WEEK 6: RE-DO OR RE-DON'T, THAT IS THE QUESTION

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

Written by Steph Sandhoff



Congrats guys, we’ve officially hit the halfway mark and if you been with me from the beginning I’m grateful and shocked you’re all still here. This week we have final bedrooms (for some) and re-do rooms. Now usually we have to wait a little longer for re-do rooms but considering some of the couples have been particularly terrible this year, I won’t be surprised if Scotty Cam is attempting to squeeze multiple re-do weeks into this season. Maybe screwing up the timetable was House 3 and 4’s attempt to save themselves… I mean why not? Neither had much to lose, let’s be honest.



HOUSE ONE // Ronnie and Georgia


Now Ronnie and Georgia are firing this week, and I’m not just referring to the 10 they received from Shaynna Blaze, I mean firing their plasterers; who just weren’t up to scratch. The perfectionists designed their guest bedroom with a teenage girl in mind; which with a few small tweaks could be transformed to a perfect adult bedroom. I’ll give them this, they definitely succeeded in that, I’m not even sure the judges mentioned the fact that it was a room for a teenager. As the use of pink (or blush) is such a common inclusion in design at the moment, the room doesn’t even scream teenage girl to me.



Image Attribution: Nine



Once again, the room feels like it sits perfectly within their house. Even if I stop giving them props for the height of their ceilings because I mean, the house had those to begin with, it’s like Neale said; “they understand the DNA of what they’ve created and they know how to apply it”. The repetition of elements throughout their house is so satisfying you don’t even realise it’s what is making you feel so at ease in their home.



Image Attribution: Nine



It was the pattern clashing that ultimately had the judges excited this week. The layering of those statement cushions, against the textural bedhead all sitting in front of the subtle, vertically lined wallpaper had Shaynna declaring “the palette and pattern is my favourite room on The Block so far”. Neale Whitaker too, thought it was a skilful use of pattern while Darren Palmer loved how the wallpaper accentuated the high ceilings; a traditional pattern incorporated in a contemporary way. Personally... love the cushions; love the wallpaper. The bedhead fabric? Eh, but the combination is super sophisticated. Surround it with a room that feels light and bright, fresh and airy; it was always going to be a winner.



Image Attribution: Nine



Neale and Darren had issues with the bedside lamps, deeming them too short, allowing too much of the bedhead to be seen. Shaynna disagreed, stating raising the lamps looked odd and she thought it was already “absolutely perfect in her opinion, sweet, and beautifully put together”. I agree that the height wasn’t the problem but I don’t think those lamps were the right fit for the room either. With quite a traditional style pattern clash going on, the lamps needed to provide that modern element to really elevate that side of the room. The 'layered stone' lamp stand with the beige shade was too brown and already felt dated. A simpler stand, with a rougher texture and a crisp white shade would have made the entire combination feel more modern and punchy, and elevated the surrounding textures.



Image Attribution: Nine



I have a few more issues but let’s start with the bedside tables. Now let me say, there is absolutely nothing wrong with them but they are super minimal and provide no storage. If bedside storage was deemed unimportant given the amount of cabinetry provided in the room, why not go with a more exciting bedside. This would have been the perfect chance to utilise a stylish side table (that would normally be impractical due to the lack of storage) and create some impact. The curtains too, weren’t recessed in a bulkhead properly like in House 1’s other rooms. Instead they were given the modern version of an old-fashioned pelmet. I’m confused why they didn’t make the most of their ceiling heights and recess the sheers in the ceiling like they have done in previous rooms. Also I don’t like the art, sorry. It has a bit of a Grandma vibe. There is so much funky, abstract art that could have lifted this room. Overall the room didn’t excite me but I still think it would be one I would choose to live in given the choice.



Image Attribution: Nine



Re-do Room

Ronnie and Georgia’s re-do room was their Master Walk-in Robe from Week 3. What was wrong with it? It was just too small, so it wasn’t a particularly complicated room for these guys to fix up. The biggest issue would have been finding the additional space. Although the robe was extended it still appears quite skinny. I also didn’t like the addition of the Laminex cladding. It’s too matchy-matchy with the bedroom and it creates an odd shape up high where the cabinetry is missing a bulk-head. Although I love that mirror, I would have probably gone for a full mirrored wall to really make that space feel as big as possible and let the cabinetry details be the feature.

