Design Star: White Box Challenge

The White Box Challenge, a favorite of mine is always an interesting episode to watch & I think it would be amazing to compete in. Mine is already done in my head, I’d have to just compensate because I’m sure they’d have us in some crazy store although, they’re kind of running out of options at this point… Anyway, on to the honest & snark 😉

Starting with Leslie, as I thought, while she was working that she’d kill this challenge. Wish I was right. Why did some of these designers decide that the focal point shouldn’t be in the center of this room that only has 3 walls? I say this because Leslie’s focal point was not the tinfoil art thing above the bed but, the “writing on the walls.” No pun intended… Her color scheme was fun & she was on the right track but ultimately it wasn’t the best. Didn’t someone else do a rug out of beans that mimicked an animal print rug? Anyway…

Cathy was so inside the box. Literally. The big, white box that was the challenge. That floor could’ve been so much better & not so random & tasteless. Er, wait, they were spices so they had flavor but they were done in bad taste. I read something that I’m pretty sure Emily Henderson said that it probably smelled better than it looks. I would imagine this to be the case. The broken plates could’ve been so much more, like maybe just smash up the entire room & sort of put it back together & I didn’t see much that had anything to do with graffiti. Sorry, Cathy. I didn’t think it was the worst but it was definitely close to it.

Kevin made a much better decision on walls this week! A nice departure from the tangerine of last week. No function at all but that’s the whole challenge. The butcher paper looked so awesome on that wall, I only wish it could work in a home or business but we know that’s not allowed unless this is 2002 & we’re back on Trading Spaces & Hildi is your designer… But for this challenge, it worked flawlessly. The rest of the room was pretty standard but overall I liked it.

Tyler’s was the coolest in my opinion. I love that he didn’t use any of the furniture provided & really thought outside of the white box. The water bottle chair was so awesome & I just want one of them even though I don’t have the space for one. I’m a chair-a-holic so I loved that he ran with that! This coming from the kid who has an Eames rocker tattooed on his leg… His colors were awesome too, it was definitely a tie in my boom between him & Mark.

Oh, Meg. We’re Twitter friends & I do like you but last night was a disaster. Colors were great (and matched her shirt from the first day!) & some ideas were nice but the shell-pasta, tinfoil mirror wasn’t chic. Great idea in theory but execution failed. The coffee table was actually a piece that I liked in the room & then it fell over so, well, ya know. And the coffee shadows were a great thought & had she edited some furniture & solely focused on the shadows of the furniture, it could’ve been a successful design. The coffee shadows actually looked legit from the right angle! If it were me, I would’ve knocked everything over once the table got knocked over. That would’ve made a statement!

Let’s talk about J. I was supposed to like her. I really thought: she’s cool, she’ll knock this out of the park. I wish I was right. She is so cool & I bet her rooms look great but her challenge combined with her trying to “wing it” during her presentation ultimately resulted in her being the second person eliminated. It was untimely in my opinion but I guess that’s not for me to decide… I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of her in the future!

Kellie had such a cool room! I loved the side table & I wouldn’t be surprised if I walked into Design Within Reach next week & saw it for sale in there. It’s that good. The black & white striped were crisp & looked great & how fun to spill the paint & paint the picture of the paint can pouring out? And the footprints were a fun touch at the end. I loved the juxtaposition of the clean, crisp walls & the somewhat playful accents. This room was cool, I’ll give it to her but it needed something more.

The only thing I really liked about Karl’s room was the light fixture that he made from takeout containers. It was good thinking & looked cool. The color scheme was nice but other than the light, it was pretty standard. He painted the furniture & did some other cool things but this is the white box challenge, he played it a little safe but I did like the room.

Doug’s room was so cool but not his own idea so I was a little disappointed by that. He did so much work for something that wasn’t really his own thing… Luckily for him he was safe. His idea was there but he was too literal. Looking forward to seeing more of his work.

I thought Bret’s room was cool. Or maybe I just think Bret is cool & maybe he makes me want to pop the lenses out of a pair of my Black Ray-Ban Wayfarers & have prescription lenses put in them. In any case, his work is good but even he played it safe this week.

Dear Design Star Contestants, STOP PLAYING IT SAFE! Sincerely, Jamie.

Finally, Mark. How awesome is it that he inspired the room from his grandfathers military days? 5 stars, A+, whatever little great job, bravo type of saying you’d care to insert. That flying futon was awesome, his paint lines were perfection & everything was just so crisp & almost perfect. The bowls all over the floor threw me at first but seeing it finished, it really completed the look.

Congrats to Mark on winning & goodbye, J! Although, like I said, I’m sure that’s not the last we’ll see of her.

Next week: the first homeowner challenge. We’ll see who takes it!

Tweet me, @JamieBertolini until then!


4 thoughts on “Design Star: White Box Challenge

  1. 1)I love white box challenge but feel they should have a set # of furniture pieces requirement that way more realistic.
    2)What is your opinion season after season the women seem to be eliminated first? Could it be because most do not know have carpentry skills? Afraid to take bigger risks?
    3)Personally tired of seeing seeds/colanders/ss bowls used, perhaps in future what has been overused in the past should not be allowed?
    Agreed the best piece was the illuminated chair but VERY disappointed he did not showcase how was accomplished by the designer in camera interview. While I so enjoy design shows (began long ago with Trading Spaces) I still get frustrated when an average joe like me isn’t provided more of the ‘how to’ component. Another example on this episode was the fantastic light fixture.
    Thanks for continuing the blog Jamie! As always, enjoy your perspectives.

    • I like the creativity that you could have by eliminating the furniture though. The white box challenge never has to be functional which is nice since we never get to do something that purely looks good. It always has to function to a certain extent so I don’t mind that. I would like to see a more how to approach though, that could be interesting in some cases! And I’m not sure about the women. It could be but I know of females that are great carpenters so who knows. I love your questions & comments! Thanks so much! 🙂

  2. You forgot to mention J’s sad little jars of parsley that were lost on that wall. And I didn’t understand why she put her sterno fireplace on a side wall.

    I LOVED the painting of the tipped paint can and the spilled paint on the floor.

    Enjoyed reading your perspective, Jamie. And I agree w/ Baca. I’d like to learn more of the “how to.”

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