Week nine. We’re finally there. This week’s judging is going to decide you will walk out of this competition empty handed and who will win either a car or the grand prize, The famous Apartment.
All teams have been working so hard. It’s been very tough physically as well as psychologically. Personally I’ve never been pushed so far near my limits. We’ve haven’t been sleeping much for weeks. We’ve spent entire days so focused on our designs that we forgot to eat our meals more than once. The cameras have been inches
from our faces as we’ve been sweating, fuming, concentrating and sometimes losing it. We’ve been through eight nerve racking eliminations that usually take place late at night. It’s good to know we’re close to the end. But it’s very scary to realize it might all end with no reward. I already feel sorry for the team who will be eliminated this week. Very sorry. I wish there were three apartments.
But that’s the game. And here we stand one more time in front of Jamie, waiting for instructions. It feels weird to only see six people there. The entrance to the East Residences looks pretty empty on the side of the contestants. On production side, the numerous staff, cameras, cranes, cables and sound equipment are more than ever seeking every little twitch of emotion on our faces.
Without a surprise this week we will have to complete the living room, the final room in the house. But this time there’s no theme. We’re asked to just be ourselves and try to show our personality in our design. It’s going to be interesting.
Iva and I quickly decide to incorporate nature in our design as we like to do it. It’s going to be sea, sun and sand. We choose a few different nautical blues to paint the walls and ceilings. I spend a lot of time carefully selecting nice planks of plywood that we cut, sand and stain with lots of love and attention to detail. We use some of them to divide our main wall in wainscoting style with paint at the top and wall paper at the bottom. We also use them to cover the beams separating the living room in two. To me, that part looks stunning and gives the space a warm, natural feeling. Unfortunately it won’t even be shown or mentioned on the show, although the judges loved it. It’s not part of the “money shots” that come up during the judging.
Watching the show on TV, I’ve come to realize that it’s not really necessary to create a clean, finished, livable space where every corner and detail of the room has its importance. It’s more important to present a few facets of the room that will look great on TV. Bros United really mastered that aspect early on in the show. We lost a lot of time and effort not realizing this and trying to create a place we could actually live in. Hopefully it will pay off in the end though.
We try to make this living room as personal as possible. During shopping, we choose furniture we really like and would buy for our own living room. Having quite a bit of money left, we’re able to look over the budget a bit and really go for pieces we love. We have a fake fireplace built that we place in the center of the wall and use as a bookshelf. It really ties the room together, gives it a center. We then balance the room with the furniture around it, just like Laurence taught us in the lovely tea time we had with him before the challenge.
On the walls, we place some of my favorite artists : Rothko, Matisse, Stieglitz, Steichen, Depardon and Kertesz. In the middle, above the fireplace, a print of the artist that has held our hand throughout this competition : Salvador Dalí. Finally on the chest of drawers in front of the elevator shaft, a photograph of my boat, also named Dali !
It’s time for judging. Jamie and Laurence both like the space very much. They appreciate the way we’ve tied the garden into the living room. We created a second little sitting area. You just need to open the glass doors to the garden, and you can sit in the living room, while enjoying a conversation with friends sitting in the garden.
We really like our design but we know we’re facing two very good teams. The Opportunists and Bros United both deserve to be in the final. Luckily, after a very long, stressful time standing in front of Jamie and Laurence, they announce that we have made it to the final ! We have at least won a car ! Finally, all that hard work has paid off…it feels amazing. Now, we’re definitely going for the win !
We’re very sorry to see the brothers leave. Over the past weeks, Jesper and Killian have become good friends. We’ve been very impressed with their flair for design since the beginning of the show. We will miss them both as friends and competitors, and hope to welcome them on the boat sometime soon !
One more week and we will be able to talk about what goes down in the finale ! Whatever happens, we will not regret taking part to this surrealist experience that has taught us so much about interior design, but also about TV production and of course, about our couple !