Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan - A Happy Chic Home(life)

I'm a little slow hearing this, but TD head judge Jonathan Adler and his longtime companion (do we still use that phrase?) Simon Doonan are tying the knot!

This bon vivant couple may be living the high life, but it appears that the marriage is coming about the old-fashioned way. Jonathan's mother has clearly had enough and wants her baby to settle down already!

As Simon said to New York Magazine: “I always thought we were married, so I don’t feel like celebrating the fact that the government’s allowing me to think I’m married. It’s more like paying a parking ticket,” Doonan told us at a Couture Council of the Museum at FIT cocktail party. “We’ll have a nice romantic dinner, him and me,” he added. The creative power couple haven’t been breathlessly monitoring the same-sex matrimonial legal wranglings, but Adler’s family has been pushing them to the altar. Adler’s lawyer mom Cynthia and sister Amy, an NYU law professor, have shepherded the process along. “They’ve been incredibly supportive and kept an eye out on what was going on, and they said, ‘Oh, you guys should get married in California.’ So it was them that sort of prompted us,” Doonan said. He figures it’ll be after Fashion Week, around September 17. “But no gifts,” Doonan admonished. “We have enough tchotchkes at home for one lifetime.”

All right, no gifts... but how about a big


from all the team here at BTD!

(ps - why fly to California - Massachusetts is nice in the Autumn... just sayin')

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Jonathan Adler: The Happy Chic Home Contest

PointClickHome and TD head judge Jonathan Adler are on hunt for the happiest and chicest home in America! Enter for a chance to win up to a $2,500 gift card for Jonathan Adler retail and online stores. Last call for submissions is August 21st and they will announce the top three winners on August 28th! Click here for details!

Let us know if you enter!

And, speaking of Monsieur Adler - what do we think "See ya later, Decorator" - keep it or dump it?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Videos! A fresh coat of drama!

In a great new feature this season, Bravo has released a series of 60 second "Life Stories" of the designers! Let's get to know a little more about...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Designer Bio - Andrea Schroder

Age: 36
Hometown: Calgary, Canada
Resides in Santa Monica Mountains, Calif.

Andrea approaches design thinking of the big picture -- the whole property, the whole house, the whole room. She believes that spaces need to function, make sense, and be inviting and comfortable. Blessed with an innate eye for beauty and with a combination of education and over 15 years of personal and professional experience, Andrea is primarily focused on design as it pertains to real estate and development. At 36, she has built and sold over 15 custom homes, as well as remodeled residential and commercial real estate including two movie theaters, and a historical building with loft apartments, a barn and more. Andrea has also helped creatively on several movie and music video sets. She is the owner of a real estate development and design company, Schroder Development, and is currently working on the development of a large lifestyle neighborhood in Western Colorado, in addition to other projects. At the age of 18, Andrea met and married her husband, actor Ricky Schroder. Together they live on a farm in the Santa Monica Mountains just outside of Los Angeles where they raise their four children, three dogs and various farm animals. Andrea is an avid gardener, homemaker, and belongs to various charities supporting children including Child Help USA.

Designer Bio - Eddie Ross

Age: 30
Hometown: Greenwich, Conn.
Resides in New York City

At only 30 years old, Eddie has already established himself in the television, catering and publishing industries. A native of Greenwich, Conn. and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Eddie began his career working in television as a food editor on Martha Stewart Living and later as Associate Design Director for all in-house production at the Food Network. After a two-year stint running his own catering company, where he continued to refine his skills in decorating and entertaining, Eddie made the move to publishing. As Associate Decorating Editor at House Beautiful, he produced the popular "Weekend Shopper," a monthly article in which he'd travel to flea markets around the country, finding new ways to use old things. Having returned to Martha Stewart as the Senior Style Editor of Living, Eddie continues to demonstrate a vast and impressive range of talents. From decorating and entertaining to food styling and flowers, he strives to produce consistently elegant stories that relate to a variety of people's tastes and budgets. To him, interior design is just one, albeit crucial, part of a lifestyle that ought to be comfortable, timeless and, above all, beautiful.

Visit Eddie at his blog here.

