Was I smoking Angel Dust or did Natalie say something about the world coming to an end because the Chinese might bomb us to avenge Hiroshima? Granted, Natalie's history snafu seemed a bit more Sunset Tan than Top Design, but I am always up for a bit of reality TV idiocy and Natalie delivered. Paging Joel McHale. Thank you Natalie for your priceless quote! Luckily for Miss Natalie, this week's episode wasn't a history test, it was about collaboration. I thought it was a brilliant challenge because interior design is always collaborative -- decorators have colleagues, vendors, contractors, and, most importantly (and often most nightmarishly), CLIENTS. It's a psychological minefield. A designer needs to lie, cheat, steal, and steamroll over obstacles to realize his vision, all while pretending to listen to others and always with a big smile. The designers who played well with others all did magnificently.
Eddie and Andrea designed a gorgeous bunker (even more gorgeous in person, btw) that worked on every level -- it looked good, it was comfy, it was timeless and eclectic, and it fused both of their styles seamlessly. I was wowed.
Kerry and Shaz: cute bunker, cute couple, not blown away by the design but I could definitely tell that they know how to whomp up a space. I'm glad that you all, dear readers, only had to see their bunker on TV rather than smell it. No, Shazia and Kerry aren't stinky, they just happen to LOVE a scented candle. Actually, they happen to love 700 scented candles. It was like being in a New York taxi cab in the middle of summer and wanting to barf from the strawberry air-freshener (they really should have used magically delicious-smelling Jonathan Adler candles -- I'm just saying).
Ditto Natalie and Theresa: cute, nicely whomped up bunker (a bit jarring but they dug it and I thought it was cool), but overly candled and stinky. Lay off the candles, girls. Thank you.
Ondine and Preston: Their bunker had its moments, but their inability to fuse their styles almost got them kicked off. Their bunker was disjointed and jarring and I was disappointed.
Wisit and Nathan: How adorable were they? Loved their marital bed -- it was a cute solution to the space issue, and their bunker felt serene and livable. Frankly, their space could have been hideous and I still would have loved it because they did such a great job of selling us on it. Salesmanship -- the ability to get behind a design and make the client love it -- is one of the most important skills in a designer's arsenal. Wisit and Nathan sold the hell out of it and I loved it and I loved them!
Last (and least, I'm afraid) we have the dearly departed Jennifer and Robert. As judges we don't get to know the designers beyond what y'all see, but I could tell that Jennifer and Robert are sweet and likable and waaaaaay more talented than their bunker design demonstrated. But, oy veh was that bunker a shonda! Disjointed, weird, ugly, gnarly, bad, bad, bad, and it was all because they couldn't get along. But back to Natalie and the great Hiroshima/China situation. Natalie, you're adorable and I dig your designs, but learn your history, girl! And, if you don't feel like hitting the books and actually learning, at the very least you should throw on some Sarah Palin glasses and rock some faux gravitas. Smell you later. - Jonathan Adler www.jonathanadler.com