Oh, My Achin' Muscles!
Felicia Bushman's opinion of the Triathlon.
Having just completed the Malibu Triathlon two weeks ago, I know how these poor designers felt after their two day TRIATHLON! My muscles are still in recovery, but it was worth it because I managed to beat J. Lo in all three legs! I am a very competitive person in everything I do, be it triathlons or design, which is why I loved seeing the designers race through this challenge. And finally, we get to see them work as individuals! It was very telling ... I was glad to see both Teresa and Andrea in the bottom of this challenge. Not because I want to see them fail but because I have seen them both work, challenge after challenge, without the confidence in themselves to really rise above and do something great and memorable. They are both guilty of the ever failing "play it safe" mentality and you don't get far in design (or sports for that matter) with that mindset!
But don't get me wrong when I say I was glad to see them there. I was glad because I think they both have something to offer and going through these past few challenges and hearing what the judges had to say about it, was an eye-opener for both of them. Teresa lives and works in Vegas which is it's own little bubble in the world of design. I know, because I have worked with a developer there, and all they want is a bunch of over done fluff. And on top of that it's the land of themes! Zen? Really? Everyone can be guilty of staying within their comfort zone but I think that this experience for Teresa was a huge eye-opener and I expect that she will now go on to do better, more imaginative work. The nice thing about her is that her ego won't get in the way. She has been a pleasure to work with on this show and she is willing to learn and grow. Congratulations Teresa. Now GO GET 'EM!
And, as far as Andrea is concerned, she has continued to tell us that she wants to get out of her family bubble and expand her horizons, so here she is struggling to keep up with the big dogs of design and I think this has been a huge learning experience for her. I felt badly for her watching her miss her kidlettes, I can only imagine that would be very difficult but in some respects it almost felt like it was a cop-out for not doing as well as she could. I hope we will see in the next challenge that she will take all of this learning and put it into practice! Come on Andrea. YOU CAN DO IT! Nathan was a clear winner. I wish you could all see his chair and table design in person. The camera just didn't capture the subtle nuances.
First, with his chair you could see on camera the gorgeous combination of the gold and blue that he chose, but what he did to the fabric by taping it off and white-washing the negative space was incredibly creative! I wouldn't be surprised if some fabric designer came out with that design right about now. And using the harsh and jagged pattern on the fabric to contrast against the more feminine shape of the chair, just brilliant. It really was breathtaking in person. And the table! He was the only designer to purchase different chairs in the Top Design Showroom for the table ends and once again he then white-washed the upholstery of the chairs. This really was the "book ends" if you will, of the "deconstructed" and relaxed look that he was creating and you really didn't get a sense of it on TV as you did in person.
He took his concept and tackled every single aspect of it. This is the sign of a true designer, thorough consideration to every single detail! Sadly, we were all disappointed with the garden vignette. I think he just let his guard down a bit knowing that he had double immunity. OK Nathan, enough of that, GET BACK UP FRONT! Eddie, as annoying as he might be, really does know how to put it together. I mean, everything is absolutely PERFECT. Martha sure knows how to train 'em! Really, his chair, table, and even his gardenscape were perfection. I didn't get the granny reference either. It was old school Manhattan roof top, old building, modern use of space. The only thing that set him and Nathan apart was that Nathan thought outside the box and was a bit more imaginative. Eddie could do all three legs of this triathlon in his sleep. This was a challenge that he could have gone one step further and taken a risk, but he didn't, which is why he came in second. All right Eddie, show us what you REALLY GOT!
Natalie's garden sunroom was darling and it came from her heart, which is what set it apart from every other design she has done. She said it herself, she wants "more" and the judges keep on telling her to EDIT, show restraint, and for some reason she just doesn't get it. With her sunroom, she was relaxed. She didn't overthink it and I hope she can step back and take a look at where she wins and where she fails and try to incorporate her inner self in her designs -- she would be much better off! Natalie, Natalie YOU CAN DO IT!
Wisit, oh, sweet Wisit ... As I have said before he is living in his own fantasyland. Granted it is a beautiful fantasyland but none the less it is a fantasyland... His "photo shoot" space worked brilliantly because it's a photo shoot! It doesn't have to function or be thought out practically -- it just has to look good, it has to be visual candy and that is exactly what we got. It was lovely, welcoming, sweet, and playful. It made me smile to walk into the space. But now the games begin. How will he weather more practical challenges? Wisit, oh, sweet Wisit, HULLOW? Preston's garden space got less credit than it deserved, I think because his first two challenges were neither here nor there, kind of like "starwood hotels"...
OK, sorry for that but I really did like his garden space. He really thought about the challenge at hand -- "a photo shoot" is what they wanted and his vignette captured the request beautifully. The dynamic stripes were a beautiful contrast to the earthy components that lied within and what you didn't see on TV was how stunning the color selection was, the plants and vines and branches of the chair with the paint colors, simply gorgeous. The judges did like his space but they didn't give it enough mention on the show. Preston you got it GOIN' ON! Ondine was hit and miss in this challenge. Lilly Pulitzer Southern Tea Party, HUH?? She actually might have come out on top if she had managed the table challenge but she just got lost in her overthought "concept" in the table leg of the triathlon... The Kelley green in her garden room was gorg and the whole '60s vibe was cool.
The nice thing about Ondine is that we really don't know what to expect from her and I would imagine that comes from a background of set design and constantly doing very different things. She is fun to watch, so stay tuned, Ondine, KEEP IT UP! Until next week...