Watch the Drabbest Rooms Become Fab on Best Room Wins Episode Three

This week’s ‘modern’ theme pushed designers to go the extra mile.

If after last week’s episode of Best Room Wins you’re still unclear about the difference between contemporary and modern design, episode three should definitely clear things up. This week, designers and were tasked with creating rooms that embody one of the most beloved design styles: Modern. Unlike contemporary, which draws from the look of the moment, modern has distinct characteristics that set the groundwork for this classic look. A byproduct of the modern art movement, modern interior design is one of the most influential aesthetics to grace homes around the world.

Behind the judging podium this week is legendary designer , who's known for a style that blurs the lines between architecture and interior design, resulting in a dynamic, modern aesthetic. If you’re an interior design junkie, you know Mr. Bush. And his ultra-modern Los Angeles home, which served as the inspiration house this week, embodies all that makes Bush such a household name. The home’s simple, blushy color palette is punctuated with striking rounded furnishings, a tactful layering of textures, and bold pops through mixed metals, wood, and glass. As always, host Genevieve Gorder and Siweb Editor-in-Chief Whitney Robinson will be weighing in on who takes home the gold.
Spoilers ahead!

Watch a clip of the winner reveal:



THE CHALLENGE


If names like Le Corbusier, Charles and Ray Eames, or Florence Knoll ring a bell, chances are you know what modern design is, whether you realize it or not. A precursor to contemporary, the modern style blew up in the mid-20th century, with a focus on simple form and function, clean and crisp lines, and a simple color palette. Mixed materials—wood, metal, glass, and steel—are key players in the aesthetic, making it extremely versatile and oh so sexy. "It’s got a minimal feel, which sometimes can be cold, but it can also be fun, sexy, and poppy if you do it right," Gorder says. "I’m excited to see how they’ll interpret it in a very short time." Both Mat and Megan’s clients suffer from drab, style-deprived living and dining spaces that require a total overhaul. Like last week, both designers were given $30,000 to bring their ideas (and rooms) to life.


BEFORE


MEGAN

best room wins episode three
A BEFORE photo of Megan’s room.
Courtesy of Bravo Media

Megan is a young and eclectic New York-based designer, who, after just a few years in the industry, opened up her own firm. Her quirky personality is directly translated in her design style, which is bold, playful, and totally her own. "I’m not one for subtlety, and I don’t like to take myself too seriously," she says. Because she’s from New York, pulling everything together for the room will be a little more tricky while working in a completely new territory.

Megan’s clients—Denise and Jason—are an energized couple whose home is in total opposition of their spirit. Their living space has become lost in the abyss of their busy lives; a murky green mood-killer that’s just begging for some love. The combined living and dining room is awkwardly fragmented, totally outdated, and, as Denise puts it, "just kind of blah." Unlike their home, both Denise and Jason love the look of boldness through color, and hope that their own personal styles can be appropriately reflected in their new space.

MAT

best room wins episode three
A BEFORE photo of Mat’s room.
Courtesy of Bravo Media

Mat, on the other hand, is an Los Angeles-based designer with a loaded roster of A-list clientele. His style, which he describes as “an elevated sense of casual cool,” favors relaxed spaces with smaller moments of boldness. He’s a self-proclaimed go-getter who throws himself fully into his work to get everything he wants, and then some.

Similar to Megan, Mat’s clients—Helen and Patrick—are a young family with one small child and a home that’s been slightly forgotten about. Having purchased it about a year ago, they admit that their living spaces are not what they had hoped for. Their living/dining room’s washed out brown palette is outdated and bare, and the only pops of color come from their daughter’s open and expansive arsenal of toys. It’s not offensively heinous, but it does absolutely nothing for the home. Helen and Patrick agree that they would love a more modern space, though Patrick makes it clear that comfort is key. To strike a balance between modern and comfortable isn’t easy, but Mat’s aforementioned “casual-cool” aesthetic seems to perfectly match his clients’ goals.


