Tonight’s episode marks the end of one chapter in my life and, together with you, the beginning of a new and brighter one. To those who watched what happened, week after week, congratulating me when I won or rallying with me when I didn’t—from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Your kind words of encouragement (not to mention your sense of humor!) helped me weather the strange, wonderful and often unreal world of Reality TV.
While I'm incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be a part of such a popular show, and in particular to Margaret Russell for standing by me the way she did, watching myself over the last few weeks, or rather, the character the producers created, I’m reminded of how fictional reality television can be at times. Case in point: In my recent run-in with Jonathan over the stylist comment in which I asked him how he’d feel about being called an elf, we never saw that he had actually said to me first, “Well, I could call you a pig if I wanted to!” In the editing, that part, the other Elves omitted. Convenient, don’t you think?
And while we’re on the subject, the fact is: I really can do a number of different things. I can cook, craft, garden, do flowers, decorate and entertain, thanks in large part to Martha Stewart. She’s been an inspiration for me (and countless others) for fifteen years, ever since I started reading her magazine as a high schooler with a side gig arranging crudité. She too got her start in catering, then built a company based on a very simple principle: Give people information that would help them live better lives. She inspired a generation to care more deeply about what it means to keep a home. And if I can play a part in that effort for a younger generation, helping them to cook, decorate and entertain not only more beautifully, but more affordably, I would be truly honored.
For me, the work I do at Martha, together with the ideas I share here, are so much more real than reality TV. I mean, come on: How many of us have the luxury of designing a room around a $40,000 chandelier? Nevermind, do it in a day and on four hours sleep! I can tell you this: Give me $40 at the flea market here in New York, and I can find (and refurbish!) a chandelier that would be so much more stylish and one-of-a-kind! That’s the kind of design I love—the hands-on, find-it-on-the-cheap and make-it-your-own style I live with everyday. Top Design may be over for me, but the wealth of ideas I plan to share in hopes of helping people cook better meals, throw better parties, decorate more beautifully and entertain more elegantly—all while saving time and money—have only just begun. I hope you’ll join me!