was head and shoulders above the rest. He won this challenge hands down.
J’s room lacked inspiration, and it seems so did J. When David asked her if her fire feature was going to be in the center of the room, she should have taken it as a hint. She gave up and it showed, so it was her time to go. The White Box Challenge is the time to really “wow” us, so those who didn’t had better knock it out of the park next week.
What questions do you have about the episode two? Ask in the module below or in the comments below; the Design Star Director of Programming, Loren Ruch, will answer the most-asked questions on Wednesday!