Ondine_topdesign2_240 Folks, I think it’s time to put out an APB on Kelly Wearstler. Her absence is making Top Design 47% less enjoyable. Although…this episode’s conclusion made the show 1000% more enjoyable, so I’m still excited for the finale, even if it’s Wearstler-less. 

It’s Eddie’s birthday, and Nathan has made him an adorable little cake with about a million candles. As Eddie points out in an interview, though, Preston’s the odd man out at the party. "Not part of the posse," sadly for him. It seems that, much like gangsta rap, the design world has two warring coasts. And because Preston is from LA, he can’t get along with Eddie, Ondine, and Nathan. Here’s hoping he doesn’t get gunned down by a nail gun in a designer drive-by.

The designers arrive at a row of four empty townhouses, where each of them will design one room. The three of them who move on will complete their townhouse for the finale.

Eddie decides to design the master bedroom, and practically cries thinking about the "super rich" "easy breezy" Hamptons-style bedroom with muted tones that he loves so much. UGH. His room is all those things, and so not my style that it’s painful. It’s all in tones of pale blue, with china blue bamboo print wallpaper, an actual palm tree, white latticework on the walls, and a WICKER CHAIR. Barf! This show is making me hate the Hamptons. 

Preston chooses to design the family room in a contemporary-meets-traditional style. He has a geometrical blue grasscloth wall hanging on one wall, hanging plates on another, and a marvelous orange bench and purple velvet armchair. Lots of overstuffed furniture, with a chic but comfy feel. I love it.   

Nathan_topdesign2_240 Nathan also chooses the master bedroom, and is aiming for a fresh and elegant style. Not fresh and elegant: His drunken portrayal of a Japanese Top Design judge at Eddie’s party. It IS somewhat amazing, though. His room is a restrained version of his personal style, but it looks way too restrained. I guess it’s not overdesigned, which is nice, and I like the casual feel, but it just doesn’t feel designed at all (apart from weird details like a jar of giant nails and a metal skull). Still, I’d take it over Eddie’s Martha Stewart crapfest any day. 

Ondine selects a tiny bedroom for her "modern and graphic" room, which is an interesting choice. As someone who’s lived in a tiny townhouse bedroom, I can tell you that it’s tough to fit even a bed and a dresser in there without it looking crowded. But Ondine says she loves designing for tiny spaces, and is going for an office/storage/guest room space. Unfortunately, she has a tough time finding everything she needs while shopping, partly due to terrible organization skills. Aaaand, the desk she finds doesn’t fit through the doorway. OUCH. With some serious effort, the movers manage.

She has a great white wallpaper with back flowers on two walls, which I love. Todd suggests that she do a window treatment instead of mini blinds, which, wow. I hope she didn’t have to be told that. Unfortunately, she doesn’t even do it because she doesn’t think she can construct it well enough. Lady, I can’t sew worth a lick, but I’ve made passable curtains using a sarong, duct tape, and a wooden dowel, so I’m sure you could’ve managed. Still, her office looks really great. The black and white wallpaper, mirror and sofa look fab, and the room doesn’t feel claustrophobic at all. 

Our guest judge is Jeff Lewis of Flipping Out, standing in for a still-absent Kelly Wearstler. Here’s hoping his crazy remarks will make up for her crazy outfits. The judges appreciate that Nathan styled the bathroom, but they don’t love the "incomplete" bedroom as much, especially the bed. Agreed. They love Preston’s room, though, finding it confident and sophisticated. However, Jeff Lewis thought it had a bit too much furniture, and the other judges tell him to put more of himself into his future rooms.

Eddie_topdesign2_240 Ondine’s room gets a mixed review from Jonathan, who would’ve liked to see more color, but Jeff Lewis disagrees very vocally, and Margaret Russell says that Ondine made very good decisions. As far as Eddie’s easy breezy beautiful wicker pukefest goes, Jonathan Adler thinks the room was impersonal, and Jeff Lewis points out that it looks OLD. As in walkers and bedpans. Ha! Margaret Russell is a wee bit kinder, but still pushes him to show more personality in his rooms. And, it must be pointed out, Eddie is wearing a tweed blazer with matching vest, a bowtie, and jeans. Yes.

In deliberations, Jeff Lewis insists that Eddie has empirically bad taste, regardless of Lewis’s own tastes. Margaret Russell tries to stick up for him, but Lewis refuses to back down. In related news, Jeff Lewis is my new hero. The judges all agree that Ondine and Preston were on top, and put them both through to the finale. Happily, they move Nathan through as well! YES!!!! Karma is a magical, magical thing. Eddie is surprisingly gracious, saying he did the best he could and that he’s crazy super talented and bigger than Top Design. (Hey, for him, that’s pretty darn gracious.)

Do you agree with the judges’ decision? Who’s your pick to win it all?       

Posted by:Liz Pardue