Image Attribution: Nine



DARREN:SHAYNNA: 10 NEALE:TOTAL: 29 PLACE: 1st MY SCORE: 9




HOUSE TWO // Mitch and Mark



Here we go with the first of the specific kids rooms this week. Bunk beds… not a particularly forward thinking idea, especially if you consider bunk beds already had their comeback about 5 years ago. If you’re not going to do it as well as 'Kyal and Kara' or 'The Designory', maybe try something else. Also, I would be surprised if (the cashed up) people buying these houses would be particularly thrilled to have their kids sharing the one small space. Surely 5 million dollars means your kids get a room each. I guess it could be a room for the grandkids but this is cutting off a substantial section of your market, which is why I think Mitch and Mark did well to make sure the kid element was ultimately removable.


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The room is cute, I’ll give them that and the judges seem to agree using adjectives such as whimsical, playful, etc. Neale was particularly taken, describing it as “it’s own little world, universe for kids”. He even liked the addition of the challenge piece in the room and while I certainly don’t think it was the worst; it just adds to the visual clutter going on in that room. I do love most of the elements in this room, the wallpaper especially, but there is too much going on. My Nana (also an interior designer) would declare it “busy”, which I discovered early on during my childhood, was how she gave out constructive criticism to my sister and I as kids. A little brutal for a 6 year-old but I’ve yet to design a room that isn’t pared back since. Thanks Nana.



Image Attribution: Nine



The judges disagreed on the skylight placement, (which I do think is a little awkward) but all managed to agree on their love of the mint green cabinetry and subsequent styling. Fun as this room is, I’m glad the ‘kid’ element is removable as although it sends out a strong “family home” message it also screams flexibility. Hopefully the first thing the residents do, is remove the bunk beds to allow for a better use of the space. The chunky beds create an awkward and virtually unusable corner of space, that could be much better utilised with a different layout.



Image Attribution: Nine



The overriding issue I’m worried about in this home, and it is sort of an extensions of my gender reveal worries from last week, is the utter abundance of pastel colours. Every single room in this house was created using pared back, pastel tones. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a pastel but at some point you need a bit of depth. Something you can hold onto. At this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if the home just up and floated away. It’s called saturation. Please guys, give it a go. Colour doesn’t have to be light to be subtle and sophisticated. You just have to get the tone right. If you want an example go have a look at some ‘Porter’s Paint’ colours. They get their tones bang on. Every. Single. Time.


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Re-do Room


Mitch and Mark’s re-do room was their Week 1 guest bedroom. While this room wasn’t terrible (in comparison to the twin's, anyway) it wasn’t great either and I’m not sure it’s improved all that much. There are a few improvements, including the bedding, which is more layered and therefore more interesting, new lamps, which give the room a bit of pizzaz and the bedsides, which let’s be honest couldn’t be any worse than the originals. However with these positive changes we were also given an old-fashioned bedhead (it does match their master bedroom), basic art (birds aren’t it anymore FYI) and Clifford, the big, red, dog sitting on a chair. Also the art is positioned way too low, it shouldn’t look as if it’s resting against the top of the bedhead.

Image Attribution: Nine



DARREN:SHAYNNA: 9 NEALE:TOTAL: 28 PLACE: 3rd MY SCORE: 8




HOUSE THREE // Tanya and Vito



Onto House 3, where Tanya and Vito have also decided to turn their remaining guest room into a kid’s room this week. They may actually be playing to their strengths after acting and sounding like a couple of whiny children at the unofficial body corporate meeting. Apparently being told to “tweak it, not twerk it” didn’t sit well with the Gucci Gang who believe rules are there if, and only if, it suits them at the time. Probably doesn’t help their case that Vito doesn’t want to be on camera despite that fact they are on a reality TV show.



Image Attribution: Nine



These guys believed they had the winning room this week. Whereas Mitch and Mark went flexible with removable bunks, Tanya and Vito went for a more permanent built-in style kids room; reminiscent of Luke and Jasmine’s ‘copied’ kids room from last year. However there are some positives, and I would have to start with the biggest of all: the layout of the room. Shaynna thought it was better than Mitch and Mark’s and I would have to agree. The awkward corner created in the boy’s room was much bigger in House 3 and allowed the space to actually be utilised. A desk or study area was a smart use of the space and is something that will continue to grow with a child, regardless of age.


