House 2 Andy and Nate

The Hamil­ton brothers-in-law have quickly be­come the team to beat due to their slick style and at­ten­tion to de­tail

Your Home and Garden - - Contents - Text by Fiona Ralph. Pho­tog­ra­phy by Tom Hol­low.

Andy (An­drew Mur­die), 38, and Nate (Nathan Ross), 33, brought hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence to The Block NZ. Andy, a fire­man, makes fur­ni­ture on the side and Nate is cur­rently com­plet­ing his builder’s ap­pren­tice­ship. The brothers-in-law from Hamil­ton have been nail­ing their time on The Block NZ, boast­ing the high­est num­ber of room wins so far. The two fa­thers went into the show with the aim of cre­at­ing a “high-class, fun-lov­ing, func­tional home”, says Andy. We take a tour through their home.

KITCHEN & DIN­ING ROOM

Andy and Nate took a risk by re­peat­ing their un­pop­u­lar bath­room tiles in the kitchen, but still man­aged to cre­ate an ef­fec­tive room. The judges said the splash­back tiles needed to be glossy to re­flect more light in the dark space, and felt the floor tiles were too busy. They did ap­pre­ci­ate the orig­i­nal­ity of the tim­ber de­tails and agreed that a fun neon light from Neon Poo­dle hit the fea­ture light­ing brief.

Their kitchen was al­ways go­ing to be black, says Andy. “Be­fore we even got on The Block it was go­ing to be black. Black’s re­ally on-trend for kitchens at the mo­ment and black kitchens are ab­so­lutely spectacular if they’re done cor­rectly.”

LIV­ING ROOM

‘Do-over week’ gave Andy and Nate a chance to im­prove their liv­ing-room de­sign, which the judges felt lacked warmth. “We played around with lots of colour again and cre­ated a lit­tle bit of interest in what could other­wise be a bor­ing space,” says Andy. “Most of the other teams kept it white, but we wanted to cre­ate some interest and a bit of soul.” The pair amended their wooden room di­vider, which looked like an up­right bed base, ac­cord­ing to Ja­son. An­gling the slats and re­mov­ing the black frame on the di­vider helped the room to look more open, as did re­ori­en­tat­ing the fur­ni­ture.

Plush vel­vet couches from Freedom and Me and My

Trend plus God­frey Hirst car­pet added cosy touches. “With both of us hav­ing young kids, we think car­pet is a ne­ces­sity in liv­ing rooms,” ex­plains Andy. “Tim­ber floors can look fan­tas­tic but they’re not prac­ti­cal. Car­pet is def­i­nitely good – you come in, take your shoes off, re­lax, sit down, and it’s good for the kids to play on.”

KID’S BED­ROOM

A colour­ful, func­tional teen girl’s room earned Andy and Nate an early win, with judges not­ing their great use of colour and ex­cel­lent fin­ish­ing. Andy says they wanted to make a space that was “fun, func­tional and in­spir­ing”. They tried to cre­ate “a lit­tle get­away” where the oc­cu­pant could es­cape the world (or at least her par­ents) for a while.

The judges said Andy and Nate hit the ‘bold’ brief with their “fem­i­nine, cool” room. The cre­ative, coloured ceil­ing and prints from En­demic World and Lazy Bird added per­son­al­ity to the space. The tim­ber bed frame off­set the plush car­pet, with the con­trast­ing ma­te­ri­als adding a “lay­ered feel”. They also said the walk-in wardrobe was an “es­sen­tial item for a 16-year-old girl”.

GUEST BED­ROOM & SEC­OND BATH­ROOM

This was an­other win­ning room for the brothers-in-law, who took the guest bed­room brief to the next level by cre­at­ing a ho­tel-style suite, com­plete with bar fridge and mi­crowave. Po­si­tion­ing the door to the bed­room at the end of the hall added to the suite-like feel­ing. The judges ap­pre­ci­ated the “beau­ti­fully fin­ished” colour­block­ing, which was lucky as choos­ing the colours was a “long process”, ac­cord­ing to Andy.

In the neigh­bour­ing bath­room, Andy and Nate com­bined large wall tiles with her­ring­bone floor tiles. The judges loved the ef­fect and were im­pressed with the room’s fin­ish­ing touches. They agreed the room was a marked im­prove­ment on the team’s main bath­room, although they felt that the tim­ber van­ity once again did not fit the space.

