Saturday, April 28, 2007

Click Here to Vote on the Loft Challenge at Surroundings

We have loved getting to know Linda from Surroundings. Her professional insight into the Top Design show, the challenges and the designers has made things much more fun and interesting here in the Top Design blogging community.

Linda is holding a design contest on her site. The entrants designed their own loft space according to the floorplan and contraints outlined here.

Eight readers have accepted the challenge and voting has begun. You have until Wednesday to select your favorite. Good luck everyone!

Friday, April 27, 2007

BTD Interview With Andrea Keller

We are smitten by Andrea Keller. To say that she is beautiful and talented is a ridiculous understatement. There is seemingly nothing in the creative world that is beyond her reach and we're pretty sure she would be successful on just about any show Bravo could cook up. We just couldn't leave Season 1 behind without chatting with her...

BTD: Hi Andrea! You almost made it to the finals – given the last 1,700 sq. ft. loft project, do you think you could have beaten Matt and/or Carisa in the end?

AK: A loft project is a dream project for me – I work in an old industrial loft space in downtown L.A. a couple of blocks from where the finale was shot, this is my life… I would have done something spectacular, about L.A., for L.A. I think I would have killed it. Yes, win. I like winning as you know! (laughing very hard right now… really I am a very sweet person, just who loves losing?)

BTD: What kind of space would you have designed for the finale?

AK: I would have done something that had a big area to make things, filled with art and craft supplies – everything from sewing projects to construction. The space would be very socially driven with a big dining table and lots of seating, and of course some private areas for retreat. Basically a great space for an (everyday) party, with very different ways of making/dividing space, and under it all very classic architectural lines.

BTD: Okay, so here are some of the things we’ve learned about you: you knit, you juggle, you are a mother of two boys, an architect, a punk rocker who speaks four different languages and a whiz with power tools. Is there anything you are not good at?

AK: I have zero ability to dance or sing and should never, ever be on a stage.

Click here to continue reading our interview with Andrea as we look back at her experience on Top Design and also take a peek at what's to come.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Elle Decor Party - NYC Part 1

First of all, I want to thank Elle Décor for the invite. It was such a swell party (or in my case, a “swill” party – major wine hangover the next morning).

After a long and tiring day of travel, layovers and bad airport fare, I got all perked up entering the W Union Square banquet room for the party celebrating the finale of Bravo's Top Design.

I first spotted Andrea Keller and Erik Kolacz. They were both so nice and they looked so amazingly beautiful in person (no big bead of sweat running down their noses after a long day of manual labor).

I also got to meet Michael Adams and Felicia Bushman. Oh my gosh. Cuteness overload!

Then from the corner of my eyes I could see my favorite designer, (gar) Goil Amornvivat. He’s even more adorable in person. I ran up to him to say hi. He said he was a big fan of our blog and wanted to thank us for creating such a fun and positive place for the designers.

I also got a chance to meet Goil's partner, Tom. They really complement each other. I think they look so adorable together.

Speaking of adorable, I saw Todd Oldham as he was bidding adieu to the partygoers. I think he looks so cute and so cool in person.

Click here to read more about the Elle Décor Party.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Click Here for Auction Items

Do you want to own an original art piece by the noted artist, Ryan Humphrey? Do you covet Carisa Perez-Fuentes' pillows or Michael Adam's partridges? Well, here's your chance to own a piece of Top Design history.

Click here to view all of the items that are up for auction. The bidding for these items will close this Wednesday evening.

The best part of it all? 100% of the proceeds will go to DIFFA, the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS. Own a piece of history AND help a good cause? We can certainly say Bravo to that.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Well, this is a little bittersweet, isn't it? Here we are at the end of the season and we are going to miss all of our funny, fabulous new friends. One last trip down recappers lane:

Moi: How do you end a season which has been just one disappointment after another? You give the wrong person the win, that’s what you do.

Tom&Lorenzo: was 50 minutes of painting and carpentry with a cash prize at the the end. Yawn.

Linda Merrill: I think Carisa's bedroom was the most unique space of the show, and Matt's Princess bedroom the most beautiful. Neither is pushing outside the envelope, however. Matt does classic interior design and Carisa does pop culture design.

kora in hell: It probably says more about me that watching another hyper-planner at work is what I consider good television. Ooooh! Look at his office supplies!!!

