Tuesday, 1 December 2015

The Block Villa Wars | Entrance, Kitchen & Dining Reveal

Wowza, a lot went down on The Block Villa Wars last week. It was pretty huge with contestants needing to completely finish their interiors, which included their kitchen, dining room, and their entrance. Somewhere in the middle of all that craziness, Sarah's boyfriend arrived looking dapper and got down on one knee to propose - so sweet! Then a bombshell was dropped when not one, but two teams were disqualified from kitchen and dining reveal. More about that later, first to the entrances...

Entrance - Cat and Jeremy: 1st place | 18 points

Cat and Jeremy had the largest entranceway and they created a beautiful first impression with panelling on the walls and a statement art piece by Trent Davis on the far wall, which is framed by the doorway.

I love the panelling, it adds subtle texture, and the shadows cast by the light adds subtle pattern. Each team had to use a rug they'd made in a previous challenge, and although none of them are very nice (sorry guys), a rug is a great addition to an entrance, leading you into the home.

Entrance - Brooke and Mitch: 2nd place | 17.5 points

It's nice to see Brooke and Mitch using a statement piece of art. The trio of lights and the character villa features are beautiful.

Something's not quite working for me with the console table and the art. I love the idea, but they seem to be fighting a bit, and the styling on the table is too small and bitsy. Perhaps a large solid vase picking up one of the colours in the painting would've been better.

Entrance - Sarah and Minanne: 3rd place | 14 points

There's a big jump between the top two teams' scores and the bottom two, and I'm not sure that it's justified. Although a little bare, Sarah and Minanne's hallway was really nice. I would've painted the front door a nice bright colour. That wouldn't have cost them much (and I know money is tight), but would've created a bit of 'wow'.

Once again the villa details are gorgeous, and I like their choice of light. A long Armadillo runner and a huge piece of art would make this hallway look amazing - that's what I would add if I was to buy this house.

Entrance - Jamie and Hayden: 4th place | 13 points

Once again, is that a harsh score? I think Jamie and Hayden's entrance and hallway should've scored higher if you're comparing them to the top teams. I do think those dark floorboards are going to be super hard to keep clean, but the David Trubridge light and the round mirror are great.

I also like the bench seat - they look great and are super handy in an entrance for putting your shoes on and off. They styling on the bench is a bit under whelming though.

Kitchen/Dining - Brooke and Mitch: 1st place | 19.5 points

Brooke and Mitch scored the first perfect 10 of the season for their kitchen/dining, the judges loved it. The wood is a nice contract to the white and adds warmth. I like the open shelves, that's a great place to style some favourite bits and pieces. We have very similar in our own kitchen (see more below).

The dining table is bespoke, built by Brooke and Mitch's builder and gifted to them, but this is what got them disqualified, as it's against the rules. Their builders are allowed to make furniture for them but they must pay for their labour and the materials.

Kitchen/Dining - Cat and Jeremy: 2nd place | 17.5 points

It's lovely to see how the houses all flow now that they're complete. Cat and Jeremy re-did their fireplace from living room week, and it looks so much nicer tiled in a white brick look. They continued the tiles on their kitchen splash back.

Unfortunately the tiles are what caused Cat and Jeremy to also be disqualified. They used a New Plymouth tiler, and to help them out he only charged them $1. I can see why these rules need to be enforced, otherwise all the teams will start to do similar things and what is the point in having a budget. What do you think?

Kitchen/Dining - Sarah and Minanne: 3rd place | 16.5 points

Although they came third on the leaderboard, Sarah and Minanne walked away with the $5,000 this week, which they desperately needed. Of course they would've preferred to have won the money fair and square, but I really like their kitchen and they deserve a win.

I love the choice of pendant lights, and the tiles add some subtle pattern and texture. The bench top ties in with their bathrooms, and there is a lovely flow between the indoor and outdoor cooking areas.

Kitchen/Dining - Jamie and Hayden: 3rd place | 7.5 points

We sort of knew this low scoring was going to happen, even Jamie and Hayden said the judges would hate their kitchen. They haven't backed down from their bold style, and the splash back was certainly controversial.

