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Interior Design Masters

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Netflix is really churning out these competitive reality shows all of a sudden. Desserts, makeup artists, and glass blowing and whatever they might think would appeal. It reminds me of Bravo in the wake of Project Runway when there was Work of Art (gallery artwork), Project Accessory, and another home/interior design show that I cannot remember the name of.

I was drawn to this one because it's so visually appealing. Also, it seems like the contestants know what they're doing (unlike on Glow Up, the makeup show). I know he's busy with an actual business but if he wanted his own show, it feels like Bobby Burke would be a great host for an American version of this show.

EPISODE 1: Kyle's living room seemed warm and inviting. Hideous curtains though. I didn't love every piece of pottery and decor he picked but I liked the overall vibe.

From the early glimpses, I didn't think I would like Trish's guest bedroom, but it wasn't bad. The curtains looked so cheap and the velvet pillows were a weird choice but I got what she was going for overall. Middle of the road. 

Frank's master bedroom was like a mid-range to slightly pricey hotel. Nothing super upscale but definitely a place where some designer had ideas. It felt a little too young. Not expensive enough but also not approachable enough.

Verity's kid's bedroom was kind of a lot. You have to REALLY love yellow. It felt like the bedroom of a character in a quirky teen indie movie. A bit too specific for a model home.

I really like Ju's aesthetic so far. She's the Brazilian woman who loves florals. I think the contrasting wallpaper was a wrong choice for her room but I loved the way her own home was decorated and her choice of florals make me happy. 

Jim's living room was full of choices. I liked some of them but even though there were some classy touches, it felt VERY youthful. Walking in to that room, I would think about how I would transform the space. I wouldn't buy the house intending to keep that room the way it was. It was a bit too Instagram friendly without being chic enough. It felt like a room an amateur had tried to fix up.

Cassie's study made more sense. It still looked a little cheap but less so. I got the modern vibe with all the silver and glass. It definitely felt like a house that was being marketed to a young person.

Terian's guest room surprised me. I liked it. It felt very fresh. A little funky but not too crazy.

Jerome's kid's bedroom looked cheap. I liked some of the toys and books he set up but there was not enough design in that room. It looked like some IKEA furniture and some cheap bedding.

Nicki's master bedroom was a real fancy hotel. I liked that it seemed a little more upscale but it doesn't feel cozy. It doesn't feel like a place I want to live. I think the amount of black on the walls was too much. 

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I was surprised that

Spoiler

Jim went home in episode 1. He seemed to have more skills than Nicki who relied a lot on the builders and Jerome whose room fell flat. 

I had a sense that maybe he was less willing to take criticism than the others and defended his choices a little too strongly. It's okay to stand behind your vision but you have to understand where you made mistakes in order to improve. 

EPISODE 2: I didn't expect them to go over the top with different shades of brown but I didn't expect the designers to be SO resistant to the chocolate thing. 

It's very interesting to see spaces that might be more appreciative of people coming in to do whatever design work they want... but that might be cheaper or in disrepair. It's easy to make a great space look beautiful. What can you do with a troubled space?

Team Milk Chocolate

Frank: I don't see the chocolate. I think he was also hurt by the weird ceilings. The wallpaper just does not look right. It was an awkward space to wallpaper and the wallpaper just accents the weird shapes in the ceiling. The blue gives it a lift but using more brown might have actually been a good way to tie together his patterned wallpaper and the pops of bright color. 

Cassie: It would have made more sense if she was on Team Dark Chocolate. I do think a sort of caramel color could have pulled together the colors she wanted to use with the theme more. It feels like a bordello except then the decor goes grandma. The higher elements on the bed (the lace, the tassels) looked rather cheap. I can see taking the general ideas and adding more dark browns for a luxe dark chocolate feel. But this missed the mark.

Terian: It was a pretty room. More black and white cookie than milk chocolate. It felt very modern. It was my favorite of the three because I really only liked the wallpaper in Frank's room and not any of the styling but yeah, this team completely failed on the chocolate thing.

Team Dark Chocolate

Verity: I didn't love everything in the room but it worked as a whole. The blues lifted it up and made it feel fresher but you still had the luxe deep browns. 

Jerome: Also a bit black and white cookie but I liked the deep brown carpet and the artwork featuring chocolate. Having those two elements warmed up the black. It also felt like a very chic hotel room. I'd think it was an expensive hotel.

Kyle: It was a bit boring. Not ugly by any means but it felt too much like being at home for a hotel.