Eric3000 gets and exclusve quote from Carisa: "This is the best possible outcome. I'm pretty sure if Matt had lost he would have ended up as a trannie hooker on Santa Monica Blvd. but I'll be perfectly fine. I'm really happy for him. That's just the kind of caring nurturer that I am."

Bay and Amy: In the final analysis, we were surprised by how much we loved *both* lofts, and thought that Matt was getting the "loser edit" on the show.

Elisa Camahort: Is it just me, or did it seem like a foregone conclusion, and one the judges weren't really all that enthused about?

And we almost forgot Laz! Let's make that up now: Margaret was her fabulous self, Jonathan was still sockless and sporting another neck tie with its own zip code, Kelly looked human, and as if that weren't enough they went and plucked a rock star's wife off the street to serve as guest judge for the final challenge!

Thanks for all the laughs everyone! Much love to you from Team BTD. We look forward to seeing you again for Season 4 of Project Runway!

From The Mailbox

Jaimee Rose from the Arizona Republic (my hometown newspaper) thinks Kelly Wearstler is fabulous.

Here is a Chicago Sun-Times story about Matt Lorenz's victory.

Don't miss Linda Merrill's suggestions for next season.

Will there be a next season?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Top Carl's Twins

We heard mention of Carl Meuller's "babies" both on the finale and on Andy's after-show. Introducing fraternal twins Mackenna and Johanna Meuller:

Carl also sends along this note:

Mackenna was born with a very rare condition. Her liver and lung were fused together, resulting in a diaphragmatic hernia. She underwent a very successful surgery. Later she needed another which happened the day I was doing the rock wall. If you look closely, you will see I wear a hospital ID bracelet in eps 1-9. She is our little miracle baby and doing remarkable well. In fact, she's become famous in medical circles! We consider ourselves extremely blessed. And to answer some of the bloggers, yes, 10K would go along way toward their education if invested wisely now. Taking time away from the hospital was the guilt that drove me to do well on this show.

Top Design Gets Fugged

And it ain't pretty:

...Top Design had everything going for it: a respected host in Todd Oldham, a charming head judge in Jonathan Adler, a diverse cast, and a visual medium that lends itself well to playing along at home. It should have been a slam-dunk — Project Runway for furniture junkies. Instead, Top Design turned out to be the televisual equivalent of buying a great Marc Jacobs knockoff from Forever 21 and then having it fall apart in the wash.

Read the whole thing.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Here's Heather!

Heather Ashton, our favorite insider designer/recapper returns one last time with her excclusive look at the Top Design finale:

Was there ever any question?

I have a few questions. Why does Matt’s daughter get a door and Matt + spouse get a curtain? I think Trudie had the same question. Why, knowing that Jonathan’s fortune is home accessories did Carisa chose nary a vase? I think all those comments about editing her pillows freaked her out. And why were the latered contestants not brought back to help out!!!! Always about me people!

But SERIOUSLY, Matt and Carisa blew me away. I have no idea where to start…ok I do. How sad was that first shot of the workroom with all the empty tables? Just me? And I do have to admit that I had a secret wish for Matt to lose so I could horn in on his Mexican exile. Sounds fun right? And by the way Matt, we all lost to a student and are just fine.

Carisa did an amazing job. She should be commended for sticking by her strong, personal aesthetic. She easily could have run home and mimicked someone like Miles Redd who is heavily featured in Elle Décor and shares her same love of bold color statements, but she stuck to her guns. Her room was super fun and I would love to hang out there. I have a feeling that with all that fanciness in Matt’s pad, his daughter might be sneaking over to Carisa’s to play ping-pong every now and then. She’d be wearing a tiara, but it might be askew. With my Standard Hotel background, how could I not love the pit bed? I also loved how she chose to retain the essence of loft living, which is openness. Carisa didn’t disappoint with her color choices either. It took chutzpah to go black and white and her level of commitment to that choice was outstanding. Carisa rocks.

Matt couldn’t be more perfect for Elle Décor. He’s chic, articulate and surprisingly cocky. Who knew? He’s great with furniture and has impeccable taste. The personal touch with the wall of family photos (Bruce Weber style, not Dad in Bermudas), I think stole the competition from Carisa. You could not avoid becoming personally involved in Matt’s design. The warmth of those photos made Matt’s perfectly decorated space accessible. Genius touch!

Click here to continue reading Heather's exclusive recap of the Top Design finale. Don't miss her list of "Here's Heather" TOP award winners!

