Add Architectural InterestWeek three's challenge is my favorite so far because it is a true test of each contestant's individual ability to think outside the box. With limited time and only the basic furnishings in the room, each designer must showcase their design ability with just two paint colors and their dollar store purchases as their tools. While some contestants rise to the occasion and create visual masterpieces, others fail to step it up, risking their longevity in the competition. Unlike last year's resource challenge, everyone showed ability, raising the stakes and underscoring that this year's winner will have to demonstrate their best skills each and every week.
This effort was a wonderful demonstration of Christina's innate understanding of color, scale and balance. Not only does this room creatively deconstruct the bookcase to add more dimension to the walls, it also employs color smartly. By using bold red and black paint, Christina is able to take advantage of the existing white walls and add architectural interest to otherwise flat surfaces. Additionally, Christina employs stacked laundry baskets to create wonderfully original side tables. Well-edited and well-done, this room is a huge success and a demonstration that Christina may be a real talent.
Be OriginalOriginal and innovative, Todd's room showcases his fearlessness in demonstrating his talent. More so than almost any other contestant, Todd knows who he is as a designer and skillfully creates an artistic masterpiece. Since the contestants were told their rooms needed to be clear representations of their design skills rather than practical spaces, Todd goes into full-throttle fifth gear and gives us a crashing wave that injects fun and movement into his space! Almost all of Todd's furnishings were deconstructed to aid in creating a dynamic room with paint, cotton balls and his talent as his main instruments. This room is impressive on a conceptual level and indicates that Todd knows how to employ his skills to create a room that will deliver a single message and translate well on camera.
Try a Minimalist ApproachWell-edited and striking, Will's room perfectly translates for the camera and showcases his understanding of the importance of focal points. Although much less showy than many of the other rooms, Will makes some very sophisticated and clever moves such as placing his bookcase on its side and elevating it on some stainless dog bowls. The repetitive use of white chip-and-dip plates on a black background and black egg plates on a green background, are an amazing demonstration of his ability and understanding of design principles. Letting fewer well-selected elements make his statements is an encouraging sign that Will possesses real talent.
Employ DimensionKim employs color smartly by picking a sophisticated pink and combining it with a warm, dark-chocolate brown. Kim also demonstrates she is a great creative thinker by cutting paper plates into three-dimensional gingko leaves that make for graphic and interesting wall decorations with real architectural interest. Additionally, Kim tapes off her white coffee table before painting it, creating a mosaic pattern that represents her voice as a designer with a real international flair. Her work is sophisticated with an edge, and her creation of a pure and simple light column from the bookcase back is a great way to add something sculptural and functional at the same time.
Include Graphic ElementsRobb is a big personality, which, at times, overshadows his real talent. This week's challenge, however, is a clear sign he's a true contender for the title of "Design Star." Deftly employing graphic elements and deconstructing his bookcase to create dimensional components that are smartly integrated into his paint scheme, Robb creates an exciting space that signals who he is as a designer. Additionally, Robb selects great color to work with his white sofa and white walls. Bright blues and greens complement the white with a true modern sensibility, creating a visual and exciting pop. As big as Robb's personality is, though, his room demonstrates an understanding of editing and restraint.
Restrain YourselfAdriana's space is an interesting combination of very smartly painted walls that extend to the floor plane. She is obviously a smart and conceptual designer, but has a continuing issue with accessories and editing. A lot of unrelated elements, such as rocks on the coffee table, vases and flowers emerging from the wall distract from the wonderful foundation she created. Adriana would greatly benefit from adding some restraint to the huge arsenal of design tools she has already mastered.
Design to ScaleWith no limits on practicality, this challenge should have been a wonderful opportunity for Josh to translate his over-the-top style into an exciting and dynamic room. Although the pink and gray paint scheme is smart and tailored, his room is very much a disappointment as he sticks a plethora of compacts and angled placemats onto the walls. The result of his dollar-store shopping trip potentially indicates Josh feels challenged by limited resources. Wrapping paper components add another element of similar dollar-store scale instead of translating to what should have been a large and graphic visual message. Josh should have kept the dollar-store elements to one wall and repeated the same element en masse. This would have preferably translated to a rich, visually textured focal point instead of what was presented.
Know When to StopThere is no question that Scott is a talented designer. Stripped of all of this room?s accoutrements, the walls would have been the most incredible of all the walls created during this challenge. The beautiful orange, brown and white with the expertly painted trees are rich and interesting and very much art in their own right. Instead of creating a clear focal point with his walls, Scott piles on plates, glasses, pillows and a plethora of other accessories that completely cancel out the amazing background. His inventive deconstruction of the bookcase into a wall-hung cabinet is original and smart, but filling the cabinet and covering the walls with blue plates distracts from the great foundation. Paper lanterns, with stripes in pink, blue, brown, red and aqua, further layer unnecessary distraction to this potentially great room that unfortunately derailed.