Exterior week on The Block always feels like the toughest week – not just physically, but emotionally, mentally and even financially. On top ofThe Block’s standard week-to-week emotional rollercoaster, the realization that it’s the very last week brings on a whole new set of feelings. Usually, once that final room is delivered, relief quickly sets in. But for the couples on The Block this season, that relief was short-lived as Scott Cam told them they still have one more challenge before they are released back into reality. Over the next week, the couples will be renovating not one but two entire houses of two Block ‘Super Fans’ from top to bottom and back to front.
The couples have been split into two teams, and as the winners of this week’s first-level and rooftop terrace, Kyal and Kara got to choose which couple they partnered up with… their choice, Brad and Dale. They have seven days to complete three bedrooms, two bathrooms, living/ dining & kitchen, and backyards of both houses. I can’t wait to see how these places turn out!
On Sunday night the couples revealed four rooftop terraces, four first-level terraces and a number of ‘re-do’ rooms. When I think that they did it all with practically no money left, it makes me feel absolutely exhausted. This week though, the couples weren’t competing for the usual $10,000 budget ‘top-up’; the $10,000 was for them to keep.
Chantelle and Steve were desperate to finish their time on The Block on a high, but unfortunately, they didn’t quite get there. They finished in fourth place this with 22 points as time and lack of money got the better of them. Of all of the rooms that the couple revealed (including ‘re-do’ rooms), the first-level terrace was the winner as both Shaynna and Neale described it as ‘cute’ and ‘cosy’.
The terrace featured a full-height vertical garden on the street facing wall, a built-in bench seat with table and additional bench seat, a quirky ladder with suspension lights overhead, a pizza oven and another timber ‘bar style’ bench fixed right across the stunning arched window that overlooks the street below. The outdoor room was a perfect extension of their living room. The judges agreed that the couple had made great use of the space, which is something that they have become very good at during their time on The Block.
In reference to the quirky ladder with suspended lights; Neale said, ‘it wouldn’t be Steve and Chantelle without a kitsch and retro reference’.
As the judges moved upstairs to the couple’s roof terrace; Darren’s only comment was an ambiguous ‘Whoa Nelly’.
The couple chose an impressive outdoor kitchen complete with fridge, barbecue and sink. They also took the opportunity to feature the table that they had made in the Mark Tuckey challenge earlier in the competition. The walls were lined with marine ply and housed a television and gas fireplace. A large daybed positioned in front of the television took up a reasonable chunk of the remaining space.
The judges were concerned about the choice of fixed materials and Shaynna was afraid the couple had ‘gone back to what they were’ at the start of the competition. Things improved a little for the couple though with Neale’s comments. He described the area as ‘really friendly’ with ‘a lot of spirit and a lot of soul’. He did, however, question the practicality of the daybed.
When it came to the couple’s ‘re-do’ rooms this week; budget played a big part in the changes they were able to make so, unfortunately, the judges were left bitterly disappointed with the work done in both the study/ guest bedroom and main bathroom. In the study, Neale felt like he had walked in on the room, ‘half-done’. He also expressed his frustration at the lack of changes in the main bathroom, explaining that it was ‘not high-end’ or ‘luxury’.
Judges’ comments aside; Steve and Chantelle should be very proud of what they have achieved with their apartment. For a couple that has never renovated and has no building skills; they have done a fabulous job and remained impressively positive.
Coming in third position this week with 25 points, were Alisa and Lysandra. The girls, like the other couples, had budget issues so both their first-level terrace and rooftop terrace were completed on a shoestring. It was great to see that they still managed to fit in all of the essential elements you would expect in these areas.
The girls also used their Mark Tuckey furniture piece this week and make it look at home on their first-level terrace. In an attempt to keep the area simple but still effective; most of the girls’ budget for the space went into their Outdeco Gardenscreens, the innovative circular vertical gardens, and the recycled timber planter box underneath. It created the perfect outlook from almost every angle of the girls’ first floor space and added the right amount of warmth and life to the intimate and moody living room.
Alisa and Lysandra continued with the circular theme with the use of thelarge round timber chair. They had originally purchased the bespoke chair for their outdoor shower area revealed in week two, but it proved too large for the space.
The judges were pleased with the space describing it as contemporary and totally suited to the warehouse feel. Neale was ‘impressed with the fixed elements of the terrace’ and all judges felt that the greenery was exactly what the living room needed.
Upstairs on the rooftop terrace, Shaynna was blown away by the‘massive’ size of the space. The judges loved the variation in texture throughout the area and felt the girls had created a ‘second living space’. Certification issues were raised when it was realised that the built-in bench seating was a fixed object and therefore the roof terrace handrail was no longer compliant with building regulations. This is something the girls will need to address before their property goes to auction.
The simple yet effective changes made in both of the girls’ ‘re-do’ rooms: the removal of the timber slats in their main bathroom and minor furniture changes in the living room, impressed the judges.
