One week down, one room down! In case you missed it, this past Sunday night was the very first room reveal on the latest season of the most watched renovation show on television The Block. The couples had just seven days to put up four walls, a door (in most cases), paint, furnish and decorate their very first (our of three) bedroom and they succeeded, well most of them did.
Since my own time on The Block I’ve never been a harsh critic as I know what these guys go through day in, day out but I have to say I was a little disappointed at what some couples delivered… or didn’t. There were things about each room that I thought were great, but there were also some elements that I really didn’t like. I can’t wait to see how the couples take the experience and judges’ feedback from the first week and use it as ammo to produce rooms that blow everyone away next week.
Each couple was affected by site delays this week that were unfortunately out of their control, so they were definitely up against it. The only couple to completely finish their room to a standard that the judges were satisfied with were brothers Shannon and Simon. Their level of detail and smart, simple styling has already earned them three fans in the likes of Neale, Shaynna and Darren. Labeling them ‘Masters of Detail’, the painter and plumber currently based in NSW worked tirelessly on planning and executing a guest bedroom that Shaynna dubbed ‘a second master bedroom’.
Coming away with a big first score of 27/30, these guys definitely seem to be the ones to watch. I caught up with Shannon in the wake of week one to get the lowdown on his and Simon’s very first room reveal and very first room win.
Talk me through your design process for this week.
The process I think was half function half form. We wanted a super functional room that was without fuss and quite sleek.
What did you want to achieve?
We wanted to focus on the views of the upcoming terrace and also replicate the feelings inside as well. We wanted a minimalistic room with a natural undertone and a splash of character.
How did you determine your colour palette?
Timber was always going to be a heavy presence in our rooms. We love natural finishes and we wanted to reflect a little of the colours we would use on our terrace i.e. green flora. And using chartreuse was a cheeky play on that.
What were you key considerations when planning the design and construction of the room?
We had the space to hide a wardrobe, so that was a gimme. We find them a bit cluttering and a bit ugly sometimes, so naturally we had a ‘walk behind’. The timber floor… we wanted to continue the hallway to give the upstairs a sense of grandeur and space. Having two finishes on the floor also gives the room a bit more character. The raked ceiling was used to create drama focusing on the outdoor terrace. It leads the eye out the window.
How much forward thinking and planning actually went into the room?
A lot of planning! We did actually have a few other plans for the room as well. We wanted originally to have the nib wall floating in the middle of the room so access could be gained from both sides of the bed. But this cut down the size of the room too much. At this early point in the competition we really wanted to throw everything at this room and really make a positive first impression.
Darren made comment about the raked ceiling creating a sensation of more space as you leave the room, is this what you were trying to achieve with this type of ceiling?
Yes. The raked ceiling leads your eye out towards the windows and the terrace on the other side.
And were you consciously highlighting the window as the ‘hero’ of the room?
The views were always going to be the hero of the room. We also plan on using matching timber on the terrace in an effort to tie the two spaces together.
Neale’s comments as he walked into the room were that is was ‘fresh, clean and contemporary’… Will you stay consistent and work to continue this feel throughout your entire apartment or will you look to possibly mix it up a little?
We love to keep it fresh and clean. This will be a theme throughout the apartment with the use of neutral tones and timber. We will push boundaries concerning architectural design though. We are both fans of minimalistic design; so clean and uncluttered is a must for us.
Some styling elements I loved were the cactus, lamps and timber feature wall, which I felt went a long way to soften the room… what are your favourite elements this week?
Definitely the cactus and the timber feature wall! It does add a lot of warmth and character to the room. The cactus was Simons master stroke. I sent him down the road to buy some greenery and he walked back up Chapel with a 5ft cactus!
I love the way the style of lamps we chose give a certain warmth to the room, as opposed to Max and Karstan’s hanging lights. They are modern and contemporary but they don’t have the same warmth to them.
What was the toughest hurdle to overcome this week?
Definitely being held up for so long with structural concerns i.e. no steel. We waited so long for that!
How are you feeling one week down?
We are so stoked to come home with a win. Before we went on the show we said to each other, ‘if we can just win one room we’ll be happy with ourselves’, in saying though we were absolutely shattered.
And getting to know you a little better…
What is your day job?
I’m a painter and Simon is a plumber.
What did you want to be growing up?
Rally car driver… I still do [;-)]
The best life experience you’ve had so far… outside of The Block?
I travelled for about eight years. I learnt so much about myself, about conversation and about the world. That and pushing myself to finally enroll in design school. That was a long time coming.
What is the one thing you want but don’t have right now?
A mortgage free home!
What is the best advice you have been given?
‘A still ship can never be steered.’
My Opa said that to me before I started backpacking. Meaning that I had to be moving (in any direction) to be able to change the direction of my life.
What could you not live without?
What is your favourite ‘space’?
The ocean or near it early in the morning.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
The ability to pause time, I’m always wanting more hours in a day. That and to fly, that would be way too much fun.
Treehouse or houseboat, why?
Houseboat for sure! I love the ocean. Fish surf swim sun… perfect!
What is something about you that we won’t learn from watching you on The Block?
I’m normally quite a private person, which will be an issue these coming months…. ha! And I love spontaneity.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching these guys during week one and can’t wait to get to know them more throughout the series.