Despite the fact that the reputation of Australia’s renovation shows is sliding at an alarming rate, I gave Top Design a go. The show hosted by Jamie Durie aired on Channel Nine and was surprisingly good.
While your common renovation shows are building, designing and styling rooms and homes to be bought and lived in by ordinary people, I felt that Top Design was setting challenges that really were just that- a conceptual challenge. Yes, one could argue that any renovation is a challenge because let’s face it, it is, but Channel Nine’s Top Design weekly challenges are that cut above the rest. I love that the challenges are just that touch different, quirky and often need the contestants to think outside their comfort zone.
On the first episode of Top Design Australia, Jamie Durie had the contestants solving the issues that the confined spaces of your conventional bomb shelter provided. Congratulations Top Design Australia, that really is a challenge you don’t see every day. The commercials for Top Design streaming on Channel Nine in the lead up had my brain bouncing around the confined space of my head! Trying to fathom how one would transform something more easily defined as a box into a living space. And that is how Top Design got me hooked.
Jamie Durie’s design brief had partners tearing down walls, building up towers, inventing unconventional furniture and expanding out with sweeping decks. Nearly every Top Design couple had planned a different approach and it was truly fascinating to see how these mere ideas transformed into reality.
It was easily concluded that some Top Design contestants were being too tricky. Sure, this would impress Jamie Durie and the judges with their outlandish and daring bold statements — but not if it’s not properly. Robert’s pulley bed system had my dad yelling at the TV; even with his self-trained carpenter skills, even he could conceive methods of simplifying the concept.
Top Design’s Dee undoubtedly had a rebellious take on interior design with her hand painted walls, mix-match styling and mastery over colour palettes. She had me one step away from adding her on Facebook and pursuing a long-lasting relationship where we intimately discussed fashion, interior design and art. Just quietly, even in these early stages, I am confidently backing Dee as Top Design Australia successor of 2011.
Anyway, back to what I gained from this Channel Nine’s Top Design as a designer:
1.Sometimes simple is stunning: Stephen and Lisa extended the living space cleverly by expanding out to the deck was loved by Jamie Durie and the judges of Top Design. While the concept wasn’t overly complicated; it truly turned this box into an inviting and habitable space — unlike the pulley bed or rooftop deck. It was an achievable goal and a space that can continue to be adapted to altering styles.
2.Invite a burst of colour into your home: Stephen definitely comes across as a bright character and his splashes of paint added something special and unique to the couple’s design of the bunker.
3. It is important to have a switched on project manager: Craig was one of the first eliminated on Top Design due to his inability to control the project. Too much blame was placed on this teams trades men, when really what they were lacking was strong site management.
4. Add a design theme: Dee was who Jamie Durie labeled the first weeks ‘Top designer’ as her bunker encapsulated a masculine theme that stylistically drew out the bunkers historical purpose with an old English army feel.
5. Stick to your budget: Steve and Lisa blew the budget set by Top Design Channel Nine by almost $5,000. It is easy to get carried away (admittedly easier when it’s not your money) but excessive spending may lead to unfinished projects or even unfinished rooms within your own home.