Thursday, February 08, 2007

2: john ryan matt

the pink rooms


Well, he had a really really bad day at a really bad time. The room looks like at some point the obstacles became too much and John just hit the wall. The stark split in the floor sort of illustrates the room itself -- it's only halfway there. Frankly, I don't understand why his carpenter couldn't just pick up a cell phone and call and ask about the flooring rather than return from the hardware store with nothing thereby pretty well guaranteeing that John would be kicked off.

What really bothered me was the way that Jonathan treated John during the judging: Jonathan asked him "what happened?" John told him what happened. Then Jonathan sneered that he was full of excuses.

There was no reason for the judges to be gratuitously critical with John. He admitted that the room was a disaster. We could all see that it was a disaster. What was the point of heaping on the insults? That doesn't make for good televised drama. It's just mean.

Clearly John was the one to go. It would have been utterly unfair to choose anyone else. In my previous post I argued that Michael's room was actually very successful in a number of important ways (click here to read) and I think Ryan's room had a number of redeeming qualities. For one, it provided the inspiration for what may be the best catch-phrase of the show.


You may not want to have a room look like a cattery but it is helpful to design with cats in mind. (Ours has "accidentally" broken a number of favorite vases.) Anyway, after a while animals train you to design around them. I think Ryan could have put stuffed animals up on the shelf for the cat to knock down and carry around. It isn't just for the cat: it is also for the amusement of humans. But enough about that.

I'll just note that on a practical level the room doesn't have a desk and everything is a bit too high for a ten year old girl. Or a short adult woman.

Ryan did really hit the nail on the head as far as color. I would bet that magenta is the most popular color for American girls today. And it is a pretty darn fabulous color. (It was my favorite crayola crayon -- in part because I liked the name.)

I can't quite remember but did he choose the wave mural because she is a surfer? It might have been nice to have played up that theme a little more. That said, the boa wins my award for the single best accessory in this episode. (I can't do screen caps so I'm looking for a picture of the girl wearing this -- and one of the client as well . . . ha. ha. ).

Margaret's comment about the Six Feet Under headboard was very funny. I think Matt could have done a headboard like John's (above) perhaps with the black/white reversed which would have been elegant and not so funereal. I'm less excited about the lights than many others have been; I think it would have been better if he'd run them around the top of the room. It feels like oncoming headlights more than stage lights. The dressing table is too small to double as a desk, which is a usability issue. The pottery(?) takes up too much room and belongs in a living room.

Despite my litany of complaints this room is actually rather impressive, mainly for its color palette. That is a wonderful shade of pink. I'm impressed because that color would be very hard to select based on a small paint sample. It could look too fleshy or beige: you really have to know your pinks!

This was the most interesting -- daring, really -- use of color so far. The use of color may be the design element that has disappointed me the most in these designers. Their colors tend to be familiar, popular choices. I like some of them but they haven't surprised me; they haven't taught me something new. (The palette of this room--subtle as it is--may be the most interesting design element I've seen so far. But I'm a color freak.)

Matt's room isn't perhaps youthful and fun enough for a ten year old. Nonetheless, it does feel like a fancy Hollywood dressing room and I think that was very exciting for his client and just what she wanted. The silk chair looks like a fabulous place to curl up and read. As for accessories: it could do with some feather boas. And glitter.


Linda Merrill said...

Excellent comments. I've posted a shout-out over at my place!

Anonymous said...

I love your recaps and analysis. it is always brain gymnastics visisting with you.
please keep up the great work for die hard bravo reality tv fans

hughman said...

i think matt's room could have been more hollywood, less interigation room. sequined pillows, perfume bottles vs. pottery and some theater lights. when kids today think "hollywood", they don't think jean harlow, they think lindsey lohan (unfortunately).

none the less, that pink makes the skin look fab.

Arissa said...

Good for people to know.