Welcome Curbly’s Top Design Fan Club!

Welcome Curbly’s Top Design Fan Club!

The premier episode of TD did not disappoint! Producers of the show didn’t waste a second. We were quickly introduced to the collection of contestants and then the game began.

The Task


The 12 contestants, who were paired up into six teams, where given 5 objects to serve as inspiration to design a room for a "mystery client." Among the objects were a Cupie Doll head, a 1970's Lucite TV and a disco ball. Hmm.

They had a "budget" of $50K per team for furniture, which was on loan from the Pacific Design Center. They were also given $1,250 for paint and lumber and the help of skillful carpenters and seamstresses to help bring their designs to fruition.

The Drama

The couple needing Dr. Phil’s help the most last night were John and Michael. Thank god their sophisticated design, which was unsuitable for their mystery client, did not get them the boot.

Michael and John: our favorite couple

Also adding spark to last night’s show was Ryan, who mistook their client for Iggy Pop in drag. First impressions suggest Andrea, who apparently gets everything she wants in life, will be a favorite to hate.

The Winners and Losers

Ultimately, the mystery client had the most influence over who was named last night’s winning team. The mystery client, by the way, was Alexis Arquette, who does look a little like Iggy Pop in drag now that Ryan has mentioned it. (Sorry Alexis; I’ve loved you ever since The Wedding Singer!)

So, with Alexis’ input, along with the judge’s expertise, I’m sure, Goil and Elizabeth’s pale blue and white, swing-seating, sand-box-in-the-floor concoction won. Okay, the design did push the envelope, even though it was a rather unusable room. I take that back; my cat could find a use or two for that sand box.

And the good-bye handshake went to Heather and Lisa, who’s room, which looked like a "Chinese restaurant", was said to be too themed. I concur. Personally, I wanted Lisa to stick around longer. With that shock of white hair, she reminded me of Storm. Or rather, Storm’s mother.

The Summation

The only gripe I have about last night’s premier is that it should have been two hours long. I would have liked to have seen more of the rooms coming together. And although I love Todd Oldham, I hope he takes a cue from Tim Gunn and becomes a bit more vocal as wise mentor. But I have faith that Todd will make it work.

For a fabulous recap of the best drama and the winning and losing rooms from last night, check out video highlights on Bravotv.com. Todd has some great recap videos too.

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balubalu on Feb 02, 2007:

I've just watched it and I have to say I like the show. We have some DIY shows on TV here in Germany (where they rebuild rooms or even houses), but none is made as a competition and with that limited amount of time.

I'm not sure which room I'd like most...

  • Felicia & Matt: niche-wall and the wall mounted bench are great ideas, but the colors where a little too grey / browny for me
  • Heatner & Lisa: the idea of the Chinese theme was not that bad when thinking of calming and inner sanctum.  I liked the vases and the stones on the shelfes for this theme, but that bed in the middle - no!
  • Erik & Carisa: This was just a room IMHO with expensive furniture, nothing special about it.
  • Michael & John: The massive brown wall was too heavy for me, nothing special really besides Michael and John working in a "team" - loved that.
  • Ryan & Andrea: Nice idea of having the floor painted in the same color as the walls and having some lights under the bed. But as the judges said it looked like a reasonably sophisticated dorm room.
  • Goil & Elisabeth: Most impressive and original design and ideas for sure with that sandbox and the swing, but I'm not sure I wanted to live in that room :)
So let's hope I can have a look at the next show too :)

Bjorkfansoph on Feb 01, 2007:

Yeh Ilan on Top Chef! Onto Top Design! I'm on the east coast and i'm not happy that they premiered it at 11pm after Top Chef. I'm happy it'll be on it's regular 10pm slot next week. Glad that I was up though. Todd Oldham is so freaking cute; he's the new Tim Gunn. Btw, John Gray's personality sucks, but I like his design!! He reminds me too much of Christopher Lowell. I love the judges room(White room).

McFly on Feb 01, 2007:

Todd Oldham needs to lose his script and ad-lib. It seemed way too rehearsed. I generally like Bravo's stuff, (TC & PR-my wife got me started on them) so I'll keep watching. I'll be interested to see what the architects come up with. I do like the overall premise of the show.

bruno on Feb 01, 2007:

Great write-up!

I thought that Chinese-room was TERRIBLE! 

DIY Maven on Feb 01, 2007:

I agree with erinn--Jonathan telling Michael to learn how to paint! That was classic!! Get your hands dirty, man!! I think I'd rather work with a designer who realizes what he or she is asking of his/her painters, carpenters etc. What they do is very hard work--and an ARTFORM in itself, thank you very much! 

And how about that budget?? Imagine, as a DIYer, what you could do with that.

erinn on Feb 01, 2007:

As a fellow architect, I am looking forward to what Goil will do.  Architects can come across very conceited, but he seems more balanced.  Alas, the other architect, Andrea (no wait, "half architect, half designer" whatever that means) is completely full of herself and as DIY Maven put it, quite possibly the favorite to hate. 

It annoyed me that  John called all of the secret client's objets "campy" and then made such a big deal when Alexis Arquette walked on stage.  Get over yourself!  And I was glad that one of the judges told Michael that he needed to learn how to paint!

I was surprised at how so many of the final rooms really had nothing at all to do with the 5 objects brought by Alexis.  Isn't that the purpose of being a designer and having clients...helping your clients realize their intentions for their own spaces.

I too would have like to see a two hour premier so you can get to know the designers and judges better.  I thought Todd needed some work as far as his intonation.  Even though I am sure everything is scripted for him, he sounded too mechanical.

All in all I am looking forward to next week already.  I am wondering if anyone is really going to stand out as a great designer.  Maybe I am jumping the gun.  It would be nice to see the designers' evolution/development over the next several weeks.

I can't wait to hear everyone else's comments! 

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