Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Block All Stars | Week 4 Formal lounge, hallways and linen cupboards

If bathroom week on The Block All Stars was hell week...then what could be worse? How about renovating and decorating the formal lounge room, the hallway, and linen cupboard...all while enduring the roof being replaced, damaged ceilings, difficult tradies, a difficult foreman, rain and more! That's a tall ask...yet the couples managed to deliver...and right on time too. Here's a recap...

Phil and Amity
In a genius move, Phil and Amity chose to convert their formal living room into a third bedroom. Their decision paid off big time, with Scott Cam announcing they were this week's winners and an extra $10,000 injected into their budget. So, how did they add an extra wall, without damaging the the heritage elements of this room? Phil and Amity created a free standing wall that can be removed if needed. To seal the gap between the new and old walls, plexiglass was installed. Brilliant! Supporting the free-standing wall is built in storage. What a great use of space.

Phil and Amity's children's bedroom is gender and age neutral, making it perfect for any age! Both of my kids spied the desk in the corner and would love to sit there doing their homework or crafting away. Love that the hutch on top isn't too tall and overpowering as well.

A simple white timber bed fills the bedroom nicely, with a pull out trundle bed...perfect for sleepovers! The graphic feather print and striped bedding are just gorgeous and would suit both boys and girls...tweens through to teens. It was a smart move to purchase artwork that will age with the child. If you're going to invest in a piece of art, make sure it's one that would look equally as beautiful in a living space. It's an investment piece that will last a lifetime. Child-like themed prints such as movie characters will only be popular with your child for a couple of years at the most.

Phil and Amity have stuck with the same paint colour all the way through their home...Linen White by Wattyl.  This is such a great move! Nothing in the home is permanent, so the new owner will be able to inject their own personality in the home without needing to repaint. Strip out the contents of this bedroom, and you can redecorate as a living space, study or whatever you choose!

Given how long the hallways are in The Block homes, Phil and Amity have done well to inject some life into the space through their use of paint colour, feature pendants and artwork. The scale and texture of these pendants are just perfect...neutral without taking over the space.

The skylight in the hallway breaks up the length of the hallway, injecting some much need light. The long walls are just begging for artwork, and Amity and Phil have hung a series of four prints gallery style in the middle section of the hallway below the skylight. Doesn't it draw your eye down the hallway and make you want to walk down there and check them out!

Well done on your win this week Phil and Amity...your house is coming together beautifully! btw - is that an open set of stairs I spy at the end of the hallway?

Mark and Duncan
Mark and Duncan also chose to turn their formal living space into a third bedroom, however it didn't pay off as successfully as Phil and Amity; with the boys earning fourth place for the week. The boys bedroom really is a room of two halves, and you'll understand immediately when you see the pictures below.  This side of the room is really soft, neutral, modern...lovely.

This view...cluttered and overpowering. As the judges said, the antique French armoire is absolutely beautiful...quite possibly the most beautiful piece of furniture ever featured on The Block. Unfortunately it's completely out of place here and takes up way too much space. It over powers the heritage fireplace as well, making it difficult to make out the details.

Like Phil and Amity; Phil and Duncan constructed a free-standing wall, that can be removed by the new owners if they wish, without damaging the heritage details.  Instead of built in storage, Phil and Duncan opted for open shelving. While this would look great in a home office or library, it just overpowers this bedroom and makes it feel oppressive.

This view I prefer. Without the bookshelves in the frame, the room doesn't look too bad. Such a shame because I was really starting to enjoy their quirky style. Here's hoping they were able to sell the armoire and put a more suitable piece in it's place.

The boys current love of all things wallpaper is evident in their hallway, with the length of the hallway decorated in a faux brick paper. This alone may have looked great, however the oversized prints (not shown here) hung along the wall, really close it in. It's just way too much. To their credit, the pendant light they chose is absolutely beautiful and fills the space nicely.

Recognising the need for storage; Mark and Duncan installed an attic ladder in the hallway, allowing the new owners to take full advantage of the vast roof space. Having grown up in a small house with an attic ladder, I can honestly say, this is an absolute essential! Great place to store your Christmas tree, luggage, and whatever else you don't have room for. Well done boys.

Josh and Jenna
Josh and Jenna were absolutely hammered by the judges this week, and they didn't like it one bit! For this reveal, I've grabbed some screen shots for you, because they have since redecorated their lounge room. The judges were bored, and felt that Josh and Jenna needed to step it up another level. Josh and Jenna on the other hand, commented that the aim of the game is to sell their house for the highest amount possible, and that if anyone bought a house based on artwork and pillows, then they're a "tool". Nice.
Whilst this is true, The Block All Stars is also a decorating show. We, the viewers, watch it every night hoping to get a little guidance for our own homes. We get inspired by the decor, and we may head out and buy the items they place in their homes. Whilst I am liking Josh and Jenna's pared back style, their attitude really irked me this week. I don't mind this room. Put a piece of artwork over the lounge and it would have looked so much better!
It appears they took the judges comments to heart because this is how the room now appears on The Block website.  New, softer lounge with chaise. The artwork has been moved from above the fireplace, to over the lounge, and the side tables rearranged. It looks so much better, and I could definitely see myself living in this space!

The tan leather chair has been moved to the opposite corner, creating a conversational area; while a circular mirror has been hung above the fireplace. These three simple changes absolutely save this room, and if Josh and Jenna had done this in the first place, their scores for the week would have been much higher.

Here's their new entry way...a blank canvas for the new owner to put their stamp on it. The judges saw it as boring. Once again, it probably could have done with some artwork.

In a strange move, Josh and Jenna added underfloor freezers in their linen cupboard. Personally, this would be the first thing to go. Firstly, it would be terribly difficult to get your frozen peas from the bottom of the freezer. I would need to lie on the floor to retrieve them, and even then, I might not reach. Secondly, I see this as incredibly dangerous. What if a child were to climb in there??? I hate to think what might happen. Time for Josh and Jenna to start listening to the judges, instead of whining.

Dan and Dani
Incredibly close second place winners were Dan and Dani. I really like how their house is coming together. Like Amity and Phil; they have carried the one colour through their home...a soft and neutral grey, that allows every colour and piece of furniture to pop! In a bold move (some would say), they've steered clear of a fabric upholstered lounge, and installed a tan leather couch instead! It looks fantastic, and definitely warms up the house. I do love a good leather lounge.

The one and only thing I don't like about this room are the curtains. The windows would look much larger if the curtain panels framed both sides of the window. With them hung to one side, it looks lopsided and too heavy. A minor criticism, but easily fixed. Meanwhile...check out that pendant...stunning! Black exterior, with white scalloped detail inside. Lovely. The artwork is equally beautiful, with the scale suiting the wall space and furniture perfectly.

Dan and Dani know how to add colour, using punches of colour thoughtfully in their furniture and accessories. Pulling the blue from the artwork, and replicating it in the rattan occasional chair was an excellent design choice. The unexpected yellow cushion brings out the yellow of the timber furniture and tan leather. So glad it's not too matchy-matchy. No need for yellow flowers too...the purple looks fab!

In another inspired move, they have layered two rugs, in coordinating shades of grey...allowing them to cover more floor space, add softeness, and more interest to the floor, without the need to purchase one large rug. Is this a trend we'll see more of?

Last but not least, their hallway while moody in grey, is still inviting. Love the pendant at the end of the hallway. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the new part of their home develops.

There we have it...three more spaces done and dusted! This week, the couples face even more challenges when they tackle their kitchens and laundries. What innovative ideas will we see?

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