The Block’s Elyse Knowles & Josh Barker chat to OK! about dream homes and tying the knot
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We tried not to kill each other!
Nobody would argue that The Block’s two young guns, model Elyse Knowles, 25, and her boyfriend of four-and-a-half years, carpenter Josh Barker, 28, are absolutely smashing it on the hit reno show. The couple have been touted as the favourites to take out the win at the auction on October 28, but that’s not the only sale the pair will be tackling in the coming weeks – their recently renovated home in Melbourne’s Coburg will also go under the hammer. Stressful times!
OK! visited the duo and their adorable Weimaraner pooch, Isla, at their home to talk all things reno and romance…
Two auctions in one month – you’re game! Elyse: Yep, it’s very stressful. I would like to get one done and move on to the next, but we’re going to have to do it all at once. I guess we’re on this bandwagon, so we may as well keep going. We’re ready for the next adventure in our lives.
Will your next place be your dream home? Josh: We want to keep flipping it for a while. Whether we renovate it or build a new house, we aren’t sure. Elyse: We want to do a top-end build where we can really show what we can do ourselves, especially coming out of The Block. We want to do something very grand.
You aren’t sick of renovating yet? Josh: Nah, we’re moving on to bigger and better [places]! Elyse: That’s what he says! I don’t know about it yet. [Laughs]
And you’ll have Clint on board to help, too, is that right, Josh? Is the plan for him to become your apprentice after the show? He mentioned throughout the series that he wouldn’t mind getting a trade, because he loves the camaraderie around the job site, but now he’s back into the swing of things, I don’t know if that’s going to happen. Maybe on weekends? [Clint and Hannah] are looking at buying a house around our area and he wants me to renovate it. He’s moving into the area and we’re trying to move out – jokes.
You could buy your Block house! You won’t have to worry about renovating again… Elyse: We wish we could put our hand up. We love that house, and know that another family will as well. It’s going to be hard to part with it because we built it with these amazing features that we love and then we’re giving it away. It’s a hard one.
You guys are the hot favourites to win. How do you feel about that? Josh: That’s sort of something that’s out of our control. All we wanted to do on The Block was put forward the best-quality house and we aimed for the build quality to be more important than what is actually in it, so we are lucky to have that… Elyse has killed it with the styling, too. We’ll see how we go.
Who do you think will be your biggest rivals come auction day? Josh: Jason and Sarah [since] not everyone wants a pool.
How has The Block experience changed your relationship?l ti hi ? Elyse: We’re stronger now. We’re more tolerant and understanding of each other’s breaking points.
We know you guys don’t love being asked the wedding question. Are your parents always asking as well? Elyse: Ha. They just laugh because Josh’s reaction only gets stronger. He says, ‘Every time you ask, it adds another six months.’ Josh: There’s no real rush. We’ve got goals set for the next three, five, 10 years and we know where we want to be and that’s what we want to do.
Besides renovating, what else do you enjoy doing together? Elyse: Spending a day at the beach surfing, weekend trips where we go camping, and we love quality time walking the dog.
Who looked after Isla while the two of you were on the show? Josh: Isla got looked after by a few different family members. She stayed at our home, though, because she gets a bit funny when she’s moved around a lot. Do you still do date nights? Elyse: Our date nights mostly include going out for dinner with mates, or we are exhausted and end up on the couch watching a movie with Uber Eats, no make-up and looking like a bum. Heaven!
Are you still recovering from the lack of sleep on The Block? Josh: Yep, we’re still sleeping now. We were running on adrenaline, to be honest. But it was cool, I loved it. I loved the challenge. Elyse: You got to Saturday night, though, and were like, one, ‘We are like walking zombies.’ Two, ‘How are we going to finish painting, because our eyes are hardly open?’ And three, ‘Let’s not kill each other!’
How many hours of sleep were you averaging each night? Elyse: About four to five hours a night, and then on Friday and Saturday night we didn’t sleep, or we’d maybe get two hours. That was gnarly, and that was over three months. Our bodies were just in shock the whole time.
So it wasn’t a breath of fresh air from the modelling world, Elyse? No, it was. It was nice to hang out with tradies and people that don’t give a crap what you look like with no make-up, just getting on the shovel and doing some dirty work, which is what I was brought up doing. It was good to get back to basics and being content with yourself.
And will your modelling career take a back seat now? Is the plan to focus more on renovating? Elyse: I’ll be going back to modelling, that’s always been a full-time job for me. I’ve been doing it since I was 10 years old, so I’m not going to give that up now. But if there are different doors that open for me, then I’m willing to investigate.
Would you consider acting? Will we ever see you on Home and Away? Elyse: I don’t know. I can’t really memorise anything to save my life, so probably not.
How did you handle being in front of all those cameras, Josh? I was terrified of them. I obviously hadn’t had much to do with them beforehand, and I’m a pretty shy person, and I don’t like the public light, so that was probably the scariest thing.
If there’s another All-stars series of The Block, would you do it? Josh: I would! Elyse: No. Josh: Sticks and I talked about it. If the money was going to go to a charity and it was for a bit of fun we’d do it, but I doubt The Block would do another All-stars.
The feud between you guys and Ronnie and Georgia has been epic. Do you think their pool problems were karma? Josh: Yes, in a way. They laid their cards on the table from day one. It’s a competition for them and they weren’t wanting to make friends.
Did you just try to steer clear of them as much as you could? Josh: We ignored it. We didn’t want to buy into that and we didn’t. We wanted to stay true to ourselves and stay professional. Sometimes I wouldn’t see some of the other competitors for almost a week, so it was good in that sense.
Who have you kept in touch with since the show finished? Josh: Sticks and Wombat, and Clint and Hannah on a daily basis. Elyse: We miss them. We watch the show and the boys are up in Sydney and I’m like, ‘Aww, I just want to hang with you guys.’ I’ve got no-one to annoy!
There’s no real rush for us to get married