Image Attribution: Nine



When it comes to the choice of finishes, the judges all agreed on the use of the Terrazzo wallpaper. Slightly less busy than the palms in House 2, the wallpaper more importantly acts as the link to the rest of Tanya and Vito’s house. Terrazzo is the one element that has been present in almost every room in House 3 and this wallpaper is the perfect way to connect their kid’s room. Although you would normally think of Terrazzo as a ‘busy’ pattern, the enlarged size allowed the design to be a relatively peaceful take on the normally dense configuration. By making the bunk bed white, neither element is competing with each other and gives the room a more restful feel than the boy’s in House 2.



Image Attribution: Nine



However, the quite pared back room is screaming out for some soft furnishings, as Shaynna was quick to note. Noticing she wasn’t fully engaged with the room, she thought it felt cold with too many sharp edges and hard surfaces. The stark white background in the wallpaper and the lack of soft, layered elements left the room feeling slightly barren. Give the wallpaper a grey green background (similar to the bedding) and swap the bath mat for a large, luxurious looking rug and you’re already halfway there. I think the room is missing the soft touch of sheer curtains and this lack of soft fabric needs to be incorporated in some other way, such as a comfy chair or textured throw, etc. The room, really simply, just needs more. More soft, more layers and more warmth.



Image Attribution: Nine



Re-do Room


Tanya and Vito didn’t have to think very far back for their re-do room this week, as it was their master bathroom they completed just last week. There was a lot about this room the judges didn’t like but the Gucci Gang seemed to content with changing only two aspects. Removing the vintage pendant (which the judges all missed and want replaced) and the brown, 'public toilet style' feature tiles. They replaced them with square, handmade, subway tiles, which did little to improve the room and simply made the terrazzo floor look off-white and dirty. The white of the new tiles are too stark (bright and cold) to fit in with the rest of the bathroom and I’m embarrassed to say, I think I actually preferred the bathroom the way it was before.

Image Attribution: Nine



DARREN:SHAYNNA:NEALE: 9 TOTAL: 27 PLACE: 4th MY SCORE: 8



HOUSE FOUR // Josh and Luke



What did I say last week? Not only did these guys fail to fix their re-do room but they actually created another one. It made my night, because I find it much easier to talk about how bad the twin’s rooms are rather than how good, so I’m cheering. First things first, the letter excusing every choice they made and blaming their bad taste on only being able to use The Block’s suppliers. Way to offend every single business that supports the reality TV show that will ultimately hand you half a million dollars. Claps hands. One of the only things I didn’t hate about this room was the ‘challenge bedsides’ and if that doesn’t explain how bad this room is, another couple of paragraphs probably won't help but I’ll give it a go.



Image Attribution: Nine



Not that I want to admit it, but I was actually excited to see these guys install a window seat in their room. Banquette seating is a great design element for a room that is limited size wise. Not only is it visually appealing, it also provides a seating and additional storage element. However, the boy’s version leaves a lot to be desired. The cabinetry is unnecessarily dark (although it does match their previous rooms) and Neale thought it resembled a bar fridge, the padded seat is badly upholstered, too thin and the fabric looks cheap. The window treatment looks to be a roller blind, which is the wrong decision for such a small window. The single drop of fabric looks 'slap dash' and does nothing to elevate the room. White shutters would have been a much better option for this space, visually and practically.



Image Attribution: Nine



The art... more birds but this one has been painted by a five year old, the bedding is basic and the bedhead has RHINESTONES. Just kidding, they're only metal studs but come on. Surely that is enough to get them kicked off the block. I’ll give them this, their styling has improved but it doesn’t matter because those are some of the tackiest lamps I have ever seen. Darren thought the room could be improved with a moodier colour palette while Shaynna struggled with the Laminex paneling behind the bed. While the boys though the asymmetrical factor was it’s best feature, it really just looked as if they either ran out of money or forgot to finish the installation. I thought they would have learnt with the asymmetrical padded wall and mirror strip in Week 1. Apparently you can’t teach these boys anything.



