Preston Lee Brings Design and Style to Reality TV
Q:Congratulations on being one of the three finalists on season two of Bravo TV's "Top Design". We wholeheartedly agree with a person who posted on the IMDb mesage boards, "Preston got robbed!" since you were by far the person in our minds with the "top design." How did your participation in the competition come about?
A: I was looked at by casting directors and agents and they said "you should be on TV." From that, I networked and became friends with people in the industry who eventually became clients. After a few years designing for them, they eventually led me to the audition/interview for "Top Design"; the rest is history...
Q:Elle Decor's Margaret Rusell blogged after the finale that "Preston was the most polished and professional of the 13 designers ... However, the judges felt Preston lacked the Wow factor-that special something that transforms a mundane room into magical." They seemed to love nearly everything you did throughout the competition yet also felt you fell short in personality and pizzazz. We've seen your portfolio and know you're capable of amazing work, so what do you think held you back from their idea of perfection on the show?
A:The budget for the show was not high; the stores we visited in the finale were also not high end stores. This is part of the challenge. I think they know I have the wow factor, but we did not shop at stores which a designer would want to shop in to find those unique, vintage and one of a kind pieces which give you a wow factor. Instead you had designers scrambling to produce wow factors with fabrics, wallpaper, carpentry tricks and home made arts and craft projects. This is not the reality which is design. Look at my work on Design-and-Style.net; you will see some wow factors and every room has a personality, that which my client can appreciate and live in.
Q: As the show neared the end and the contestants were whittled down, some of your competition grew nastier and nastier toward you, often making snide remarks during their litle "confessional" moments. You apeared to distance yourself from Nathan and Eddie especialy near the end. Was that due more to their attitude toward you or just your quiet personality? Many viewers perceived Eddie’s cattiness as jealousy.
A:Judge for yourself. I was there to design and did so on sometimes four hours of sleep over a six week period, so if I was passive-aggressive and sleeping when I was not working, then that’s my choice; we all need balance. We were in a loft-style environment with three people to a small room with no doors or privacy. Everyone acted out in different ways; I chose to stick to business while others chose to have fun. I can’t control interviews nor do I pay much attention to them when they’re at 2 a.m. after working 14-hour days.
Q: Among the contestants , with whom were you closest? And, which judge did you RESPECT the most?
A: I felt that Nathan was a great designer on the show. I do have a lot of respect for him; I even said at one point, "outside of this show, I could work with you day-to-day." I respect Margaret the most out of all the judges. She’s very articulate with her words, honest with the contestants and represents a magazine which is known world wide as a trend-setter and stylish publication.
Q: Now that Top Design is finished, what is the next big thing hapening in your life? We’re sure you’ve gained a lot of notoriety from the show on top of already being known as one of Southern California’s hottest young interior designers as owner of Design and Style with Jenifer Dyer.
A: Design and Style aims to reach out to clients who are seeking aggressive designers who are exciting, fresh and want to design for the client, not design for the designer. Every project we do reflects different styles; after all, we are working for so many different personalities.
Q: On a lighter note: It’s quite obvious you’re young and attractive with a sexy body and great smile, so we’re sure many of our readers would like to know if you’re single and, if so, what you lok for in a potential partner.
A:Yes I am single. I like enraptures who are motivated, successful, honest, opinionated and educated. Hopefully they can travel, be equipped for dinner parties, conversations of politics, nature, cultures and seek out everything from sky diving and scuba diving to opera and Broadway. There’s so much to see and do, and I want to experience it all. I have a problem finding that with a younger demographic who can be found at a club, hangover in school or in a job they do not like. You need to be in a good place surrounding yourself with good people. Eventually I want to be in a beach house in Laguna with a dog, a man and a store front design studio.
Q: Also, could you please provide our readers with three quick designer tips they can use to improve the style of their own homes?
A: Hire a designer, hire a designer and hire a designer. If you need tips, you probably need help! Look for us in November issue of California Homes magazine!