Episode 5

About: "Those other people that were on that show with me"
  So once again, I start with how much I love me some Tyler ...AND, I love me some Valium ...just kidding...never touch the stuff. In fact, I love running around like a stressed-out crazy woman with blood pressure 180/110!  Crazy but, yes, I really do have high blood pressure and it has hit those numbers in the past. Ok, moving on.
SO DELIGHTED I was not working with...oh, never mind...but gosh I could really use Cathy’s 'global perspective' seeing as how Tyler and I picked the “global” tea pot as inspiration! And POOR Karl! (who I affectionately refer to as Stewart from Mad TV) I gotta hand it to him, Karl really kept his cool! How in the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks did he keep from grabbing all that nonsense off of the countertops??  EGGS on the counter next to limes; strange, brown, turd-like roots; and a coffee pot that’s not plugged in...I could go on, but I wont! Enough already!
So how 'bout my bud Kelli! WHY, WHY, WHY did I save all my crying for off camera? I was so damned determined not to cry over design, but now I am really re-thinking that move! AND, what about Kelli’s taking off her shirt to clean the floor! Brilliant idea! Too bad I didn’t think of that one, cuz if I had unleashed my newly/scarred up/old/breast cancer boobies, that might have won me some extra brownie points...and made the judges cry! 
...but that’s another show.

About: "Those moments on the cutting room floor"
  Once again, thank you to my HGTV family for NOT showing me doing my SHAMELESS MAJOR plug for Sears! Yes Sears, once again, I am ready for that contract! I blanked out when the cameras first started rolling. I am never at a loss for words, but I totally froze up right when David said, “Action.” So, how did I make up for that? Well, I literally threw myself on the Kenmore refrigerator! So, thank you for leaving that embarrassing moment on the cutting room floor. 
My custom cabinet pulls however, ended up - yes - on the cabinets, but the positive feedback did not quite make it on the show...unfortunately. So, let’s move on to those design tits ... I mean TIPS

About: "Those design tits ... I mean TIPS"
1.    The cabinet door pulls were made out of these wavy sticks I got from West Elm. The wave of the stick was the “pull” part and the flat sides were screwed in on each side to the cabinets -- VERY inexpensive way to have custom handles.
2.    When designing a kitchen, go ahead and put the back splash all the way around the back of the kitchen sink. I AM SICK that I DID NOT HELP TYLER GET THAT DONE!Hugely disappointed in myself for that one! I love Tyler, and I hate to think I contributed to him leaving!
3.     The big oversized mirror is great for an L-shaped kitchen, especially when you have two pendant lights hanging in view. I did this in my own kitchen, and it really opened up my space and brought more light in from the outdoors. (see my design portfolio  www.HGTV.com for example)


Episode 4 Watching Party

Watch these short and sweet home movies we shot on our vacation in Cape Cod, as our friends and family gathered to watch last week's episode!


Episode 4

First, I have to start with another random thought about Candace Olsen…still love her!!! 

About: "Those other people that were on that show with me”   
  So how much do I love me some Tyler!! (And, I think they pick on him too much!!) I mean, so what if the faux finish was not perfect on the fireplace mantle…the limp hammock was a far cry from perfect, but they loved that monstrosity (and went gaga over it)! I think just buying a hammock might have been a little easier - and maybe more effective, but who am I to say. I also was not aware that “nautical” meant big colorful floral fabric either…again…I am learning all kinds of new things.  Like, this week I learned that I have now moved on from “menopausal moments” to “Sears Moments!”  Loved that part! So, Dear Sears, if you need a role model who will put a pretty face and a whole lotta love on your Sears Kenmore Products (a little foreshadowing for next weeks kitchen challenge) I AM YOUR GAL!! Role model may be a stretch…BUT, I have been chosen by Susan G. Komen to be this year's “Honorary Chairperson” for The Race for the Cure - so, somebody likes my design tits…I  mean tips! Did I also mention that I am teamed with critically acclaimed artist, Mr. George Tobolowsky, to construct a HUGE 13ft high by 7 ft wide, metal strappy BRA… with the catch phrase “You Can’t Strap a Good Woman Down!”  check out me welding on my website at LeslieChristineDesigns.com… I feel just like Flashdance's Jennifer Beals!

