This week, not only did the contestants complete their front facades and yards, but they also finished off anything they needed to inside. And finally, after three long months, The Block 2023 is finished! Last night, it was time for one last visit from the judges, with special guest garden guru Dave Franklin joining in again. Here’s who scored what and why.
Leah and Ash (First place) 38 points
From the Contour 3D fence to the battens, pond and plants, Darren was impressed before he even walked into Leah and Ash’s front yard and once he made it through the gate, the praise kept coming. Contrasting yet complementing elements brought the old and new together, he said… and he liked what he saw.
The mix of concrete and granite steppers, well-planned plant selection and undulating tiers, plus the old home’s plans turned into garage wallpaper, were a beautiful touch, they agreed, topped off by a front garden bench Marty could already imagine prospective buyers using as they fell in love with the home. In all, he said, this was “turnkey and finished” and that’s what buyers want.
Steph and Gian (Second place) 37.5 points
From the stacked stone fireplace, wide frontage, pebble and travertine path and a garden that looks well established, Gian and Steph’s front yard was, Shaynna said: “a show stopper!” And while she admired the magnolia tree, complete with a pair of nesting owls and Dave counted the different species used in the garden (at least 20, he said, and definitely something for every season), Marty looked at the practicality, noting this was the only Block house that could boast off-street parking for six cars.
Inside, a lack of light in the foyer was a problem, Shaynna said, but for Darren, the dark and moody exterior, a contrast to the minimalist inside, just won. It was a blend, he said, that: “really, really worked!”
Kristy and Brett (Third place) 35 points
A unique and incredible entry, Shaynna said as the judges walked into Kristy and Brett’s front yard, with Darren noting the Design 10 charred black timber married with the colour palette chosen for the James Hardie cladding all played perfectly against the original bricks.
A perfect blend of hard and soft, Dave said and a huge improvement over the backyard the couple had presented a week ago – he even defended the imperfect paint on the back of the gate by pointing out it had rained overnight.
Into the garage, the judges admired the choice of floor and the way it all flowed into the home – overall, Marty said, it was a space that will appeal to many and that is vital come auction day.
Eliza and Liberty (Fourth place) 34.5 points
“Best on The Block!” the judges said of Eliza and Liberty’s timber clad garage door, the ideal accompaniment to a garden that incorporated hedging, lawn, seating area and an arbour set against Bluegum Colorbond and blond brick with timber look Aluplast windows and doors to come together harmoniously. “It really works,” they agreed.
Marty’s only concern was how buyers will find the front door, tucked down the side as it is, but once there, the entry was grand and inviting. In the garage, a Porsche theme Grafico mural brought smiles – especially from Marty, who said while house 5 might not have the most land, it ticks all the boxes buyers will be looking for.
Kyle and Leslie (Fifth place) 32.5 points
With a calming water feature and hi-tech Aussie Turntable driveway feature, this garden caught the judges with its perfect blend of old and new. A perfect match to the back yard, Dave pointed out, with Darren impressed by the diagonal lines and the detailing in the Dover White Colorbond cladding and how it contrasted in the design of the garden with the round steppers and the planting.
Add in the Holcim Geostone driveway, Auto remote access garage door and it all made, Marty summed up, for “a great first impression!” The grey paint choice for the façade left them wondering however, but overall, they agreed it was the ideal face to a beautiful home.