Team White Chocolate

Nicki: I think the checked wall and the blue and pink threw it off a bit. It was a little more bathroom/kitchen and beachy and candy than white chocolate. The bedspread did make me think of jawbreakers. Putting aside the challenge, I did like the room aside from the way the headboard seemed to be floating and that checked wall. Way too kitchen/bathroom. 

Trish: Cute. It felt upscale but a little kitschy. The houndstooth, the headboard pattern, the faux gilt mirrors... it reminds me so much early 2000s design.

Ju: Beautiful. It felt appropriate for a seaside resort but light and fresh. It was white chocolate in a way that wasn't literal. A little Greek but with a bit of French refinement. This room and Jerome's room are the two I would most like to stay in.

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EPISODE 3: This is such a cool idea to redesign stores! 

Nicki and Cassie's Knitting Shop: Cute enough. I liked the new storage but otherwise it wasn't a great space. It would have been nice to have more color on the walls/ceiling or darker wood. It didn't feel cozy. I didn't like the green tile or the weird carpet at all.

Frank and Jerome's Skateboard Shop: OK. I'm not sure about the chandeliers. Seems a bit fussy. It's hard to redesign too much because they want to have all the merchandise out.

Ju and Kyle's Vintage Clothing Shop: It looked the same? The weird lighting didn't make a huge difference. I needed to see a before and after.

Verity and Terian's Women's Clothes Shop: It would have been better with a prettier curtain. It was safe in a way that seemed to fit the style of the clothes. Preppy but not at all offensive. J. Crew meets Eileen Fisher.

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EPISODE 4: Student housing... brilliant! This would have been good for a lot of the eliminated contestants. Cheap and cheerful isn't so bad for student housing.

Ju's studio looked good. It was definitely a decor magazine/furniture store version of a college dorm room. The lighting and the geometric prints were a little fancy. But it was pleasant. I didn't love the black on the walls. It closed off the space. The magnetic wall was a great touch.

Frank's studio was alright. It felt more gender neutral. It felt age appropriate. Not too fancy. And he left space for a student to move in and put their own personality in the space. I didn't love all the weird triangles.

Cassie's studio was very bright and open. I'm not sure if it's a positive or a negative. That is, I can see moving in here but I wouldn't keep her design. I'd repaint the walls and furniture and change the bedding and decor. But the barebones give you the most room to put your own spin on it. 

The kitchen is a little kitschy. I don't think it's for everyone but it does feel like it was designed for students. I think it will age poorly but it has some personality.

Jerome's studio was fantastic. I loved it. The black wouldn't suit anyone but it looked expensive but still youthful. Having a lower bed made it feel more open. I get the idea of raising the bed to put storage but when the room is shaped with a little nook like that, having a high bed feels claustrophobic. I don't want to be tucked in a corner and also closer to the ceiling.

Kyle's studio was similar to Cassie's. You can imagine moving in and painting and putting your personality into the room. Is that good design? The bed seemed shoved in there and while I appreciate the work, I think a lot of the storage spaces made the room feel smaller. 

Nicki's studio felt unfinished. Even if her storage had fit under the bed, I still think it would have looked unfinished. It also felt too Instagram-y. It felt like an adult designing for a young person. It wasn't actually cozy or practical.

Team Two's kitchen was much better. That was a bright, lovely communal space. I loved the colors. 

The judges are bonkers. Team One's kitchen was a terrible eyesore. And they really went after Jerome. I agree that he could have done more with storage but under the bed storage wasn't necessary. An elevated bed would have felt claustrophobic in that space. Also, everyone isn't tall enough to enjoy a very high bed.

Edited by aradia22

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EPISODE 5: It's feeling less fun as everyone stresses out. 

I agree with Kyle and Frank. Cassie's ideas are terrible. I don't know if I love the birdcage but it would have looked better than her big ugly rattia fixture. And exposed wood can work but lovely beachy exposed wood, not just any exposed wood.

Nicki and Ju's master bedroom was lovely. Like a fancy soap brand's packaging. Light and fresh but a little feminine. The guest bedroom was a little more cutesy and feminine but still pretty. It did feel a touch more tropical than the master bedroom which was more English garden.

The living and dining area was improved but it was kind of a lot after the softness of the bedrooms. I don't think the colors quite worked. A lot of things were just slightly off.

Frank, Kyle, and Cassie's terrace was very cute. Personal preference if you really want to sit by the road and if you like all the choices but I liked the idea of it. 