About: "Those moments on the cutting room floor”  
  This was not on the cutting room floor, BUT how about ME on the bedroom floor rolling around like an idiot after I pushed the 600 pound tank of a sofa down 3 flights of stairs!!! I will send you the bill HGTV, for the knee damage and brain damage it took to figure out the logistics of getting that beast out the door!!  And thanks HGTV for not railing my 5 minute painting done in the rain!! That was kind! I will be sending the home owners the real version of that painting…pic to be posted soon. This part did not end up on the cutting room floor either, but kinda floored me when my friend Vern said “Leslie you REALLY SURPRISED me this week”…hmm how, why, and really? Come on Vern, is it that much of a shocker that I can design a room, or is it the creative factor that caught you with your pants down?? Regardless, it was a huge positive...I think - so thank you for letting me surprise you!! Hope I can think of other ways to surprise you in the near future (Like randomly showing up to your personal appearances you do around Texas!)

About: "Those design Tits...I mean TIPS"  
  1. The best stuff ever is the KILZ super heavy duty primer that covers wall paper. It was like putting Elmer’s glue on the wall but it worked like a charm. It also worked great covering the back side of that rug...that should have been in the trash.
  2. To create art work like the triptych over the bed - just seal with primer, tape off with painters tape, and spray a combo of silver and gold spray-paint for the design.
  3. Take rugs and have them framed with foot molding, then take black bamboo and nail it around the side of the frame to give a more finished look. 
  4. Also, try spraying one of your favorite larger sea shells metallic to use as a decorative item for a  room!


Episode 3

First, I have to start with a random thought about Candace Olsen.    I LOVE HER !! I told her in person what a Rockstar she is to me and how much I loved her design choices, but I would like to take this time to reiterate just how great I think she is as a person.  GET HER DESIGN BOOK… she tells her story about her volleyball days and includes a picture of herself sporting a bad perm…EXACTLY like I had when I was that age!  She is quirky, hilarious, and brilliant…definitely worth the read.  The book is on the shelves at Lowes and Home Depot.  Great tits…I mean tips in her book!!!

About: “Those other people that were on that show with me”
  Well, I have absolutely no Cathy remarks this week except; did you hear the one about how Cathy likes to incorporate a global perspective in her design??? Love Kevin.  Love Kelli.  However, now looking back on how damned determined I was to NOT CRY over design….maybe I should have re-thunk that one! CRYING=AIRTIME…way to be strong, Les….no tears, no camera time!  But I have cried way too much over the past couple of years…SO, (note-to-self continues) WILL NOT CRY OVER DESIGN! Every time I see Mark and his grandfathers ball cap, I wish I would have brought my Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader POM-POMs for the interview room… maybe that would have made for good TV…and more air-time.

About: “Those moments on the cutting room floor” 
  FIRST, let’s talk about what DID NOT end up on the cutting room floor… “MY WIFE and kids” comment!! WHABAM! There it is, bigger than life…the GAY card on HGTV.  Love you HGTV!!!  I want folks to know the real me and they did it!! Thank you to all of my HGTV family for putting me literally “OUT” there.  Up until this episode, one may have thought I was the typical housewife turned decorator/ Mommy of four/ former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader/ Breast Cancer survivor NOT ANYMORE!  I think it is pretty cool to be the first and ONLY gay female designer on this show in the six seasons it has aired.  Now, moving on…I definitely was delighted that they loved my artwork, but I also loved the fact that Vern loved my determination to make the space a place for grownups, not just kids.  And there’s some other stuff, but it does not do me any good to mention it, for fear of sounding like I have a bad case of sour grapes. “Next topic… I’ll take ‘About those design tits…I mean TIPS’ for $100.00 please”

