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