You would think, after bathroom week, that creating a living room would be a piece of cake, but nothing is easy on The Block Villa Wars. The contestants had a busy week with the return of "dinner wars" as well as renovating their room. At stake was the sought-after prize of a team of professional painters to paint the exterior of the winner's house. The couples scored each other's dinner experiences very fairly (with, surprisingly, no nasty scores) and that led to Cat and Jeremy taking it out. But the week was to belong to Brooke and Mitch who won two weeks in a row with their light and airy living room.
Brooke and Mitch: 1st place | 16 points
Although Brooke and Mitch have played it very safe, what they have done is created a beautiful base that could easily be added to and enhanced further. Dulux Manorburn, a cool grey-white teamed with soft grey curtains from James Dunlop are warmed up by the lovely floorboards. I would've loved to have seen the curtains taken right up to the ceiling for a more sophisticated look though.
A David Trubridge Floral light is a great feature, but I have to say that I'm a little bit underwhelmed by the rest of the decorating. It's nice, but a little 'ho hum'. As I've said in previous posts, it feels like it needs another layer of personality.
The stone fireplace is stunning and another beautiful feature. This will be a real draw card for buyers.
Cat and Jeremy: 2nd place | 14 1/2 points
With their lowest score so far, I have to agree that it's not their best room. The wall colour, Dulux Pukehina, was criticised by the judges as well as the other contestants. I do applaud Cat for stepping outside the box, but it was risky doing the main living area in a peachy tone. We have used Resene Sakura before, which is a gorgeous peach blossom pink, and has a bit more depth than Cat's choice.
The room doesn't seem to have a 'hero' piece, there is a lot going on but no strong focus, although I like the choice of cushions and the window seat, and the nesting tables.
Unfortunately the fireplace isn't as slick as Brooke and Mitch's. Let's hope these guys can get their mojo back for master bedroom and ensuite week.
Jaime and Hayden: 3rd place | 13 1/2 points
Once again Jaime and Hayden didn't quite finish their area, and failure to complete one of the basic tasks (to insulate their ceiling) lost them a point. They continued with their strong black and white theme creating a dark media room next to a light, bright living room.
A beautiful parquetry feature wall by Martin the builder is impressive. The led backlit TV is also a feature, although, to me, the TV looks a bit lost in the big space. I know if it was larger you wouldn't see as much of the parquetry, which is far nicer to look at, but it is a media room, so the television is key.
The white room is OK, but I want more! Where are the beautiful big rugs and artworks? I'm not usually a huge fan of leather sofas, but the Freedom Atlas sofa is quite cool. The dark blinds don't work for me though, there is enough contrast with the walls and the carpet, I would've kept the window treatments light, or added some colour and pattern in with roman blinds.
Sarah and Minanne: 4th place | 11 points
The judges were scathing with their comments about the girls' living areas saying they felt cold and incomplete. I think their lack of wins and money means the girls have had to spread themselves a bit thinly. I actually really like Minanne's choice of the Dahlia sofa and Wing chair from Freedom, and their artwork above the fireplace. The colour palette is quite lovely too. But their finishings let them down with shoddy paintwork, and the placement of the pendants was an odd choice. Lighting should be either task eg: next to seating for reading, or mood lighting - those lights are neither.
The second room with the leather sofas was described as a waiting room, and that is what it looks like - there is no soul or personality in there. Perhaps it would've helped if they'd styled some pieces in the recessed boxes, and the room definitely needed a large rug (much bigger than the next door room's rug) and a large piece of art on the wall.
All that said, these rooms are easily fixed, they just need finishing off. I think Sarah and Minanne were harshly scored in comparison to the other contestants for this week.
All the teams are learning and improving (on the most part), so let's hope someone does something to knock our designer socks off with their master bedroom and ensuite.