About: “Those design Tits…I mean TIPS”
1.     For a basement with no windows, try choosing a brighter than normal color…In this case I went with bright chartreuse…to quote Kevin…“A pop of color!” 
2.     Also, just because it is a place where kids will be hanging out, don’t forget the adults of the house.  You do not have to dumb down a room - meaning, making everything geared towards kids. 
3.     Be sure to include things you like that are adult elements, like decorative pewter vases, and furniture that is durable but still sophisticated. 
4.     If you have a bar that needs to be redone, try using sheet metal to cover the front of the bar as I did in this basement challenge.
5.     The bar (which was actually a collaborative effort Kellie took the lead on) turned out very well, however what they did not focus on was the change made to the pillars.  The pillars that held the bar up were actually small round pillars; making them look more significant can really make a room.   I used wood to encase the round pillar, making them into much larger square pillars.  This gave the bar a much more substantial look, without a sizeable amount of work.  So look for these opportunities in your house…
6.     If you have old art work from your kids that is collecting dust, try ripping the edges of the work, then glue them to a canvas to make new personalized art work.  Get the kids involved in the process! They will love it and so will you.  And check out my website @ LeslieChristineDesigns.com, where you can find an interview of me discussing and demonstrating this concept further.

Until next week…. So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night...


Episode 2

Watch this fun movie of me watching myself on TV...too funny
And then read below to get my opinions of this week's episode

FIRST, what the heck is up with my oily skin in the interview room!!! You could fry an egg on my face…I gotta steal Cathy's remark, “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD LESLIE!”…. MAKE-UP! POWDER! PLEASE!

About: “Those other people on the show with me”
  White box challenge week 2… I was on my own and it was nice not to have anyone constantly yelling at me.  I felt like Tyler should have won the challenge, and the use of the water bottles to create the chair was very cool!  My little pocket pal Mark, (I call him that since I tower over him in my 3 inch Jimmy Choo’s) got the win with the military theme paying homage to his Grandfather.  Great move on his part and I think it is so important to show respect to our military.  I know when I did USO/DOD tours around the world as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader it was inspiring to meet all those brave young women and men who are out there fighting for our freedom!!!  What an AMAZING segment of my life, maybe I should have done something like that...BUT I felt like creating “graffiti wallpaper” was a better way to capture the edgy side of myself.  I guess metal bowls and wall murals makes a clear statement of who Mark is, and for that matter, broken plates define Cathy…whose to say…whose to say…

About: “Those moments that landed on the cutting room floor"
  I was disappointed that the words expressed in my graffiti wallpaper were not shown on TV. The judges actually said “really expressing who you are as a person is always a strong compelling choice” and I did just that!  Candace did mention in her blog on week 2 that my word art was genius, however she wishes I had done it on all three walls instead of just two.  She was right, but there was just not enough time and my hand was about to fall off finishing 2 walls at that speed. By the time I got to the last words I was writing on my walls “holy shit, I am never going to finish this!”   I thought my biggest coo was the pillow I made within the last seconds of the challenge. It was white, and then I splattered pink paint on it to pay my homage to Breast Cancer… Genevieve loved it… but again, too much film and not enough time…  As of right now it may appear as if I am the total STEREOTYPE OF TEXAS….which I am NOT!!  You know the blonde hair, the big diamond ring, the boobs, the high heels, being a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader….It is HILARIOUS TO ME…. Because that could not be further from the truth… why because I have a WIFE not a husband!! I have 4 kids in our blended family!  We struggled through a grueling two years of breast cancer for crying out loud…..and besides that, I curse like a drunkin’ sailor, not something I am proud of - but definitely makes me more like one of the guys...not just another housewife turned part-time ‘decorator’!! 

Here is a sample of the word art I put on the wall just FYI…““BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR” and “GAY” and “MARRIED TO A WOMAN” and “MOTHER OF FOUR” and “DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADER” and “A LOVER” and “A FIGHTER FOR LIFE.”  Like the old saying goes, “never judge a book by its cover.”

