Margaret Russell

Margaret Russel on futuristic designs.

on Oct 15, 2008

First, an addendum to last week's blog: The judges were so thrilled that someone actually repurposed something substantial that we might have seemed overzealous in our praise about the carpet-pad wall covering that Nathan, I mean Eddie installed in his office. It was a cool recycling idea, but just one part of a really strong design scheme -- it was definitely not the deciding factor last week.

Eddie's room was the winner even without the carpet pad. Which--if you think about it--is a totally skanky wall covering. The stakes are high now that we're down to fewer than half of the original 13 designers, and the next challenges are all about showcasing personal style, ingenuity, and talent. Individual challenges are exhausting and insanely stress inducing, and I still can't fathom how the contestants survived the eco-responsible/unbearable-heat-wave project last episode. They looked mentally and physically broken when India and I marched into their design studio, even before they heard we were sending them on a sci-fi journey in a Top Design space pod. We hoped the contestants would let their creativity go wild and truly have fun. Never one to pass up the chance to create a boutique-hotel room -- even a supergallactic one -- Preston miraculously made his 12' x 16' space look HUGE. He transformed it with high-contrast colors, an ingenious wall of glossy crown molding installed as multi-dimensional horizontal paneling, and intriguing lighting solutions. The floor was painted white and I think he used sturdy wallpaper as an area rug under the Tulip table. Kelly wasn't as impressed, but we all agreed that Preston was the most successful in crafting an interesting, inventive, and professional-looking room of the future. His swank, tailored design aesthetic is becoming more and more clear each week.