Top Design
Lofty Designs

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Mr. Sobell: D+ | Grade It Now!
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No, I Don't Think I Will See You Decorators Later

Three days left! The prospect of freedom for your humble recapper grows tantalizingly closer! And with freedom comes montages -- many, many construction montages. In Carisa's loft, they've assembled the platform, and the pit where her GoilBed will go. Carisa is so impressed by the hard work, that she's actually moved to say something complimentary about people in view of the camera; clearly, the stress has made her not herself. Soon a truck arrives bearing the General Electric appliances that will go in the two lofts. ("GE: Our appliances are much better than our cable-based reality offerings! Really!") In Matt's loft, walls are erected, nail guns are deployed, and Matt ends the day claiming to feel good about the progress so far. How about you, Ed? How do you feel? "Once I see what that kitchen starts going, as long as the tile, you know, goes good, we're OK." That is probably not the message of unabashed optimism Matt was hoping to hear from the heretofore sunny Ed, but it underscores an important point: Matt's design hinges entirely on what goes down tomorrow with the tile. "Because if we don't get good work done tomorrow, we're in trouble," Ed says. Good, bad, indifferent -- at least we'll be another day closer to being done. Speaking of which...

Two. Days. Left. I keep looking over my shoulder, waiting for someone to jar me out of this beautiful dream. (Bravo: "Because of the tremendous interest in the season finale, we've decided to schedule a two-hour Top Design reunion special!" Me: "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!") Matt's crew begins the day by putting up the make-or-break tile we discussed in the previous paragraph. "It'll make the difference between a nice kitchen and a not-so-nice kitchen," says Cary, Matt's second carpenter, and between him and Ed, Matt has really wound up with the Sunshine Boys, hasn't he? Adding to Matt's stress level is the fact that he needs to have that kitchen done by the time his GE appliances arrive. (GE: "We bring good things to life! Provided that you don't consider a competitive reality series about interior design to be one of those things!") Things are not any cheerier three floors up, where Carisa is doing what she does best -- panicking and second-guessing her carpenters. This time around, she appears to be ready to scrap that storage cubicles she had planned because they're talking too long; Top Carl talks her down from the ledge, dispensing her to go get him a gallon of paint. "Here -- distract yourself with busy work," Carl might as well have said. "Me and the rest of the grown-ups will get this under control." And through the miracle of time-lapse photography, they more or less do -- the cubes are up, white paneling is laid down on the bed platform, and things really appear to be shaping up. And as we watch the appliance delivery men haul Matt's kitchen appliances up the stairs ("GE: Christ, our stuff is heavy!"), I am reminded of the time a few years ago that Sears delivered a refrigerator to Chez Sobell's Southern California estate. We had just moved into the refrigerator-free apartment, so it had been about a week without a refrigerator when the truck pulled up. I went to meet the delivery guys in the parking lot, watching with rapt attention as they lowered the refrigerator off the truck -- which is when the refrigerator's door fell off. The head delivery guy looked at the door, looked at me, and looked at the door again. "You still want us to bring this to your apartment?" he asked me. I did not. I share this story because as dull as it is, it's still more interesting than the time-lapse montage showing Matt's loft falling into shape. Ah, but I feel I need to discuss the bedroom Matt has built for his daughter. It's pink -- Bubble Yum pink. As black as Carisa's floor was? That's how pink this room is. "She wanted a princess room," Matt says, almost defensively. Yes, yes, tell that to the tribunal at The Hague.

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