Monday, May 7, 2012

The Block | Week 2 round up...

It was hell week on The Block! Two rooms to complete...the master bedroom and and ensuite. Throw in a two day challenge, and a building challenge, and that doesn't leave a lot of time to renovate, shop, decorate...and sleep! The teams this week averaged around 2 hours sleep over the 48 hours prior to the room delivery. They must have been running on adrenaline and coffee, and had their eyelids propped open with tooth picks.  Let's check out their beautiful rooms this week!

Sophie and Dale - master bedroom
Last week, Sophie and Dale's dining room was criticised for being more shabby than chic. This week, they delivered a bedroom that was not only sophisticated, but retained their whimsical style.  The sanded back door bedhead is gorgeous. I love the blues and greens peeking through the layers of paint, as well as the holes left by the door handles.  The mason jar downlights are a hit too!

The bedding is lovely...just a little bit of rust red makes this grey and white colour combination pop!  The combination of traditional geometric print cushions and playful cloud and bird cushions work so well together, without making this master bedroom seem junior.  I am so glad they had custom curtains made this week! They certainly give this room the sense of luxury it deserves.

The bookcase to the side of the built in wardrobe is an unexpected and delightful touch. I love the ottoman and pillows here, but think a winged back chair would have worked better, raising the height of this vignette, and tying in the fabulous bird wall art. At the moment, it looks like it doesn't relate to the rest of the space.  Overall, this room is a winner, and a massive improvement on their dining room. I can't wait to see what they do next!

Sophie and Dale - ensuite
This is such a narrow space to work with and I think they did pretty well. The clean lines of this ensuite and the neutral colours won't date in a hurry. I do agree with the judges wouldn't want to be too tall for that would bang your knees on the wall when sitting down. You may also need to walk sideways past the loo when exiting the shower...minding not to bang your back on the towel rail.

Dani and Dan - master bedroom
It's pretty clear from last week's guest bedroom, and this week's master bedroom, what Dani and Dan's style is.  The tufted headboard is repeated in this space, as are circular side tables.  The accessories are a little more grown up, and the ottoman at the end of the bed is a really nice touch.  Dani and Dan were the only couple to do a center opening door to their ensuite, making better use of the space behind...see further down for the results.

I love the custom artwork on the wall...nude paintings always work well in a bedroom.  I also love the floor skimming sheer curtains they've installed on the french doors. They let in a lovely diffused light into the bedroom, and don't look too heavy for the space. I am not a fan of the big brass lamps on the side table. I can see them getting knocked over very easily. A wall mounted version would have looked fab, and freed up vital space on the small round side tables.

A built in wardrobe is a must and once again Dani and Dan have delivered! I like that they've used a combination of solid door and mirror with sleek handles. They've created a very generous storage solution for this master bedroom.

Dani and Dan - ensuite
I love the layout of this ensuite...toilet at one end, shower at the other, and basin in the centre. It is a smart use of space, and allows easy access to all of the facilities. Once again, neutral colours make this an ensuite that won't date in colour in a hurry, however the basin is a worry. The bowl isn't deep enough at all, and there's nowhere to put any of your things while you're using them...hairdryer, straightener, makeup,'s not very practical to be opening the cabinet above all the time.  I was disappointed for Dani and Dan that they didn't have enough time to grout the tiles properly, and the sink leaked when the judges went to use it...a combination of the shallow bowl and the tap set way too high.  Hopefully they can pull it together for the next reveal.

Mike and Andrew - master bedroom
This week's winners of the room reveal!  Once again, the brothers have pulled a smart looking room out of their hat.  To me it looks more like a luxury hotel...very inviting, but not for a permanent stay. I'd be frightened to jump on that bed and ruin the hospital corners! Although the side tables are very stylish and fit the space well, I don't find them very practical. There isn't enough space for everything you need beside the bed...a book, alarm clock or phone, glasses, other general crap that accumulates there (lol), etc. The mirror wall feature and agapanthus canvas are lovely too, but I'm not sure they work together.

I'm so pleased the brothers left the french doors natural timber, as it adds a sense of warmth to the space, as do the luxurious floor length curtains and translucent glass door to the ensuite.

The timber framed upholstered headboard is lovely, but I think it's the wrong scale for such a grand sized bed. I would have liked it to be a bit taller, so that it fills the space between the headboard and canvas more. It looks a litle understated with the table lamps the same height.  A pop of colour on the bed would have been nice too. Perhaps bringing in a bit of the green from the canvas would make the art relate more to the space. Everything else is once again quite masculine. These boys really need to discover their feminine side.

Mike and Andrew - ensuite
This ensuite is lovely.  The Stegbar glass walls look amazing and would be super easy to maintain. The sink is in great proportion, and the toilet cistern is set back into the wall, giving the room more space. As the judges pointed out...there's no where to hang your towel! Perhaps they plan on hanging them like my children...on the floor. Overall, the boys were deserving winners, but not my preferred room at the reveal.

Brad and Lara - master bedroom
Saving the best for last! Once again, Brad and Lara have wowed me with their style and practicality. This room feels so warm and inviting, with it's cool colour scheme and pops of aubergine.  The oversized winged back chair in the corner adds a little drama and whimsy, and looks like the perfect spot to sit and read, or to pop on your shoes. Although there are no curtains in this room, the automatic blinds look great, and allow plenty of light to fill the space during the day.

Creating a custom headboard/room divider was a brilliant idea! Although there's no space for bedside tables, the cut out in the headboard gives the owner plenty of space to store their essentials while they snooze. How fun is the oversized alarm clock by Salt and Pepper! Where I think Brad and Lara win in this space is the styling. The pillows and throw on the bed make this bed look incredibly welcoming...a stark contrast to the clean lines preferred by the brothers above.

Another feature I love is the addition of a stainless steel ceiling fan. Not only is it practical for those warm Melbourne summers, but I love the juxtaposition of the modern against the restored ceiling rose. I'm so impressed that Brad and Lara have maintained some of the original features of this period townhouse.

Now, here's the serious WOW factor! A walk through robe!  There is a massive difference between a built in robe, and walk through wardrobe. It instantly amps up the luxury.  Instead of the full length mirror in the centre there, I would have liked to have seen a dressing table connect the two dressers, with a nice chair for the lady of the house to sit and do her makeup and hair. I would kill for a space like this in my own home!

Brad and Lara - ensuite
The judges had a couple of criticisms for Brad and Lara's ensuite, and I think this is where they lost the week.  The square tiles on the floor do look a little cheap, and a lot of owner/builders choose this tile. I guess because this is a television show, you expect a little more. A rectangular tile would have looked gorgeous! The other criticism by the judges was that you can't open one of the drawers in the vanity without hitting the ensuite door.  A sliding door would have been perfect for this space.

I am loving this year's series of The Block! The couples seem really nice, and the work they've produced so far has been beautiful! I really admire their drive, and I can't wait to see what they deliver next. This coming week looks to be another hell week, with the couples all needing to reveal a guest bedroom and a WC underneath the stairs. It will be interesting to see whether they all do another bedroom with a double/queen sized bed, or whether they'll dress it more for a family. The tight space underneath the stair case will also prove a much style can you fit into such a small area?  Time will tell...

Catch up with my weekly round up of The Block!
Week 1

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