OK, I wrote this on Monday - and haven't found time to search out pictures yet. I'm posting sans pics - or I'll never get this thing up!)
Welcome to the final Design Star recap for the season. Tonight we feature the wrong two designers competing for the prize.
Antonio was destined for a spot in the final two. He was the only one that had his own niche from the beginning - he stood out in that crowd, visually if nothing else. The other men in the group? Gay designers. Were they good? Yes, some of them were very good - but all were what we expected. The ladies in the group? Well, there were a couple of good ones, and others that were just women who were artists and decorators because they thought they had impeccable taste. I think among the women this year there wasn't a serious "designer" among the lot... although there were some good decorators in there.
Why do I think the wrong two ended up here this week? Simply put, because Dan should have been cancelled on the backyard challenge. He's the one that took them way off budget, he's the one that lied about it, and if Torie had made a stink about this during elimination the judges would have to have given it serious consideration. Maybe Torie did make a stink, maybe it was edited out so they could keep Dan in the race - - because let's face it, if they HAD cut Dan when they should have they could have simply given Antonio the television contract right then and there, as there was no way Lonni or Torie were going to beat him. So, my thinking is that Dan should have been cut during the backyard challenge, which would have left Antonio, Torie, and Lonni for the celebrity challenge. Antonio still would have won this challenge (although I found his design sort of mainstream)... and I'm pretty sure that Lonni's room would have come in second. (It is wrong to punish her for her focal wall ideas. They are her "thing"... and they WORK - what is wrong with having a signature move?) I still think that her elegant guest room was a better finished room than the nursery Dan did... and I know that Dan is greater than Torie as a designer, and Lonni would have then won because Torie wasn't as good at presenting. (Dan could also have been knocked out over the celebrity challenge, but I think the judges knew it would be a better final show with Dan than with Lonni.) In my opinion, the finale should feature Antonio and Lonni.
However, I am not - as I stated in my "about me" - even remotely qualified to comment on this kind of stuff... so what do I know?
On to David vs. Goliath, I mean Dan vs. Antonio.
We open NOT with Dan in the bedroom, but after elimination last week. Clive (Pearse. Just Pearse. It's never in a million years going to turn out to be the sexy Clive Owen, so I just need to get over it) tells them about their big, huge, throwdown final challenge. They each get a house where they will redo a living room two bedrooms, and a kitchen. They are appropriately flabbergasted (gob smacked for my UK fans, who haven't found me yet - but I'm sure they will someday when they run this show across the pond). They have 44 hours over 4 days, assistance of a team of carpenters and $50,000.00 to complete the challenge. Sears is also throwing in appliances and electronics (Go SEARS!!!!!), and Lumber Liquidators will provide flooring. That helps out the budget by about $10K yes?
Ready? Set? GO!
They get to meet the families that night.
Antonio gets the Starr family. Mom likes splashes of color. She isn't in love with her kitchen - no counter space - wants it light and airy with contrast. They have the most boring bedroom I've ever seen and the layout is tough.
Dan gets the Goldberg family. Mom is getting divorced, and they are looking for a new beginning. A home for the two of them to continue on. I like her, she's pretty funny, making a joke about the kitchen / laundry room. Daughter's bedroom is way little girl, needs to grow up. The master bedroom is bad.
OK, Good Night to the clients.
Dan says out loud that he sees his house as being a fairly feminine space. Really Dan? Because you're designing for two girls. Dan may announce later in the show that the sky is blue.
Antonio is concerned about the flow. See, that is more "design" work like I expect during a challenge like this. (although I predict he's going to blow the kids room, sort of by overlooking it? I'm not sure yet.)
Dan waxes poetic about Spring representing new beginnings. It's nice.
Antonio is pondering how to change the layout of that house to work better for the clients. He could use a little more warm fuzzy.
They both meet the crews, and it's going to work well.
OK, both kitchens are horrible. What are builders thinking when they design kitchens like that? Dan could throw up in his kitchen and it would look better than it does right now. Did you see those skinny cabinets they put on the bottom? They used upper cabinets as base cabinets. Bwa Ha Ha! How that house ever sold is a mystery.
Basically we're just going though the houses with the crews, outlining the basic plans for demo and reconstruction. The carpenters will demo while the designers shop.
Pick out cabinets.
Then to SEARS for appliances. (Go SEARS!) Dan's soliloquie about Sears is basically a paint commercial. Did you know you could buy paint at Sears? I didn't. Antonio also waxes about the paint. (Sears executives comment; "Push the paint.")
Dan is getting a print done for the ladies' house that will be sweet.
Back at the neighborhood, the houses are unrecognizable. Good job un-named carpentry guys! This works so much better than bringing former contestants to help. Qualified help? What a wonderful idea! (Seriously, Antonio would have blown an artery if his "carpentry crew" had been Nathan, Tashica, Jason, and Torie - right?)
