Monday, April 30, 2012

The Block | Week 1 round up...

I have long been a fan of The Block and have watched every series. This year proves to be the best yet as four couples renovate the most dilapidated terrace homes I've ever seen!. Last night saw the couples reveal their first rooms, and I sat enthralled, waiting to see what they had created!  Most weeks, the couples are decorating the same room type, making it a level playing field. This week, they could make the front rooms fulfill any function...with all four couples taking completely different approaches. A bedroom, sitting room, study and dining space.  Check out their fabulous designs...

Brad and Lara's sitting room 
I think it was incredibly smart for Brad and Lara to add an additional living space for this family home. As a mum of two loud and active children, it's great to have another room in the house to have some time out...and let's face it, there's always some kind of chick flick playing when someone wants to watch the football. This looks like the perfect breakaway family space.

The mirror that Brad and Lara designed for the challenge this week bounces the light around the room beautifully, and the scale of the mirror is just perfect for that wall.  I also love how minimally the shelving has been decorated. There's no need to cover every surface for shelves to be beautiful, functional, and balanced.

I only have two criticisms of this, that they didn't include a mantel above the restored fireplace (those tiles were a major find under all of that paint!), and two, the curtains don't touch the floor.  This was my favourite room for this week, and I could totally see myself curled up on that chair reading a book or watching a little television. Well done Brad and Lara!

Mike and Andrew's study
If I was decorating this room, I would have done a home office/guest room too. The long desk beneath the window, looking out on to the street is fantastic, and very inspiring for the person who works at home...there's nothing worse than staring at a wall for hours on end. Great shelves next to the desk too so that everything you need is right there when you need it. 

The Tiltaway Bed hidden in the centre of the built in wall unit is a great idea for those emergency guests. Simply keep the bed freshly made and push it back up into the wall, freeing up valuable floor space during the day.  

The boys were criticised last night for having two very distinct lights in the space. I think they work really nicely the abstract timber pendant and metal floor lamp. The challenge piece designed by the brothers is ah-maze-ing!!  I can see this popping up in home decor stores very, very soon.  Mike and Andrew have a great eye for design, but I think I'd like to see them discover their feminine side a little. Although that chair is great, an upholstered high backed armchair would add a little softness to the space. I can't wait to see what they do next week!

Sophie and Dale's dining room
I really like this couple, but I'm sorry to say, this is my least favourite room of the week.  There are some absolutely fabulous individual moments in the room, such as the sweet buttery coloured buffet unit with blue interior...but as an overall space, it doesn't quite feel finished.

Sophie's mason jar chandelier is so beautiful and right on trend.  I love the mix of clear and blue glass, and the industrial feel it gives the space.  I also love the exposed brick chimney breast and cluster of mirrors hung above the fireplace. Together, they work so well.

I really feel like this room could have benefited from a patterned floor rug to soften the would have a heavier curtain that brushed the floor.  I really like Sophie and Dale's eclectic style, however I think the mismatched chairs were taking their design a little too far, particularly for a dining space. I would have teamed the industrial table with leather chairs along the long the edge, and two statement chairs at the ends. I'm looking forward to seeing their master bedroom and ensuite next week.

Dani and Dan's bedroom
You wouldn't know from looking at these images that this bedroom was inside a period home. This sleek bedroom/study combo was the judge's pick last night. The quality of the work in this room is excellent...Dani and Dan have a great eye for detail.  My favourite feature of this room is the wall filled with built in wardrobes and study space. This room would be idea for a teenager.

I see that Brad and Lara either repainted the orange side tables, or built new ones because they are nothing like the ones made in the challenge earlier in the week.  The glass table top gives these mdf side tables a little more umph, but they still look a little bit lost beside that big bend.  The grey padded headboard, teamed with the black and white chevron quilt cover looks fab! I'm not sure why the judges thought the colourful pillows on the bed didn't work...that pop of colour is just what this room needs!

Here's what I don't understand. Why are all of the contestants buying packet curtains? Custom made curtains that skimmed the floor would have added a lot more elegance to this space.  On the whole, this room is beautiful...I just don't know if I would have done a 4th bedroom, knowing how much more space is to be included on the 2nd and 3rd floors of this terrace home.

When I'm watching home decor shows, I'm always looking to see what I can apply to my own home. This week, the one thing I know I'll be adding to our space is a cluster of mirror a la Sophie and very effective and easy to recreate!

I can't wait to see what antics The Block couples will get up to this week...and most importantly, the reveal of their master bedrooms and ensuites.  Have you been watching? Who did you think created the best space?

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