Wednesday, April 23, 2014

American Dream Builders w/ Nate Berkus ~ Week 5

Happy Wednesday!  Are you enjoying the sunny and mild weather? It must be the long, dreadful winter that makes me wanting to just stay outdoor when the sun is out for as long as I can.  Knowing the next few weeks will be very busy, I am already planning my next mini getaway for the May long weekend.  I know … I work so I can go on vacation.

Speaking about busy and in need to re-charge, I have absolutely no idea how the designers at Amercian  Dream Builders managed to create the master pieces week after week of challenges and team dynamics without much down time.  This week presents a unique challenge when Nate divided the two teams, 8 designers, into 4 pairs.  The task is to design and decorate a blank canvas modular home within 5 days.  All four homes are unfinished (so no demolition required) and they are identical in layout.  The designers have the chance to pick all the finishes and be creative in space planning to make their home standout from the others.

images via American Dream Builders
It is no surprise to you all by now that Lukas and Erin are two of my favourite designers in #DreamBuilders.  They never fail to impress and inspire me on their creativity, design aesthetics, and attention to detail.  This time, the two has teamed up to put their designer stamps on this modular home and man I wish I am the home owner!!

images via American Dream Builders
The space is an eclectic collection of edgy contemporary vibe with mid-century iconic pieces + heirloom-inspired treasures.  The kitchen is fresh, crisp, streamline, and highly practical.  By confining the intimate living room to the front of the house, Erin and Lukas were able to create a small dining room right in the kitchen.  That modern, oversized chandelier has always been one of my favourites and I think it is the perfect subtle yet dramatic statement in this space.  

I am crazy about the lush green painting at the "foyer" and I am sure many of you also love that brushed brass table lamp by Ralph Lauren.      

images via American Dream Builders
The overall colour palette is neutral and creamy white.  However, there is nothing flat and boring about this home.  The use of grasscloth wallpaper, rope details on mirror, woven baskets for storage, handcrafted wood side table, vintage lighting and furniture pieces, and the hits of inky black all add character and charm to this "new build".      

I absolutely LOVE this home!

images via American Dream Builders
Up next Elaine and Darren.  One would expect the spaces, both interior and exterior, to be photo perfect and the duo did not disappoint us.  Darren has done it again with his garden to wow the judges. Just check out how fantastic the house and its landscaping look against the picturesque backdrop.  

images via American Dream Builders
Effortlessly elegance is Elaine's signature style, and this home exudes just that with the soft and creamy palette, along with the layering patterns and textures, for a rich, luxurious home.  The colour of the kitchen cabinet echoes the light colours in the living room, however I am just not too crazy about this particular colour as cabinet.  It reminds me of the classic birch finish from IKEA: a finish I often spray painted if possible.   

images via American Dream Builders
Here is the serene bedroom with a fantastic walkout to the backyard.  I love that pop of bright Malachite green on the desk and how it adds a wow factor in this neutral bedroom.  Now here is something no one else has done in this week's challenge: a dividing wall between the bedroom from the rest of the home.  By installing a shoji screen that's light and semi-transulent, it provides privacy without intrusive to obstruct the openness and traffic flow in the space. #brilliant  

images via American Dream Builders
This is my favourite shot from Darren and Elaine's home.

images via American Dream Builders
Jay and Nina put together an urban sophisticated home.  I am a sucker for architectural details and Jay has surely delivered well designed and executed delicious trims/ moulding details on a weekly basis.  Although I do like Lukas' outdoor dining room the best for function, Jay's front porch has the aesthetic and style I long for.  

images via American Dream Builders
The judges were floored by the panels (Jay's expertise) and the taste and sophistication level of the furnishing and finishes (Nina's signature style).  However, they have found the layout awkward, making the home with small footprint feels even smaller than it is.   

images via American Dream Builders
The dining area is easy to the eye and again, reflects Nina's and Jay's high standard on craftsmanship and taste.  I probably would have given this dining room a high score, but Lukas' and Erin's daybed/lounge area (same spot as the dining room at Nina's and Jay's) just blown me away. So "B+" for the dining room.  

images via American Dream Builders
My favourite room of Nina's and Jay's home is the bedroom.  It is well executed and the only thing that bothers me is the placement of the curtain rod.  Perhaps I would have closed up that window all together and create a more dramatic headboard for impact.  The bedroom has a set of french door to the backyard and a large window on another wall, I think the team could afford to block up a problematic window.

images via American Dream Builders
Dan and Vanessa have created a home with multiple personalities.  I generally like Dan's rooms and sort of 50/50 with Vanessa's spaces.  For this week's challenges, the judges think there is just way too much going on and I agree. 

images via American Dream Builders
The space feels a little cluttered and I think the brand new kitchen actually looks dated due to the cherry wood cabinet and black counter / backsplash.  I am not understanding the pendant in the kitchen and the random accent colours in the living room (turquoise, yellow, mossy green, and orange).

images via American Dream Builders
The room I do like is the bedroom.  Dan's idea of creating a "checkerboard" effect is innovative and very effective.  I do like the cherry blossom inspired wallpaper but a little unsure about the pattern on the beddings (especially the chevron pillow).

images via American Dream Builders
So here is my take of this week's challenge.  Did you watch the show? Which room is your favourite and what tip did you pick up this week? 

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