Monday, May 14, 2012

The Block | Week 3 round up...

Last night on The Block, the four couples revealed their guest room designs! I was really looking forward to seeing how the rooms came together; whether they would go down the whole "guest room" route, or make a bedroom more practical for family living. IMHO, a guest room is a luxury, and the children's rooms would come first. I guess it depends on what market they're selling to. I would have thought that these townhouses would be family homes, not just for a professional couple.  The couples were also challenged to install a powder room on the ground floor, underneath the stairwell. Having a downstairs WC is an essential, especially if you're working from home, and having clients to visit. You wouldn't want everyone trudging upstairs to use the facilities. It's great for families many times have you come home, and done the dance of the busting man at the front door while trying to insert the key into the lock? lol.

Here's how the couples interpreted the "guest room"  and "powder room" brief...

Sophie and Dale - guest room and powder room
Sophie and Dale's contemporary shabby chic style is really growing on me. Once again, they have stuck to their neutral colour palette, with pops of colour to accessorise.  Third room in, and you can really see what direction this home is going.  The bench seat, with integrated bedside table, and storage, is a great idea for this space. This room would be great for a teenage can just image sitting there in front of the window, reading a book...or perhaps holding court with her friends.  The small writing desk is a nice touch, but it isn't particularly practical. Mind you, in this technological age, chances are you'd only be using a netbook on top.

On the opposing wall are two built in wardrobes with mirrored doors, as well as a number of cutout shelves.  Imagine them with a row of Blythe dolls, or perfume bottles, books and cds. I didn't like that feature on first glance, but the more I see it, the more functional it appears.  The cluster of art drawers out the colours of the bedding...greys, yellows and peach.  The layered pillows and throw rugs make you just want to dive into this very welcoming!  I also love the grey architraves featured throughout all of the rooms revealed so far. It's the consistency of the trim that ties all of the rooms together.

Let's face it. There's not a lot you can do in such a small space, however Sophie and Dale have made some great choices for their powder room. Concealing the cistern inside the wall is a great space saving idea, and the oversized buttons are a great feature. I'm not quite sure why they chose to install the toilet off-centre though.

The exposed original brickwork cleaned up beautifully, and is a real feature in this small space...adding much need warmth.  The mini basin, with underbench hand towel rail, is ideal for this space too. I like the hand towels that they've chosen. Even the smallest room of the house needs a little pattern.

Mike and Andrew - guest room
The judges loved this room, awarding it the most points for the night (until Dani and Dan won it out from under them...more on that later). The concept of this room is interesting. The custom made bunk beds allow for a great shared space. I love the colours, the window treatments and the storage solutions...although the styling confuses me.  I don't understand the Elmo doll, with the teenagers skateboard.

The same confusion continues with the styling of the integrated workspace. Everything displayed on the shelves relates to a toddler, or small child; yet the desk and chair is designed for a teenager.  Given the double bed and single bed combo for the bunk bed, I can't see those two age groups sharing a bedroom...can you?

This bedroom also featured the mother of all flat screen televisions...teenage heaven!! I think you'd only ever see your teenager when they were hungry.  Then the room gets confusing again...on the wall behind the tv, you can see the mdf tree, with hand print leaves, and rope ladder, which just screams toddler/young child.  I'm not sure what potential buyers will think of this space.

Unfortunately there are no images to share of Mike and Andrew's powder room available at the time of writing this post.  It was a good looking space, with wall to ceiling mirrors, making this small space look triple the size.

Brad and Lara - guest room and powder room
I really love this room! It's light and airy, with a killer walk in wardrobe.  I would have given anything to have this room as a teenager! It would be your own personal retreat.  Once again, Brad and Lara have teamed the original ceiling rose with a stainless steel ceiling fan, with downlights in the corners of the room.  The bed looks super soft, and the touches of green in this neutral space work really well.  The judges commented that the shelving to the side of the fireplace needed a little more on it, and I do agree. I also think an ornate mirror, or perhaps a large piece of art hung above the fireplace would have given this room a little more character. btw - the fireplace works!! What a bonus!

Brad and Lara took a risk this week, and added a floating bedhead/room divider to the space.  Does it work? I'm not too sure, but I do love the extra storage hidden within. Imagine storing your shoe collection in there. The false wall does jut out into the room, and won't be to every one's taste.  This is large room, and I think it can handle it.

Inside the walk in wardrobe, there is ample hanging space, with double hanging one end, single hanging the other, and a large chest of drawers in the center. What teenage girl would want that? Heck, I want that!  There isn't a whole lot you can do to style this area, but I probably would have swapped out the birdcage for a tray with crystal bottles, brush etc, to add a little more luxury.

I honestly thought all four powder rooms would look so similar, but boy I was wrong! Brad and Lara installed a Caroma Profile 5 toilet suite with integrated basin!!  Not only does this toilet suite save space, it saves water. The basin in the top allows you to wash your hands, then the water is recycled to fill the cistern and flush the toilet. Brilliant!  This is a great environmental initiative, and I can this style of toilet suite becoming more and more popular in the future. The other design elements in the powder room work really well, with the exposed brick, simple light fitting and mirror creating a moody, warm space. I truly believe they deserved to win this week, but hey, I'm not a judge. :-)

Dani and Dan - guest room and powder room
The bold blue chosen by Dani and Dan was seen as a risk, and it paid off! Dani and Dan were half a point behind Mike and Andrew this week, and thanks to a bonus point earned a couple of weeks ago, they were able to snatch first prize! Good for them. I think this room is beautiful. The colour is very similar to our own master bedroom. Most people are used to sleeping in pale coloured rooms, and there is the concern that this colour closes the space in. To a degree, this is true...but in a good way. Having a room this colour is incredibly soothing and warm. It's like sleeping in a big hug.

It's amazing how many colours go with a dark blue...look at the selection of pillows Dani and Dan have added to their bed. It looks so inviting! The purple, teal, yellow and creams work beautifully together, don't you think.

During the lead up to the room reveal, Dani raised her concerns over how the furniture was too big for the space. A double sized bed instead of the queen used, would have given them just that little bit more room for a second side table, and perhaps a larger chair.  The tripod lamp in the corner looks great, however I think the timber chair looks a little lost. It doesn't look very inviting as a place to sit and read, but it would be great to sit there and do up your shoes in the morning.

There's not a whole lot I can add to the powder the other rooms there's the exposed brick, hidden cistern, small sink etc. I love the hanging light and wall mounted soap dispenser. You have to think creatively to get as much into a small space as possible, and I think this works.

Congratulations to Dani and Dan for their win for Week 3! There's a couple of things I'll be taking away from The Block this week...the colour scheme from Sophie and Dale's guest room (for my new living room); and the linen coloured curtains from Dani and Dan's guest room (they look gorgeous with the navy walls!).

This week, the couples will be designing the main bathrooms for the house.  Will they stick with the neutral grey floor / white tile / glass wall combos again...or will they add a little more luxury or colour? Time will tell. Enjoy watching the drama unfold during Week 4 on The Block!

Catch up on my weekly round up of The Block:
Week 1 - Free choice
Week 2 - Master bedroom and ensuite

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