FBLA EXCLUSIVE: Hang Out With Andrea Keller of Top Design


Bravo’s Top Design second episode started out strong when John Grey, the bear from Chicago, clued in his housemates about his HIV+ status and the massive dose of testosterone he got from his MD. Andrea Keller, our glama-zon architect pal, fills us in.

AK: The John thing was pretty shocking, none of us saw it coming or knew what was up (I was sitting there knitting, hello). He was very sincere and straightforward, it was very impressive. He just realized that there was a major problem, so he decided to tell all of us right away. Made for a lot more understanding and respect.

Grey just became the 2nd reality cast member to admit to being HIV+ — Real World’s Pedro was the first–in 1994. Too bad the Bravo assistant was such a jerk about it. Frankly, if we want to hear from a PA, we’ll kick him.

The challenge was (stop us if you’ve heard this one) to design a room for a mystery client. (Note to Bravo: why tip us off with the title?) And surprise! the clients are short.

AK: We had no idea the kids were coming. They all seemed very eager to be there, very nice…We were all just slammed. Had already picked out paint and furniture and had no way to switch any of that stuff out. I was going to do dark cabinets with some other colors, my “client” wanted all white…And I had one gallon, fun.

Pink Navy reminds us all about Diana Vreeland’s ideas for children. Keller’s quite the multitasker, as you’ll a see.

AK: I hate that they show me all sweaty but don’t show me doing any of the work! I ripped mdf on the tablesaw for hours.


AK: I did build the Murphy bed…I drew all the details and worked out dimensions, I had an amazing carpenter who improved on it and made a couple of things easier. We worked side by side for that day and a half, built the whole thing. Could have done it myself, but not in that time without him …I also sewed a cover for the bed, couldn’t really see that. I’m kind of a construction girl, that’s my thing. No way to show how insane the workload was in a one hour show. I way overbuilt for the time so was stuck without time to ‘dress the room’, I’m not so familiar with that concept or practice/ not usually a part of what I do . .


Project: Top Design wasn’t completely in love with Erik’s winning Pirates of the Caribbean tribute.

AK: Was impressed with what Goil did, great spirit to that.

FBLA forgot that Andrea never says anything mean, even when we tried to get her to commment on Kelly Wearstler’s “Poor Little Match Girl” mitts combined with “Poor Little Showgirl” glitter jumper.

AK: Kelly was mixing things up, like she did last week – formal with casual,odd combos but she was really brave with the whole thing. I liked the thin t-shirt under things, liked this hair too. I don’t know, I like the expression be bold or stay home, think everyone in the world should let it all hang out.

FBLA thinks more people should stay home.

Blogging Top Design interviews the ousted designers, and we hope they never have to talk to our Ms. Keller.

Next Week: Beach Theme, Andrea pairs with Felicia Bushman

Top Design: FBLA Goes to the Party