Congratulations, Matt!

You rose to the very top of an impressive group of competitors and you did so by always creating spaces that looked expensive, inviting and chic. Your taste level was always very high and yet you managed to make your rooms look relaxing as well as editorial. This week you created the loft of your dreams perfect for your beautiful wife, charming daughter with every detail suggesting the serenity a busy designer craves. You also managed to infuse the personal details that showed you understood the kinds of things that can make a house or apartment look like home. What a stellar achievement, Matt. Good show!

This post is only for positive words for Matt. Any other reactions can be posted posted in our here.

Send Some BTD Love to Carisa

You won an individual challenge with 'One Man's Trash' and you managed to best 10 designers on your way to the final two. This week the judges loved the architectural details of your loft (most notably your bed-pit) and thought that your kitchen was a terrific place to linger and work. You displayed that you already had a signature style that was mid-century influenced and funky, using vivid colors and liberal use of pillows and accessories. We have no doubt that the fun and fresh spaces that you create have enormous commercial appeal and that your career is headed in a phenomenal direction; we can't wait to hear about your future successes!

And, congratulations on your recent wedding!

This post is only for positive comments about Carisa.

Your Turn to be the Judge - Episode 10

We saw the lofts that the designers created and now you get to tell us who you felt deserved the win. This week you get to be Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler, Margaret Russell and Trudie Styler.

Who Should Have Won Top Design?
Matt Lorenz
Carisa Perez-Fuentes

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Reactions to the Finale

We have a winner! Post your reactions to the Top Design finale here.

Finale Party!

Matt or Carisa? Carisa or Matt? BTD opens up the whole house tonight for big finale party. There will no be no holding back as we watch the final two duke it out on "Lofty Designs". No better way to celebrate the end of Season 1 than amongst your friends. Come on in...

BTD Live Play-By-Play: The Finale!

Well, this is it Top Design fans! Tbone is back for our final play-by-play of the season as we find out who will create the "Top Design" and be crowned the winner of Season 1. Those of you stuck in a hotel without Bravo or fans on the west coast who can't wait to see who the winner will be can follow all the drama here live. Those watching at home who want to chime in with your friends at BTD, report to the party room above!

Poll Results for Episode 9

Our poll results are in for Episode 9 and they are interesting indeed. The majority of you thought that Carisa should have won and the majority of you thought that she should have been 'latered!' Click on each picture to see exactly how you voted.

This week you also told us who you thought SHOULD win and who you thought WILL win.

Lucky Scarlett

Scarlett had lunch today with Erik, Andrea, Tom and Lorenzo. She should be home soon to tell us all about it!

Here's Heather!

As we get ready for the Top Design finale, Heather goes ahead and gets all mushy on us:

Bring in the Violins

I still haven’t recovered from last week’s latering of my pal Andrea. I put all of the hope I had for myself in her after I left so I feel like I just got latered again, darn it! Not that I don’t have love for Matt and Carisa, but getting to know Andrea was one of the best things to come out of the show for me personally. She’s a great talent and we all will miss her level of experience and imagination in the finals. Too bad it couldn’t be three of them like Project Runway. Ok, I’ll stop.

But some cool things happened on the episode too. Michael Berman was the Interior Design judge during my round of auditions, so as he was part of getting me cast, he has impeccable taste! It was cool to see him appear as the guest judge.

We also got to finally see the genius that was Todd Time. Todd Oldham used to be the interior design guru on MTV’s House of Style and I was addicted to it! I loved watching him coach Matt on the proper way to jerry-rig a home upholstery job. I felt so nostalgic for the days when Todd would turn a dorm room into a college girl’s fantasy post teenage escape with like a dollar and a hot glue gun. Please more of that next season, Todd!

As I am still too bummed to make silly observations about last week’s show, I want to take a moment to say thank you to my pals at Blogging Top Design for allowing me to be a part of their blog. They have all been so encouraging and it has been a pleasure doing the recaps. Also a big kiss to the
PTD boys. Maybe I can still pull that Franco you’ve been angling for. And the only reason, besides the PTD boys, that would make me even consider “pulling a Franco” would be because of the support Margaret Russell has been so kind to offer me both through her blog and her interviews with Andy Cohen on the aftershow. Being asked to take part in the panel she organized and moderated during West Week here in LA was the highlight of my young career. I never thought being latered so soon would turn out to be such a positive experience! And finally thank you to every one that commented. I love you guys! I don’t think I have felt so high, then so low only to feel so high again. It’s been a very bi-polar year, and I wouldn’t change it for anything…well, that 100grand wouldn’t suck.

