Top Design
Garage Band

Episode Report Card
Mr. Sobell: C- | Grade It Now!
Instant Car-ma's Gonna Get You

Andrea is off to meet the Bells at their garage-centric home. Andrea asks if they have any questions for her, and they do: was Andrea planning on doing anything with the shed attached to the garage? Instead of answering like you or I might -- "A shed? That wasn't part of the deal, Bells. Do you hear me? That wasn't part of the deal." -- Andrea caves and agrees to incorporate it into the design. "Maybe this becomes the workspace," Ma Bell suggests. Yes, leave the children to suck up all those fumes from the car and to frolic in the oil slicks -- excellent idea. Anyhow, this last-second change that she probably could have pooh-poohed if she wanted has thrown Andrea for a loop: "It got very, very hard because there were all these changes we had to deal with. And out of nowhere came these impossible obstacles." Lady -- you're turning a shed into a workspace; you're not building the Panama Canal. Let's try and keep things in perspective before we toss around words like "impossible." Anyhow, Andrea dials up the Container Store-ambling Matt to tell him that there's been a change of plans in regards to the office; that would give Carisa a separate area to work in, and leave more space for storage in the garage. Carisa's able to snag some filing cabinets and tabletops to make the "impossible" task of outfitting the shed a little more possible -- it's like a Christmas miracle!

With 15 minutes left before their 10 PM deadline, the designers and their attendant carpenters start to load up the truck. Ryan expresses his hope that the Top Designers aren't stepping all over themselves tomorrow to get the project done. Matt's concerns are more prosaic: "If anyone makes a mistake, we know that's the person who's going to get blamed in the White Room and probably end up going home." Or it'll be the person who looks at Margaret Russell funny or reminds Kelly Wearstler of a guy who took her out on a bad date in high school or calls "heads" when Jonathan Adler's coin comes up tails. Really, it could go any way.

A new day has dawned, meaning it's time for the Top Designers to get cracking over at Casa de Bell. Andrea kicks things off by opening up the garage door to reveal stack upon stack of superfluous possessions. To her credit, she does not fall to the ground sobbing at the inhumanity of it all. "You could spend a whole week, cleaning out this garage," Carisa snarks via voice-over. "It's disgusting." Remember, potential clients -- that's Carisa Perez-Fuentes, the designer who will talk spitefully about you behind your back but in full view of cameras. Ask for her by name -- or just follow the trail of hurt feelings. The Top Designers haul all the Bells' stuff out onto the lawn, and after few minutes of intensive sweeping and recapping what everyone's doing, they're ready to work their magic. At the four-and-a-half-hours-left mark, Andrea is checking in with Carisa about how much time she'll need to wrap up the office portion of the project; "I wish we were about 10 percent faster, and I imagined that we would be," Andrea comments to the cameras. "So, now we really need to scramble." Cue the Really Need to Scramble montage, in which the Top Designers scramble so much that the editors speed up the film. Sawing! Painting! Taping! More sweeping! At the four-hour mark, the cabinets are just about done, but the painting and the woodwork is still but a rumor. Ryan also has to get cranking on painting the floor -- they have this plan where they're painting stripes for where the car is supposed to be parked, you see -- and that's going to be a challenge since people cleaning and designing a garage usually need to walk on the floor that's being painted, unless Goil can jury-rig up some sort of levitation device. I would not put it past him, by the way. "It's kind of a goofy challenge," Ryan says. "I'm really trying to make it my own thing." Ryan vowing to impose his own personality on a project -- there's a clip that could find its way into an updated version of the Bad Idea Jeans ad. Meanwhile, Goil has apparently scrapped my idea for the levitation device and is focusing his efforts on a dog bed that -- naturally -- is propped up on casters. Because there is no piece of furniture that Goil won't slap a set of wheels on, if left unattended for a few moments. Andrea frets that Goil is spending too much time on the bed. Boy, if only someone in charge of the project would express the concern directly to Goil.

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Top Design




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