Ellen's Design Challenge Episode 4: Sofa Central

Ellen's Design Challenge Episode 4: Sofa Central

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Jennifer Hunter
Feb 17, 2015
(Image credit: HGTV)

If you're watching this show and you're not aware of titles of the episodes, then you really are missing out. I recently noticed these gems in my DVR and have been enjoying them almost as much as the show itself. This week's episode is creatively called, "Ouch, We Have to Build A..." and that thing is a sofa. Ready to talk about it?

• Sooo we still have four designers left since no one went home last week.

• The team arrives to a deserted set (well, besides the camera crew, one can assume). Yikes - they have to show up at 6:30 am? Brutal.

• Gaspar and Katie are still rockin' their hats. Thanks for the consistency guys.

• What? Tim can juggle? Hello Renaissance man, this guy just gets better and better. He’s also wearing a kick-ass silver man-bracelet.

• Some movers show up and start moving everything out. Host Jay tells us that apparently “Ellen” thought they needed a better lounge. So the movers bring in new stuff for a lounge except there's no couch. These guys know that everything has a meaning here; they barely let Jay get the words out... they have to build one.

• Eek, sofas are hard to make. They’re gonna have the help of an upholsterer so they have to finish their bases extra early. They all get started on picking their fabric.

• Katie says she's “not thinking pattern" but still goes straight for the marble print. That seems about right. Katie’s design is straight-up insane. It’s a circle with an ottoman inset into a classic boxy sofa. She described it as a throne...a super 80’s throne. The upholsters aren’t sure they have the time.

• Tim is planning a sleek molded metal base with tufted leather. How manly.

• Gaspar is planning something that seems super complicated with moving parts and casters and...I don’t really get it. It pulls out into a flat bed? Why would they need that in their lounge? Spontaneous naps?

• Carley and Jeff are rolling right along. They’re such a good team...in the bedroom (jk, I have no evidence these guys are a couple, don't sue me peeps).

• Ok, some editor is making me really nervous by including a bunch of close-ups of fingers near circular saws. Not cool, guys. I need to watch this without having an anxiety attack that I’m about to see a severed finger.

• Carley and Jeff get their curvy-back frame finished all ready for the upholsterer. They test it out in the cutest way possible. I mean, you guys. I took a photo of my TV so you can all experience this awesomeness. Look how happy Carley looks:

Hey Carley and Jeff, make sure to credit me when you use this photo on your wedding invite
(Image credit: Jennifer Hunter)

• Whoops, Tim forgot to measure (isn’t that basically the first rule of building stuff?) and his sofa is too long for the 78 inches of available space in the lounge. As his carpenter says, "This. Is. A. Disaster.” They have to saw it in half which, to be honest, is pretty fun to watch.

• Katie’s using stacked acrylic for the feet. It’s very art deco/ still kinda 80s.

• Ohhh I get it, Gaspar has made a slab that slides under his sofa and then can be pulled out to make a flat surface. I still don’t really know why you would want that. If you could store stuff in a drawer, that would be one thing, but it just pulls out and slides in...except it doesn’t actually fit. They’re trying to add feet to somehow fix it.

• Tim's project's down to the wire as per usual. I feel like he needs to work on his time management skills and look into some blood pressure medication. He is stressed!

• Ok, they get the upholstered pieces back.

• Carly’s legs look good (her sofa legs). The print is a bit much —it kinda looks like an Oompa Loompa-inspired version of floral but her molded steel leaf-shaped legs look cool against it.

• Katie and Carley have a cute friend moment where they hit each other with pillows. Oh right, I forgot these two know each other from college.

• This week's guest judge is Kathleen Clements.

• Gaspar is up first. His couch looks good but it’s a little clunky and looks uncomfortable. I'm almost positive that my dentist has a sofa with that exact same fabric (but, it's a pretty swanky office so...) Amanda points out that the vertical pattern of the fabric is fighting the grain of the wood. I hadn't noticed that but she's right. Buuut, it does look great with the rest of the furniture in the lounge and that was the assignment after all.

• Carley is up, she’s pretty confident. The legs do make it. The shape is exaggerated and dramatic. The fabric is a lot. The judges say it has too many elements and doesn’t really work in the lounge. They're kinda right. As much as I wanted to like it, it's too oddly-proportioned.

• Christiane makes a point to sit on all the sofas. That's a lesson, all you online sofa shoppers. Comfort can totally be a deal breaker.

• Tim’s sofa looks like it belongs on Star Trek. It’s all sharp curvy lines and black leather. Also, when Amanda sits, her feet won’t touch the ground. The proportions are off. In the lounge, it looks giant. He powder coated the steel frame and the judges say they would have preferred raw steel.

• Katie’s sofa is...a bit much. Christiane calls it a statement piece and she's right about that but my bleeding eyeballs are just not appreciating this particular statement. Kathleen Clements says it stresses her out.

• Wait a minute! The lamps in the lounge are now orange. Weren’t they blue before? I know they used to be blue because Gaspar’s blue sofa matched them. And now they’re different. Isn’t the whole point that they have to work with the stuff already in the lounge? I call foul. Side note, I like Katie’s lipstick today.

• I really can’t guess who the winner is going to be – they were all kinda mediocre. But, you know, sofas are REALLY hard to make!

• In fact, Amanda says the judges didn’t pick a winner. They can just do that? I’m very uncomfortable with all these broken rules. I don’t do well with change.

• They do pick a loser though: Carley is going home. They just hated how her sofa looked in the lounge. Class act as always, she takes it well, but noooooo. You can almost hear Jeff's sobs from off camera. So sad.

Missed my previous reviews? Shame on you. Catch up here:

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