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Re-do Room


This week the boy's re-do room was their main bathroom from Week 2 and I was ready for a good one. Considering this was one of the worst rooms, there was so much room for improvement. So what did they change? They added a timber privacy wall to divide the toilet and vanity that no one had any issues with. Great job guys. You gave it a real crack. After giving a metaphorical middle finger to the judges they then went on to complain about the aggressive language used in their feedback and how they would probably hate Neale’s bedroom too, if given the chance to have a look. By saying interior design is subjective they are undervaluing every single person who has studied design, was born with a natural design eye or has a successful design career. Some aspects of design CAN be subjective, as almost anything can but using personal taste as an argument against world-renowned designers is not legitimate reasoning, it’s a petulant cop out. Go home.

Image Attribution: Nine


DARREN:SHAYNNA: 7 NEALE:TOTAL: 20 PLACE: LAST MY SCORE:




HOUSE FIVE // Kirsty and Jesse



Heading to House 5, Kirsty and Jesse presented the third and final kid’s room for the week and what a successful one it was. With 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 1 re-do rooms all needing work this week, these guys were under the pump. However, they managed to pull off an almost perfect kid’s room for their home, with the judges declaring the “kids have gone to the Hamptons”. The best thing about the room for me, is it’s ability to transform; take out the children's styling pieces and you have an adult guest room complete with Hampton’s features.



Image Attribution: Nine



The paneling on the wall matches their master bedroom and the shaker style cabinetry references their previously completed wardrobes. Additionally, their window seat is exactly what I was hoping for in the twin’s room. The white cabinetry fades into the background and allows the window seat to be the feature, the linen look fabric of the padded seat (still too thin) is a great choice, while the white shutters and those gorgeous light sconces make for the perfect built in element. Remove the bunny and it’s just as suitable for an adult. I do agree with Darren, I wish the under bench seating was drawers but I’m just being picky now.



Image Attribution: Nine



The wallpaper and bedding are a really stylish combination that manages to create the impact missing in the other kid’s rooms this week. The deep pop of navy in the wallpaper gives the surrounding pink elements the support they need and stops the room from becoming just another bland and obvious little girl’s room. I don’t love the bedside tables and they are potentially a little large for the wall but they don’t really take anything away from the room. What does bother me (which this couple has previously been guilty of) is the corresponding heights of the wall paneling and headboard. They shouldn’t be sitting at the same height; the headboard should be significantly higher than the paneling. In this case you could either lift the bedhead, although it does look in correct proportion to the bed or the paneling needs to be installed lower. However, in saying this, the height of the paneling should be consistent with the entire home.



Image Attribution: Nine



My only real problem with this room is the styling. Now, I love the styling of the window seat, which perfectly references the bed sheet (fold the doona back and show me more) but the bedside styling and the kid’s “tea party” table are a little tacky. I know they're only little things but it really lets the rest of the room down. Remove the tablecloth, pick some stylish teacups (kids stuff is super fancy these days) and get rid of the dolls. These elements look like something you would actually find in your own kids room and that’s my issue. They look like someone’s second hand belongings and cheapen the overall luxury feel of the room. The artwork, I don’t love but I also don’t mind, just please straighten them up. If you have multiple prints they should be lined up next to each to create a set. The only time you should ever have your art offset like this is if you’re creating a picture wall, where the layout is almost as much the focal point as the pieces themselves.



Image Attribution: Nine



Re-do Room


Kirsty and Jesse’s re-do room this week is their empty guest bedroom from Week 1. With an “ooo la la” from Shaynna on entry, these guys were off to a great start. Almost everything about this room was better. The bedding was much more sophisticated with a modern stripe and deep blue linen, all sitting against a contemporary coastal linen headboard. Yes a headboard! Such a simple thing but the room looks so much better with one. It gives the space, and the bed, a focal point. The colour of the paneling is also greatly improved, a much more understated and sophisticated blue with a grey base. The bedsides are one hundred times better providing texture and warmth, and the lamps are the perfect cherries on top with their contemporary take on a traditional lamp. Finally, filling that empty corner with a sense of depth and interest, their winning ‘challenge piece’ was the missing piece to this 'too empty' puzzle. These guys should definitely go into business ‘up-cycling’ rubbish; they have a serious talent for it. Overall, Kirsty and Jesse are seriously improving and the judges believe the house has a real chance of being the best on The Block this year.

Image Attribution: Nine


DARREN:SHAYNNA:NEALE:TOTAL: 28½ PLACE: 2nd MY SCORE: 9




See you next week for the room that sells houses, it's Kitchen Week!

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