Moving on to Erik's room, Kelly likes the use of space and has kind words for the adjacencies of the furniture and functions is nice. Hey -- who among us doesn't appreciate adjacencies? But what's with the serial-killer art on the walls? Those aren't my words; that's the description from Erik's client who calls it "John Wayne Gacy art." That's just preposterous -- I don't see any clowns on that wall. Erik tries to defend himself: "I thought it could have been taken as kind of pop literal kind of fun... " he says, his voice trailing off under Jonathan's dubious stare. "But, you know, apparently it did not go that direction." Apparently. Jonathan turns to Carisa and invites her to tell the judges about her room. Carisa tells them about the Rolling Table of Woe and how it had to be scrapped, though she leaves her carpenter clash out of the retelling, much to her credit. "You either have great taste or you hit the garage sale jackpot," Jonathan observes of her furnishings. And Carisa's all, "Great taste. Definitely great taste." And as impressed as the judges are with all of this, Carisa's client does not share in their approval: "I kept saying 'Make storage,'" she tells Jonathan in a flashback. So how's about it, Carisa? Where's the storage? Carisa starts to say something, thinks better of it, and then concludes, "Yes. She needed more storage. But I think I gave her the clean lines she wanted, and I did my best." Well, clean lines don't help me stash my knick-knacks, do they, Carisa? On to Michael's room: Kelly says the lamp he chose was interesting; Michael agrees that he's a very clever designer indeed to have selected such a lamp. But Jonathan's heard enough about lamps and wants to turn his attention to color: "Grape and banana?" he asks in disbelief. Michael says he doesn't interpret those colors as grape and banana at all. "Macaroni and cheese, sorry," Kelly sneers. And Michael shoots them a look that seems to suggest we should be designing his room with some of Erik's scary paintings if you get my meaning.
Again, we turn to Ryan, who again has earned his own paragraph. And Ryan seems to realize that: "What have you got this week?" he asks, rubbing his hands together. Contempt, I'm guessing. Kelly says the room was a lot to take in, calling it chaotic; keep in mind the hairstyle of the judge making this observation. Joe Stewart asks about the wooden cage Ryan has constructed around the bed. That's supposed to create some level of privacy in a small space, Ryan explains. Kelly thinks it's a bit much to have it there all the time -- looks like some judge is going to find herself spending a night in the wooden bed cage if she's not careful. "Did you think about a drapery panel that you could close?" Kelly asks, not unreasonably. "It seems like such a standard solution," Ryan says dismissively. You know what else is a standard solution? Floors without gaping holes punched every couple of feet. And beds that don't have pointed sticks jutting out from the mattress. If you're looking for non-standard touches, Ryan, maybe you should have tried those -- you wouldn't want people thinking you're some kind of square. Jonathan observes that the client felt like she would be sleeping behind bars; other people's discomfort makes Ryan giggle. Pressed to explain whether he approached this assignment as if it were an art installation, Ryan gives us a glimpse into what makes him tick and, by doing so, makes the judges as irritated with him as I am: "I don't come in with my color book and say, 'Okay, this is a good color, and it's going to reflect here.' I'm really trying to think about things on a much deeper level." That observation goes over about as well as you might imagine, if Margaret's pursed lips are any indication: "There's nothing wrong with paint samples and fabric swatches... but you speak about them in a really derogatory manner. Am I the only one hearing that?" She is not. Margaret bottom lines it for us: "Do you want to be a designer? Is that really what you want to do?" Ryan says that it is "as long as I can have my own rules." So the answer would be no, then. Either that or he's on the wrong Bravo show -- really, he should have tried out for Top Self-Stylized Iconoclast in which 12 insufferable people compete to see who is most deserving of a whap upside the head. After some friendly advice to Ryan from Jonathan -- people who don't design ass-ugly rooms are usually more inclined to get away with making their own rules than those who do -- the Top Designers are sent away so that the judges can talk about what they like and what they don't. Mostly what they don't.