Monday, June 17, 2013

The Block Sky High | Week 5 Kitchen reveals...

Brought to you by The Block Shop

Every real estate agent will tell's kitchens and bathrooms that sell houses. This week, The Block Sky High couples delivered probably the most important room of their apartments...the kitchen! Judge, Neale Whittaker mentioned that it's his favourite week on The Block, and I have to agree! There are so many challenging design aspects when considering a new kitchen...the layout, storage, appliances, hardware, flooring, benchtops, splashbacks, drawer/door finishes...and so much more. Each of these items are really expensive to replace, so you want to get it right the first time! Let's see how the couples met these challenges...

Trixie and Johnno - This week's winners!
The pressure was on this week for a win by Trixie and Johnno...anything but first place would have seen them unable to finish their renovations...and WOW did they deliver!! I adore this has such a warmth to it. The combination of white (Alpine Premium) and timber (Newbury Satin Heartwood) laminates on the cupboard fronts works so well together. It's fresh, airy, and oh so is the breakfast table butted up against the island bench. Such a great use of space, allowing the owners of this apartment to enjoy two different dining experiences within the one home (that's if Trixie and Johnno deliver a dining room of course).
The white geometric tiled splashback ties together the kitchen and bathroom designs beautifully. I'm a big fan of consistent home design, and Trixie and Johnno have nailed it. They've really considered the overall apartment when designing this space.
The pendant lights hanging above the kitchen island have such a delicate appearance, and are a really nice contrast to the hard does Trixie and Johnno's take on a vertical garden! I love the random nature of the wall planters, and the different plantings they've used look fab. The judges commented they would have preferred a herb garden, but I disagree. Plant life of any kind finishes off a space. As they say, happy people have indoor plants!
To the left of the vertical garden is the butler's pantry, housing all of the everyday appliances...the kettle, toaster, microwave, etc, as well as extra bench space and open storage. To the right is the perfect sized bar, consisting of a small bench, wine fridge, shelving and storage...excellent for an entertainer. Beyond that, Trixie and Johnno have installed a small work space.
Trixie and Johnno have used this space really well, adding a floor to ceiling bookshelf, with integrated desk top and filing storage...perfect for working on your laptop, or paying your bills. Despite the vial comments on facebook and twitter last night, I really believe the judges picked the right winners this week.
1. Pear head apron | 2. Fluro pink map of Aussie tea towel | 3. Vibrant kitchen paper towels | 4 & 5. Fun tea towels | 6. Funky kitchen paper towels7 & 8. Fun tea towels | 9. Bird head apron

Alisa and Lysandra
With extra cash to splash, Alisa and Lysandra delivered a high-end kitchen with integrated appliances and impressive concrete bench tops. A full size fridge and freezer is hidden behind cupboard doors, with a cluster of appliances taking centre stage in the middle of this wall of machine, microwave, and double oven. The only drawback for me is the splashback. I've said it before, and I'll say it again...I really detest mirrored splashback! They are seriously high maintenance. This is not a kitchen for a messy cook.
Alisa and Lysandra stated that they weren't happy with the colour of the flooring when it was being laid. I'm glad they continued with the installation...the Eco Timber flooring has a lovely, white-washed feeling about it. It really serves to lighten the space even more.
Like Trixie and Johnno, the twins installed a small garden on the wall between the butler's pantry and study. Whilst it looks fab, I don't feel it's as successful as Trixie and Johnno's garden. The maintenance of the plants would be incredibly difficult with the planters built into the wall.
Even though I stated above that mirrors and kitchens don't go...that certainly isn't the case in the butler's pantry. The mirror serves to double the size of this small room. Alisa and Lysandra have installed plenty of cabinetry, bench space, and even a sink in this organiser's dream of a pantry. Love that they've utilised the full wall with open shelving.
Also like Trixie and Johnno, the twins installed a small home office in this former hotel room ensuite. This office is styled beautifully, with timber desk, grasscloth wallpaper, and simple accessories. This space feels so very small and claustrophobic, as it's enclosed on three sides, with the only entry via the kitchen. Trixie and Johnno's office above is more successful and open feeling, with two entrances. This wouldn't be a room I'd like to spend a lot of time in unfortunately. Aside from those minor criticisms, Alisa and Lysandra have delivered a great's just not to my style.
1. Vertical indoor/outdoor garden (Josh & Jenna's kitchen "All Stars") | 2. Chanel poster (Madi & Jarrod's master bedroom) | 3. Maria's stool (Trixie & Johnno's challenge room) | 4. Ubabub prints (Sundae print Madi & Jarrod's guest room) | 5. White lace lucky lanterns | 6. Vibrant paper towel holders | 7. Chevron kitchen trays | 8. The Beaches kitchen stools | 9. Vintage style apple crate "herbs"

