Marcela Valladolid wins Lowe's Designer Challenge
Casual Living Staff -- Casual Living, June 12, 2012
Lowe's Home Improvement crowned Marcela Valladolid the winner of the Lowe's Designer Challenge after her Baja-inspired outdoor room garnered the most votes on the Lowe's Facebook page.
Competing on behalf of San Diego-based Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center, Valladolid designed the "Colors and Textures of Baja" outdoor room. Previously an editor with Bon Appétit, she is the author of two best-selling cookbooks and the host of her own Food Network show, Mexican Made Easy.
Lowe's selected three of the nation's top celebrity designers for the competition and challenged them to create the ultimate outdoor room.
Olivewood Gardens will receive a $50,000 donation from Lowe's thanks to Valladolid's win. Designers Danny Seo and Elaine Griffin each earned a $25,000 donation to their charities for participating in the challenge.
Olivewood Gardens is a nonprofit community garden and resource facility that provides a hands-on, garden-based curriculum of ecological, academic and culinary lessons to local children and families.
"What an honor to be able to win $50,000 for Olivewood Gardens, an organization I deeply admire for bringing children and communities together to learn about the science of plants and the benefit of growing your own food," Valladolid said. "And I'm thrilled that my Baja-inspired design was relatable to so many people. It's a place I hold dear to my heart, and I'm hoping that people who were inspired by my design can bring a little bit of Baja to their backyards, too."
Valladolid's design drew inspiration from the Baja region of Mexico, where she grew up and cultivated her culinary and lifestyle expertise. Her design featured the natural beauty of succulent plants, which she highlighted through the creation of a hanging garden from "Lowe's Creative Ideas for Home and Garden" magazine. She chose patio furniture, accents and paint from Lowe's that reflected the colors of the ocean and Baja terrain.
Seo competed on behalf of the Yum-o! organization, a nonprofit created by Rachael Ray that empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking by teaching families to cook, feeding hungry kids and funding cooking education and scholarships.
Griffin competed on behalf of the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, which addresses many critical needs of children, adolescents and young adults in New York.
Voting for the Lowe's Designer Challenge was open on the Lowe's Facebook page May 23 through June 6.