The master bedroom felt more gender neutral. It was bright and open but the lighting made it feel a little cozier. I don't think I like the decor as much. It feels less like a room designed for a particular person's taste and more like a hotel/spa space that doesn't get in your way. The wallpaper was the one strange choice. And it was specific in a bad way.

The guest bedroom felt very standard. The pillows were cute. That's about it. 

The living/dining area felt too cluttered. Too much stuff. I also hated the wallpaper. The exposed wood looked dirty.

Spoiler

Kyle being sent home both was and was not a shock. On the one hand, he's massively talented as a builder and he's done some great rooms. On the other hand, he's really been slipping lately and it's become clearer that he's not great with colors or decor. He designs the space but he doesn't know how to finish it with paint and furniture and lovely objects.

 

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EPISODE 6: Hmn, not that interested in restaurant design. I think it's one of those things you have to experience. You can't just look at it and know that it works. I appreciate the judges really poking about for this one.

Cassie is kind of terrible. How did she manage to skate by so far into the competition?

Cassie and Ju's restaurant was pretty. I'm not sure how much it said Spain. The mosaic didn't seem to be finished that well but I liked the idea of a mosaic. The lemon decor was cute. It felt pretty and fresh but non-specific. The transformation of the exterior was great.

I didn't love Frank and Nicki's restaurant. The blue felt dark and heavy and didn't say Mediterranean at all. With the dark wood furniture and the black and white floors, it was just so closed off and heavy feeling. When I think Southern Mediterranean I think vacation and beaches and lightness. You can conjure that without doing a stereotypical white and blue Greek color scheme but it should still feel light and breezy. The pink banquettes also looked old and I imagine the fabric will be hard to clean and thus won't age well. As for North African, I can kind of see it in the color scheme and I know they didn't want to be obvious but because the design is so basic, you don't sense it at all. I think they needed to have tiny touches in the decor. Some patterns. More interesting lighting fixtures. Something.

Spoiler

I think she made the right call. Nicki might be a stronger designer because she has more experience but she's too inflexible. 

 

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EPISODE 7: Hair salon doesn't really jump out as a semi-final challenge. I don't know the geography of England well enough to understand how much they've been traveling around. Though they always return to Michelle's studio so I don't think the traveling is a good excuse for the order of the venues they've been redesigning. It feels like the stores would have been good for a later challenge. 

Ju did a lot of things I really liked with her salon. I do think the blue and white accent wall was weird given the aesthetic the client wanted. I also thought that while a few plants would have been nice, there were too many plants. And the plants she chose didn't evoke a particular place. I don't know if the medium-sized hanging mirrors are the most practical choice. And I do feel a feminine touch where the client probably wanted something with more... Edge.

Frank's salon is very classy. I think the tile could have been a more vibrant purple, closer to eggplant than mauve. I didn't get a lot of whimsy. The lighting that was giving him so much trouble didn't seem worth it. The fixtures felt very clinical/industrial. To be honest, I thought they were a bit ugly.

Cassie's barber shop was hideous. It felt like she hadn't redesigned it. That is, it felt like a space that was equally bad or worse than the original design. The walls were painted an offputting color. You want to spend time in a barber shop. I don't want to spend time here. If she wanted green, it should have been a rich hunter green. I don't know what the owner meant by retro, but I don't think it was a bunch of weird antiques and skulls. It looked old and shabby. This is the first time I didn't trust the judges' critiques at all. 

Spoiler

That was insanity. Ju and Frank had issues this week but they clearly wanted to carry Cassie to the end of the competition. Even though this was a low drama show by American standards, I feel like they carried Cassie through to create drama. Her design aesthetic isn't good. She's bad at finishing projects. She's argued with most of the people she's worked with and she hasn't been good at adhering to the clients wishes or working with her teammates. Ridiculous.

 

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EPISODE 8: I've liked a lot of Frank's designs, if not all of them. I think I tended to prefer Ju and Jerome as designers but Frank was often in the middle of the pack for me. Cassie has generally been a mess throughout unless she's been working with someone else. I don't think it's an accident that the two designers who were the most involved in drama (aside from Nicki) and noted for being inflexible or not good team players are the two who made it to the end. I sense production here. Though maybe it's also the nature of the judging/challenges that these two were able to skate by some weeks when they had weaker designs. 

