Brooklyn designers vie to become the ‘Top’ - Two land a spot on hit Bravo reality show • Brooklyn Paper

Brooklyn designers vie to become the ‘Top’ – Two land a spot on hit Bravo reality show

Jennifer Newsom.Photo by Peter Tangen

Brooklynites are taking Bravo by storm. Bravo’s hit reality show “Top Design” that is.

Two local residents were cast as contestants on the second season of the interior design competition, which is now airing on Wednesday nights.

“I kind of applied on a total whim,” explained Ondine Karady, who lives in Williamsburg. “I thought the chances of getting on the show were pretty slim. I thought it was a great opportunity to get more publicity for me as a designer and showcase my work on a national scale.”

Karady, a former set decorator on HBO’s “Sex and the City,” is flourishing on “Top Design.” As of this writing, she has won two of the five competitions so far.

Joining Karady in the show’s 13-member cast is Jennifer Newsom, a Prospect Park South resident. “Top Design” is Newsom’s first foray into interior design. She works as an architect in Manhattan.

“I’m not an interior designer,” she told this paper. “I got involved in it by a lark. My really great friend Goyle was on the first season of the show and he encouraged me to audition for the second season.”

Although Newsom was eliminated in the second episode of the season, she has no regrets.

“I had hoped that I would make it a little bit farther than I did but it was a difficult situation and I tried to handle it the best that I could,” she said. “I didn’t show my best work so I understood.”

“I am glad I did it. I learned some things about myself. I feel that you have to seize some opportunities,” she added.

Now back in Brooklyn, Newsom has resumed her work as an architect but would relish the opportunity to explore interior design once again.

“I’m trained as an architect, that’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I’d love to have the opportunity to do more projects focused on interiors,” she said. However, “I learned that I prefer to make actual things rather than arrange things so I think that was a good thing to learn about myself.”

Karady continues to impress on “Top Design” and often uses Brooklyn for inspiration.

“They have amazing, amazing stores. There’s so many talented artisans that are in Brooklyn, more so than Manhattan because the rents are cheaper and people have bigger space to work,” she explained.

As a set and home decorator for the past 15 years, Karady offers some tips to Brooklynites looking to spruce up their cozy and compact apartments.

“Mirrors are always your friend,” she said. “If you have a small apartment, putting strategically placed mirrors across from mirrors can give the illusion of space.”

Newsom said it’s the people of Brooklyn who have been especially supportive of “Top Design.”

“My friends have been great. The majority of my friends actually live in Brooklyn and we got together and had a big launch party for the show at Monkey Town bar in Williamsburg,” she said. “Everybody’s been really supportive. People are just excited to know someone on TV.”

Check out Newsom’s work at www.newsomdesignlab.com.

Karady’s portfolio and products are viewable at www.OndineKarady.com.

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