Back to my normal sarcastic self next week for the finals!!!!! Best of luck to both Matt and Carisa!

Awwww....we love you too Heather!

Monday, April 09, 2007

From the Mailbox

Sometimes we hear from people that are close to the designers and sometimes we hear from the designers themselves.

Click here to see a backyard transformation created by Andrea Keller that was featured on HGTV's Outer Spaces program. Andrea drew her inspiration from Hawaii without having ever visited that exotic location. Wait, that sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Click here
for a terrific Buddy TV interview with Goil. He's got a lot of ambition to go along with all of that energy!

Finally we noticed today that Matt Lorenz has a new website! After advancing to the Top Design finals we know that Matt's skills in creating chic spaces are going to be in even greater demand. And don't forget that we have links to all of the designers in our sidebar.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Greetings 'looza fans, you were not forgotten! Tbone should be walking off his Easter feast, but no. There are recaps to be linked and I will not be swayed by an impending food-induced coma. Words of wit and wisdom lie ahead and our friends await your visit:

The PTDBoys were not happy to lose miss fabulous...

Kora wants to know where Bravo has been hiding Matt's tailor Wayne who: ...guessing from his hat and glasses, appears to have been in the midst of a poker game.

We may petition to have Linda Merrill as a guest judge for Season 2...

Eric3000 just got crossed off of Margaret's Christmas card list: So which room is boring enough for the cover of Elle Decor? Love it!

The Grits to Glitz girls are rooting for the carpenters to win at this point...

Elisa Camahort had her recap up quick this week - she thinks the judges made the right call...

We thought we had lost Chelsea but look, she's back!

One more episode to go which means one last Recapalooza. We'll see you back here next week!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

BTD Interview With Goil Amornvivat

Goil Amornvivat quickly established himself as the early favorite on Top Design. He won us over with his unique design aesthetic as well as his personal wit and charm. The fatigue and pressure of the competition eventually took their toll on Goil, but not before he won a permanent place in our hearts. BTD checks in with Goil as we prepare for the finale:

BTD: (gar)Goil, pepper lovers everywhere have been shedding tears since your elimination. Any words of consolation to your legion of fans?

Goil: Thank you so much for your support and for watching the show. Let's hope this out-of-the-box move of being on a Realty TV show was a good move. I hope that you will hear more of me.

BTD: Are people recognizing you on the street? What's your reaction been to all of this?

Goil: Yes they do- I am always very surprised! My first thought is usually... "I wonder what grade I gave them" as I would think that they were one of my former students. A lot more people approach me now that I was 'latered'- all very kind.

BTD: You really set the tone for the show paired with Elizabeth, getting the win in the first challenge. What was your favorite element from that room?

Goil: We loved the swing and the sandbox. When we finished them, Elizabeth and I thought that the room was complete. For that challenge, we were the only ones who built our own furniture. I enjoyed making it. We approached the inner-sanctum as an abstract typology of an interior space. (As I have not labeled "inner-sanctum" in many drawings) Instead of using something known like, a "Dining room" or "bedroom", we responded conceptually. I was so glad to have Elizabeth as a partner. She was so fabulous and great to work with.

Click here to continue reading our interview with Goil as he talks about Carisa, Jan Brady and his relationship with Andrea.

Preview Videos - Episode 10, Lofty Designs

Two designers remain and this week we have only two previews. You can click here to watch a shopping frenzy on the Yahoo Top Design preview. And click here to see finalists Carisa Perez-Fuentes and Matt Lorenz prepare for the final challenge.

Let's get your thoughts on the outcome:

Who SHOULD Win Top Design?
Matt Lorenz
Carisa Perez-Fuentes

Who WILL Win Top Design?
Matt Lorenz
Carisa Perez-Fuentes

Sorry, the poll has closed. Click here for the results.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Top Design Photo Diaries

Bravo now has posted images submitted by the Top Design contestants. Click here for their photo diary page and then click on each of the designers' faces to see pictures of their world outside of the White Room.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Here's Heather!

A lot of you may be wondering, "Where's Heather?" Well, wonder no more. BTD is pleased to welcome back "latered" contestant Heather Ashton for her exclusive commentary on Top Design.

Wednesday 8pm----2 hours til Andrea, Matt and Carisa!

