That time of year has come around again and it is time for The Block 2017! If you have been following along with Recycled Interiors, you will know that last season we were excited to see the renovation of a classic old building, and the use of solar by Diamond Energy to power the entire Block. We even scored a visit to tour the Block thanks to Diamond Energy, before the big reveal, which was a highlight of mine and my mum’s life! I have been a Block fan for many years, but some of the seasons waste and use of less than ethical products such as replica furniture, turned me off. As well as the less focus on the actual renovating and more on the drama… However the past few seasons have restored my faith with the addition of lots of local Australian designers and artists in the styling of the homes, and with last year’s green focus being a definite plus, including the wonderful Hydrowood.
If the first week’s reveal is anything to go by this may be another great season, with the preservation of some gorgeous old homes that were destined for the wrecking ball, and the addition of the quirky team of Stick and Wombat – with Wombat living offgrid in a shipping container in his real life, and Stick’s passion for recycled timber. I am hoping this will see some sustainable and recycled products and designs being included, and hope that solar will again be a feature.
Here are the week one 48 hour Block Bedroom Reveals
Let’s start by saying how amazing it is that all of the contestants completed an entire bedroom in just 48 hours. Getting trades involved, ordering items and getting it all installed and finished is no easy task. Overall they did really well – even if there was a same same trend through most of the styling. I do love the original features of the homes and really hope they preserve these, such as ceiling roses, the gorgeous windows, and doors with divine handles and details. We in fact ripped out our horrible 1980’s doors at our place a few years ago, and found original art deco ones with brass handles which we installed in our 1948 home – I know people will be looking for these kinds of features in these homes. Whoever wins this challenge will get to pick the house they want, so it is a very important room reveal.
Georgia and Ronnie – 27/30 and the winning room – picked House Number 3
This couple have a lot of renovating experience and wanted to expose the floorboards which was set to be their edge, however it all went horribly wrong when Ronnie did not use a dustbag and did not prepare the floors before sanding and they ended up with carpet. They spent $8700 on their room. For me the room is all too grey, with no real contrasts. I would love to see some brights – a splash of red, pink, green or yellow – to set all of that dusty grey off, and something on the wall above the bed, rather than a blank wall. However their preservation of the heritage features such as the cornices and ceiling rose were lovely, bringing a nice balance of contemporary and heritage. The judges liked the blend in the room too and said that they would be happy to be a guest in the room, selecting this as the winning room.
Hannah and Clint – in last place and House number 2
This couple are the newbies to renovating, and it was even a first time for painting a room for Hannah! That is pretty amazing and they have done well considering this, spending a little over $6000. The result is a very pretty, Scandi style room. Keeping the cornice was a lovely touch, however it seemed too much like a magazine to me, with no really unique elements. The judges agreed with me and said it lacked soul because it was trying to be perfect. I have to agree. They encouraged them to be brave and not play it quite so safe from here – time to add some creativity!
Josh and Elyse – 22/30 in second place – selecting House 5
I love what they have done here, spending $7,200 on the room. The bold colours are lovely and the feature around the bed is a great addition. They are the only ones with a timber floor, which is my personal preference. The lamps chosen reflect the era of the home, and the windows in this room are a stunning feature. Liking what they have done, with a more personal, unique approach. The floors looked beautiful with the timber being revealed, however the square set ceilings were again marked down by the judges and they want to see more nods to the heritage of these homes.
Sarah and Jason – 21.5/30 and selecting House Number 1
Sarah and Jason are the “older” couple and they were initially just going to give the room a “lick of paint”. They decided against this when they saw the lenghts the others were going to, and tore down the walls and started fresh – spending the most in the end with over $13,000 spent on their room. The room has a sophisticated art deco feel, in keeping with the home’s era, with a touch of the modern with the abstract art and lighting and I love it. All of the judges were blown away by the level of finish. Neale was very impressed with the artwork. The judges agreed with my comments on the blend of modern and contemporary but said they should have gone with cornice rather than a square set, again to keep with the heritage of the building.
Sticks and Wombat 19.5/30 – House Number 4
True to expectations the boys chose to create their own unique bedhead from railway sleepers and it is a cracker. They spent just $4300, also using Sticks’s original photography for the artwork above the bed. I am a bit concerned you might smash your head on those side railway sleepers which are great for the side tables but sticking out too far near your head if you were sleeping in the bed, so the design may have benefited from a bit of tweaking. The judges loved it too and were intrigued. Love the recesses in the wall on the side of the room but Shaynna thought it was very “1980’s” and did not like the recesses in the wall at all!
The kicker was the addition of the green safe in House number 3, with Ronnie and Georgia choosing to take $8500 from Elyse and Josh as part of the hidden bonus inside the safe. This lead to all sorts of conflicts and drama, and it is set already to be yet another journey of arguments and paybacks…let’s hope there is also plenty of good renovating and ideas shared as we head into bathroom week….
Are you watching and did you agree with the results this week?