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Hot Renovation Tips from Our Experts

We spoke to judge Darren Palmer and former Blockheads Alisa & Lysandra and Kyal & Kara who are now all experts in the renovation game to share their hot tips when planning your renovation.


A few centimetres wasted in one area can make a significant difference elsewhere. If a wide hallway impacts a bedroom area, consider using the space more wisely. “In any small-to- medium-sized layout you want to reduce your transitional spaces to a minimum, using that square meterage for amenity instead,” says The Block judge Darren Palmer.

Ronnie and Georgia The Block 2017 Elsternwick Hallway The hallway is one of the most important 'transitional spaces' in the house. Make sure you account for every centimetre.


Alisa and Lysandra (The Block: Sky High 2013 & Fans V Faves, 2014) agree with Darren and reinforce that the hallway is an important space and should not be forgotten in the planning stages. "The most important transitional space in your home is the hallway. It sets the tone for the design of the rest of the main rooms, much like a visual preview of your home. Remember, first impressions count, and so does the amount of light in your hallway!", says Alisa.

Sarah and Jason The Block 2017 Hallway Sarah & Jason's hallway in The Block 2017 was a knockout.


“Be mindful of what the feature of the bathroom is going to be and where that will be in relation to what you see when you first walk in,” says Kara (The Block: Fans V Faves, 2014). “You don’t want the toilet to be the first thing you see. If you have a beautiful bath, place that opposite the doorway so you see it first. If you have a beautiful feature tile in the shower, you want that to be the main hero as you walk past or into the room.”

When you walk into Hans & Courtney's bathroom the first thing you see is their vanity and the results are stunning, the judges loved it too!


For example in the kitchen, is the sink near the dishwasher for loading? Can you unpack the dishwasher without having to walk around an island bench? Is there a place to put down a hot pot next to your cooktop? You also need to consider the flow and traffic patterns it creates with adjoining rooms, as well as any architectural or structural constraints.

Josh & Elyse chose to orientate their island bench as to maximise the view to their garden


“Kitchen design fails, succeeds or excels starting with the layout,” says The Block judge Darren Palmer. “Deciding if your home is best suited to a galley, U-shape, L-shape, Island bench or a non-conforming modular layout is a great place to start. One rule of good planning is to have no more than a few steps between sink, cooktop, fridge & benchtops.

Plan to make sure all your go-to places in the kitchen are close-by.


Ultimately, how much you want to spend will dictate not only your choices for tiles and fixtures, but also your layout. “If you’re deciding to move the toilet from one side of the bathroom to the other, that is going to affect the cost significantly,” says Kara (The Block: Fans vs Favourites). “So if budget is a factor, then really think about keeping the layout where it is.”

If your budget is tight save yourself cash and the headache of moving services.

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