Margaret Russell

Margaret Russell takes an instant liking to this week's challenge.

on Apr 4, 2007


How could I not love this week's challenge?

The designers were given three days and the choice of ten Elle Decor covers to use as inspiration for a luxurious room -- all on the relatively small $7,500 shopping budget.

As Andrea, Carisa, and Matt are all seriously talented and come to the competition with diverse sensibilities and experience, I was fascinated to see which covers they selected and how they approached their projects.

Here's some background: The producers asked me to send them Elle Decor covers from the past three years and they narrowed them down to ones that suited their purpose.

Cover images can be an enigma: many rooms are photogenic, but not all will make a strong cover, and the cover and its coverlines are truly what sell the magazine on the newsstand.

I wish there were a foolproof formula for creating terrific covers each and every month, but sadly there's not. For the record, Andrea's choice sold the best at newsstand, then Carisa's, and -- although it's is a beautiful room and one of my all-time favorites -- Matt's cover was not a great success.

In fact, it sort of bombed.