Designer Bio - Jennifer Newsom

Age: 28
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.
Resides in New York City

This Minnesota native is always looking for her next challenge. Not only is Jennifer a former track star, but she's also a double Yale graduate with a Masters degree. While at Yale, she organized a symposium on architecture and race and wrote an encyclopedia entry on the history of black architects. Her work has been profiled in Metropolis magazine, The Architect's Newspaper, and The New York Times. Jennifer believes that good design transcends cultural boundaries. She is passionate about design and architecture and is known for clean lines and a modern sensibility. Jennifer has worked at firms as illustrious and varied as Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Adjaye/Associates, Cooper Robertson & Partners, and Deborah Berke and Partners Architects, designing high-end residential projects. She believes that one quality that makes her a great designer is that she can listen to a client's needs and translate it into a spatial idea. She also likes to keep the process fun. Jennifer is inspired by context, sentiment and history. Her friends describe her as "tall" (she stands at 6'), and she is also known as a fly dancer and party-starter. Jennifer currently resides in Brooklyn where she and her husband (an artist and architect) are renovating their apartment.

Designer Bio - Kerry Howard

Age: 40
Hometown: Easley, S.C.
Resides in Atlanta, Ga.

Kerry (also known as "Big Daddy") is a true southern boy at heart. Raised in the small town of Easley, South Carolina, he always dreamt of becoming a designer. After graduating from high school and working in several non-design related jobs, Kerry realized it was time to make his dream a reality, and in 1995 enrolled in Anderson University, where he earned a B.A. in Art with a concentration in Interior Design. Kerry soon accepted a job with Broyhill Furniture Industries as an Upholstery Design Manager where he traveled the country designing showrooms. In 2003, he made the move to North Atlanta, where he currently resides and owns and operates Howard House Interiors. Kerry describes his style of design as eclectic, with a mix of traditional and contemporary. He is focused primarily on residential design work, although he continues to do showroom work on occasion. He believes, if not for his family's love and encouragement he would not be the successful designer that he is today.

Designer Bio - Nathan Thomas

Age: 30
Hometown: Denver, Colo.
Resides in New York City

Originally from Denver, Colo., Nathan was exposed to blueprints and drafting tools at a very young age, by his mother who worked at an architecture firm. His passion for design was instinctual and he always yearned to see more art and architecture. Although he had a love for design, Nathan originally entered college thinking that he was interested in science, but it didn't take long for his true passion in the arts to come through. He became inspired by photography, drawn to the art of manipulating space and time. To further his education in the arts, Nathan transferred to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. in their interior design program, transferring again shortly thereafter to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, where he received his BFA in interior design. Following graduation, Nathan went on to become a Junior Designer at Alexandra Champalimaud & Associates, where his projects included The New York Palace Hotel and The Marriot Financial Center. Nathan is currently a Senior Designer at Nathan Egan Interiors, where he focuses on high-end residential work from Manhattan to the East End. He is inspired by the world around him and finds beauty and inspiration everyday.

Designer Bio - Natalie Williams

Age: 24
Hometown: Montgomery, Ala.
Resides in Atlanta, Ga.

At only 24 years old, Natalie is already a head designer at a major design firm, Yessicks Design Center. She is passionate about design in numerous mediums including fashion design, graphic design, architecture, and her main focus interior design. Natalie is best known for putting colors together and learning peoples' styles quickly. She is also a firm supporter of mixing contemporary style with traditional style. Her goal as a designer is to find a perfect balance between beauty and function. She says that her passion is driven by the ability to enhance her client's world and make their visions reality. Natalie currently resides and works in Georgia.

Designer Bio - Ondine Karady

Age: 38
Hometown: Mountainside, N.J.
Resides in New York City

Ondine has been a successful set decorator working on major motion pictures and television shows in New York City for most of her professional life, including on the hit television series Sex and the City, where she served on a small team that continually pushed the limits of high-end, interior design. When the series ended in 2004, she opened her own boutique design studio in SoHo. Four years later, Ondine Karady Design has already developed an impressive client list that includes major celebrities, Hollywood directors and Washington opinion makers. In addition, she has also developed a robust catalogue of custom-made furniture, wallpaper and ceramics. It is Ondine's dream to build her business into a design powerhouse specializing in glamorous homes, hotels and restaurants, with product lines in major retail stores. An avid world traveler, she ultimately intends to design and manufacture furniture with artisans from villages around the world while supporting developing regions in the process. Ondine has a gift for transforming even the most sterile spaces into elegant, comfortable, and livable, works of art. She began her career in set decorating after graduating from Barnard College of Columbia University. Among other major projects, her credits include the films Requiem for a Dream and "25th Hour." Ondine splits her time between New York City, Montauk, N.Y. and Washington, D.C., where her husband Jim Rutenberg is a political correspondent for the New York Times. She lives with her black cat named Norman and a Blue Chow named Little Bear.

