Caught up with my DVR'd Design Star last night.  Okay, I have a bit stronger opinion about this episode.  First, are you kidding me with the landscape challenge?  Not only do they give them a back yard to do.  It is flipping huge and completely barren.  They did get a fairly decent budget (which I'll get back to). Time allotment was also a bit better.  At this point in the competition though, I'm thinking individual challenges would be more appropriate, or at least a division of two groups.  It is clear to me that they were all unfamiliar with pools.  Putting that giant expanse of concrete around the pool was not only ugly but also completely not functional.  Concrete gets hideously hot and with small children and their sensitive feet, not a very good choice for this family.   Pavers or cool crete would have been a much better choice.  The judges were pretty generous with praise  for this project ( I think they felt bad about the amount of physical labor these people had to do).  Vern, only mentioned that there wasn't any interest around the pool but said nothing about the use of concrete.  So, lets talk about the gazebo.  They paid almost 11K for 160 sq ft of gazebo.  It wasn't esthetically that great and lacked any sort of Zen element.  I think Dan, should have gone home for that decision alone.  He's is cute and he did better in his hosting, so I understand why he didn't get the boot.  He did have some redemption. If that gazebo guy would have given me that price, I would have laughed in his face.  Part of having a design business is negotiating the best deals.  I know they are competing for a show but it comes in handy when you're trying to stretch a budget on TV too.  He just rolled over for that ridiculous price.  I thought $4300 for the playground was high too. Just saying.  Then there was the furniture.  The placement lacked function, it wasn't very attractive and I wasn't feeling the pillows either.  That's just me.  Nothing like having a bar 1/2 mile from the house.  That would be fun to truck stuff back and forth (ice, beverages, etc).  I wonder if that will ever get used?  I thought one of the best elements besides the grass and plantings was the water feature.  Antonio, got no love for that at all.  What gives?  Okay, back to the budget.  If you didn't see the show, the team was given 25K.  Due to some miscommunication they overspent by 5K.  So the consequences were that Clive, gave them the extra 5 thou.  What?  Great precedence for the next season.  I think the writers need to rethink that challenge.  An outdoor space would be awesome.  I think it would have been more interesting to see 4 individual small courtyards in an individual challenge.  So what did y'all think? 
 

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