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Design Star – Recap & Review – The White Rooms

photo: hgtv
photo: hgtv

Design Star
The White Rooms

Original Air Date: August 2, 2009

Patricia Morris Buckley — Associate Staff Writer

OK, we’re taking bets on how long the judges intend to keep Tashica around. Seriously, this woman is a wreck and her rooms are executed so poorly. She should have been eliminated the first week. Or the second week. Or this week. But it just didn’t happen. Why oh why judges? She’s becoming the Sanjaya of this season.

The White Room Challenge is the one that really defines the designers. It’s not only the first time they work by themselves, but also a chance to show what they can really do. This year, they were given a $1,000 budget to spend at a grocery store and two cans of paint (which came out of their budget).

It’s amazing that designers can take a grocery cart full of items and make a well-designed room (the couch, book case, coffee table, a light and two side tables – all in white — are part of the room already).

I never thought that anyone could do better on this challenge than Todd of S2, who turned the room into a crashing wave. But Dan came in a close second (actually, judge Vern Yipp said his was the best ever). He used red and brown colors, apples and firewood to make what he called a deconstructed orchard and it looked as swanky as any room I’ve ever seen in a design magazine (remember, from episode 1, I called him out as my favorite – isn’t it amazing he wasn’t selected when he tried out last year?).

Nathan’s room was also exceptional. His big design element? Milk. Didn’t see how he would use it, but he added a little white primer and dripped it down the black walls – it looked great. He also created a chandelier from orange slices that looked like an expensive item you’d get from a home store. He covered the couch in words and it rocked. Very well executed. Torrie (remember her – the last minute addition? She’s turning out to be serious competition) used plastic bags and napkins to create a wonderful 3-D wall design and really stood out.

These three were immediately sent to the Green Room at decision time with well-deserved pats on their backs.

Tashica, Jany and Antonio were lumped together as the middle group. Jany was called out for a pretty, but conventional room. Antonio’s wild paint design was fun, but the stripes all pointed to one element — a bland couch. We all expected bigger things from him. Tashica once again executed her room poorly, especially the uneven paint lines and she copied a light treatment with the coffee table on the wall from last year — and she still got to stay! But I did like the vine-like design she painted on her couch.

That left Jason (the bragger who can’t back up his ever-boastful mouth), Jen and Lonnie in the bottom three.

It looked as if Lonnie would be going home because she didn’t finish her room. She had planned to glue clear cups to the wall, but they kept falling off (hot glue guns and even hotter stage lights don’t mix). She should have immediately cut her losses and come up with a new plan, such as screwing the cups to the wall. She instead kept trying to glue them and didn’t get everything else done. Not someone I would trust to design for me — there are also problems that crop up and a good designer knows how to brainstorm a better way.

Jason’s brown and mustard-colored room just was blah. Jen, the supposed color expert, once again chose horrible colors and her eco Japanese room looked uncompleted, even though she had finished.

Quite frankly, several people deserved to go home this week, including Jason, Tashica, Lonnie and Jen. But Jen was given the heave-ho.

Before we close, can we hear a big round of applause for Antonio and Torrie, especially the former? They came to Lonnie’s assistance in the last few minutes and helped her pull her room together so it wasn’t a complete wreck. They probably kept her from elimination. Is that nice or what? You rarely see that in competition shows like this one.

So, how long do you think Tashica is going to be around? Was the right person eliminated? Give us your TwoCents…

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