Top Design – Judging the Designs Episode 8

“Metropolitan Home Hotel Suite Challenge”
Individual Challenge: Design a hotel suite for Metropolitan Home magazine that is based on one of the earth elements of: Fire (Goil), Air (Matt), Water (Carisa) and Earth (Andrea).

$1,550 fabric, paint and lumber
$30,000 memo furnishings from Pacific Design Center
$3,000 bedding budget from McGary & Co.

Winner receives an editorial spread in the November 2007 issue of Metropolitan Home

Guest judge is Linda O’Keefe – Metropolitan Home director of design and architecture.

Time frame: 3 days for entire challenge. 30 minutes to sketch, 1 hour to shop at PDC and the rest of the time to build.

I have an early breakfast meeting tomorrow morning (and I am NOT a morning person!). So my detailed analysis will have to come later. But, I will leave you with photos and this, my first impression:

Matt won the challenge, but I think it was a toss up between he and Carisa. Matt’s space was filled with beautiful things and the wall color was stunning. But, it looked like a design center showroom display, particularly the seating area. Beautiful, but not original. Carisa’s room was sharp and vibrant and she had a unique and original take on the concept of air – how it flows and what it flows through. So, I was happy with either winning. Andrea was on the chopping block and Goil was sent home. I think I would have had it go the other way. Andrea’s room was not cohesive and the colors were blah. Goils room was vibrant (maybe I just respond to red better?) and he had some amazing concepts, although his bedding was definitely not luxurious and he again didn’t fully render his vision well. So, more on this later.

(3/29 later on – amended to add – see my additional thoughts posted under comment)

Meanwhile, here are some photos:

Jonathan Adlers’ Parker Palm Springs Hotel

Kelly Wearstler’s The Viceroy Hotel:

Andrea’s Earth room:

Carisa’s Air room:

Goil’s Fire room:

Matt’s Water room:

(3/31/07 amended to add) I was at the Boston Design Center today and this is the Webster & Co. display window. As I said above, Matt’s design was beautiful, but not original. Incidentally, the blue wall color is Pratt &Lambert ‘s “White Smoke”.

What do you think?

Click here for all Top Design posts.

xoxo Linda

10 thoughts on “Top Design – Judging the Designs Episode 8”

  1. Goil’s fire room was not the worst design. The fact that he cannot get away from his Asian background (I see so many echoes in his designs in the rooms I’ve stayed in in the Far East) that I think he brings with him a clear vision. I can’t say I liked his literal interpretation, or the idea of sleeping in a red room, but he showed a lot of innovation. And I simply ADORE that statue.

    Andrea worked from a lack of vision, grabbing at this and that (at straws, as it were), and it showed in her lackluster result. Earth means so many things: cardinals singing in blooming dogwood trees; fields of daisies and beautiful stands of forests, and rocks tumbling down mountains, and great expanses of sand, and, well you get my drift. In fact, Andrea had already created an earth-like room in the previous challenge, but she just couldn’t let go of her distress about having picked this category. Thus she failed to use all her senses in creating her room. How hokey was the iddy plot of grass? You can buy stuff like that at the dollar store! No kidding. Her colors looked all washed out, as opposed to Matt’s pale blue, which was rich and lush and sophisticated.

    Carisa? Her nonstop chattering is getting in my way of appreciating her talent. She is like iodine poured over an open wound. I would rather not listen to her and her excuses.

    As for the final verdict, I think Andrea should have been let go this week, and Goil should have stayed. The right designer won.

  2. Andrea’s hotel room would be a good deal if you could rent it for $89 or less.
    Carisa’s room fuels my claustrophobia. I would not stay in that room happily. It is the opposite of air.

    I like Goil’s much better than the Carisa’s and Andrea’s. It is cheeky enough to spark a smile.
    Maybe it isn’t “high-end”, the bed is definitely weak but It has something I didn’t find in Matt’s. I think the room looks rather poetic.

    Matt’s is very pretty. The wainscoting and color are the high points. The design is classy and well executed. The bed looks fluffy and inviting . I would feel like a princess in the room until I pulled out my makeup and spilled something.

    I agree with Andrea should have been aufed.

  3. mmmkay…does Goil know how to do anything that doesn’t feature overly white walls?? Just asking. Haven’t even watched the episode yet and just from pictures I thought “I don’t want to stay in that red & white hotel room”…

  4. I haven’t had a lot of time to write, but I did give these rooms a lot of thought today.

    Matt’s room – I think the room was very beautiful, but it’s not terribly original. And more importantly, it’s cold and hard feeling – except the bed, which was luxurious. But, the rest of the space – if a depiction of water – was more a depiction of ice. So, while it was lovely to look at, I’m not sure I’d love to sleep there. And not because it’s white – I’m fine with that and not prone to making a mess. His room was more “air” like. I would have liked to see some movement – not literal movement, but the feeling of it. I did a bedroom for a house on the water. The owner was selling and wanted the space to reflect the ocean outside. The color palette was a pale blue/green, almost monochromatic. It was the exact color of the ocean in summer. The carpet had a subtle patternt on it that suggested swirling water, the window valance suggested waves. You can see photos on Take a look at the portfolio page under bedrooms and click the pic.

    I loved Carisa’s room – smart and snappy. She is a pain, but she has vision and when given freedom, can implement her vision. The black vent things (tired – lacking words) were a bit heavy – but I think if they’d have had more time, she could have come up with a more elegant pattern. I can look past the personality. I didn’t like Sebelia on PR, but I thought he should win.

    Andrea’s room wasn’t at all interesting to me. I’m not sure what the judges meant about her spacial qualities – she had basically the same layout as Carisa and Matt. The colors were dull and she couldn’t move past her initial feeling that earth=earthy=crunchy=granola=brown
    Lack of imagination moment.

    I liked Goil’s ideas and I don’t think he should have gone home this week. I think his room was stronger than Andreas. Loved the statue – such beautiful movement. I like the gold “fire” feature behind the bed. It looks nice in the photos. Not sure how it looked in person. Could have looked cheap, possibly. I liked the red – it doesn’t bother me. I have a lot of red (dark, cranverry, not bright) in my bedroom – particularly in winter. I lighten up in summer.

    Ok, more later, maybe. I have a day long convention to attend tomorrow. Fun, fun.

  5. Yes, Matt won a mention in a magazine spot as an up and coming designer. I’ll look it up for you, as I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention (the live chat gets in the way) but it was mentioned at the beginning of the competion.

  6. I think Matt’s room looked more like air, and Carisa’s like water….but hey, what do *I* know…@@ lol

    Maybe people that live in the city think grass is a luxury? :* Just thinkin’….

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