No Day At The Beach

No Day At The Beach

Todd Oldham's expert take on the tough beach challenge.


The cabana challenge proved to be no day at the beach for our remaining nine designers. Three teams of three were each randomly assigned a resort destination (Tahiti, Saint Tropez, or Miami) to use as design inspirations for their cabana designs. The usual crazy time schedule was in order, but with the added challenge of re-assembling the designs on the beach in front of Kelly Wearstler's dazzling hotel, The Viceroy.

There was no electricity on the beach so tools were to be battery or manually powered. As usual the designers gave it their all but the ultimate challenge of team work often seemed to get in the way. A good designer has to believe in their abilities and their ideas -- and this alone can create tension in an effort of like-minded people.


It might look like there is more help when you watch a group effort, but sometimes the blunted work that comes from too many cooks in the kitchen is not worth the effort. All three of the finished cabanas had very successful design elements but unfortunately all three had some design challenges that caught the judge's eyes.

An opinions weight, like deciding good design is, at best, a subjective call. I thank you for all the positive feedback on "Top Design." I am happy so many people are enjoying it as some serious work was expended on this show by the designers. To those that think otherwise, I urge you to tune in again because every week is something different. Or better yet, take that time to go design and make something for yourself. Eight episodes left -- stay tuned.

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