I think the black cabinetry is pretty cool, and although I love the braveness of the splash back, I don't actually love it myself. I worry that they will have limited buyers on auction day as they are appealing to a younger market who may not be able to afford the house. I hope they prove me wrong as I'd love to see them walk away with some cash at the end of this.

Now this final pic is my own kitchen. Don't you think Brooke and Mitch's open cabinets, Cat and Jeremy's high wooden shelf, and Sarah and Minanne's hexagon splash back could all merge together to look like mine? :)

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Stunning Office Tour

I'm a big fan of Ellie Cashman's Floral Wallpaper, so when I saw it featured in the office of Candace Kalasky - Rue Magazine's web coordinator - I knew I'd like the rest of the space.

As well as working for Rue, Candace is the owner and creative director of Lovestru.ck Weddings + Events. With the business growing she needed an official work space so set about renovating a studio with awesome results.

The office is a contrast of airy white walls and the beautiful dark, moody wallpaper. Candace's attention to detail is spot on, and obviously a much-needed skill for an event planner.

I think it's so important to create an inspirational workspace, it makes you want to be at work, and helps those creative juices flow (especially in an industry like mine). I would have no problem working in this office!

To see more of Candace's amazing office, pop over to Rue MagazinePhotography: The Mullers

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The Block Villa Wars | Backyard Reveal

Last week on The Block Villa Wars the contestants had to perform an act in front of a live audience, no east feat. Reluctant comedians, Cat and Jeremy won the challenge ahead of Jamie and Hayden's dance routine, Sarah and Minanne's singing, and Brooke & Mitch's circus act. Their prize was the ability to knock one team completely out of the running for backyard judging (also no easy task for the resident nice couple). Not wanting to risk another win for Brooke and Mitch, they chose to take them out, but at the end of the day it was the largest backyard belonging to Jamie and Hayden's that came out on top.

Jamie and Hayden: 1st place | 18.5 points

It was nice to see these guys finally win a room challenge, and get some much needed cash. They were the favourites all week as their yard is by far the biggest, and they also had a previous prize of plants and trees to their advantage.

A patio off to one side gives them a spot to relax in the sun, while the huge lawn will be a real draw card for buyers with a family and/or pets. It compliments their deck beautifully, I think the outdoor area is definitely the best part of Jamie and Hayden's home so far.

Cat and Jeremy: 2nd place | 15.5 points

Obviously if Cat and Jeremy had knocked out Jamie and Hayden they would've walked away with the cash this week. But I know they felt bad about using their "+1" to beat them in the outdoor room week, and these guys are super nice. Knocking out Brooke and Mitch, who had given everyone "0's" a few weeks before was the easier choice. They did well to come in second with the tiniest back yard of all.

It's very cute, and I like the raised garden beds along the deck. There's not a lot of privacy from the street, but hopefully the trees will eventually help with that.

Brooke and Mitch: 3rd place | 15 points

Coming in at third place, but essentially scoring zero, as they were knocked out, Brooke and Mitch's back yard was very simple. That seems to be their formula - simple, if not a little plain - but it has worked for them with the judges in the past.

They wanted their outdoor room to be the feature, so have kept the planting very minimal. I really like the outdoor arm chairs, I'd be happy sitting on one of those with a glass of wine and good mag!

Sarah and Minanne: 4th place | 12 points

Once again quite a harsh score I feel. Sarah and Minanne did such a great job considering the budget they have. The criticism was that there was the deck at one end and the seating area at the other with nothing much in between. Perhaps a fair call, but I still think they did well They continue to hold their heads up and keep giving it their all.

If I was to buy this property I would do away with the umbrella and invest in a pergola. I'm sure the sisters would've done this if they had the money to do so. Last night's episode ended on a lovely note when Sarah and Minanne's backyard got top points from their fellow contestants to give them their first little room win. The tears flowed from the girls and all was happy again on The Block. Let's see what this week brings. My daughters and I are still waiting for the marriage proposal TV3 have been teasing us with - who will it be?

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