The girls have successfully produced an apartment that is grand yet simple, warm, low maintenance and will appeal to a board market. These two are sure to have another successful Block auction.
Coming in at a close second were Brad and Dale scoring 28 points for their terraces and ‘re-do’ room. A landscaper by day; Dale has always done well in the exterior spaces on The Block and this week was no exception – although he did have to employ the talented boys from Franklin Landscape & Design to help out.
My favourite this week; the boys first level terrace area was structured, well put together and the perfect outcome given the space they had to work with. Shaynna’s first word when taking in the view to their terrace from the kitchen was ‘magnificent’ and I couldn’t agree more.
With a minimalist barbecue area complete with custom stainless benchthat was perfectly complimented by recycled timber built-in bench seating and a substantial built-in planter box; the space felt uncluttered and flawlessly executed. The choice of plants was inspired and the introduction of copper wall lights reiterated the ‘warehouse’ feel that the couples were encouraged to channel.
The judge’s felt a ‘beautiful vibe’ from the boys terrace and Neale was‘blown away by the recycled timber’ used in throughout the entire area. He felt the area was an ‘exercise in restraint’ and that the boys had ‘nailed it’with the paired back ‘simple space’.
The judges were equally impressed with Brad and Dale’s rooftop terrace and reiterated that the space adds value to the entire apartment. They loved that the space was simple and that the area could be hosed down when it required cleaning. In terms of the view; the boys had all ‘aspects covered’ with both city and the ocean vistas – which should ultimately mean more money in their pockets on auction day.
The terrace featured a fantastic outdoor kitchen, including custom stainless benchtop and sink, two Vintec fridges, a barbecue, a built in television and sound bar, and a few Mojo beanbags for ultimate rooftop entertaining. The boys also opted to use their Mark Tuckey challenge table, paired with simple black chairs.
With just a few changes in their ‘re-do’ room; a simple splashback and mirror change in their kitchen and larger dining table in their dining space, the judges were very impressed.
Neale said that Brad and Dale had achieved the ‘most authentic warehouse conversion’ and I agree completely. The boys’ apartment is a standout for many reasons: not only have they completely nailed the brief, but their execution, simple styling and focus on spending money on the structural and fixed items should definitely help them on auction day.
Kyal and Kara won this week with 28.5 points. The ‘Super K’s’ have dominated the competition in every aspect, including the weekly challenge wins and overall room wins, and it definitely showed this week as they had more cash to spend than the other teams.
The judges first words on walking out onto the couple’s first level terrace were ‘very pretty’, ‘very simple and paired back’, ‘contemporary, cool and colourful’… not bad! The couple zoned their outdoor area well this week, creating a section for rest & relaxation (that includes large vertical garden and built-in bench seating) and a dining section (complete withSilestone–topped table and stools).
The judges felt the area was styled perfectly and that it had a ‘good feel about it’.
‘Are you kidding me?!’ followed by ‘Major Wow’ were the phrases exclaimed by Shaynna when she saw the rooftop terrace. Kyal and Kara virtually created a second kitchen, dining and living area on their roof, replete with their signature material, timber. The kitchen, complete with barbecue, sink and fridges, has the ingenious use of mirrors as the splashback, which reflect the amazing city view from every angle.
Kyal and Kara also used their Mark Tuckey challenge table on the roof terrace and it provided the perfect touch of industrial with its rusted old wheels.
The casual seating area was also a hit with the judges. The hidden television ensured the right amount of class for the space.
Shaynna said that the she was ‘excited about everything’ and that the couple got it ‘spot on for design, decoration and styling’. She said it was a‘really classy space that feels like the crowning glory of the apartment’, a comment that Darren and Neale both agreed with.
Again, the judges all agreed that it is ‘a space that will be used on a daily basis by the owners’. It really is a great versatile space that will be used for many years to come.
The couple was given their internal terrace as their ‘re-do’ room and the judges were all impressed with their effort: they had transformed an awkward space with a water feature into a comfortable outdoor shower. Darren did question whether they had copied their neighbours, but Neale felt that it was ‘brilliant and a 100% improvement’, adding that it was the best ‘re-do’ room.
I agree that it was a significant improvement and it showed what could be achieved with a small amount of money.
My favourite styling piece this week for the K’s is the array of Hux & Copots scattered throughout their apartment.
Kyal and Kara have consistently delivered great rooms each week paying particular attention to those areas that are considered to sell houses. There is continuity throughout plus the standard of work and attention to detail are amongst the best on any season of The Block. Well done to the newbies and good luck on auction day.
If you loved Kyal and Kara’s rooftop terrace as much as the judges: shop with them here at The Block Shop.
The Home Journal is an Interior design and Lifestyle blog by Dani Wales, fomer contestant on The Block. Check out her blog for more inspiring articles.