Designer Bio - Preston Lee

Age: 27
Hometown: Amarillo, Texas
Resides in Los Angeles, Calif.

This Southwestern native began pursuing design at a very young age. Preston studied under numerous designers, architects, developers, and furniture designers and continued formal education at The Fashion Institute for Design and Merchandising. After studying abroad for a year in Australia, Preston knew that he was meant for design. He began working with Kenneth Brown Design full-time, before establishing his own design firm, Preston Lee Design, two years later, at the young age of 21. Since then, he has worked on a number of high-profile projects including creating the set design for the Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, the bar iCandy, green condo complex in West Hollywood, and several celebrity homes. Preston describes his style as being sexy and sophisticated. He believes it is necessary for his clients to be surrounded by beauty and comfort, but he also takes pride in challenging them to think outside the box. . "Good design should always have that 'wow factor.'"

Designer Bio - Serge Van Lian

Age: 27
Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
Resides in New York City

Serge describes his biggest accomplishment as learning to live without fear, being completely in the present, and doing whatever he's inspired to do. Raised by a Dutch model and Russian/Armenian meat factory owner, he is the first American born in his family. His upbringing was unconventional and domestic life was turbulent until his parents separated. His avant-garde lifestyle inspired him to become a self-taught artist at a young age. He began as a songwriter/music producer, and transitioned to painting abstract works and designing interior spaces. Serge attended Crossroads High School for Arts and Sciences and went on to earn a bachelor's degree at USC. After graduating, he worked for Chrysalis Music Group, where he screened demos and assisted their film and TV department. He then moved to New York City and discovered interior design was his true-life mission. At 27, Serge is currently running his own design company, Serge Van Lian – the name is a fusion of both his mother and father's last names. His peers describe him as a free spirited renegade with endless energy and passion for design. His style is eclectic, functional, and often times experimental. Serge views each apartment as a blank canvas and obsesses over every detail. He loves to roam around the city with no destination, looking for inspiration in architecture, nature and people.

Designer Bio - Robert Reid

Age: 40
Hometown: Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Resides in Houston, Texas

From the time Robert received his first set of LEGO's as a six-year-old, he knew he wanted to be a designer. Originally from Canada, Robert moved to New York City to attend graduate school at the prestigious Pratt Institute, where he received his Master of Science degree in Interior Design. After a few years working at a large, international, commercial architecture firm based in New York City, Robert relocated to Houston, Texas, where he was being pursued by a Top100 design practice. He and his partner quickly became known as "the New York guys in Houston," and developed a great reputation for unique, innovative and well-designed spaces in a challenging market. After only two years, Robert and his partner were able to launch their own design practice based in Houston. Since then, Robert has worked on hundreds of design projects across the United States, Canada and in Europe. He is a very methodical and serious designer and believes that paying attention to the most minute details separates a great designer from all of the rest. He labors over every design decision and can explain his decision making process on every project. His projects are each unique and varied in style – from very traditional to ultra-contemporary – with his signature being his adherence to a strong concept, use of unique materials, custom details, elegant finishes and integration of advanced technology on every project. Robert is acutely aware of the world around him and takes inspiration from everything.

Designer Bio - Shazia Kirmani

Age: 30 - Hometown: Plano, Texas
Resides in Houston, Texas

Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Shazia was part of the first generation of American born children in her family. From a very young age her father pushed her to become a doctor, but after her first semester at The University of Texas at Austin studying Biochemistry, Shazia realized she was more passionate about redesigning her bedroom than anything that was going on in the classroom. Upon graduation, she accepted a position at the Gap as a visuals specialist, where she finally found the direction she needed. At the age of 25, familial and societal expectations thrown to the wind, Shazia entered The Art Institute of Dallas studying Interior Design. Three short months after graduation, she was awarded a contract with a multi-billion dollar healthcare services company and from there she started her own company, Egospace Interiors, Inc. Shazia is inspired by everything – the environment, politics, fashion, etc. She prefers her designs to be functional, with a touch of contemporary edge. In 2006, her apartment was recognized in Dallas' D Home and Garden Magazine and she was named the 'It' gal of interiors. Now at 30, Shazia is as successful and ambitious as ever. Her company is growing and she is taking on commercial/residential rehabs and clientele such as The Trelivings, whose patriarch, Jim Treliving, is star of CBC's Dragons' Den and owner of Boston Pizza International. By staying true to her deepest desires, whether business or personal, Shazia has mastered the ability to take on any challenge without letting fear of the unknown stand in her way.

