Top Design – My top 10 and words of love

Well, we’re down to it. The Final Two – Matt Lorenz and Carisa Perez-Fuentes. Tomorrow night is the tenth and final episode of this first (will there be more?) season of Top Design.

Starting with twelve designers, ranging in age from 23 to 48, student to seasoned professional, we have witnessed all the usual drama, crankiness, fun times and eye rolling that are part and parcel of reality television.

We’ve alse watched 44 different spaces come to life – or not. I’ve written in other posts and in comments on my fellow bloggers sites, that the designers were hobbled in their ability to really create a space. We can talk about the real world time crunches we face as designers all we want, but really, when do we create rooms for mystery clients or for presumed adults who – surprise – are really 10 year olds! And when do we have to do it all with 30 minutes of design time, 1 hour of shopping and 2-3 days of building? Hobbled, they were.

As a designer, I went into this series wanting to be the critical, but loving, support of the contestants who were willing to lay themselves bare for a hyper-critical public. I also wanted to be the voice of reason to the viewing public – the person who can look past style preferences and personality preferences to the actual work. It’s my way of showing respect to the designers – because no matter what we may see on tv – they are all talented and hard-working.

I went back and looked through all the rooms leading up to the final. Here are my ten favorite spaces. And why.

#10 – Bicardi Limon Party – Matt Lorenz, Carisa Perez-Fuentes & Michael Adams – for their true understanding of the requirements of the challenge, the clean and fresh finished look, and for working through their crazy behavior!
#9 – Kids room – Felicia Bushman – for creating a cohesive space that was elegant and mature, but could have worked for a smart kid, and for her hand painted chess board wall art.

#8 – Yard Sale/First Apartment Challenge – Matt Lorenz – for creating a beautiful space that served many functions, for his double lamp, and for listening to his client and channeling Armani Casa on a budget, [which is a bit ironic given his later comments about working on a budget.]

#7 – Mystery Client Challange – Goil Amornvivat and Elizabeth Moore – for pulling off a well balanced, calm and eclectic space for a mystery client and without knowing each other.

#6 – Elle Decor Cover Challenge – Carisa Perez-Fuentes – for her ability to mix colors and patterns, and her creativity in re-creating the much more expensive Elle Decor inspiration cover, and for a room that would be fun to host a party in!

#5 – Elle Decor Challenge – Matt Lorenz – for his ability to select beautiful, elegant furnishings, his amazing parquet floor, mirrored windows and graphic artwork.

#4 – Luxury Hotel Challenge – Matt Lorenz – for his sumptuous bedding, clear vision and the perfect blue wall.

#3 – Mystery Client Challenge – Carisa Perez-Fuentes and Erik Kolacz – for their “whole room” vision, strong color palette and beautiful back wall built-in, all without knowing each other well.
#2 – Luxury Hotel Challenge – Carisa Perez-Fuentes – for her bold use of color and pattern, artistic references, back wall draping and architectural elements.

#1 – Chef’s Table Challenge – Andrea Keller – for her beautiful, complete space that served both the functional and aesthetic requirements of the client, for her slate and suede walls and for her mix of natural elements in the styling.

Good luck to Carisa and Matt! I’m really looking forward to your beautiful spaces in episode 10!

I found this to be an interesting exercise in what has appealed to me. I believe that my preference is for color, function and elegance in interiors. Putting these preferences into context, here are photos of my living room and bedroom. And, since I’ve been dishing it out, I can take it as well. So, comment away!

Note that I do plan on painting my living room (probably a soft gold) – but with 16′ ceilings at the peak,
it’s not a job I can do myself and I have other more important projects to tackle first!

Click here for all Top Design posts.

xoxo Linda

3 thoughts on “Top Design – My top 10 and words of love”

  1. I’d say that your living room shows a definite Matt Lorenz taste preference.

    That looks like a really interesting exercise. If I did this I predict we would have 50% overlap — in terms of admiring some of the standouts (Andrea’s chef’s room) and 50% difference based on our divergences in taste.

    I like Michael’s “bird” room. I really don’t like the litter box room.

    For colors: Matt’s pink walls and –strangely, I liked his dining room.

  2. I love your living room. Your bedroom looks so cozy. Thanks for sharing your pictures. I found you to be the voice of reason and enjoyed that you have the designers perspective. This is my first year of reality shows and blogs. I am really not much of a pop culture fan. Generally if the tv is on I watch Turner Classic Movies, PBS or the History Channel. But I had great fun watching this and PR . These blogs made it so much more interesting.

    Although I can barely tolerate Carisa’s voice she is doing great for 23. ( i raised 3 daughters so my tolerance for female dramatics is still a little low)

    I will probably never have a blog. You have to be brave to do that too you know! I admire you and many others for putting yourself out there with so much class. I found it daunting to even post my opinion in a blog, coming from a family whose coat of arms should say “Never put anything in writing”. I have mortified myself many times by posting. I am a big fan of the delete button on my posts.

    I think Carisa might win this. She said she was doing black and white which might really look great in a loft space. Strong graphics Carisa.

    The only complaint I have about the her designs is that I notice I get tired of anything that is too strong a statement really quick. It gets expensive, trying to switch it , change it up or change it completely.

Comments are closed.