This week, there was not one but two guest judges—world renowned designer and actress —who joined Genevieve Gorder and Whitney Robinson to pick the winning designer. Andrews, whose sought-after style (he’s worked with Kris Jenner, Ryan Seacrest, and more) is marked by a fresh elegance that’s grounded in comfort and livability, was the perfect pick given this week’s theme: Contemporary.
Before you let your mind wander into a world of steel finishes and glass surfaces, let's break down what contemporary really means. Unlike modern, which refers to a specific period with distinct design characteristics, the contemporary aesthetic is constantly evolving, reflecting the popular styles of present-day design. “Contemporary is hard because it is ever-changing, it’s evolving every minute,” says Gorder. “How are you going to make a room that feels contemporary but stands up to next year?”
Just like last week, the inspiration home was none other than that of the guest judge. Jeff Andrews’ contemporary California abode boasts rich texture and an inviting warmth, weaved with statement pieces that, while totally cozy, are also totally high-end and glam. The contestants— and —would be tasked with transforming their assigned rooms into spaces that are fresh and au courant, while standing the test of time.
“Contemporary living is more than just sleek furniture; it’s a lifestyle that’s rooted in the here and now,” says Siweb Editor-in-Chief Whitney Robinson. “And what’s more modern than a deeply comfortable and serene space full of beautiful furnishings?” Both Jason and Britany’s clients were in need of a full bedroom makeover, which, given the design theme, would be a sanctuary-like space that they could retreat to every day.
Beware: there are spoilers ahead.
Watch a clip of the winner reveal:
From the start, Jason Lai exudes major confidence. The Los Angeles-based designer has been in the industry for more than 15 years—that’s almost half of his life—and he’s the co-founder of design firm. A self-proclaimed master of all styles, Jason’s work ranges from classically traditional to sleek and modern, and he prides himself on being able to work with a variety of budgets, big and small. Given this week’s $30,000 allowance ($5,000 more than usual, thanks to gift cards provided by J.C. Penney), Jason will have to prove just how money-savvy he really is.
His clients, Erica and Jeff, are young parents whose fast-paced life has put their bedroom renovations on pause. Their current bedroom lacks any character, with stained carpets, half broken lamps, and mismatched furniture. The space is large without any real layout—a damper on the clients’ young and excited energy. Erica, who gave birth in the very room Jason is renovating, would like to give birth there again with her second child, this time in a room that feels a little more personal. Talk about high-pressure. Still, Jason’s lively spirit was a motivating force in creating a space that would give the family an area to relax, and expand.
Britany Simon, a lively Scottsdale, Arizona-based designer, has been obsessed with interior design her whole life. After years of learning the ropes, she founded her own full-service firm, . While Britany’s aesthetic does lean more toward contemporary, she likes to mix and match styles, and believes that good design is always changing. “I’m not one of those designers who has a look or style on repeat,” she says. From large-scale commercial projects to budget-friendly home renos, Britany has done it all. Her clients, Sunny and Rashid, believe that they have their dream home…"in progress." Balancing parent life and busy careers has put their own master suite on the back burner of their home renovation plans.
The bedroom—long and awkward—consisted of a bed, TV, ironing board, and a few pieces of scattered furniture. Though spacious, it is, as Britany puts it, a “sad space” that is yearning for a little design lovin’. Sunny and Rashid were inspired by the cool gray color palette of the inspiration home, and they requested a space that would be light and bright; high-end yet comfortable.
Construction commenced, and the designers got to work. Both Jason and Britany had some ambitious renovations ahead, so timing was a major concern. Jason began by building out the walls to create a grand foyer, while Britany was replacing the old carpet with hardwood floors, and adding custom details to the vaulted ceiling. And of course, there were the setbacks. Jason, who promised his clients gorgeous French doors that opened up into the backyard, realized too late that the doors opened inward instead of outward. Britany's statement mirror for the bedroom entryway didn't fit up the stairs, and it had to be cut down. Even with the various complications, both Britany and Jason's clients remained in surprisingly high spirits—especially given the four-day timeline that would leave many in a constant state of s-t-r-e-s-s.
As Genevieve Gorder put it, what was once "a manila envelope with a lot of grandma leftovers" is now a soothing escape for Erica and Jeff to enjoy time alone. By adding an archway to the bedroom’s entrance, Jason created architectural interest in the otherwise boxy space. Teal-gray walls inspired by Jeff Andrews’ living room were paired with warm, layered accents and pops of purple and blush tones. The light wood four-poster bed was backed by a grasscloth accent wall, which brought even more texture into the cozy room. Standout spots include the entryway ceiling, which was sheathed in a feather-patterned wallpaper, and the large French doors, which open up into the patio. While the space was beautifully executed, the judges worried that it was overly-accessorized, making the room feel congested.
The days of stale gray walls and awkward layouts are behind us, thanks to Britany's contemporary bedroom creation. From the statement walls (drawn straight from the inspiration home) to the details on the ceiling, Britany took Sunny and Rashid's empty box and infused it with their lively spirit, bringing in a glam new energy. Oversized sconces, a layering of blush tones, and gold finishes were key to making the space feel contemporary yet timeless. The big win for Britany was the wallpaper, which checked off Sunny's box for white walls, while adding a depth that served as the perfect backdrop to the thoughtful assortment of accessories. The judges' one major issue with the space was proportion—the cabinet was too low, the chairs were too large, and the coffee table was too small—making the space feel slightly awkward.
Jason's competitive spirit paid off, earning him the winning spot for this week's episode. While the judges do admit that the competition was close, Jason was able to check off all three boxes—overall look, budget, and client satisfaction—resulting in a rich, luxurious bedroom that is equally soothing and show-stopping. Kaley Cuoco, who previously referred to herself as the "Paula Abdul of judging," loved every bit of it. "You want your bedroom to be your sanctuary, and that’s just what Jason did with his design," Robinson says of his decision. "From building French doors in four days (architecture express!), to the stunning four-poster bed and serene color palette, Jason’s room was a total win."
Having founded his design firm, , at the ripe age of 24, Jason Lai has continued to excel in the design world ever since. He is an award-winning professional showroom designer, and his work has been featured on Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, NBC's Open House, and more. With a strong design and marketing background, Jason has mastered an array of design styles, and specializes in color. "Being on Best Room Wins truly was a test to my abilities as a interior designer," Jason says. "I stand by what I said from the beginning: you have to have taste, you can't buy it! Though you can buy my services." Explore Jason Lai's work .