This week’s challenge took our designers to the Jersey Shore and the home of the Spring Lake Inn. This time, the gorgeous Kathy Ireland stopped by to lend her design expertise — this woman definitely didn’t get the memo on aging! The challenge: Turn old-fashioned bedrooms into up-to-date spaces. Once again, the designers were paired up. I love when that happens because it’s so interesting to see how well they work together — and often, how well they don’t.
Meg, Mark and Karl joined forces on the large suite. Talk about a dream team! They had a great time working together and it certainly showed in their cohesive, beautifully detailed room.
This this was one of the smartest, best-designed and well-executed spaces in six years of Design Star. Meg’s contribution to the room was bright, bold, beachy and perfectly “Meg.” Her fantastic use of color helped to finally show her true colors and I really like what I see. She has absorbed everything the panel has been saying to her.
Karl is definitely rising to the top as well. His wall detail was so clever and his table-turned-wall-mounted consoles will surely see all of America karate-chopping their old nightstands in half.
I’m not sure I quite shared Vern’s excitement about Mark’s rope ladder. I do think it shows a meticulous work ethic. However, spending eight hours creating a rope ladder — well, all I know is that somebody probably didn’t get their knot-tying badge in Boy Scouts.
Leslie and Tyler were paired up and what a match made in heaven this was. Leslie wowed with her repurposed carpet artwork — loveeeeeeee it! And Tyler’s chairs worked perfectly in the room.
The faux fireplace treatment, however, was a stinker. These sorts of finishes need to look authentic to be successful; simply trying it isn’t enough. More importantly, a good designer knows when something isn’t working and adapts. I don’t think Tyler was “feeling” his “faux,” but he kept going. Simply painting the washed-out whitewash and sanding the finish back to reveal a bit of the original finish would have given the fireplace the rustic, casual character he was after.
I loved their individual touches, but as a whole I think the room was a bit dull. I just wanted a bigger WOW factor — more color, texture, some kind of a statement or point of view — so then it could have been as exciting as Meg, Mark and Karl’s room. Overall it was a success: a good room, just not a great one.
Personality powerhouses Cathy and Kevin were a team on the third bedroom. Let’s start with Kevin’s floor. The bad thing about it? The finish scrapes off easily. The good thing about it? The finish scrapes off easily, making this milky, mucky mess of a floor at least easy to fix (but still inexcusable). Combine that with Cathy’s uninspired moldings and matchy-matchy style and this room was a total snooze-fest. Again, this pairing was proof that when working as a team in this competition, you need to truly be united. If your working relationship is a red-hot mess your end results will surely reflect it.
Bret and Kellie did the last room. Brett’s headboard design puts the hard “C” in comfort — youch! Aesthetically speaking, I think it was just as painful, as the white squares looked like primed canvases screaming out for color, pattern and texture. In bedrooms the headboard is the element with which to make a statement. Where Brett could have been the hero, well, frankly, he blew it.
However, there were some nice elements in the room: The bird chair was brilliant and their space plan worked beautifully. But Kellie, no more kindergarten artwork. Ever since this show aired my 5-year-old and 7-year-old have been begging me to invite you over for a play date. They’re great kids but as a designer I don’t think that’s where you want to be.
Meg, Mark and Karl’s room was a “suite” success and Meg was a shoe-in for the win. I kept waiting for the real Bret to show up to the competition. I know he’s in there, but unfortunately it was too late and he was sent home. Kevin’s rise and fall showed us that each week it’s anyone’s game. Next week is the Dream Kitchen Challenge. If the past years’ competitions are any measure, the process of creating the Dream Kitchen can prove to be a designer’s worst nightmare.
What did you think of episode four? What questions do you have about the bed and breakfast challenge? Tell us in the comments below; Design Star producer Loren Ruch will answer the most popular queries on Wednesday.