Design Star | Episode Five

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dude, this is the first time in the last couple weeks where I am GREEN WITH ENVY!! Not only was this one of THE most emotionally intense challenges ever on Design Star, I felt extremely privileged to be a part of a cast that had such a great opportunity to contribute to the FDNY, New York's finest and bravest heroes, and I didn't even get a chance to do anything but watch the episode unfold! Finally!!!

A challenge that leaves viewers with such a strong and powerful connection to the clients and their needs that one can only hope that these designers delivered...and boy are y'all in for a doozy!

From the minute Gen announced that the teams would be split and reassembled, I almost jumped for joy! I couldn't wait to see how the dynamics would develop amongst the new alliances. On the blue team, we've got Casey, Alex, Michael, and Emily vs. Tom, Nina, Courtland, and Stacey on the red team. The men vs. women shtick was getting really old now, so seeing mixed groups work together (or not) proved to be such a beneficial change- I was glued to the set begging for some drama! And I guess some design too, the show's called Design Star right? Almost forgot.

I loved that the designers were forced to work together but were also allowed to contribute one signature piece, regardless of whether or not it helped the functionality of the space. I instantly loved the direction the red team was going with Tom's excavation of the historic tin ceiling coupled with Court's rustic entertainment wall, Stacey's personalization of the space, and I even appreciated the concept of Nina's artwork.

But as we all know from watching many-a-Design Star-episodes, concept to creation is one GIANT leap and it's not about the journey in this case, it's about the destination. Execution is indeed where the red team fell short. Had they picked a soothing, natural and cohesive color palette I believe they would have won. Maybe a metallic finish for the ceiling, a graphically assembled wood entertainment system, and larger personalized icons clustered on a focal wall could have saved the space from looking like a hickory smoked backyard barbeque rather than the calm and relaxing men's club they were going for.

I felt terrible as the judges ripped them a new one claiming that the space looked chaotic where it should have been serene. Although Nina's mural got really lost in translation, this is the type of design process that I can support...something unconventional albeit totally predicable...yes, another mural another Nin-ism . But I could appreciate that she thought of some hidden meaning to couple with a functional and aesthetically interesting design. The Braille concept could have been pretty poignant had she tacked something on these cork boards to allow the viewer some insight into the operative side of her abstract analysis. Had the mural functioned as she intended rather than appearing as a one dimensional art piece, she may have survived yet another challenge. Trust me, I've been there before so you can't blame the girl for coming up with something original.

Now for the winning team, I must give Casey mad props for her crimson painting of a hero's silhouette. That image alone becomes this beacon of hope for surviving firemen to remember their comrades as well as provide continuous inspiration to help them through yet another day of heroic duty. That's what I call inspired design.

photo credits: HGTV

I'm back on board baby, can't wait to see what's in store next week.


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  1. Wow...thanks for the breakdown JK. I have to catch reruns next Sunday to catch up. Plus, D will love this challenge as you know fire fighters are her favorites:) I shall stay tuned to LOL, the louder the better!


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