Top Design Episode Four: Can Eddie Get the Ladies To Drop Their Panties Through The Sheer Power of Decoupage?

This week on Top Design: grab your febreeze and your heavy-duty laundry detergent, the Top Designers are designing for bachelors!

So this week’s episode, “Bachelor Pads,” had a whole lot more drama than last week, due single-handedly to Shazia’s whining (astronauts could hear her whining from space). Sensing that the sharks were circling in the water (she was in the bottom two on the last few episodes) Shazia tried to have the design “reflect” more of her style this week. Unfortunately, this meant complaining a lot and bugging the hell out of her teammates, Preston and Nathan, and choosing to do projects for no other reason than that she suggested it. Excuse me, but when cornice boards are supposed to be your “design statement,” I think there’s a problem.

Of course, I felt a little bad for Shaz, I really did. Because she was in the bottom, it was obvious that no one wanted to work with her, and no one wanted to listen to her ideas for fear that she may pull a Wisit. I’ve been in that situation and it really, really sucks. Unfortunately, once you’ve lost your credibility with a group of people you can’t really restore it in the course of one 48 hour project. And whining, swearing, and stamping your foot a lot won’t help.

The project split the designers up into teams of three, each of which had to design a room for a bachelor. Natalie, Eddie and Ondine designed for a 23-year-old law student who looked like he had just left the womb of a frat house; Andrea, Teresa and Wisit designed for a very cute producer who looked like, with minimal effort, he could land his own Bravo dating show; and Preston, Nathan and Shazia designed for a cool-as-a-cucumber investment banker.

The funniest thing about the whole episode was that even though all the bachelors were pretty different, their apartments were in the same state of disaray. At best, they maybe owned couple of chairs, a sectional, and a huge flat-screen TV. My favorite part was the investment banker, who had a huge shoe rack dominating his living room. I’m sure the smell was just lovely.

Even though the designers had two days, $10,000, a team of painters, wallpaperers, seamstresses and carpenters for this challenge, a lot of the rooms still looked “meh” to me. Perhaps this was because we didn’t really get to see the rooms that much? I think the camera crew needs to watch a whole bunch of HGTV to really get a sense of how the “reveal” works. All they’d need is to do is watch, oh, like 12 hours of the channel, and they would have seen all the “reveals” they’d ever need. Hell, I feel like I could film a “reveal” after watching a couple episodes of Designed to Sell, and I’ve never picked up a camera.

Andrea, Wisit and Ondine’s design for the producer bachelor won the episode, but I didn’t think it was so much better than the other team’s rooms to merit all the praise it received. I will say that their design felt the most pulled-together of the three teams. I like the use of the LeCorbusier chairs and the dark table in the living room; the piece’s dark colors complemented the warm brown tones in the couch and the walls. But it also felt like a hotel room. In fact, all of the rooms on this episode felt like hotel rooms.


Modern and chic, but still warm.

The judges raved about Andrea’s team’s bedroom. I think it’s fine—I like the orange accents and different textures on the bed. But what’s going on with the little stool on the left? Is that to sit on?


I think the owner will be really tired of how dark this room is in, oh, about a year.

The judges weren’t so hot on Natalie, Eddie & Ondine’s “panty-dropping chic” design for the 23-year-old frat boy law student. While their biggest criticism was the team’s bizarre decision to decoupage a bunch of plant/animal images onto the walls, which their client deeply disliked, I also really hated the bright red wall in the living and dining room. Big red accent walls just feel like the design of my childhood—i.e., the 80s. Also, the living room looks like it’s way off in the distance and separate from the dining space, and I think the furniture was a bit too big for the room. They were going for “panty-dropping chic,” but they came up with a strange mix of the masculine and overly dainty.


Eddie's team's living room. I'm over the red wall. I was over it in 1991.

The judges really loved Eddie’s team’s bedroom. I think it’s okay—the big towering headboard has a grand and masculine look, and the dainty tables and round white lamps keep it from feeling too stocky. But, again, it feels like a hotel room to me, and rather unconnected to the panty-dropping desires of their 23 year old client.

Eddie 2

Eddie's team's bedroom. I mean, it's nice, but is it worth raving over?

But despite the many problems with Eddie’s not-so-panty-dropping-afterall design, the losing team was Preston, Shazia and Nathan’s design for the investment banker. The space had a disjointed feel, and the team wasn’t able to complete some of their projects (like the cornice boards that Shazia pushed for, that they didn’t have time to upholster. Whoops!).

My biggest problem with the living room is that the sofa has no arms. I know it has nice minimalist aesthetic, but come on—sofas are so much more comfortable when they have arms! I actually liked overall color palette, especially the contrasting deep blue color in the dining room. Maybe some of their choices weren’t the best (the modern director’s chair feels unfinished and doesn’t add that comfy, cozy feeling you want in a living room), but I just don’t see why this is so much worse than the other rooms.


Who really has a sofa without arms in their living room?

Preston’s team’s bedroom was a bit boxy; there were too many squares going on for my taste. Also, it’s difficult to tell from the photo, but I hated the color blue they chose—I think it had a lot of brown in it or something, because it just made the room feel muddy.

Prseton _2

Too many squares!

In the end, it was Shazia’s time to go, which everyone saw coming from a mile away.

Next week: It’s a Triathalon of Decorating! I think they may have the designers doing a bunch of different tasks-possibly three. I think it involve Wisit making a pillow with tape! Exciting stuff, folks.



  1. Joellen said

    Hey, I like red accent walls, but only for the kitchen. This was my favorite episode so far. But I really miss the way things went last season with each designer getting to do individual work. I want to see what each one is really made of. Collaborative work is important, but individual work needs to be displayed. I think it was more fun that way.

  2. moderndomestic said

    I think we were really able to see the finished results more fully last season, which is one of the things I think they’re really not doing that well this season. I feel like the camera focuses too much on the judges, but not enough on the rooms. And yes, I agree about the individual work – no one here is really getting to show their individual style (I feel like they’re trying to remedy this through the “Pop Design” quizzes, but it’s just not cutting it).

    I bet as the competition moves on we’ll see more individual work. And really, in the real world who works in isolation in any job? It’s all about those dreaded “team projects,” and being able to work well in a team gives you such an edge . . .

  3. wonktheplank said

    What about the Cones?

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