Designer Bio - Teresa Keegan

Age: 35
Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Resides in Las Vegas, Nev.
Having grown up in the home her mother designed and her father built, Teresa established a love of art and design at a very young age. The Oklahoma native has a contagious energy, is down to earth, and has a genuine passion for design. This midwestern gal accumulated an inherent sense of design and creativity with nature at the core of her inspiration. She loves the perfect balance of color, texture and scale that nature provides, and describes her design style as a type of Modern Zen, balancing the Organic and Modern in her projects. The first 10 years of her career were spent in Seattle, Washington where she was influenced by Asian minimalism and the abundance of lush landscapes that the Northwest provides. During her professional career, she has worked for Margaret Appleton Design, The Terris Draheim Showroom and has been fortunate to work with Tom Kundig of Olsen, Sundberg, Kudig & Allen Architecture. Teresa has been involved and designed a mix of commercial and residential projects including a boutique hotel and many exterior landscapes. Teresa currently runs her own design firm, Keegan Designs, which specializes in modern interiors and exteriors for custom residential & commercial projects. Teresa's trademark in her designs always includes a bit of shimmer interwoven within the earth elements.

Designer Bio - Wisit Prapong

Age: 30
Hometown: Gibson City, Ill.
Resides in Los Angeles, Calif.

Guided by a love for all things beautiful, Wisit studied art history, fashion design, interior design, and music. Wisit holds a Bachelor's Degree in Art History from the University of California at Davis, and a degree in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design. Some of his favorite design icons are Stephane Boudin, Billy Baldwin, David Hicks, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren, and Oscar de la Renta. He describes his personal style as modern classic elegance. Also a trained countertenor, Wisit performs the work of Handel, Mozart, Strauss and others. Born in Gibson City, Illinois, Wisit credits his midwestern upbringing for his love of nature and gracious demeanor. He is currently a self-employed designer and fashion design instructor in Los Angeles.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A host and a mentor walked into the studio...

First - boy... India Hicks is tall! Above are new host India Hicks and newly established mentor Todd Oldham. In Season 1, Todd did double duty as host and mentor. The problem was that he was a little unsure of his hosting role and yet really shined as the mentor. He was so caring and warm with the contestants and you could tell he was bursting with great ideas and helpful hints. So yay for new producers The Magical Elves for seeing this and doing something about it. I really hope they show more of the back stage work process part and less bickering and dramz.

Now - the question is - what is the host role and what will Miss Hicks be doing? There is no host on Project Runway and on Top Chef, Padme Lakshmi is both host and judge. What exact role would we want to see?

A little more news: "With challenges ranging from redesigning a fall out shelter to competing in a full-on design triathlon, eccentric personalities and creative egos combine to fuel the competition."

Hmmm - what is a design triathlon?


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Welcome back decorators!

TD Judges: Kelly Wearstler, Jonathan Adler and Margaret Russell

We're gearing up here at BTD for a great season 2 of Top Design and I'm very excited to be joining Laura K, The Scarlett and TBone here on Blogging Top Design! I'm so honored to have been invited to join the fun. Of course, I'll still provide some coverage on my own blog ::Surroundings:: but this is where you will find all the best and most up to date information around!

Coming soon: profiles on this seasons' designers, what judges Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler, Margaret Russell and mentor Todd Oldham have been up to since last year and more!

Please don't hesitate to email us with any news you have on Top Design!

S1 and S2 designers - we especially want to hear from you!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Season 2 Premiere: September 3!

This just in:
NEW YORK – July 16, 2008 – Today, Bravo revealed the 13 talented men and women chosen for the second season of Bravo's hit interior design competition series "Top Design." The second season has been revamped with a brand new look in high-definition, new producers, the Emmy-nominated Magical Elves ("Project Runway," "Top Chef"), and a new host, celebrated fashion model and design aficionado, India Hicks. The series will follow professional designers as they live together in a decked-out loft, compete to create the "Top Design," and a chance to win a $100,000 cash prize and a four-page editorial showcase in ELLE DECOR magazine. World-renowned designer Todd Oldham returns, this time as the contestants' mentor. Jonathan Adler will reprise his role as head judge along with Margaret Russell, Editor In Chief of ELLE DECOR magazine, and interior designer Kelly Wearstler as series judges. "Top Design" premieres on Bravo on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Season 2 of Top Design will receive a huge lead-in from the last half of Project Runway Season 5. With new producers and a new host, the expectations will be high. Stay tuned to BTD for more on the new cast soon.