Top Design: Space Age Rooms Evoke Yawns, Heart Attacks

The winning room. Maybe it's polished, but that doesn't make it interesting.

Wednesday on Top Design, the challenge was to design “The Room of the Future.” True to the title, the designers created rooms for the year 2108, proving once again that the Magical Elves production team isn’t exactly pushing the envelope on Top Design.

Seriously, this would have been an “innovative” challenge at the 1939 World’s Fair. Even Disney Land’s “House of the Future” closed in 1967 people! Is this really the best they could come up with?

Yawn-evoking concept aside, I liked that the designers worked separately in this challenge, so we really got to see what they were capable of. And because everyone was working separately, the drama factor was definitely down, which was a nice respite from last week’s bitch-fest. After all, watching crazy people scream at each other for little to no reason is what The Real Housewives of Atlanta is for.

Granted, Ondine ran around like a chicken with her head cut off during most of the episode, but I would do that too if I lost my shopping list in Ikea. In the final frantic minutes of the challenge Ondine also spilled varnish on Eddie’s white couch, which the previews tried to portray as “sabotage,” but it was obviously an accident. And in the end, the judges didn’t care about it at all.

First, the bad news that surprised absolutely no one: Nathalie went home this week. Her room concept involved using hydraulics to raise and lower parts of the room (I think. I didn’t really get that part). But while I wasn’t too keen on the huge bookshelf that she placed in front of the room, I don’t think it looked that bad. I loved her red and white circular rug, and I liked the contrasting creams and oranges. So Nathalie, I don’t think you deserved to go this week, but we’ll “see you later, decorator.”

The bookshelf makes Nathalie's room look worse than it actually was.

Andrea didn’t go home in this challenge, but I think she should of—both for her sake and for ours. I’ve liked her work in some previous challenges and she’s definitely talented, but her Pepto-Bismal pink pod was the last in a series of decidedly dull rooms. The pink walls made me think of internal organ diagrams in my high school biology textbook, and the pale wicker furniture looked like it belonged in a hotel room. I also feel like Andrea’s heart just isn’t in the competition anymore, which perhaps is why her latest creations have felt so flat.

Andrea's room is just beyond dull.

I was not a fan of the Pepto-Bismal pink walls of Andrea's room.

Eddie’s room was the opposite of Andreas’ — it was big, bold, and heart-attack inducing. He made a grand statement with his white and red walls, bright red furniture, and black and gold accents. While I liked some of the room’s elements (especially his black and white painted lampshades), the overall result was too much. The red especially was overwhelming, and I felt bad for the poor People of the Future who would get massive migraines after sitting in there for five minutes. Still, as a statement, it was impressive, although the judges described it as “granny gone wild.”

Eddie's room is too red. Much too red.

Because Ondine was scattered in this episode, her finished room was haphazard. But she had some very neat ideas that she incorporated into the space. I especially liked the fans on her walls and the light coils in the “cooling” fireplace. Still, I agree with the judges that her room felt unfinished; small things, like the cords hanging down from the light fixture above the couch and the sad little pictures hanging below the fans, just didn’t do it for me. I also wasn’t quite sure why she mixed in the very traditional pink wallpaper with her other futuristic furnishings. Still, I think her work is always interesting and I’d love to see what she could do given some more time.

Ondine's room just has too much going on.

Nathan’s room was my favorite, but since he got immunity in a “pop design” challenge that was so incredibly dull it isn’t even worth mentioning, he didn’t win this week. The huge plate mural on the back wall was graphic and space-like, and I really liked how the round plates contrasted against the black and white pattern on the floor. His furnishings were elegant and yet appropriately futuristic, and I liked how everything was so low to the ground, especially that Ikea cat-scratching post-turned coffee table. Good job Nathan! Now you should come help me figure out what to do with my bedroom!

Nathan's room is both elegant and space-age.

In the end, Preston won the challenge for his space-traveling hotel room. To my great surprise, I actually found myself agreeing with Eddie, who commented that all Preston ever does is a “hotel room” look. I never thought I would be saying this but, right on Eddie! I think that Preston excels in time management and editing—he’s always able to pull together a space that looks finished and polished under the time allotment. I thought this room was fine, but dull—the living room especially was really dark and didn’t have a lot going on. I was a fan of his lighted dividing wall, and I liked how the orange chairs popped against the white kitchen. But Preston won this for the polish, not for the design.

This is a random side note, but did anyone notice that both Nathan and Eddie used the Ikea Kulla lamps in their rooms that Domino featured awhile back? I liked that they went to Ikea, if only for the thrill of seeing some of my lamps on national TV!

Next week: Apparently, someone drops out of the competition! Perhaps out of boredom? My bet is on Andrea. I mean, who else could it be? Also the designers have to design a room around a chandelier, which sounds like another snooze-fest.



  1. Kaydee said

    I would be way more interested in these if they were decorated for post-natural disaster weather. A little creative interpretation with the theme would be nice!

  2. […] purple color she chose for one of her walls reminded me too much of the muted gray she used for her Room of the Future, and the results were similarly depressing. There was also way too much stuff on the purple wall, […]

  3. Kelly Khaw said

    i think Nathan should have won.

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