Articles for Top Design Season 1

Originally aired on Wednesday, 01/31/2007 Episode Rating: *** (3 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: In this, the first episode of Bravo‘s foray into the world of interior design, we meet the designers and judges, have the very first challenge, and say goodbye to not one but two contestants. Read more »
Even with its late starting hour of 11:00 PM, Top Design was Bravo’s highest rated series premiere in its history. Like many reality shows, the first episode is a little hard to judge. There are so many new people running around to get to know, much of the show is taken up just with introductions. Nevertheless, we got a little flavor of some of the personalities, potential conflicts, design styles and show format, and it all has set fingers tapping in the blogosphere. We made the rounds to see what people are saying in response to the show and what the show’s own designers and judges are saying behind the scenes… Read more »
Originally aired on Wednesday, 2/7/2007Episode Rating: ** (2 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: After last week’s team challenge, the designers are excited to work solo. However, there is, of course, a "design curveball" in the works that requires quick thinking on the part of all the contestants. Read more »
John Gray, contestant of Bravo‘s newest reality show Top Design, justified his unruly behavior on the premiere of the show by revealing that he’s taking medication to treat HIV. "I just want everyone to know I‘m HIV-positive," Gray tells his fellow contestants during Top Design‘s Wednesday, February 7 episode. "I‘m not making excuses or apologies." Read more »
Originally aired on Wednesday, 02/14/2007Episode Rating: *** (3 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: The designers’ favorite activity – working in teams – is back. This time, they’re working in groups of three to build a beach cabana. It’s more harmonious than you might expect, but that’s not to say the process is totally friction-free… Read more »
Originally aired on Wednesday, 02/21/2007Episode Rating: *** (3 stars out of 5) Episode Overview:  The designers finally get the chance to meet their clients before they begin work on the challenge, but that doesn‘t mean there isn‘t a twist!Episode Highlights: The designers this week get to design for a tough crowd: other designers, design students to be exact. Luckily, they don‘t have to work in teams again, but their partnership with the Top Design carpenters can still occasionally be just as fraught. The producers throw a shopping hurdle to the designers, but with only one exception, most are able to rise to the challenge.Recap:It‘s hard to believe we are already down to eight designers on Top Design!  Host Todd Oldham meets with the remaining competitors on the lawn outside the Pacific Design Center, and tells them for this next challenge, they will actually finally get to meet their clients before getting the task specifics.  Read more »
Currently working on a house in Cape Town, South Africa, Felicia Bushman has been quite busy since being eliminated on Top Design during last week‘s episode. Though in the past Felicia‘s designs had pleased the judges, last week‘s room prompted the client to say that if she lived there she‘d "shoot [he]rself."  Felicia took time from her hectic design schedule to talk to BuddyTV about her experience on the show, her issues with the time limits, and her consistently positive attitude.What was your motivation for going on a reality show?Mostly exposure. I love what I do and it was a chance to show a great number of people rather than just the clients I work for. I am also very competitive, love a challenge, it excites me. Read more »
This week, Bravo isn’t airing a new Top Design so we decided to take a look out in the blogosphere to find out: what do working designers think of Top Design?  Tops or Nots?Retail Design Diva, a retail design weblog, thinks the show features “some phenomenal up-and-coming talent” and that it’s “an added bonus to the show is the sneak peak into the personalities of some of the top leaders in the design world today” via judges Jonathan Adler and host Todd Oldham. Read more »
Originally aired on Wednesday, 03/08/2007Episode Rating: ** (2 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: The designers have to work in a team to re-design a garage.  Seriously.  Yes, it‘s boring.Episode Highlights: • In order to build an entire episode around the vehicle that sponsors the show, the designs have to all work together to clean and re-design a garage; this is not a good idea for an episode.• Carisa‘s working style continues to rub the other designers the wrong way.• Ryan‘s continues to be ambivalent about interior design in general, and this challenge specifically.Recap:This week‘s Top Design challenge is, at host Todd Oldham tells the designers assembled outside the Pacific Design Center, "a family affair."  And, as if by magic, a family appears in this Bravo show‘s painfully-awkward-product-placement-mobile. Read more »
