I like to think of the White Room Challenge as the sand trap of Design Star: talented designers go in and they don’t come out. It’s always the ones you least expect, too. Here’s what went down on this year’s iconic challenge.
Bex: Along with many of you, I’m a Bex fan. So I had a mini panic attack when she couldn’t “manhandle” the super-long lengths of PVC pipe she bought to create a screen for the front of her white box. After a chat with David restored her confidence, she settled on smaller panels with cut lengths of pipe. Her finished room wasn’t among the best white rooms of all time, but it had some nice moments (i.e., the copper silhouette with penny trim.)
Britany: Her nautical-chic look was sophisticated, graphic and fun. I loved the table-turned-chandelier with hanging lengths of gold chain!
Stanley: I was a bit skeptical of Stanley after last week’s collage-gate. He redeemed himself this week design-wise with an unexpected art installation – he left the box white and created vignettes with colored light. In the evaluation room, the judges dinged him for an unenthusiastic camera challenge.
Danielle: Guest judge Vanilla Ice said this box reminded him of a recording studio — it definitely had a lounge-y, relaxed vibe. The off-center graphic X in bold gold made a huge statement — Danielle may have even won the challenge if it wasn’t for that last-minute dollar store lamp addition.
Rachel: I love how she mixed patterns in this space – the large-scale scroll pattern on the walls and the chevron-painted dresser mesh perfectly. Vern loved her fashion-inspired silhouette. Genevieve loved her folksy camera presence. Guest Vanilla Ice said her room had “moves like Jagger.” She took the win for the second week in a row! The moose head approves.
Miera: I was worried for Miera when those white blocks fell of one, by one, by one, but the room came together surprisingly well. I’m a sucker for gray walls paired with bright colors, so I liked her room from a real-life decorating perspective. It wasn’t the most creative as white rooms go, but I want my own geometric rug mural, and Vern seemed to feel the same way. Vanilla Ice wasn’t into the 3-D sculpture, though: “It just looks like you cut some 2x4s, to me,” he said.
The (Sorta) Bad
Kris: His concept – the before and after view of a home devastated by a forest fire – was interesting, but the execution wasn’t 100 percent there. Genevieve said that the “American dream” side of the box needed to be more perfect – the half-finished look didn’t cut it. Personality-wise, Kris was a little nicer to his fellow man this week, though he’s driving me up the wall when he calls David “Mr. DB.” What is up with that, Mr. KS?
Mikel: I was impressed when Mikel said he practiced the for White Box Challenge. As a former Girl Scout, I’m all for being prepared. Unfortunately, all that practice didn’t translate into an especially creative space. His rope walls were cool, but without them, as Genevieve said, it was just a living room.
Luca: He seemed to miss the spirit of this challenge, still stuck on the judges’ criticism from last week that he “didn’t design enough.” His room was just too conventional and had some really odd details, like the weird accessories and faux wood floors. On a good note, I did love his custom light fixture.
Hilari: Am I alone in thinking Hilari’s room was the worst of the night? (Sorry, Hilari!) The judges didn’t love it, but they did like her chain-link trim on the sofa. To me, it was a mish-mash: The too-bright turquoise walls, the weird plants and, ugh, the turtles just didn’t work. At all.
Jordan: I knew Jordan was in trouble the minute he said “Japanese garden” and he knew it soon after that, too, when David challenged him to do more than “turn a table into a table.” Alas, he pretty much did turn a table into…a painted table. The bright red arch was nice, but it wasn’t enough to make the judges give the resident Aussie another chance and he was sent home. Jordan, I’ll miss your accent and funny quips! I’ll leave you with some of his words of wisdom:”Some people curl up into a ball. I paint.”
Now it’s your turn: Did the right person go home? Which white boxes were the best and worst? Tell me in the comments below.