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

Inside Out (Australia) - - Editor’s Letter - The Block: Glasshouse co-win­ner and in­te­rior ar­chi­tect, Shan­non Vos. vo­scre­ative. com.au

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.


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”


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.


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 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”

For your ex­clu­sive tour of The Block with our edi­tor-in-chief Claire, Shan­non and our style edi­tor Jono, visit our YouTube chan­nel at youtube.com/user/in­sid­e­outaus.

The lay­ered soft blue and grey tones through­out Jason and Sarah’s stu­dio cre­ate a wel­com­ing feel.


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.

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