Originally aired on Wednesday, 03/14/2007Episode Rating: ** (2 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: The remaining six designers have to work as a team (again?!) to plan and design a party tent for this week‘s product placement.Episode Highlights: Top Design continues to test my patience by having the designers yet again work in a team AND work on a project that is just totally boring. Carisa and Michael carry on the friction that was established in last week‘s episode. Goil has a little meltdown.Recap:This week on Top Design, Todd Oldham tells the designers that they will be creating a party for Bicardi Limon, and, once again, they will be working in teams.  Matt Lorenz says he is completely over working in teams.  Hear hear: I‘m over watching the designers work in teams.  With only six people left, why do teams?  It makes it difficult for the home viewer to really see any one individual‘s strength and style.  And the intra-team conflicts just make nearly every contestant seem unlikable, so I feel totally indifferent as to the outcome.Honestly, I‘m getting to be a little over Top Design in general.  I‘m usually willing to give Bravo pretty wide latitude with their reality shows, but this one is turning into a snoozer.  So let‘s just get through it, I guess. Read more »
Originally aired on Wednesday, 03/21/2007Episode Rating: ** (2 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: Five designers are left and they are free, finally, to work alone on this week’s project: designing a chef’s table for a mystery guest.Episode Highlights: As the designers head into the final stretch, they at last have the chance again to work solo to show their design style. Carisa Perez-Fuentes and Goil Amornvivat continue to be a little frazzled as they pull together their looks. The mystery judge makes his appearance, and it’s a face familiar to Bravo viewers.Recap: There are just five designers left and the big question is: do we still care?   Read more »
Originally aired on Wednesday, 03/28/2007 Episode Rating: ** (2 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: The final four compete for a spot in the final three and for a spread in Metropolitan Home magazine as they design a luxury hotel suite. Episode Highlights: The designers get to take a field trip to the Viceroy Hotel and judge the judge: its designer is Kelly Wearstler. It might seem like a repeat, but it’s not: Carisa has problems again with her carpenter and Goil has problems with keeping his cool. A carpenter has a nasty encounter with a saw.  Read more »
Originally aired on Wednesday, 04/04/2007 Episode Rating: ** (2 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: Matt, Carisa and Andrea all compete for a spot in the final two in a relatively straightforward challenge to create luxury on a budget.Episode Highlights: The designers are charged with creating a luxury living room inspired by an Elle Décor cover, but have limited funds. Carisa and her carpenter Carl argue and eye-roll their way through another challenge. The rooms are judged and the final two are selected. Recap:The final three designers have been selected and are all focused on getting through this challenge and down to the Top Design final two. Andrea Keller is surprised that Carisa Perez-Fuentes is still in the competition, thinking that her design style has been pretty consistently one-note. Carisa, on the other hand, is surprised that Andrea is still there, thinking with her architecture background, she has been struggling to show a truly finished room. Read more »
It‘s Goil, "like gargoyle," as he himself likes to put it.  Goil Amornvivat, the Yale-educated architect brought this sense of humor and unique sensibility to his time on "Top Design," and made it all the way to the final four.  He took time from his busy schedule to answer BuddyTV‘s questions about his experiences on the show and his future plans.  He also offers some additional insight into his design ideas for some of his rooms featured on the show. Read more »
Originally aired on Wednesday, 04/11/2007 Episode Rating: ** (2 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: The final challenge to determine the Top Design allows the final two designers, Matt and Carisa, the chance to let their true style show. Episode Highlights: The designers get their final challenge instructions, and they will finally have enough time, budget, and creative freedom to really “wow” the judges. Despite their differences in the past, Carisa and her carpenter Carl manage to pull together for the final challenge. Although they have more resources, there are still significant logistical challenges for the designers to overcome.  Read more »
During last night‘s episode of Project Runway, Bravo announced that their new reality series, Make Me a Supermodel, will premiere on Thursday, January 10 at 10pm.  Make Me a Supermodel is a reality competition series (it does not, despite the title, involve extensive plastic surgery) that pits both male and female wannabe supermodels against each other in a competition to see who has the most supermodel potential.  The winner receives $100,000 and a modeling contract.  Although it may sound like a blatant rip-off of America‘s Next Top Model (it still kind of is), the big difference is that the competition is co-ed and will have viewers vote on the outcome, as opposed to the eliminations being decided by a panel of judges.  In addition, Bravo also announced that they‘ve green lit second seasons of both Top Design and Shear Genius.  Read more »
Last summer, Bravo announced the renewals of the hit series Top Design and Shear Genius, which means that both shows will be returning for their sophomore runs this year.  Late last week, the network kicked off the nationwide casting calls for Top Design, while auditions for Shear Genius is set to begin on Sunday, January 20. The first casting call for Top Design took place at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia.  According to, aspiring contestants began showing up at the center as early as 11am, although the day‘s event did not start until 1pm.  By the end of the day, almost 100 designers were interviewed for the chance to be on the show.  Read more »