Welcome back for The Block All Stars Week 5's reveals of the couple's kitchens and laundries. Talk about high drama! Poor Mark was taken to hospital with a suspected heart attack, then told he wouldn't be able to return. Dale stepped up to help Duncan finish the series, and has proven to add some much needed humour on The Block. Phil and Amity were given a time penalty for starting their mezzanine before it was approved. The couples undertook an electricity-saving challenge, which saw Josh and Jenna, and Dan and Dani, colluding to win the challenge, then share the profits of the week's win. It was all on! One could almost be forgiven that in between all of the drama, the couples had to deliver a room or two at the end of the week...
Phil and Amity - score 29.5/30
The judges awarded Phil and Amity a near perfect score this week for their kitchen, and it was very much deserved imho. This is a dream kitchen...a mix of modern and traditional elements, with Hamptons styling. The stainless steel chefs cooker, and under-bench microwave blend seamlessly with the restored cast iron oven (imagine the rustic foods you could bake in there).
Phil and Amity's kitchen has loads of bench space, and cupboard space, yet still appears light and airy. No overhead cupboards above the windows to close the space in...just three simple pendants. Lovely.
Continuing with the clean lines, Phil and Amity have installed a tall pantry, and integrated refrigerator. The matching doors work so well to simplify the space. Your eye isn't jarred by a large stainless steel fridge. I love the small servery beside the original chimney breast. It's a great use of space, and enables the home owner to put out foods, without everyone having to crowd the kitchen.
In addition to this week's kitchen and laundry reveal, Phil and Amity decided to install a mezzanine level and access to loft storage. Potential family home buyers will LOVE this space! Phil and Amity have dressed it as study space, but I see it as a play space for kids. Pop a curtain up along that beam, and you'd have an instant cubby house that kids will adore playing in!
At the top of the stairs is a small door that leads through to loft storage...great for your Christmas tree, luggage, and all of those other bulky items that simply won't fit in the linen cupboard. For a home without a garage or shed, this space is essential! I love how Phil and Amity have styled this area. The combination of wicker and timber works so well together...and don't even get me started on that cushion and art work! Gorgeous colours and patterns...I may have to rethink my lounge room colour scheme.
Phil and Amity have added even more value to their home by including a second bathroom in their laundry. Given that Phil and Amity have created a three bedroom house, it stands to reason that they are marketing their home towards a family...were a second bathroom is a must! Maximising laundry space, by integrating a bathroom is great move.
The laundry features all of the essentials...washer, dryer, bench space and storage...all contained in one compact room. This is a general purpose area, and Phil and Amity have delivered a space that meets form and function with style.
Mark and Duncan/Dale - score 23/30
This week's chumps...although Scott Cam did say that everyone had done such a fabulous job, no chumps would be required. On a normal week, 23/30 would be a fantastic score...such a shame the boys didn't have time to deliver a laundry as well. Their scores would have been a lot higher. Unlike Phil and Amity, Mark and Duncan/Dale have located their kitchen at the back of the house, enabling them to incorporate a sleek dining space as well. With doors that open fully onto the courtyard, they have created a great indoor/outdoor entertaining area.
Duncan's penchant for quirky design continues with the inclusion of a double-sided fish tank where the original stove used to be. The stove itself is featured inside the fish tank, making the fanciest fish home I've ever seen. Love it! It might seem like a really odd element, but it works. I'd imagine it would be quite peaceful watching the fish swim around...especially from the living area to be located on the other side of the wall.
I do love the mix of old and new Duncan has selected for the dining space...an old church pew, teamed with designer chairs looks so fab, as does the glass dining table. Choosing a glass dining table was a great idea...it really opens the space up and allows the pew to stand out. It looks like Duncan has a thing for all things horned, given that he's once again featured a rhinoceros in their home. Such a fun piece of art! I really do love that they're having a bit of fun with their design. Someone is going to absolutely love this house!
A word about cow hide splash backs...not something you see every day (or at all), but once again, Duncan's quirky vision works! When Duncan first announced his design intentions, I will admit...I was frightened! To my shock and amazement, he pulled it off. It looks fantastic! Not sure I'd have it in my home, but it really is effective. It links the white uppers and chocolate brown lower cabinets together. Great job this week boys!