I would get it if Cassie liked a certain style the way Ju likes florals and a feminine vibe. But she seriously just paints everything terracotta. That's not a style. That's just one color. You can't force people to deal with unpleasant oranges and greens. I think of the colors she likes as pops of color you might wear as part of an outfit. They shouldn't be colors you paint on most of the walls. It's an eyesore. You want comfortable living spaces, hangout spots, stores, etc. Cassie's design did not feel boho. It felt exactly like the chocolate room she did.

Why does Cassie keep making cheap, ugly curtains???

I appreciate that Cassie's living room felt light. But the curtains looked cheap and ugly and I don't think she found a way to make the exposed brick work. It should have been covered or she should have chosen a color scheme that matched better.

The kitchen was pretty enough if not all that great. The island looked disgusting. Exposed wood doesn't mean something you dragged out of a landfill. 

The dining area did not feel very cozy. I wouldn't want to eat there as a couple or entertain there. 

THERE WAS ZERO THOUGHT PUT INTO THE BABY. The home did not seem baby-proofed at all. It didn't seem designed for a young family. 

The bedroom did not seem boho. It was like someone was trying to do a yoga studio on a budget. Slightly exotic but nothing that unique and authentic. I guess it was boho in the sense that if you told me it smelled of patchouli scented candles, I would believe you.

The nursery was just awful. What child wants to grow up in that weird black and white bedroom??? Also, nothing was child-proofed. All her weird furniture just screams injuries, tetanus, lead paint poisoning, etc. 

Frank's living room was very pretty. I'm not sure if it was Scandinavian but it felt very comfortable. The guest bedroom was rather a lot with the wallpaper. It was too aggressive for me. It would make me dizzy after a while. The master bedroom was lovely. I like the choice of soft lighting throughout the apartment. The blues and grays do feel very relaxed and calming.

Spoiler

Come off it. There's no way you could look at those two apartments and want to live in the Cassie apartment more. Frank did a much better job utilizing his budget. Cassie bought a bunch of weird old things that would be hazards for a baby. The fix was in. She should NOT have won.

A quick google tells me that the few other people who watched were also infuriated by the winner.

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I haven’t watched this through yes, but you’re saying Cassie won? She of the bordello hotel room?!😳

Edited by heckkitty
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Lol. Frank’s was so much better it was laughable. I had such hopes for this show. I must be blind; I think Cassie should have been beaten by Nikki & Ju too. 🤷‍♀️

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On 2/19/2020 at 5:46 AM, heckkitty said:

Lol. Frank’s was so much better it was laughable. I had such hopes for this show. I must be blind; I think Cassie should have been beaten by Nikki & Ju too. 🤷‍♀️

Totally in agreement!!

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On 1/24/2020 at 2:28 AM, aradia22 said:

Frank's salon is very classy. I think the tile could have been a more vibrant purple, closer to eggplant than mauve. I didn't get a lot of whimsy. The lighting that was giving him so much trouble didn't seem worth it. The fixtures felt very clinical/industrial. To be honest, I thought they were a bit ugly.

I actually watched this show before, but didn't realize it until a few episodes in. I have no memory of who wins, so I'll keep watching. Anyway, as to the above.

Spoiler

Any idea if Frank went back & completed doing the tiles? I would hate to think the show left the owner hanging with that crappy installation.

 

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Just binge watched and I'm livid!!  Cassie should have been gone from the beginning when she did that antique bedroom with all those ugly terra-cotta colors!!

Frank's was head and shoulders above hers..how the hell did that happen?  What was that idiot judge smoking?

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I just finished binging this, and like everyone else, I enjoyed the series, but was about to burst a blood-vessel at the conclusion:

Spoiler

 

There is NO WAY Cassie should have won that competition. Her aesthetic (if it could be said that she has one) is hideous. She should have been eliminated in the hotel round with that tacky lace canopy over the bed. The only projects she did that were halfway presentable were ones that she did with others. Each week I kept anticipating her elimination, and she mysteriously kept skating by.

What is her obsession with hideous paint colours? Terracotta? Booger green? not just on the walls, but the ceilings too? And I do like traditional furniture and I'm all for giving older pieces new life, but the ones she chose were always awful. I didn't always like Frank's choices either, but I could usually see where he was going, and he was trying to learn and be flexible. Cassie pretty much ignored most of the brief. I don't know that either of them should have made it that far, but I certainly would have chosen Frank's space over Cassie's. 

I'd LOVE to know what the real behind-the-scenes story is about this particular competition, because it definitely seemed like a fix to me. Cassie isn't fit to paint a room let alone handle a big commercial account. I pity the hotel that got stuck with her.

 

 

 

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