THE PROCESS


best room wins episode three
Mat, after realizing how behind schedule he was, joins his clients to help paint the rest of the room.
Courtesy of Bravo Media

For both designers, uniting form and function was key to accommodating the entire family while looking good doing it. For Megan, this meant knocking down that obscure pony wall to open up the room, replacing the outdated floors with a hardwood laminate alternative, and rearranging the layout to create more space for everyone to hang. By making these small structural changes and playing with a brighter color palette, she was going to make this cookie-cutter suburban home feel totally cool and individual. Yet on day three, when Gorder visited, the room was still very much in disarray. None of the major installations had been finished, and there wasn’t much to show for. While Megan was obviously stressing a little, she had all of the pieces of the puzzle and simply had to put it all together.

Mat’s plan was similar, opening up the wall between the dining and living room, reinventing the fireplace with a sleek black facade, adding built-in storage, and incorporating oversized statement pieces to play with proportions and make the room feel bigger. To save money, Mat tasked his clients with painting the entire room, despite the fact that both Patrick and Helen admitted to being horrible painters. And when Mat arrived at the house on day three—surprise, surprise—it wasn’t close to being done. Appropriately dressed in a Marc Jacobs paint suit, he eventually gave in and joined the couple to expedite the painting process.


AFTER


MEGAN

best room wins episode three
Megan’s completed design.
Courtesy of Bravo Media

Even if you’re no design wizard, the symphony of 'wow’s' from the judges is a pretty good indicator of how Megan’s room turned out. The second you step into the space, you know that it’s her own. A palette of light blues and grays gave the room a punchy, contemporary coolness, while the gold accents, warm lighting, and comfortable silhouettes beg you to kick your feet up and relax. By keeping everything clean-lined, color and pattern stole the show without overwhelming the space or taking away from that classically modern simplicity. The large area rug, gold chandelier, acid yellow chair, and metallic finishes were all taken from the inspiration home. "I love that Megan was able to push the couple to try out a daring look," Gorder said. "The room is capital M Modern," Robinson added. While the judges were initially skeptical about the blue color palette, they were relieved to see that Megan toned it down with deeper blues and cozy grays.

MAT

Mat also opted for a cooler palette—with a pale blue couch and touches of greenery—but added in warmer, blushier tones, including warm browns, tans, and touches of pink. The money that Mat saved on hiring a painter was put into purchasing more high-end furnishings, including an articulating sconce, circular floor lamp, modern console, and of course, that $4,000 fireplace. The judges were immediately impressed by Mat’s understanding of proportion and scale. "There are large focal points and great scale to make the room feel larger," Bush said. Plus, the variety of lighting not only hit the aesthetic mark, but also allowed for Patrick and Helen to adjust as they please. One major issue the judges noted was that all of the bold blacks (the television and fireplace) were concentrated in one space, which made the room feel lopsided. Plus, that penny-pinching paint job didn’t go unnoticed. Overall, Mat’s low cost, high-impact purchases were what led him to coming in *just* under budget, while achieving a sophisticated overall design.


THE WINNER


best room wins episode three
Kelsey Ann Rose

As it turns out, being completely unafraid when designing is key. Although Megan's living room may not have looked anything like the inspiration house, she was able to interpret modern in her own fresh and personal way—and it totally paid off. "What I loved about Megan’s room is that she took this week’s theme literally to heart by interpreting Jamie Bush’s exquisite and daring monochrome design in a totally unique and colorful way," Whitney Robinson says. "If that isn’t modern, I don’t know what is!" All of the judges agreed that Megan's decision to design outside of the box—while sticking to the theme and the couple's goals—is what earned her the ~superior interior~. "It’s not just suburban modern, it’s REAL modern," Gorder said.

Megan Hopp is the founder and principal of , a New York City-based firm that was founded just a few years back. She is known for her bold and daring approach to design, with a playful eye that results in comfortable, real spaces that everyone can enjoy. From new-age offices in New York City's Flatiron district to posh pied-à-terres in the Upper West Side, Hopp's portfolio is as vast as it is impressive, making her a designer to watch in 2019. Her work has been featured in a variety of publications, including The New York Times, Forbes, Allure, New York Post, and more. "I made a commitment to myself coming in that I wasn't going to copy ANYTHING, and instead use the inspiration house as something to truly inspire a fully new and inherently me design," Hopp says of her win. "No one likes re-heated interior design, and ultimately it was very satisfying to find that the judges responded so well to my interpretation of modern!"

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