Kathryn Ireland: "Beachy, Fun And Fabulous"

Guest Judge Kathy Ireland talks Cabanas.



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Being a guest judge on "Top Design" was really fun to do. I had such a good time doing it. Last year, I had done my own reality show in England, "Design Wars," so I really felt for the contestants under so much pressure.

On our show, we had only one month to makeover a house. I was representing the UK against five different countries. The UK did not win; the Indians won. There are more Indians doing nothing at 5 o'clock in the afternoon than Italians or Scandinavians. I was neck and neck with them, but the Indians won.

It was a telephone-voting thing; we all lived in trailers. It was very "Big Brother." But back to "Top Design," when I first came on the scene I arrived at the beach. I'll admit that at first I was thinking: 'Oh, uhm...What are they all doing?' But then I found out they could only shop at one store, and they were working with people they didn't know -- and everyone's got different personalities and perspectives -- they were working under extremely difficult circumstances.

It's hard when you have very very different tastes. If all of a sudden you've got someone who can't see eye to eye and you have to get something done on a deadline, it's difficult. But, given that, they did quite a fantastic job. The fact that they got anything done was a miracle.


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By the way, I did not agree with everyone about who should win. I thought that Tahitian cabana had no roof and they were told to build something to protect you from the sun. It looked very nice, but to me it's about more. It has to work.

First, listen to what your client wants. Pretty is fine, but if it doesn't work, then it doesn't work. So I didn't vote for that. I didn't think their cabana did what it was supposed to do.

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Miami: that was the one I liked the most. They did a good job. There was shade, indoor/outdoor space. Everyone else didn't like the color, but for me it was about the building. Whether you like the color is relative.

St. Tropez: Well, clearly they had never been to St. Tropez or even seen a picture of it. The postcard wasn't enough. They didn't have any terra cotta colors, nothing! The first cabana had nothing to do with Tahiti, either, though.

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The contestants should have come and raided my shop for fabrics. All I do is very beachy, fun things. It would have been fabulous.

We took the decision to send Elizabeth home very seriously. The decision was hard to make but we agreed on it more. Overall, for me, it was hard to come in and become a guest judge. The others had developed a huge camaraderie by this point, and they all had such nice clothes and I was like the poor relative. They could've brought me something! Look at Kelly -- she's the kind of woman you love to hate, she's so divine. If I could give the contestants any last advice it would be that I hope for them to be positive.

I hate that whole Simon Cowell bitchiness thing. It's just so tired. I don't believe in it. Comedy is when you laugh with someone, not at them. Good for Simon Cowell for making his living but he's so godawfully mean! I can't believe he hasn't destroyed his career. Let's only say things that are constructive. I did tell all of the contestants at the end that if they want a job to call me. I thought they all had so much talent.

online:kathrynireland.com

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