Monday, October 18, 2010

Astroturf As A Design Influence??

The latest show in my quest to see what the fuss is all about in design shows brought me south to Miami.  David Bromstad, season one winner of HGTV's Design Star,  hosts the show in his hometown of Miami.

Photo from HGTV website
In this episode, David's clients were looking to fix up their non-descript dining room and adjacent patio area.  Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the patio area, but take my word for needed HELP!

Photo from HGTV website

Here is the before picture of the dining room.  It looks like someone's version of a neat garage after a party.  The backyard view was of  the backside of someone's fence and the only thing this fence was protecting was a square of rotting, greyed out decking.

David looked to a restaurant for inspiration for the space.  Not the actual restaurant, but a creepy dark bathroom inside the restaurant AND the stalls were totally covered with astroturf!!  If that didn't get the client running for the hills, they were either blind or in a state of shock! And he made them feel the astroturf to see how great it felt.  Pet the wall of a public bathroom???  I was gagging and I wasn't even there!   HOWEVER, I had to see where this was going... like onlookers waiting to view the grisly scene of an accident!

As the "accident" unfolded, I was very surprised to see that not only did everyone survive, but they came out of it better than before! David's "Mexican modern" style uses lots of bright colors (Hence the name "Colorsplash") .  The dining room was painted a bold shade of turquoise.  A very large sculptural chandelier was used as a focal point in the small space.  The original table and chairs were reused, but in this brightly colored room, they went from "school cafeteria" to modern day chic.  David also painted a canvas in a series of colorful, concentric squares that resembled the screens of TV's from the '50's.  A nice touch, but in real life, most of us designers don't have enough time to hang the artwork, let alone create it!

The finished room - courtesy of HGTV's website

A few more added pieces and the room was very "contemporary instead of June Cleaver".  (I believe that description was used on the show.)

So what happened to the astroturf??  It ended up as carpeting for the patio area.  Now, I prefer the real thing, but I guess when the climate does a number on your lawn, the astroturf carpet makes an ideal solution. (At least it didn't end up in the client's bathroom!)   For the patio area, David made some wood sculpture light boxes to hide the fence and provide lighting for the area at night.  He used a seating bench and two large cocoa bean chairs for a seating area done up in brightly colored cushions of turquoise, orange and lime green.  Three ceramic cubes in turquoise served as a coffee table and he had giant glass globes custom blown and mounted on the floor with lights inside for additional ambiance. Not too functional during hurricane season, but they did give the area a nice look!  Wooden planters around the perimeter housed trees that would grow to 14 ft to hide the fence and create a private cocoon for the owners.

To view the entire episode, go to and click on the arrows next to the episodes until you come to Mid Century Patio/Dining Room.

He almost lost me with the astroturf, but in the end, I liked the look!  Especially the patio that will never need mowing!  This show may be worth tuning in to again!

"The purist and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most."  John Ruskin

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