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Monday, June 28, 2010

Dear Mark Burnett:

Dear Mr. Burnett and HGTV,
On Monday's, I normally blog about the previous evening's episode of DESIGN STAR. Today, I am so steamed, I felt compelled to write to you directly.
HGTV's DESIGN STAR was a unique reality show. It differed from the saturated reality show market in that it was talent based, and, it did not involve backstabbing. There were no good guys or bad guys, just eager, talented designers.
Creativity and ingenunity were tested. Personal attacks were unnecessary and not present - this was awesome and REFRESHING!!!!

As viewers, we enjoyed watching Clive Pearse as host! The comments posted on HGTV's facebook wall are in support of Clive, and, of the show having a host. I am surprsied that Design Star went to a host less format, especially given that Mr. Burnett has employed hosts on "Survivor" and on "Rock Star".

The challenges this season have been tweaked, which is a good thing! I loved the music and fashion challenges. I thougth the concept was spectacular! However, the designers truly LACK creativity, vision and true passion! They also lack an "it factor" that would engage the viewers to tune into their own show!!!!!

There is an emphasis being placed this season of group challenges. First show, ok, second show, we didn't complain....third show???? We rolled our eyes! To have continuous group challenges, prevents us from seeing the individual strengths of the designers. The base of HGTV's core audience is DESIGNERS, STAGERS, CRAFTERS, DIY & Home Enthusiasts!!!! The show is missing the mark and failing to engage the viewer. It also does not stimulate any new interest in the design field!!!!

Candice Olsen is a truly gifted designer, with a huge following. HGTV viewers, myself included, love her and love her work!!!! You have a great resource in Candice - UTILIZE HER!!!!! Gen is likeable, creative and fun. She was also a great addition to the show. Vern's a good designer, but PULEEZ have him drop the "heavy" persona!!! This is a guy who is known for being nice. He hosts a show called "Deserving Design" - not exactly a good candidate for a bad ass!

As for the cast - The viewers across the board, DESPISE Nina. We don't love to hate her!!! We simply do not care for her. She isn't the typical reality show villian, who has the potential to be "redeemed" This season, there is no true standout for design or personality!!! The casting process needs to be revamped!!!!!

In closing, I appeal to both Mr. Burnett and to HGTV to fix this show we love, and to make Season Six, the best season yet!

Designer Kat, an aspiring HGTV DESIGN STAR!!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

HGTV, we need to talk!

Dear HGTV,
Let me start this by saying, you know how I feel about you! My "love" is true, enduring and ever lasting. You also know how utterly and completely I long to work for you. I don't need any fancy bells, whistels, or extravagant budgets, just my own simple show- a hipper, more relevant, modernized "Decorating Cents meets Design on a Dime". With all that being said, and, out in the open, I feel that as a future part of your family, there is something we really need to discuss.
Don't freak out - we aren't "breaking up" - I just want to communicate openly with you, to fix the snafu's in our "relationship". Ok, here we go!

