December 08, 2006 12:58 AM by Joe Reality
Bravo turns the spotlight from the culinary arts to interior design with the series premiere of the new one-hour 10-episode competition reality series “Top Design.” Off the heels of the critically-acclaimed “Top Chef” and the Emmy-nominated hit “Project Runway,” Bravo’s newest reality competition series “Top Design” offers a behind-the-scenes look at the creative, competitive and client-driven interior design business. Popular designer and personality Todd Oldham hosts and is joined by renowned designer Jonathan Adler, as lead judge, and series judges Margaret Russell, editor-in-chief of ELLE DECOR Magazine and interior designer Kelly Wearstler. “Top Design” premieres on Wednesday, January 31 at 11 PM ET/PT, following “Top Chef’s” season two finale, and moves to its regular 10 PM timeslot on Wednesday, February 7. The announcement was made by Lauren Zalaznick, President, Bravo.
Bravo’s nationwide search has resulted in a group of 12 of the country’s hottest new interior designers, artists and architects, who will draw upon their creativity and expertise and compete to create the “Top Design.” Photos of the designers are available on Media Village at www.nbcmv.com/bravo. The aspiring interior designers will vie for a $100,000 grand prize from LendingTree, as well as a brand new 2007 Acadia vehicle from GMC. The winner also will be rewarded with an editorial feature in ELLE DECOR Magazine, plus the chance to showcase their design skills at ELLE DECOR’S Dining By Design, NYC, a lavish affair where designers, celebrities, and the who’s who of fashion convene for a night of style, drama, excitement, and spirited collaboration.
“Bravo has successfully brought spirited competition to both the fashion and food industries,” said Zalaznick. “Now our passionate viewers will be rewarded each week when they ‘watch what happens’ as the creativity and drama unfold through each pressure-filled design challenge.”
In “Top Design,” high stakes, eccentric personalities and creative egos combine to fuel the competition. Aspiring and professional interior design contestants will converge and compete in a series of challenges to create the “Top Design,” while living in a decked-out studio loft as they are inspired and critiqued by professionals who are leaders in their chosen field. In each episode, host Oldham will reveal one challenge for the designers and send them off to sketch their rooms and shop for paints, furniture, fabrics and other supplies. Lead judge Adler will deliver the news of the chosen winner and loser with input from regular series judges Russell and Wearstler, as well as the surprise guest judges.
The 12 contestants will reside in West Hollywood and most of the season’s production activity will be centered around the Pacific Design Center, a designer’s paradise that serves the needs of the design, entertainment and arts communities.
Name Age Resides in Originally from
Michael Adams 23 New York, NY Athol, MA
Goil Amornvivat 33 New York, NY Bangkok, Thailand
Heather Ashton 36 Los Angeles, CA Gainesville, FL
Felicia Bushman 38 Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles, CA
John Gray 39 Chicago, IL Chicago, IL
Ryan Humphrey 35 New York, NY Ashtabula, OH
Andrea Keller 36 Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles, CA
Erik Kolacz 28 Chicago, IL South Bend, IN
Matt Lorenz 32 Chicago, IL Comfrey, MN
Elizabeth Moore 48 Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles, CA
Carisa Perez-Fuentes 26 New York, NY Highland Park, NJ
Lisa Turner 48 Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles, CA
Known as one of the most beloved designers working today, Oldham joins “Top Design” as host, delivering challenges and inspiring the designers to be their most innovative in their pursuit of creating the “Top Design.” Originally a New York fashion designer and the host of “Todd Time” on MTV’s “House of Style,” Oldham’s career has evolved to include all areas of design, from interior design, film and photography, to furniture and graphic art. Oldham is the author of Hand Made Modern by Regan Books, and has hosted HGTV’s “Hand Made Modern” series of specials. Oldham designed his own line of dorm room furnishings for Target and currently designs a line of furniture and accessories, Todd Oldham By La-Z-Boy. Oldham also designed The Hotel in South Beach, as well as The Fairfax Hotel, South Beach, to open in 2007.
Famed designer Adler, the lead judge of “Top Design,” has been celebrated for the mod shapes, vibrant colors and organic eye-popping patterns that are the signature of his work today. His business encompasses seven retail outlets in Soho & the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Los Angeles, East Hampton, Miami, San Francisco and Chicago; a thriving interior design business, responsible for the re-design of the Parker Palm Springs hotel in modernist style with a comfy residential feel; a burgeoning licensing business under the brand name Jonathan Adler Happy Home that’s expanding into bedding, bath accessorie, stationary, dinnerware and table linens at accessible prices; and originally-designed sold in high-end boutiques around the world. Adler’s “happy, handcrafted and luxe” designs for the home have become a part of American pop-culture, appearing on the sets of the “Today Show,” “Sex and the City,” “Will & Grace” and “The Apprentice.” In November 2005, Adler launched his first book My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living, which combines his wittiness and enthusiasm for creating happy homes everywhere with serious design.
As editor-in-chief of ELLE DECOR Magazine, “Top Design” judge Russell has infused the magazine with a singular sense of sophistication, while helping to preserve its mission to inspire designers, architects, and homeowners with the best in interior and product design. In July 2000, Russell was promoted to editor-in-chief of the magazine she helped found. Since then she has spearheaded an award-winning redesign of the publication — one of 23 ELLE DECOR editions worldwide — and shifted coverage to portray an increasingly diverse array of talents through images and articles that blend striking graphics with incisive, personality-driven text. In addition to overseeing ELLE DECOR, elledecor.com, and the ELLE DECOR series of books, Russell serves as a trustee of DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS), and co-chairs the series of ELLE DECOR Dining by Design events that take place in eight cities across the country each year. Stewart, Tabori & Chang published Russell’s book, Designing Women: Interiors by Leading Style Makers, which profiles 16 trendsetters in the design world.
“Top Design” series judge Wearstler ranks among the design industry’s most influential new tastemakers. Acclaimed for trendsetting designs, Wearstler is the founder and principal of the award-winning Los Angeles-based firm Kelly Wearstler Interior Design. As the lead creative eye and lifestyle muse for the boutique Viceroy resorts in Southern California, Miami, South Beach, Anguilla and Mexico’s Riviera Maya, she has helped make the Viceroy name synonymous with polish, glamour and wit. In addition, she is leading the aesthetic vision for The Tides, a growing collection of vibrantly chic beach resorts in South Beach and the Caribbean. Luxury design aficionados also recognize Wearstler for her creative transformation of the BG restaurant and lounge at Manhattan’s Bergdorf Goodman; her celebrity and executive residential designs in Beverly Hills and Hollywood; and her books Domicilium Decoratus and Modern Glamour (Regan Books/HarperCollins). Wearstler’s exclusive rug, wallpaper and fabric collections are currently available to design professionals, and her signature bedding, dinnerware and table linens will debut at fine retailers nationwide throughout 2007.