“Strap yourselves in because it ain’t all pretty,” was how Scott Cam announced night’s judging to the contestants. Now, I’m not going to sit here being all “know it all” because I certainly wouldn’t have a clue how to put a winning kitchen together, so I’ll stick to saying I found all the kitchens a little underwhelming and it seems the judges agreed. So if last night’s room reveal episode was anything it was a little disappointing. That said, as far as drama went, it was pretty entertaining! And you can say it’s a show about design all you like but come on, we all know it’s reality TV. Those shows with no drama don’t keep coming back series after series… I’m not ashamed to say I enjoy it!
Back to the design, our staff writer Olivia Shead got to look around The Block last week (thanks to the Good Guys) and she told me the kitchens were pretty uninspiring too. Her favourite in the flesh was Ayden and Jess’s and I have to say, I liked theirs the best on screen (and not just because I love those two!). Like Neale said, it was the only one with some personality.
So, onto the judges’ comments…
Charlotte & Josh
This pair said they deliberately kept the kitchen simple so it wouldn’t polarise potential buyers. Neale’s first comment was that he’d expected the big guns to come out, all bells and whistles, and while they hadn’t, he liked the simplicity.
Shaynna loved the cabinetry handles, the double integrated fridge and the dish drawer. Neale said it was beautifully pared back, however low on wow factor and a little bit drab. He also said one corner of the room was like a cell!
Darren was confused by how obvious one of the beams was. Shaynna said it bugged her but not as much as the lack of task lighting about the food preparation area. Neale said nothing about it celebrated cooking or the preparation of food.
Shaynna said it was really sad that they kept coming back to the elimination rounds and that that had been the couple’s peak. She added unless they fixed the lighting, once someone lived in it they’d hate it.
Our pick to buy: Remilled Marri breakfast bar
Tim & Anastasia
Ironically, these two hated their kitchen, while the judges had many good things to say about it. The bench area in front of the window impressed all three of them. They also loved the matte black pantry and the choice of appliances.
Darren pointed out it was the only kitchen that was still in the spot the architect had designated for it and consequently it worked well.
The judges said the sink was the perfect size and in the perfect spot but needed a drain board. Darren said he dug it! Shaynna loved the nook which was like a butler’s pantry without being one. Neale said the storage was good and the rangehood got a big tick.
Neale said their kitchen definitely had a luxury of space and any potential buyer would think wow. “But I’m still not feeling the magic. It’s still borderline kitchen showroom.” He added they’d not yet developed a confident signature style and asked where was the personality? Something that says this is home?
Darren said it desperately needed some personality in the form of tiles, artwork, or a hanging plant.
Our pick to buy: White oak round cheese paddle.
Ayden & Jess: FIRST PLACE
Finally, some wow! Neale said it felt full of personality and had style. Shaynna said it felt great and she loved the colour and stone choices. She said they hadn’t added value by moving the kitchen but what they’d done was great.
Darren said the kitchen was terrific but it wasn’t logical to have it where it was. He’d prefer a lounge room full of light and opening up to the outside. Neale called it the serious foodie’s kitchen he’d expected Josh and Charlotte to deliver. Shaynna loved the butler’s pantry, which had been styled how you’d use it. Neale said made it feel real and believable.
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And the one we’d all been waiting for… Dea & Darren: LAST PLACE!
After all the drama the kitchen caused they expected very big things.
Shaynna started with positives but I think we all knew it was only a matter of time! She loved the benchtop though! Neale wasted no time saying he was a big fan of Dea and Darren but this was not their best week. Shaynna said it was not their best couple of weeks! She described the drama over changing the layout as a debacle, with the whole thing hinging on making the kitchen amazing. Which it was not.
Neale said even the styling made it feel as if they’d thrown in the towel. Neale said the black mosaic tiles (to match the bathroom) were a bad choice, killing the room and making it feel like a disco. He said it felt cheap and wrong. Ouch! Shaynna didn’t like the empty space by the bifold doors, which could have housed a pantry.
Then she really let rip, slamming it as a disaster and she was gobsmacked at how badly planned it was. She said she was really really angry at how they’d treated her, dismissed the architect, Keith, Dan and everybody on building site. “And I’m actually livid at their arrogance at producing this average kitchen and what they put people through.”
Neale was on the same page, saying it did not feel good and had no flair, confidence, wow or pizzazz. It was not a whizz bang kitchen by any means. A little more diplomatic, Darren said while a kitchen flowing into dining room made logical sense from design point of view, the area that was designed to be a kitchen and would have worked much more nicely. Needless to say, the comments did not go down well with Dea, who had an answer for all of them, much to her fellow contestants’ amusement!
Our pick to buy: Mud Australia Dome light.
Overall though, nobody got great praise. Shaynna said nobody has pushed the boundary in materials or design and there was no wow. Neale said they’d all under-delivered and Shaynna said it felt as though they’d been asleep at the wheel.
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