Welcome to Top Design where 10 everyday Australians are given the opportunity to show their design flair for a chance to win $100,000. Dirt, forklifts and steel shipping containers, and such an odd choice of location for the contestants to commence their design journey a shipping yard.
In a world that is conscious of being eco-friendly, and with housing becoming increasingly unaffordable, used shipping containers have now become popular to convert into homes and office spaces. With that in mind, the first Top Design challenge was to convert a shipping container into a practical home.
The rules were simple. Within four days and with the help of a carpenter, their space must contain a living area, sleeping area, and eating space. The contestants were broken up into teams of two, a great way to get intimate with their fellow competitors.
It was the battle of the decks in the first elimination challenge with two teams Kai and Dan and Craig and Jo planning to expand the living area of their container up on top. The ambitious young pair, Dan and Kai, not only built up but out with their double "deck-er" design. The judges felt that their ambition got in way of their finishing and styling.
On the other end of the scale, team Craig and Jo had troubles managing their building site. While Jo was off-site shopping for furnishings, Craig site managed an underwhelming roof decking but in the judge's eyes, their design was saved by Jo's cleaver use of space and flair for interiors, with a platform bed area and soft furnishings in a tasteful pallet of white, creams and grey.
There were budget dramas with Stephen and Lisa's outdoor living design. A great sense of space and colour, it was true outdoor Australian family living with a full outdoor dining area. While Stephen was managing the builders and adding his splashes of colour to their design, Lisa spent up a storm on furnishings and in turn, was earmarked for elimination for blowing the team's budget.
Combining a sense of heritage and using their army barrack location as style inspiration,
team Leigh and Dee, designed a "modular deck". Each piece of the decking can be reorganised and packed up within the container for life on the road. The interiors was vintage RSL meets modern shabby chic and was a winner with the judges.
There was a style war over at the container of Mary and Robert. Robert, being from an architectural background, designed a "pulley bed". This was a great way to maximise their space but in reality was not so practical once the bed was dressed. Mary's love of colour and chintz, butted heads against Roberts's minimalistic sensibilities but in the end they produced a bright and airy, red-and-white space.
The first contestant asked to leave the competition was Craig. The judges thought that he could have stepped up and managed his builders better to achieve a more cohesive design; their container needed a sense of flow from the outdoor decking to the indoor living area.
At the end of the day it was Dee's quirky merchandising and style inspiration of the container that made her the first "Top Designer". Keeping the styling masculine as well as functional produced a great-looking container and interior feel which, coupled with their team's modular decking idea, proved a hit with the judges.
Next week we meet three bachelors and their loft-style living areas that are in desperate need of some Top Design!
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