One Of The Magic Folk

Find out who dazzled Todd Oldham this week.


This week's adventure was the Metropolitan Home magazine challenge and I loved this one! Our special guest judge this week was the brilliant Linda O'Keefe, one of the coolest people in the industry. The four remaining designers are all major and so was their effort. Each designer drew a card that had one of the four elements on it. The chosen card would act as the design inspiration for a hotel suite design. Amongst the four elements, some are easier to interpret than others and one is just plain tricky, and lovely Goil got the tough one, FIRE.

Fire is about the very last thing one wants in their hotel suite, but there are inspiring aspects of it as a design motif. The judges and I all appreciated Goil's always-unusual take on the fire idea but, sadly, it ultimately got in his way and he was asked to leave. I have had the pleasure of encountering many creative people through the years and I find those that just have that special magical touch stick in my memory longer. Goil is without a doubt one of the magic folk. It was wonderful to have met you, Goil, and even more so to get to see your brain and brawn in action. With his singular skill sets and charm, we will all be seeing lots more from Goil in the future. He will make it prettier and more fun for us all.

Matt dazzled the judges once again with his always-perfect color sense and his elegant take on his design inspiration, WATER. The room was cool and refreshing as a dip in a pool with the stately glamour we have come to know as pure Matt. The suggested privacy of the tall bi-fold screens is a perfect solution to small multiuse spaces. I would love to see Matt take on a doghouse or maybe a fast food restaurant, just so I could see the most elegant version there is of each.

Carisa was pretty dazzling herself this week. She had drawn the AIR card and her take was a modern, high concept delight. I loved that Carisa brought her inspiration a little more down to earth conceptually working with airflow. The black grid was so daunting as she was building it and when it went in to place it was perfect. I am charmed by Carisa's cheeky take on, well, just about everything. She is smart and funny and I think it shows in her work, too.

Andrea is a rare mix in the design field; she seems to be able to pass simultaneously from architect, to designer, to artist with great ease and skill. I loved watching Andrea's calm working methods and I think it is reflected in her finished work. Andrea drew the EARTH card and she had a subdued approach to it, looking for color inspiration in subtle ways. The green grass insets concerned the judges with its slightly impractical care and they are right, but I love when there is an impractical addition to a room. It requires a lot more focus from the housekeeping department, but I'm sure the guests would appreciate the effort. At this point of the game, with this much talent, it is really hard to tell who will have the TOP DESIGN. Three left, stay tuned.


Jonathan Adler on why Nathan's win was well deserved.

Justice prevailed. Nathan rocks. His house was FIERCE and CREATIVE and GORGEOUS! Huge mazel to our Nathan on a well-deserved victory! But my God was it difficult to choose! Our otherwise harmonious judging crew nearly came to blows over who should win. Honestly, I almost came to blows with MYSELF over who should win! I J'ADORED Nathan's house (of course), but I was in love with Ondine's and Preston's creations aussi. Any of the three could have won and I would have been happy. Not to get all KUMBAYA on your asses, but I kinda think they all won.

The three finalists strutted their stuff on national TV and did a brilliant job. They are all talented, appealing, creative, and their futures are so bright they gotta' wear shades. And not to get all PAULA ABDUL on your asses, but I'm a FAN of all three. My fave design moments from the finale: Preston's grey-panelled spare room. PURE GENIUS! That wasn't design; that was ALCHEMY. Ondine's pink sofas with the wallpapered wall. Fun, happy, KAPOW! That room did just what design should do: it made me feel good. Nathan's entryway. He is a SOPHISTICATED MAMA. That room was what won it for Nathan. It was very Architectural Digest in the '70s, eclectic, original, INTERESTING.

I want to thank all the contestants for their hard work, resilience, stamina, and talent. I have so much respect for them and I am blown away by what they all accomplished--I probably would have lasted through one challenge before throwing in the towel. Lots of controversy in the blogosphere over how the show was edited and whether or not it is an accurate depiction of what went down. Honestly, I think the show is a completely fair and accurate portrayal. However, it ain't an accurate reflection of the contestants' personalities and talents in the real world. I'm sure that all of the kids, even the controversial Eddie "Omarosa" Ross, are polite delights.

Finalement, I want to say a huge merci to the Magical Elves and the whole crew for being so gorge and delightful and SILLY. And I want to thank India, Margaret, Kelly, and Todd for making the experience so GIGGLE-ENCRUSTED and FUN. Love, Jonathan