Top Carl held me hostage!

I thought about taking full responsibility for my lack of recapping….but then it occurred to me that I could always blame Carl. So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

But I do owe some ink to my boyfriend Michael and my FABULOUS Goil.

Michael, I am your #1 minion! You made the show fun even if you were ever so slightly maligned by out of context sarcasm. I wish I had a small part of your dedication and drive at your age. You went from never having painted to besting the majority of the cast. That rocks! I loved the short amount of time I got to gossip with you and can’t wait to see what you come up with in the future. Big kiss.

Click here to get more of her insight into Top Design, as we head in to the homestretch.

Congratulations, Matt

Three wins in four weeks is a staggering achievement and your spaces have been stunning testimony of your taste and vision. This week your keyword was "dreamy" and you stepped up to a challenge creating a room unlike and yet inspired by that Elle Decor cover. Your floors are always masterpieces and you masterfully upholstered that daybed adding just the right pop of color. The art on the wall was further evidence that you understand scale, proportion and color when creating a mood and setting a relaxing stage for lingering and conversation. This was a tough week but you, Matt, rose to the top!

Let's use this post to congratulate Matt; only positive words belong in the comments please.

Send Some BTD Love to Andrea

You won an individual challenge with 'Chef's Choice,' were selected as the leader in 'Garage Band' and your Team Tahiti won 'Life's a Beach.' You have the ability to communicate effectively with a client or tradespeople as well strong leadership skills and that made you the one to beat in this competition. You rose to the "mega star design trinity" level with your practiced eye in selecting materials and accouterments while adding signature architectural detail with your hands-on style. Your finesse with tools and calm attitude under pressure made you simply a pleasure to behold week after week.

This post is only for positive comments about Andrea.

Your Turn to be the Judge - Episode 9

We saw the rooms that the designers created; you get to weigh in on the results. This week you get to be Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler, Margaret Russell and Michael Berman.

Click here to tell us who you think should have won the challenge. Click here to tell us who should have heard, "See you later, decorator."

Rooms shown at the left, from top to bottom, were created by Matt, Andrea and Carisa.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Reactions To Episode 9

We're down to the Final 2! Post your reactions to Episode 9 here.

Episode 9 Party!

So who will the final 2 be - Andrea and Carisa? Andrea and Matt? Carisa and Matt? We'll find out soon as we celebrate Episode 9 of Top Design right here in the BTD party room. Pull up a lounge chair and join your friends for some stylish snark. It's party time!

BTD Live Play-By-Play: Episode 9

Tonight we learn who the two finalists will be as the first season of Top Design races to the finish. Join Tbone as he provides live play-by-play coverage of Episode 9: "ELLE DECOR Cover Inspiration". Don't miss our traditional Wednesday night party room post above!

Poll Results for Episode 8

Our poll results are in for Episode 8. In our 'Who Should Have Won' poll, you agreed with the judges and said that Matt had the best room. In the 'Who Should Have Been Latered' poll, you felt that this time Andrea needed to go. You can click on each of the pictures to see how you voted.

This week you also told us who you thought would be the final 2. The results are in and you opted for Matt and Andrea. Click on the image below to see how you voted.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Reality Worlds Collide

We operate under the general assumption that every one of you are familiar with BTD's mother site, Blogging Project Runway. On the off chance that some of our readers strictly patron BTD, you don't want to miss this post.

While Laura K and our field reporter 'jrt' (also a big BTD fan) were covering the Project Runway auditions in LA, they just happened to run into a couple of our favorite TD designers. Go see for yourself.

Jonathan Adler Ad for Aquos TV

I opened my most recent copy of New York Magazine and what should I see but:

Jonathan Adler applies his "happy chic" philosophy to his choice of electronics and he is urging consumers to save space in a colorful fashion. Click here to see his ad for AQUOS televisions that will appear in magazines that include Elle Decor as part of this campaign.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Sunday, April 01, 2007


We are light on recaps this week, but heavy on the fun!

Linda Merrill liked Carisa over Matt this week...

Bay and Amy like TD more and more every week...

Kora tries, but she just can't quit Top Design...

Apparently, Eric3000 loses his underpants at the sight of blood...

Here's another vote for Carisa from Moi...

Lazarus West: Kelly and Britney, together at last...

And as always, Tom & Lorenzo...

Thanks again to our dedicated band of recappers. Only two episodes left!