About: “Those design Tits…. I mean Tips”
  Tom liked my soup ladles as tea light holders…. It read nice in life but not so much impact on TV.  I do like the idea of using those industrial floor mats to create art work on the wall.  It is cost effective and simple to do.  Word art is fun and can be done in a smaller area. If you are afraid of doing it free hand there are many different stencils out there and it is a great opportunity to express who you are…or really, for kids to have fun expressing who they are.  Not many other tips to share this week… White box rooms that are non-functional do not translate to real life solutions...

Tune in next Monday July 25th when I team up with Kevin and Kellie for the next Design Star Challenge…


Episode 1

Watch this video to get David Bromstad's reaction to episode 1 
(and to get a better view of my work) 
And then read below to get my own reaction to the show!

About: "Those other people on that show with me”   
 Well that was a fun one! How bout that Cathy, Huh?? Nothing like being yelled at, criticized by, talked down to, and over all just TORTURED by a complete stranger!!! Funny thing is I picked her!  I thought she would be cool and a smart designer. So, when it was time to pick a partner I gravitated to her since she made me think of my best friend in the whole wide world, Kourtney.  HAHAHAHA…. NOTHING LIKE MY GIRL KOURT! Not only was she not a smart designer (the unfinished “sand box bench” that hurt to sit on) but she was just so damn mean to me.  Whatever… I have four kids, a spouse that is type triple A personality, survived breast cancer, … I can survive the wrath of Cathy. In the words of the ever famous Forest Gump  “That’s all I have to say about that.”

About: "Those moments on the cutting room floor” 
  Loved loved loved when my new best friend Vern commented on my super fly coffee table! Too bad his quote about me having a  “ROCKSTAR moment” didn’t make it to the final cut!!! I mean come on, who doesn’t love being called a “Rockstar.”  Truth be told, being a ROCKSTAR is secretly what I REALLY want to be when I grow up, if only I could sing!!  However I can do a mean “Crimson and Clover”, but for now I guess just being a “Design Star” will have to do!    Also, I wanna send a shout out to my idol Candace Olson, who also gave me accolades about the big black tire table! What you didn’t hear her say is “how the amethyst wall color palette was a fantastic choice, as it did not conflict with the amazing view.” And the part where she said “I did not want to leave the space!” For a minute, after the judges had given out all the compliments of my art work, praise of my color palette, smart furniture choices (including the dining room table) and over all elegance of the room… I kinda thought I was gonna be the designer that “impressed them the most” but NO…not this time…big bummer.

About: "Those design tits…I mean TIPS"
  So first, when designing your own home be sure not to work with someone who will belittle you every step of the way. That’s not so much fun…and design should DEFINITELY  be fun! Trust yourself.  And feel free to ‘copy’ the works of others.  Just like Egon Schielle appropriated the works of Gustav Klimt - but in the end, Egon Schielle’s work is completely his own and uniquely different.  (So feel free to copy my easy art ideas)  The set of four white matted framed art work pieces were super easy, and in this case, helped tie the room together.   
  DIY! 1. Take a heavy weight sketching paper and apply torn strips of blue painters tape in a vertical pattern.  2. Use flat black spray paint to cover the entire sheet.  3. Let it dry, then remove the tape (which will leave an abstract tree-like pattern)  4. Frame with an over-sized white matt and white frame.  5. Voila! Now you have some customized artwork - that is best used on a wall with color. (i.e. that fabulous amethyst wall color of the penthouse!)
  I like picking the color palette for the room first, including the wall color.  Consider your surroundings. For instance, with the penthouse living room, with all of its floor-to-ceiling windows - the color Amethyst made perfect sense, as it would play beautifully off of the amazing sunsets of NYC.   
  Oh and here is something else you can try…if you notice in the background, what looks like a tree, was actually just large branches - I quickly (and I mean VERY QUICKLY) put them inside a large metal container, then propped the branches up with the excess packing material that my partner Cathy left all over the living room floor!!! Kids…what are you going to do?