DESIGN STAR! I understand the need to shake things up, I understand the need to infuse new blood. I get it, I really do! I am an Aries - I THRIVE on change! LOL!!! Adding Candice and Gen, as judges last season, was GENIOUS! Hearing the critiques of designers I respect has been influential and informative. It has caused me to grow and learn as a designer!
Design star is about GREAT DESIGN and on-camera personality. The problem with the show wasn't the format, wasn't the host (we liked Clive!!!!) or even the repitition of the challenges - but rather the CAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You keep casting the same people every season! That is the mold that needs to be BROKEN!!!!!!! This year's cast is the most boring cast ever! Not to mention the fact that Nina is so arrogantly unwatchable!
Go back and look at the first season - David was watchable because of his design skills! The fact that he was engaging and came across likeable, added to the overall appeal. Alice was a talented designer too - but she wasn't a mean spirited runner up! The entire cast had camraderie! That is something we would expect as loyal HGTV viewers.
Now, let's talk about the influence of Mark Burnett. Yes, he is a vastly successful reality show producer - that is indisputable and undeniable! I never got into "Survivor" but I did watch "Rock Star". On a show like "Rock Star" we expect ego's and swagger! Can you imagine a frontman or frontwoman without an "it factor"???? That would make for a boring show and even less entertaining TV. On "Rock Star", J.D. was cast as the "villian" - he was cocky and had a swagger - but he was a ROCK STAR!!! We could forgive it - we also could see the redeeming qualities! Additionally, he proceeded to win the first season of that show. Case in point - it worked!
DESIGN STAR is not cut from the same cloth! You have to know your audience! These two audiences are not one in the same.
I humbly appeal to you as a fan, friend and future family member to consider the following:
2. Let us hear MORE from Candice and Gen!!!! And making Vern the heavy??? Puleez!!! Anyone who has followed Vern's career knows this isn"t true to who he is. (Trading Spaces, Deserving Design) Cmon now!;
3. BREAK THE CASTING MOLD!!!! Stop re-casting the SAME, SAFE, BORING personalities, year after year!!! Take a chance, spread your wings, shake up the show through the CAST and CHALLENGES!

Yes, I am will make myself available to help you embrace your new journey! LOL!!!
In fact, I would readily volunteer my design "eye" for Season 6 :)
Much love,

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Design Star Dish - Episode 2

For Season 5 of HGTV's DESIGN STAR, uber-producer Mark Burnett (Survivor & Rock Star) was brought in to shake things up. In this episode, his influence and point of view is definatly felt. Case in point - the clear cut villian! Yes folks, without any further ado, we know this to be Nina! Nina is ARROGANT, SELF CENTERED and truthfully, I was SHOCKED to learn she is a luxe designer! Her design was NOT reflective of the couture gown her room was to be based upon. Now I love murals, wall decals and hand painted art- BUT - her painting look like it belonged in a child's room. Any female with a fashion forward mind would never mistake childlike for couture! Emily said it best -Nina is a "bully" and clearly did not play well with the others. Unlike the villians on Mark Burnett's other programs, there is no redemptive quality to Nina - we don't even love to hate her!
I LOVED that this week's challenge was based on a fashion show! Loved it, loved it , loved it! I have long held that design, music and fashion are all inter related

Alex chose the wedding dress as his fashion inspiration. He tried to interpret a high end WEDDING gown, that was unmistakeably COUTURE and turn it into a headboard. He did not succeed. Courtland was this week's "winning" designer for painting colored stripes on the wall???? I do NOT get that one at all! Basic design 101!
Stacey spent the entire episode painting one chair. Given that this is a competition, I don't think she budgeted her time well, but, the chair she painted was well executed and gorgeous! She should have inserted more of herself and her inspirational outfit, into the room.

Emily - pretty girl, gets a lot of camera time - Loved the fact she called out Nina, but she is otherwise BORING!!!! I was surprised that Tera got the boot! Tera and Nina were both in the final two. Watching their hosting videos, Tera was clearly the better on camera personality
Why the judges kept Nina astounds me! She is NOT even remotely likeable as a good villian! Nor, does she make for good TV - She makes me want to turn the channel! Not a good quality when looking for a TV host!

And speaking of the judges.....the addition of Candice and Genevive as judges gave this series new life last season. This year, the role of the judges has been visably reduced. I love Candice & to not see and hear as much of her expert opinion is disappointing!
At this point, I don't have a clear cut favorite, but we shall stay tuned!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Notes on NEO CON

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to attend Neo-Con. Neo Con is the largest interior design conference, filled with vendors, suppliers, maufacturers and designers GALORE!

Walking from floor to floor at the Merchandise Mart was like sensory overload!

Some of my FAVORITE things....

Roppe Flooring gave away TREES! Yes, you read that correctly! Real Colorado Blue Spruce Trees (in a tube!) Loved the creativity!!!

The wallpapers and fabrics displayed by Wolf-Gordon! WOW - Talk about gorgeous!!!! They had a raw silk cranberry paper that was so visually stunning on a display board, I can only imagine how fantastic it would look in a home!