STUDY & HALL­WAY

Andy and Nate opted to cre­ate a sunny, sooth­ing study and hall­way for ‘blank can­vas week’. Their clever colour-block­ing, lay­er­ing of tex­tures and ex­pert fin­ish­ing earned them an­other win. The glass fea­ture wall, de­signed to let more light in, was a hit with the judges, too.

A custom shelf de­signed by Andy lent an­other point of dif­fer­ence. “I’ve done a few book­cases like that be­fore as part of my ‘day-off job’, so I thought it would work quite well in that space,” he says. Andy asked his work­mate Scott to build the shelf for the show. “I work quite closely with him back home; there’s just the two of us build­ing fur­ni­ture to­gether.”

MAIN BED­ROOM & EN­SUITE

The pair took some chances in their main bed­room, mak­ing a head­board from a gym mat and plac­ing wall­pa­per on the ceil­ing. For­tu­nately, the judges were im­pressed with their creativ­ity. They also ap­plauded the choice of colours. “Dusky colours are def­i­nitely on-trend at the mo­ment,” says Andy. “We wanted to cre­ate a nice, re­lax­ing mood and have the colours tie in with the art. Block colour paint­ing is also on-trend so we wanted to do that, too.”

Large, glossy wall tiles and her­ring­bone floor tiles, as seen in the guest bath­room, gave the en­suite an el­e­gant feel, but the judges agreed the bath­room was let down by the place­ment of the toi­let, which felt cramped.

MAIN BATH­ROOM

Andy and Nate’s bold de­sign for bath­room week was not well re­ceived by the judges, and the brothers-in-law were handed their low­est score of the competition. Ja­son de­scribed it as re­mind­ing him of a “Span­ish pub­lic toi­let”, which cer­tainly wasn’t the in­tended ef­fect. Andy says their in­spi­ra­tion was to cre­ate “some­where fun, a place that peo­ple can show off. We wanted to chal­lenge our­selves and the pub­lic by mak­ing it a lit­tle bit po­lar­is­ing, and change peo­ple’s minds on in­te­rior de­sign”.

While they may have hit the po­lar­is­ing nail on the head, the space did not meet the brief for ‘mod­ern, min­i­mal and warm with a na­ture fea­ture’. How­ever, as is typ­i­cal for these guys, their fin­ish­ing was su­perb.

EN­TRY & POW­DER ROOM

This was an­other win­ning week for the Hamil­ton dads who cre­ated a stylish, func­tional en­try and pow­der room. They ap­plied their favoured her­ring­bone tiles to the walls of the toi­let this time, and opted for the same look in oak for the en­try­way floor. The judges loved that the oak tiles matched the oak stair­well, and said that the LED light­ing un­der the stair treads was “well ex­e­cuted and added a lovely soft feel to the space”.

“The en­trance­way is sup­posed to draw peo­ple into the house,” says Andy. “We have a neon light that says, ‘hold on, hold on, hold on’ to cre­ate a bit of a talk­ing point and in­vite guests in.” Au­to­matic lights and jacket hooks add func­tion­al­ity, he says. “When you come in, the lights au­to­mat­i­cally come on, light­ing up that beau­ti­ful stair­well.”

GARAGE & LAUN­DRY

Andy and Nate wowed the judges and se­cured an­other win by in­cor­po­rat­ing a fold­away gym into their garage and laun­dry.

“We thought it was quite cool putting a gym in there,” says

Andy. “It’s a func­tional gym for males and fe­males of all ages – kids as well – so the new own­ers will be able to save a lot of money on gym fees.”

The sleek, black laun­dry ref­er­enced the home’s moody kitchen (and the team made sure to use re­flec­tive splash­back tiles this time). The garage also in­cluded a Bosch tool wall, which the guys won ear­lier in the sea­son. Over­all, they “cov­ered all the bases”, ac­cord­ing to the judges, and the space was pro­nounced a “real draw­card for buy­ers”. •

Mis­matched couches can add interest to a room. The boys clev­erly teamed green and navy to cre­ate im­pact and add

depth.

BE­FORE

An oc­ca­sional chair placed in the cor­ner of a room adds a stylish

touch as well as pro­vid­ing an ad­di­tional

spot to rest or read.

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