A PLACE TO CALL HOME Shannon Vos takes a closer look at the studio spaces from The Block:
Shannon takes a closer look at what works (and what doesn’t) in The Block’s studio spaces and pulls out the elements you could try in your renovation
Never before has The Block done anything like this – practically a whole living quarters above the garages of these four-bedroom family homes. What a game changer! The brief was left fairly open and the contestants had an important decision to make. Add a bedroom to the list and jump in the market as a five-bedder, or offffer the space as an offffice – or is it a matter of a little from column A and a little from column B? Whichever path they’ve chosen, these Blockheads are sure to clean up come auction time. The comeback king and queen have delivered their studio apartment in style. Though their garage and stairway lacks everything from plasterboard to paint, the bathroom and bedroom-cumstudy is a balanced symphony of natural textures and tones of blue, sure to get any buyers excited. Jason and Sarah have used a primary colour repeatedly throughout their space, but very effectively. A touch of contrast and a wide range of tones are used to create a palette that feels relaxed but fun. Paired with greys and pops of colour in the artworks, their studio has a soft and inviting feel with plenty of quirk. The division of space is a stroke of genius, clearly defining the lounge, bedroom and office zones. Yes, it’s not all open-plan living, but an effective room layout can make a space much more functional. The office is expansive and the bedroom and lounge more than tick the boxes for visitors. The earthy tones in the bathroom are homely and, paired with plenty of natural light, can make the harshest of spaces feel warm and cosy. Jason and Sarah’s bathroom, though small, is just that: soft, familiar and inviting.
HANNAH & CLINT
A generous space gave Hannah and Clint the choice to establish separate zones within their studio. Nailing the pitch of their house as a five-bedder in their sales campaign, they’ve not only included a bed, but a small study and a grown-up lounge. These spaces are all cohesive, with a common use of materials, tones and like elements. Nothing really pops out as amazing, but it’s a solid room that will appeal to most people and they’ll have no trouble selling when the time comes. The use of darker timber sees their studio take on a more mature and established feel. Dark timbers – like walnut, jarrah, cedar and teak – will give more of a classic feel to a room than the lighter tones used in Scandi spaces. You can’t really picture Hannah and Clint’s studio as a teenage retreat – it has too much of a ‘grown-up’ feel – but the aesthetic will appeal to likely buyers, as I can’t really picture any One Direction fans turning up to bid at the auction. The layout was a strong move from this couple. Forgoing the easy option of pushing everything to the walls (that can sometimes make a space look too big), Hannah and Clint have almost created three distinct zones in their studio. The couch in the middle of the room faces the TV and creates a clear divide between the bedroom space and the office. Though there aren’t any walls and it’s all open-plan, the effective floorplan adds loads of functionality to the space.
“The use of darker timber sees Hannah and Clint’s studio take on a more mature and established feel”
GEORGIA & RONNIE
Opting for purely an office space, Georgia and Ronnie stunned the judges with their spacious and well thought-out studio. As well as an office, there’s a gorgeous bathroom, a kitted-out double garage and a playroom, all in the one room reveal – seriously, how can anyone compete with this power duo? It was a bold move to present an open-plan office space and though it’s not the best designed room, it’s one that any savvy investor will quickly see the value in. You can tell Georgia and Ronnie have spent plenty on this space and there are some lovely pieces throughout their rooms. The timber tones give a sense of luxury and cohesion, as well as creating familiarity within a space. Offering up an unprecedented four rooms this week and forgoing the option of a fifth bedroom, Georgia and Ronnie have taken a gamble on the investor buyer and created a huge office space, perfect for any small business or creative. And with the state of rocketing rental prices, it’s a sure-fire advantage once we reach the dreaded auctions.
WOMBAT & STICKS
The boys have finally hit the mark with their fifth-bedroom retreat. While the bathroom is a bit run-of-the-mill, the palette in the bedroom and the details were an absolute favourite of mine. With a study and a coming together of oak tones and all shades of blue, their space is inviting and grounded. The shared bedroom/ lounge has room for days and any teenager would be lucky to call this home. The detail in the ceiling is a huge drawcard. The pitched roof and four generous skylights pour in tonnes of natural light. Shiplap panelling lines the ceiling, adding huge architectural value to the room, something that Sticks and Wombat have brought almost every week. It’s important for a room to flow, and that’s exactly what the boys have done with their blue-on-blue-on-blue palette. While it all may have been a bit too matchy matchy, the lads implemented one of the most important principles of design: using repetition to really bring their space together. Everything in this room relates, from the blackbutt timber features to the soft greys and the blue accents.
JOSH & ELYSE
Josh and Elyse channelled their inner boho and created this beautiful retreat. Though it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, it’s good to see a space completed with a different aesthetic. A grand bedhead needs space to breathe, so forget about it if your room is on the smaller side. Like any bold feature, a pendant light also needs room to sit. Josh and Elyse’s choice seems cramped in their narrow stairwell, which is an injustice as their beaded light is such a hot item. Give your hero elements the space they need to command a room and bring everything else together. A herringbone pattern will always be a winner in a bathroom and in this modest space, a small-scale tile makes a big statement. Paired with a matching grout on the wall, this pattern grounds the space giving a sense of luxury and intrigue. Don’t fight the room you’re working with – embrace even a small space and find finishes that can make even the tiniest of rooms feel grand.
“Though it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, it’s good to see a space completed with a different aesthetic”
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The layered soft blue and grey tones throughout Jason and Sarah’s studio create a welcoming feel.
JASON & SARAH HOUSE 1
The refined mix of textures and surfaces gives Hannah and Clint’s space elegance and luxe appeal.
Georgia and Ronnie’s cohesive studio spaces sealed the win for them, with chic timber tones key to their success.
“Shiplap panelling lines the ceiling, adding architectural value to the room, something that the boys have brought almost every week”
Wombat and Sticks have designed a generous bedroom and lounge space with a pitched roof.
A dark herringbone -tiled wall and floor brings an elegant edge to the bathroom in Josh and Elyse’s space.