A chat with Alisa and Lysandra

This past week on The Block has proven to be an absolute mammoth one, with ten bathroom reveals (yes you heard me right, ten!) in one week! And speaking from experience, unless you do something terribly offensive, or don’t complete the room, then judging is bound to be tight, and this is exactly how it went down on last night’s room reveal.

Each of the five couples were responsible for completing two luxury his and hers ensuites and the judges were expecting big things. If you caught Sunday nights episode of The Block, then you would know that the contestants didn’t disappoint. Shaynna stated it was a “five horse race”, and if you’ve slogged it out all week to reveal two amazing ensuites then this is definitely the feedback you want to hear.

The final judging came down two couples and judges couldn’t split them so opted to give the win to level 1, Alisa and Lysandra and level 3, Bec and George. This is the second room win for Bec and George so no doubt these guys are on cloud nine, however Alisa and Lysandra were critised for their mixed styling in last weeks room reveal with the judges stating that “nothing went together”.

The win has no doubt come as a relief for the girls after what seemed like a drama filled week withrealizing that the budget they have been given is most likely not going to stretch for the entire renovation.

Dani – Congratulations on the win! It’s fabulous, and we thought it was well deserved after the week you’ve both had. What is your absolute most favourite thing in your his and her’s ensuites this week?

Alisa and Lysandra – In ‘her’ bathroom we love the tiles and the ceiling light. Shelley didn’t like the light… which really made us second guess ourselves. But we were thrilled when the judges loved it!

In his bathroom, we obviously love the steam room. It’s very cool! The tiles are also amazing.

In both bathrooms we love the floors too.

D – The steam room was a big talking point throughout the week, how do you feel about how it turned out?

A & L – We were really happy with the design of the steam room and everything went according to plan. We didn’t have any other problems with this room. We wouldn’t change a thing about it.

We’ve turned it on so we know it definitely works, but we can’t wait to have a free second to give a good test run. Do you think we’ll get any of those on The Block? Free seconds would be a luxury!

D – Explain to me about the floor in the steam room. It seems to be some king of self-leveling cement.

A & L – It’s a screed and self-leveling product. Fabian at Eco-Flooring was the best to deal with on this, and he did such a great job. It feels really great underfoot.

D – Being two women, some would say you’re up against it, but I get the feeling you’re pretty confident.

A & L – I wouldn’t say that as two women we’d be up against… Probably the other way around actually! Two women can get anything done!

Once we have nailed our design we’re confident… But it’s not until we absolutely know what we’re doing that we feel that way. Having said that, it doesn’t stop us from doubting ourselves every week when you hand your room over to the judges!

D – I love your “get knocked down, get back up” attitudes and I think it’s important to be this way on The Block.

A & L – I think Alisa and I have always had that fighter kind of attitude. We will always get back up and give it our best, and I think we’re only capable of doing that together …. So I guess I wouldn’t want to do the block with anyone else.

D – How have you found your experience so far, is it what you expected?

A & L – I don’t think anyone ever expects The Block to be as hard as it has been! It’s beyond what we could ever have imagined. I mean – we thought that there would be people behind the scenes helping out! But you’re really left to your own devices 100%. There was not 1 ounce of help unless of course you employed it!

But I think we’ve really just started to find our feet… We’re cutting and hanging our own plaster, and we’ve just had our first room win… So maybe we’re onto it!

D – Coming into The Block 2013, did you have a game plan or are you taking the rooms week by week?

A & L We’re definitely taking rooms week by week, because you definitely can’t plan in advance. And it’s more like minute by minute than week by week! As much as you want to, it’s just not possible to do anything else than to take it as it comes.

D – We know you struggled with finding good tradies at the start, have these issues dissolved now that Shiran is in the picture?

Yes, once we found Shiran we knew we’d be OK, because he comes with a package including plasterers and electricians. He’s got a really reliable team and we knew he wouldn’t let us down.

It’s also really great that he’s been through The Block experience before, so in employing him we were confident that he knew what he was getting himself into.

D – Every time I have been asked tips and advice about renovating, my number one thing has always been “have great tradies and plan for everything to go wrong”. What’s your number one piece of advice for aspiring renovators?

A & L – Find the right tradies that you know will NOT let you down. They have to want it as much as you want it!

And yes, always be prepared for something to go wrong . You’ve got to have a plan B or be able to come up with one quickly.

That’s where it becomes really important to have a great tradie, because that can be the difference in coming up with a good plan B or a terrible one!

And finally, if you really want something to happen and someone says you can’t do it, just keep fighting for it. Don’t take no for an answer. Sometimes you have to compromise, but you shouldn’t give up on things you feel passionate about .

D – During the first week of the show, we saw your confusion with the initial plans and the number of bathrooms that the apartments have. As mothers and wives what’s your opinion on his and hers ensuites?

A & L – We were overwhelmed at first… We didn’t really like the idea of his and hers ensuites- You just don’t get that stuff in Adelaide! But looking at it now it just works, and we can’t believe we didn’t have the foresight to realize that at the beginning.

D – I know we are still in the very early stages of the renovation but we are starting to see each couples’ skills and design/styling get better and better, have you decided on which couple you feel is your biggest competition?

I think Johnno and Trxie at this point…. But you never know…. It might change throughout the comp.

D – What are your top 5 tips for planning an ensuite?

1.Get the layout right. Establish this first to make it functional for your lifestyle.

2.Pick the right products for the space. If you don’t have much space to work with it’s imperative that everything fits and works within your layout.

3.Plan to have as much storage as possible. Think about where you will keep hairdryers, straighteners, shavers, makeup, towels and toilet paper.

4.If you choose a feature, do it early so you can make sure everything ties in.

5.Tiling is really important to get right. Find a great tiler and make sure you discuss what way you want your tiles running. Let there be no confusion, because you do not want to come home to find them all laying in the opposite way!

For more Block talk, head to The Home Journal