Josh and Jenna - score 29.5/30
This week's ultimate winners, thanks to Dan and Dani taking a point away from Phil and Amity. Josh and Jenna also chose to locate their kitchen at the rear of the house, producing this oversized kitchen with marble as far as the eye can see. The dining table has been integrated into the bench top, providing enough seating for six. The oversized pendant light delineates the dining space, and makes a really nice feature.
Josh and Jenna created a dramatic feature wall using a vertical planter. I do love vertical planters, however this is the first time I've seen one used indoors. It makes me worry about creating damp/mould against the wall, and perhaps bugs. Time will tell how this feature survives. It would take a lot of commitment to keep this beauty fresh and thriving.
The cupboards and fridge line the length of the kitchen wall, creating a galley style kitchen. A full length mirror fills the space between the cupboards and marble slab, serving to bounce light around the room and make it feel more spacious. I'm not a fan of mirrors in kitchens...it will inevitably be coated in a layer of grease, and will be a pain to keep clean.
Built into the marble bench, is an oven and microwave. Honestly, I don't know what the judges were looking at. This layout is not practical at all. Trying to get hot dishes out of that microwave will be incredibly difficult, and I'd hate to be the person seated next to the hot oven. It would have made more sense to place the oven underneath the cooktop, and move the drawers to the bench. Obviously they were more "wowed" by the vertical plant wall and marble. Josh and Jenna have got the form down pat, but they're seriously lacking in function.
Moving onto the laundry...Josh and Jenna's layout is very similar to Phil and Amity, however instead of a shower, they've added a second linen cupboard. Extra storage is always a plus. Being able to wash, dry and put away in the one space is very attractive.
Josh and Jenna's laundry also features a second toilet, which is a must in every home. They've styled this room beautifully (so far as laundries go), with a great framed photograph, and marble bench top. I realise Josh and Jenna have used the same marble right throughout the house, however I'm yet to see the point of including it in the laundry. Mind you...if they'd chosen a different surface, they would have been hammered for it.
Dan and Dani - 25/30
With Dan and Dani, we see the reveal of a third white kitchen. Located in the same position in the house as Phil and Amity; Dan and Dani have chosen to install overhead cupboards around the wall and above the windows. This provides a great amount of usable storage, however it looks like it's overpowering the space. Dan and Dani's kitchen doesn't really inspire me at all. There's no WOW factor for me unfortunately. I mean, it's nice, but I expected more.
Subway tiles line the walls of this kitchen...always a classic choice, and won't go out of date any time soon, so kudos there. The marble bench top looks nice, but once you've seen it in Josh and Jenna's kitchen, it looks a little boring. I really think they could have chosen something else and it would have looked amazing. Individual.
I am not a fan of how Dan and Dani have chosen to incorporate the heritage stove in the wall. It shows very little respect for the piece...almost like they had no idea what to do with it, so just cut a hole and shoved it in. It serves no purpose at all, and stands out like the proverbial. On a positive note, I do like the wine fridge and bottle storage built into the island.
At the other end of the island is a beautiful timber shelf. If only they thought to include a bit of timber into the actual kitchen. It really would have warmed up the space, and given the kitchen the WOW factor it's seriously lacking. Sorry Dan and Dani...your kitchen was a miss this week.
Now for the laundry. Like the other laundries, it was great to see a second toilet included. I love the framed photographs as well...the pop of colour is fantastic! That's where it ends for me. Dan and Dani have enclosed their washer/dryer into a cupboard with outward opening doors; making it incredibly awkward to access. There's also a distinct lack of bench space and storage in this room. It's a shame. I really like the rest of their home, so I hope the remaining spaces are better.
Kitchen and laundry week was really stressful...not just for the contestants, but the viewing public. I hope the couples can put the drama behind them, and enjoy the last week on The Block.
Can you believe there's only one more reveal left? This week, the couples have to complete the exterior of the homes...restoring the tiled front porches, decorating the final living space, and landscaping the backyards. I can't wait to see what they come up with!
Now, I'm throwing it over to you...which is your favourite kitchen for the week?
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