Bec and George
Once again, Bec and George have delivered a lovely space, with a slightly minimal feel. Bec and George really know how to accessorise, and I love the teal, orange, and yellow pops around the kitchen. The vintage poster they've included adds loads of personality to this room, as do the cage pendant lights hanging above the island bench. From this view, you can spy Bec and George's bar...with wall to wall storage for glassware, bottles, preparation space and bar fridges. The bar has a cut-out through to the living space, making this an interactive space between the home owners and their guests.
I hate to say it, because I do love Bec and George's style...this kitchen is a bit of a missed opportunity for me. Leaving one wall completely devoid of cabinetry was a big mistake. In my humble opinion, you can never have too much storage in your kitchen! While the floating shelves look effective, they do appear a little lost. Wall to wall cabinetry would have allowed more seating space at the island bench. The space allocated for the two stools looks so cramped.
As with Alisa and Lysandra, Bec and George installed a mirrored splashback...still not a fan. Covering the exterior of the exhaust fan in mirror was a nice touch...allowing it to disappear into the splashback. Unfortunately this isn't enough to sway my opinion. I do love Bec and George's take on a vertical garden...the metal frame with terracotta pots of herbs is really effective.
The timber flooring looks great extending through to the butler's pantry, where Bec and George have included a full-sized fridge, and more storage space. Unfortunately, this kitchen leaves me wanting more and is my least favourite kitchen for the week. I am looking forward to seeing how this ties into their living and dining spaces though. Bring on next week!
1. Yellow & Blue bird heads (Trixie & Johnno's master bedroom) | 2. Ubabub Booksee bookshelf (Trixie & Johnno's nursery challenge) | 3. Rug Calder 310x195cm | 4. Six Dean Factory stool in black (different colour option, Bec & George's kitchen) | 5. Collage artwork by Emily Green (Madi & Jarrod's guest room) | 6. Replica Kay Bojesen wooden songbirds (Trixie & Johno's master bedroom) | 7. Retro desk telephone (Kim & Matt's guest room) | 8. Nordic Taburet counter stool (Trixie & Johnno's master bedroom) | 9. Six Dean Factory stool (Bec & George's kitchen)

Kim and Matt
So, it appears that Kim and Matt have done some kitchen tweaking since last night's reveal! The white resin flooring has been replaced by an oversized grey tile, and new stools have made their home at the kitchen bench. Last night's reveal garnered a mixed reaction from the judges. Shaynna Blaze was critical of their flooring, saying that it would be trashed in no time. The new flooring looks so much better, and really compliments the overall kitchen design. I love that Matt has continued the cement rendered feature walls...he really is a good at his craft. The hot pink artwork is the perfect addition, adding a much needed pop of colour!
Kim and Matt installed a wall of cabinetry, featuring lighting behind frosted glass the wall an x-ray effect, displaying the contents behind. The styling is really impressive...though it would be incredibly difficult to maintain. The jury is still out on this feature. What do you think?
The cement rendering extends through to the butler's pantry, with a recycled timber feature wall at the rear of the space. Kim and Matt have included a full sized fridge/freezer, and those unsightly everyday appliances. Oh how I'd love to leave the toaster and kettle out, and still maintain a clutter free kitchen (note to self...investigate possible installation of butler's pantry).
On the opposite side of the butler's pantry, Kim and Matt installed a wine cellar and bar! Perfect for the wine enthusiast and home entertainer. I'm not sure this was the best use of space, but it certainly looks effective. I'm looking forward to seeing how they tackle their living and dining rooms this week!
1. Aki suspension pendant (Kim & Matt's kitchen) | 2. Lumina small cone pendant (Alisa & Lysandra's guest room) | 3. Faceture pendant (Kim & Matt's guest room) | 4. Burlap weave drum pendant (Alisa & Lysandra's master bedroom & robe) | 5. Coco fish scale pendant (Phil & Amity's hallway "All Stars") | 6. Norway teak table lamp (Alisa & Lysandra's, Madi & Jarrod's guest room) | 7. Toadstool night light | 8. Baby Scotty night light | 9. Design Stockholm House block lamp (Kim & Matt's 2nd bedroom and ensuite)

Madi and Jarrod
Where Trixie and Johnno's kitchen had loads of light streaming through, Madi and Jarrod's kitchen feels dark, and a little dreary (sorry fans!). There is nothing wrong with the layout of this kitchen...I just think the grey was a bad decision for the splashback and upper cabinets. The choice of art displayed here is different to the one shown in the reveal last night, and I do prefer this's fun and fresh, just like them.
You can see what I mean about the uppers...they just don't have any life to them. Perhaps some fab door hardware would have broken up that dull grey. On the plus side, the island bench has ample seating space...great for use as a breakfast space, or for having a cuppa with friends. The khaki topped bench stools are a fun's these unexpected touches that I've come to like about Madi and Jarrod's style.
Case in point...the four burner gas cooktop and cylindrical rangehoods. I've never seen anything like them before! Excellent choices by Madi and Jarrod...I just wish the rest of the kitchen lived up to the appliances.
Two great positives came out of this reveal...Madi and Jarrod's inclusion of a laundry (not pictured), and the way they have fitted out their butler's pantry. Once again, a full-sized fridge/freezer has been included, as well as loads of storage space for appliances and other kitchen essentials. I hope their living and dining rooms lifts this open planned area.
With kitchen week done and dusted, the couples now move onto another double room reveal...the living and dining rooms! So, tell me...who delivered your favourite kitchen this week?

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