Monday, June 11, 2012

The Block 2012 | The living rooms...

I can't believe that The Block couples are seven weeks in! This season is going so fast.  This week, the couples revealed their living rooms...the second last room to decorate inside the homes. Each and every year, The Block gets better and better...the spaces are so challenging, and the end results are really impressive. I'm most definitely a "blockaholic" and may need a 12 step program once it's finished! lol. Onto this week's reveal...

Mike and Andrew's living room
This week, the brothers took a gamble and swapped the position of the lounge room with the kitchen, and I think it paid off.  They have created a stylish, functional and cosy space, ideal for watching a little television or sitting in front of the fireplace, that is the heart of the home. The judges were a little critical of the lack of styling in this room, and I tend to agree.  The rug does tend to compete with the oversized artwork, and a couple of colourful cushions would have softened the space immensely. A few more books or decorative items on the coffee table, would have made this room look more lived in.

I love how the brothers have mounted the flat screen television above the ethanol burning fireplace. The clean lines of the built in cabinetry, television and artwork adds that modern touch, while the design of the fireplace gives a nod to the other original elements in this terrace house. The view from the lounge to the beautiful archway and restored staircase is just lovely.

The floating cabinets the brothers installed either side of the fireplace, keep the room from feeling too heavy and closed in, while adding needed storage. Overall, I think they did a great job this week with the space they had. I'm not sure how a family would cope with just the one living space in this home though. We'll see how it all ties in next week.

Sophie and Dale's living room
This week was full of drama for Sophie and Dale this week. Poor Brad was struck down with blood poisoning following an effected cut, and spent 3 days in hospital. This left Sophie the job of managing the room creation and delivery. Thankfully for her, the rest of The Block couples stepped up and helped her paint the room, while she dealt with the trades and her ill hubby.  I'm so torn about this room. I love every single's just that the room is just too narrow!  The lounge looks super comfy...just perfect for a bit of relaxing. The handmade coffee table is gorgeous too, however I would have turned it around so that the straight edge faced the lounge, and reduced the risk of bumping your knee on that pointy bit!

The back wall showcases more of that gorgeous woodland wallpaper Sophie and Dale used in their third bedroom. The chunky floating shelves add loads of storage/display space and have been styled beautifully. I love the crates they've added at the bottom too. I love all the pops of orange around the room, especially the string art and light installation...such fun! Just one criticism...given how narrow this room is, I would have mounted this television a little lower on the wall. I can see everyone getting a very sore neck looking up! What a shame it looks so messy in the other room...I'm looking forward to seeing next week!

Sophie and Dale's living room is bathed in natural light, with two thirds of the room being floor to ceiling windows. The addition of block out blinds is a great idea for turning this space into a home theatre. I am loving the profile of the handmade coffee table! The contrast between the free form slab of timber and the clean lines of the metal frame looks so beautiful.  I can see a lot of people heading off to their local timber supplier and making one for their own home.

Brad and Lara's living room
Brad and Lara as so blessed having the largest home of The Block. You can instantly see the difference between this room and Sophie and Dale's space (or lack thereof).  They have been able to include their living space and dining table in the one room, making this essentially the heart of the home, with the fireplace bordering the soon to be revealed kitchen and living space. Brad and Lara have kept this room fairly simple and it pays off. The light coloured walls and floor to ceiling windows allow loads of light to bounce around this room, making it incredibly welcoming.

Brad and Lara have really thought about form and function in this space. A super comfortable lounge lounged with colourful throw cushions. I can see the kids throwing themselves down on this lounge to settle in to watch a movie. Love.

As with Sophie and Dale's room, Brad and Lara have made furniture for their space using large slabs of timber. Dale did a great job joining these large pieces of timber to create a coffee table and matching dining table. I loved that they showed how he actually joined the slabs together using "biscuits"...Scott Cam (and my Dad) were very proud that it was done correctly. Those pieces will last more than a lifetime.  Back to the room...installing a low line storage extending the length of the wall was a great idea, and I love that it blends into the wall, without overpowering the room.  I also love how the black dining chairs are replicated in the room in the black woven arm chair, tying all the elements together.  The judges were critical of the artwork Brad and Lara selected. The piece itself is gorgeous, however the scale is wrong. A larger piece would have filled this space better. At the moment, it is too similar in size and position as the television...a minor detail, but I think it cost them points. I love this space, and would be more than comfortable having this in my own home.

Dani and Dan's living room
Last but not least, this week's winning room by Dani and Dan, who also delivered a living and dining space. I really like this room. The colours they've chosen not only add a little pop, it makes it really moody. The grey and yellow pendant above the dining table was a bold choice that really works to create a modern and fun dining atmosphere. A simple vase of orange blooms beneath complete the picture.

Dani and Dan selected a triangular coffee table almost identical to the brothers, however their styling is so much better. A pile of magazines and books, candles, a vase and quirky rhinoceros, makes this space look lived in, without being cluttered. I love that they've included an open mag and remote control. It looks like you could just flop down on the lounge, pick up the remote and kick back with your favourite show...The Block of course! lol.

Another bold choice they've selected was the deep teal lounge.  Most people purchase a neutral coloured lounge, including myself, so that it doesn't date too quickly.  However I really think this one will stand the test of time because they've chosen a classic lounge style.  Dani and Dan have made the most of the length of the room by designing an entertainment unit that integrates open and concealed storage, and ties in their built in television.  They have delivered a great room here that will suit most families and they definitely deserved the win.

Next week is another two room delivery...with a twist! Each of the couples will be designing their kitchens, and revisiting one of their least successful rooms!  Kitchens are just as difficult to create as bathrooms, in that they're a major $$ investment and will be there for a really long time. You want to make sure that it's functional, has loads of storage, isn't too cramped, and is still stylish. It's a big ask for any room.

The judges selected the following spaces for a makeover, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how they improve them. Most homes have that one room which needs just a little oomph, and I'm hoping they'll share some tips on how to take a room from good to great! The before and after photos are sure to be fab!!

Catch up on my weekly round up of The Block:

Week 1 - Free choice
Week 2 - Master bedroom and ensuite
Week 3 - Second bedroom
Week 4 - Master bathroom and laundry
Week 5 - Guest bedroom and hallway
Week 6 - Rooftop terrace and utility room

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