In terms of generating product interest, I gotta give props to Halo flooring. Instead of boring the designers with sales pitches and speels, they let us make our own floor tiles. Not only was this fun and engaging, it gave us first hand insights to their products.

Carnegie fabrics captured an interesting contrast between industry and nature with their fabrics.

There were several luxe home furniture designers. I fell madly in love with a regal, vintage Old Hollywood inspired living room and bedroom. However, one of the side chairs cost 10k!!!!!! (Yes, that is correct - 10 grand!!!!!!!!) Helloooo we are in a recession here! Egads! As much as I liked this stylistically, the arrogant pricing really turned me off.

and lastly..... Benjamin Moore! I love their products and really liked the way they displayed their new colors in their showcase. They took you through the evolution of their colors & I enjoyed the history behind it.

All in all, a very enjoyable, informative day!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

DESIGN STAR DISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The fifth season of Design Star premiered tonight on HGTV. The show seems to have been re-tooled from last season. For starters, Clive Pearse is gone as host. The show moved to a host-less format, but, the new segments reminded me a bit of Bravo's short lived design show "Top Design". This season does seem more fast paced and less cookie cutter safe. The contestants are jumping right into the white room challenge (which in itself was tweeked) on the first episode. As a viewer, I liked this because we got to quickly size up and see the designers point of view.
Cast wise, I kinda feel like they keep casting the same "safe" personalities, they just have different names! Every season has the brash girl with an ego, the shy, girl next door, the gay guy, the artist and the mom. When Candice Olsen, judge & designer extraordinairre, joined the series last season, she injected new life into the show. I wish the producers would do the same with the CAST!!!!!! I was THRILLED when Antonio won last season, largely due to the fact he is NOT your typical TV DESIGNER. He is an edgy, rock influenced set designer, which gives him such a unique design perspective and makes him so much more interesting to watch!!!!!!!!

Tonight, Julie was the first casualty!!! - I hated her design but I thought she was more interesting on camera than Emily. Let us not forget, this show is not just about design, but on camera personality as well. It is still early on, but nobody really jumped out at me like David did in Season One, or even Antonio, last season.

The only thing I know for certain is that I am DYING to get cast on this show ( and working my rear end off to turn my design dream into a REALITY (show!!!) LOL!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bathtub BLING!

To anyone who has a bathtub in dire need of re-facing, I got creative with the camoflage! The bottom of this bathtub is well...I am just gonna say it...GRUESOME! Neither bleach, steel wool or Goo be Gone, could undo the damage that was previously done! Thus, I had to intervene!!!!!

I took garden stones, candles and crystals and transformed an undisputable eye sore, into a zen-like spa. Granted, this bathroom still needs a gut overhaul, but, in the meantime, a budget friendly, "Eye" satisfying fix!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I finally got around to updating my website!!! YAY!!! (Insert cheers here - LOL!!!)
Blogger is a much easier site to navigate! Of course, I should probably acknowledge my tech know-how, is at best, LIMITED!!!!! But, needless to say, I am quite pleased with the site so far!

CHECK IT OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

An affordable facelift!!!!

I love apartment makeovers! Being able to transform a small space from sheer drab, to comfortable and fab, always makes me happy! I think that apartment dwellers should be able to enjoy their spaces as much as home owners! For this apartment renovation, I worked with a MINIMAL budget, but I am a resourceful gal! The backsplash and countertops were completely unsalvageable. The kitchen cabinets were in good shape, but I hated the color.

The color of the cabinets was such an eye sore to me, it inspired me to mix up my very own custom color stain. I didn't want to stain the cabinets too dark, with it being such a small space, but I love the look of dark wood. Cherry stain was too red, considering we had chosen red as the wall color. Thus, I whipped up a batch of what I like to call BLACK CHERRY stain. (I will happily sell my formula to Minwax -LOL!!!) I am so thrilled with the finished look of the cabinets, new counters and the backsplash!!!!