With only two empty living spaces left in our unit, the Team Dali home is starting to look surprisingly full. Walking around our East Residence unit, we can see our hard work in each of the rooms we completed, marking our progress throughout the competition and reminding us of each week that brought us now so very close to the final prize.
As Jamie tells us that this week’s challenge will be the leisure room, we are both excited and apprehensive. The theme is a welcome twist, as I am pleased that Phil will be able to apply his interests in cinematography to our design. However the space we have to work with is architecturally the most challenging that we have faced thus far. We have a whole level to work with, divided not only by a massive elevator shaft in the middle of the room, but also by sliding glass doors that create a separate room in the back. Phil and I know we will have to work twice as hard if we want to create a cohesive, leisurely environment.
With all of this in mind, we go shopping.
Since Phil has kept a strict account of our expenses and thanks to his neat bookkeeping we now have a little room to splurge!
As I am from Mendoza, Argentina’s most important wine region, for our leisure room, we want to combine our love for movies as well as our collective French and Argentine passion for wine. A wine cellar was our luxurious solution to the adjoining room in the back…
We began to work and quickly noticed that the circulation between this room in the back and the main area was interrupted and confusing due to the elevator shaft. To solve this issue and create a smooth flow from the main cinema area to the wine cellar we took on what will be remembered as one of our most ambitious projects of the competition: The Screen.
Stark handymen helped us construct a larger than life frame. Approximately seven meters tall and five meters wide, the wooden skeletal frame barely made it through the door, in parts. After assembling the frame, Phil and I began to staple sheer curtain fabric to the edges, creating a diaphanous screen that altered the architecture of the room while still allowing natural sunlight to flow into both spaces. The screen with its rich floral motif also provided an interesting pattern through which guests could catch glimpses of the tempting wine cellar.
Although the screen was one of our big accomplishments, it monopolized our time and resources as both Phil and I had to work together on this single project for many hours… And this was only one of many Do-It-Yourself endeavors we had decided to undertake for this room!
We continued feverishly. Phil began to cut wooden plywood planks to place on the floor of the wine cellar to give it a warmer and more rustic look. I took on covering the closet with faux-stone wallpaper. It is in these moments of frantic work that I realize Phil and I make an amazing team, both in this competition and out. Only he could match my level of crazy and my desire to have things as close to perfect as possible!
We finish the leisure and admire both our spaces in a quiet awe of the amount of work we have completed. Though the detailing is not quite as polished as we would have liked, we have managed to create not only a seductive cinema space but also an adjacent wine cellar – our personal favourite!
In the end, the judges seem pleased with our efforts – though not enough to win this week (as I would like to, each time) it was enough to keep us safe during elimination. And the best part is, we now have we finally have a place to relax and enjoy a glass of wine to take the edge off!
A toast to Glue & Glam, who left us this week and to the rest of us who continue in the fight to make pretty interiors…