Renos rule the roost

They’re the last cou­ples stand­ing in House Rules. And as the work- horses take on the dark horses, it’s mate against mate. Deb­bie Schipp re­ports

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE -

AS cou­ples, House Rules’ Adam Dovile and Lisa La­mond and Rus­sell and Ca­role Bramston couldn’t be fur­ther apart. Vic­to­ri­ans Adam and Lisa – he the tradie and she the rookie ren­o­va­tor – had few dus­tups de­spite barely sur­viv­ing early rounds of the re­al­ity ren­o­va­tion show.

Mean­while, the Bram­stons were al­ways up to the work­load, set to a back­ground noise of con­tin­ual bick­er­ing.

But all have risen from the ren­o­va­tion rub­ble to be the last duos stand­ing in tonight’s grand fi nal. With a life- chang­ing mort­gage pay­out out the line, you’d think the gloves would be off.

But for Lisa, 29, and Ca­role, 53, ri­valry was re­placed by a men­tor- style moth­er­daugh­ter re­la­tion­ship early in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Lisa strug­gled with no de­sign ex­pe­ri­ence and there were times, she ad­mits, the show al­most broke her.

En­ter Ca­role, with tips and sup­port to buoy her younger coun­ter­part.

“I call Ca­role my in­ap­pro­pri­ate mother. She’s tops,” Lisa says.

“She was al­ways on the phone and I was think­ing, ‘ It doesn’t look like she’s do­ing that much’. Then I re­alised she was a smart op­er­a­tor.”

Ca­role’s heart went out to Lisa as she strug­gled.

“Defi nitely we had a bit of a mother- daugh­ter thing be­cause I missed my daugh­ters dread­fully,” she says.

“Lisa was up and down, so it was nice to be able to use my moth­erly in­stincts to care for her a lit­tle bit.” The ri­val teams have show­cased two very dif­fer­ent – but equally for­mi­da­ble – per­sonal re­la­tion­ships. For Adam and Lisa, while the pres­sure of com­pe­ti­tion threat­ened to beat them, their re­la­tion­ship was never in doubt.

“I had to sink or swim. There were times I was dev­as­tated and thought I might sink,” Lisa says.

“I’m a fi ghter but there’s only so many times you can get kicked around. Luck­ily I had Ads to pull me back up.”

Mean­while, a for­mi­da­ble rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing work­horses wasn’t the only thing Ca­role and Rus­sell were build­ing.

They warned view­ers that they ar­gued all the time, and they de­liv­ered.

“We’ve just per­fected ar­gu­ing,” Rus­sell laughs.

“We mar­ried in 2004, so I’ve had a while to get used to it. I worked out early that it’s much eas­ier to just go with what­ever Ca­role wants.”

Ca­role cheer­fully ac­knowl­edges Rus­sell’s sum­ma­tion is spot on.

“Are we work­horses? I’m prob­a­bly more a whip­per than work­horse,” she laughs.

“And Rus­sell’s OK with that, he knows what suits and I know what suits him.”

Vic­tory tonight will give one cou­ple’s lives one heck of a re­boot.

For Lisa, who will marry Adam in Septem­ber, “a ca­reer change for me fi rst, and, post- wed­ding, try­ing for chil­dren”.

“I’m more in love with Adam than ever, and this has ce­mented that we have such a long fu­ture ahead of us. It’s nice to come out of this ex­pe­ri­ence with those thoughts,” she says.

“We’ve been en­gaged for nearly two years, so get­ting mar­ried is more press­ing. But once we do that, Ads has got no more ex­cuses.

“I’ve al­ways been ca­reer- fo­cused, but it’s al­ways been a one- track ca­reer in hu­man re­sources. This has ex­panded my view on the pos­si­bil­i­ties.”

For Ca­role and Rus­sell, vic­tory would also mean a new ca­reer di­rec­tion – pos­si­bly in de­sign – for Ca­role, who had to leave her job work­ing for a coun­cil to be part of the show. Carol reck­ons los­ing is still a good sce­nario. “To have that mort­gage paid would be in­sane. But we al­ready have a tremen­dous home with beau­ti­ful gar­den. I still have to pinch my­self to be­lieve it’s there,” she says.


South­ern Cross, tonight, 6.30pm

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