FBLA Exclusive: Andrea Keller Beaches Top Design

Top Design: Episode 3 was another team challenge (enough with the “works and plays well with others” crap, Bravo) and FBLA’s Andrea Keller got to show off her building trades cred. (She’s very into the design part, rather than dish, but we’re working on her.)

FBLA: Did the time alloted for the building of the cabana freak you out?

AK: We had no time at all. we came up with the simplest structure we could think of and divided up the work–both Felicia and Michael worked
their butts off every second and in a group that is the best you can ask for–we were all panicked but committed and in it together. Best group dynamic I think I have ever had, we were happy and focused and driven and we still love each other!
FBLA: So you really are construction grrl–does this intimidate the others or are they glad to let you do the heavy lifting?

AK: I think that in our group it worked perfectly–we didn’t want to pigeonhole ourselves, but Michael is really passionate about fabrics, Felicia is amazing with furnishing rooms, and give me lumber…so we
felt like a ‘dream’ team. (don’t make fun of me for saying that!!) We first came up with a precise vision for the structure and we all went from there–we were imagining a Tahitian honeymoon, but something
ephemeral, like a champagne bubble.

That is why the whitewash on the wood, why the transparent and lightly metallic fabrics, and why ultimately I think we left it as a fragile open frame–we wanted it to look like a cuttlefish when seen from a distance, translucent and ghost-like, not literal or earthy at all.

FBLA: What’s with all the Matt love from the judges?

AK: Matt did 2 elegant rooms in a row, one the cool posh gray one and then the pink and white Hollywood glam…he was definitely showing raised
pinky and being particular, I think that made the judges’ hearts beat faster. Some other people were funky or had real misses, not so sexy.

FBLA: Does anyone ever consider how the design will look on TV?

AK: We initially focused on the interior space of the cabana, we wanted it to feel like a small home–we did want to do a striking profile for good first impression, that is why the hip roof which was really fun to put up in a time panic, uh yeah…but yes, we were thinking about big picture vs. close-up picture and definitely wanted the faraway look to be iconic or at least cool or inviting.

FBLA: How long were you shooting on the beach?

AK: I think we had a little more than 5 hours to work on the beach, we had to offload all the lumber and tools from the trucks, then it was just a
frenzy of assembling parts and bolting and nailing. We only had hand tools, so fixing or fudging pieces was not easy at all. We tacked our structure together like a tinker toy as we were getting the pieces together.

(Project Top Design likes the eye candy, and we don’t mean the throw pillows.)

FBLA: Do you practice what you’re going to say to the judges?

AK:I don’t practice anything, but I think that so much architecture school (all grading is by hideously rough public jury, 7 years of that!) just gives you a thick hide. I am so used to talking about my work,
from teaching or pitching to clients etc. that it kind of comes naturally. So much of it is trying to gauge the reaction of your audience, which here was hard and a little bit terrifying because they could vote you off.

FBLA wonders why Kathryn “I Dated Steve Martin” Ireland was a judge. We think she looks like Dame Edna, and Pink Navy seems to agree.

Kathedna copy.jpg

And can Kelly Wearstler go back to media-training school? What a voice–flat and nasal. And the socks–why socks?

Blogging Top Design has the best photoshopped pix, too.

So, Elizabeth Moore was sent to pack her things, and all for a poor color choice. We’re not buying this for a second. Watch for the real story to come out, somewhere, sometime.

FBLA EXCLUSIVE: Hang Out With Andrea Keller of Top Design
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