Decorate Elyse and Josh unveil their master suite
An open-plan design pays off for this couple on The Block, writes Jennifer Veerhuis
Their week was far from a bed of roses but the hard work paid off when contestants Josh and Elyse completed their master bedroom on Channel 9’s The Block.
This year’s youngest contestants, carpenter Josh Barker and girlfriend Elyse Knowles (below) took a chance, creating a space that differed from the other teams.
Josh says the contestants had limited time to plan the large space, which takes up the upper floor of the home’s two-storey extension.
The second storey of the house sits behind an original cottage, one of five old weatherboard homes that were transported to The Block’s Elsternwick site after being earmarked for demolition.
“It was a bloody hard week,” Josh, who has worked as a carpenter for the past 12 years, says of master bedroom week.
“We measured up everything as quickly as we could and got everything going.”
Out on a limb
The couple chose an open format to maximise the sense of a retreat. “We just went out on a limb and did something completely different to the other contestants,” he says. “Most of them put in a big wall and a double door, which really enclosed the space. “We put the door downstairs rather than upstairs so you could walk up into a sanctuary.” The space Josh and Elyse created includes a large bedroom, a daybed with drawers, a sitting area to watch TV, a spacious walk-through robe with plenty of storage, and an ensuite with a freestanding bath and double shower. The couple went with a “timeless elegance” theme which guided their decision making in this space. “We didn’t want to do anything that in five years’ time would look terrible,” Josh says. “We chose white subway tiles for the ensuite because they’ll be in style forever. The feature tile was a slight twist of the same tile but not too out there, it’s a beautiful blue.” They also installed two shower heads in the shower, a bath and a double vanity.
The couple also chose two-pack (paint and hardener) cabinetry for the walk-in robe, for its longevity and to appeal to buyers.
“The walk-in robe is quite open and spacious so you can have space to get ready,” Josh says. “A lot of little things we included in the house are things that people who are spending $2.5 million will probably want.”
The floors of the master bedroom are hardwood, which ties in with the rest of the house. The couple also installed a spotted gum solid staircase and the top of the stairs is a solid hardwood landing.
While Elyse wasn’t on the tools, it was a challenging week for her as well.
“I think in Block history it was the biggest space that anyone has had to complete and they (producers) didn’t actually know if we could finish it,” she says.
“It took a lot of men to get the plastering work done, because it was such a large space.
“We kept the raked ceilings, so it was very high, and there were lots of details with the skylights, but we wanted to get the natural light in there because it’s at the northern end.”
Grand but not too girlie
The master bedroom is all about class and a sense of space, says Elyse.
“We wanted to make it really grand and that’s why we went with the open-space living,” Elyse says.
A rendered feature wall separates the bedroom from the walk-in robe, which is packed with storage. They chose a soft colour palette, with the light blue tiles in the ensuite.
“Then we added a pink Heatherly Design bedhead that was absolutely beautiful.
“We knew the colours that we wanted to use — throughout the front part of the house, we went with blues and greens,” she says.
“Upstairs we wanted something a bit more feminine but not too girlie.”
Josh says they took the original home into account when making design decisions.
“Throughout the house we did the old shaker profile on the cupboard doors,” he says.
“The front two rooms were heritage style and then it slowly moves into a modern space, but it’s still not ultra modern.”
Their hard work paid off when the judges delivered their verdict, noting the styling, spaciousness and build quality, awarding them the week’s $10,000 prizemoney.
The rendered wall offers separation from the walk-in robe and the ideal spot for lounging in front of the TV.
Classic white subway and pale blue tiles in a herringbone pattern create a beautiful and easy-to-live space in the bathroom.