More carpentry, more shopping.
Hate the back splash tile Dan is looking at, but his cabinets are pretty awesome.
Too bad Antonio doesn't have time to really re-do that master bathroom. I think it could be much cooler if he did that.
Carpentry and Shopping? Don't mind if we do!
We're starting to see projects coming together. It looks like Dan's back splash is finished... and I don't like it.
Antonio is dealing with some ugly paint in the kitchen, but can I tell you how wonderful it is that he used beadboard? LOVE beadboard!
(Do you guys watch the commercials they play during broadcast? What would that girl, Tattiana of the Property Shop, look like with her hair straightened? It would totally change her look. And? Mike Aubrey from "Real Estate Intervention"? So sexy. Such a crush on him. The voice, the way he moves... it works.)
Back to our regularly scheduled blogging.
The day of chaos. 11 hours left, 24 hours worth of work left (always).
Antonio decides to repaint the kitchen. MUCH better.
Dan has to modify the cabinet for washer dryer. LOVE his cabinetry.
Think the Moroccan cabinet that Antonio chose is going to impress the judges. Who wouldn't want that?
The guys go shopping.
Dan's print of Jackie and Gail is a lovely idea.
Antonio's stars in Mile's room will be cute.
Dan is mirror crazy this episode.
Love the panic when they load in the room.
Antonio's master bedroom bedding is BEAUTIFUL! Where did he get that???
FINISHED! They should be really proud of themselves, they each just redid a house in four days. Four. Incredible.
Clive, blah blah blah, it's a good thing you have an accent or I couldn't listen to any more of this. Get on with it.
Dan, please step forward.
Inspired by Spring for new beginning. Fresh and new for their new life.
(insert picture in your mind HERE)
I like the living room! That bench by the fireplace is boss. Love the way he hid the tv, it's just lovely. Pretty chandelier in dining room. The kitchen is very nice... HATE that back splash. Pretty flooring. Jackies room? DARLING! Gails room? HATE that it looks like a water bed wall. (Almost like an Oak Express weekend ad picture.) I like the mirrors on the closet doors, and I can't believe I'm saying that. Dan's presenting has improved, not one giggle.
Vern: you have improved significantly.
Candace: likes unexpected touches.
Vern: so many beautiful moments in this room. TV cabinet is favorite.
Gen: Purple is all you've got?
Gen: It's sophisticated, it's what girls want. You gave it to them. Good job. (probably my favorite comment all season.)
Vern: back splash is a mistake. Looks unfinished at top.
Candace: She loves the palette. Lilac, cranberry, fuscia, pulled together with black and white.
Vern: Not crazy about the built in. Vern is OK with covering the window.
Candace: likes that all the cabinetry is outside the box.
The family was overcome with joy. When Gail saw the picture of her and baby Jackie it brought tears to my eyes. Gail is absolutely overcome with delight. Hugs, tears, smiles, more hugs. Success! OK - STOP!!!!! DID YOU SEE THAT??? Dan used her old bedding!! That bed cover was on when we first saw the room in the client meeting! I remember it, because I love blue and brown together and I thought, 'I like that comforter.' He reused it. THAT? Should NOT be allowed. Loss of snaps for Dan.
Antonio, please step forward.
The Starr family wanted little splash of color and prints. Went with eclectic modern.
(again, conjure up that photo in your head....)
Living room, Amazing! I love this room - that cabinet is beautiful - but is it fire safe? Also, he removed a closet. That part I hate. I wouldn't want a house that didn't have an entry closet. The kitchen looks SO MUCH BETTER! He changed the layout and it works so much better. It's pretty too. Miles room is cute, but the bed is nothing. It's boring. But the room is cute. (the judges are LOVING his presentation. He's so in.) master bedroom looks 100% better, but it's still a really long, awkward room. The bathroom works, although they lost a sink.
Candace: loves wooden blinds. The patterns work, but she doesn't know why.
Vern: your space plan is off. Long narrow room, sofa makes it look longer. (Where else is he going to put it? It's a NARROW room?)
Gen: disagree with Vern. Likes the space plan. Likes Antonio!
Candace: The white contrasts with the black. (She's been hanging around with Dan. They are charter members in the "What is it about that obvious fact that makes you think you need to point it out to me" Club.)
Vern: not enough storage.
Gen: Just shy of being offensive, which she likes.
Candace: Likes that he tempered the bold color with cream and black.
Vern: likes that he changed the layout of the bathroom entry.
The homeowners LOVE LOVE LOVE! They are so excited about the color. The kitchen is a dream come true for them... and the floors. Mile's room they like. He seems excited. The master bedroom... he's funny about making them think he took the bathroom away. Antonio is crying.
And the winner is???
It was always Antonio.
Thanks for enjoying Design Star 4 with me!!!! Meet me back here next Summer?