Blockheads take the lead
Norm and Jess counting down to Gatwick auction
THEY may have started off as green as they come, but Jess Eva and Norm Hogan are now The Block’s favourites in every respect.
Not only are our reality TV renovators the frontrunners in the upcoming grand final, when all five luxury apartments at The Gatwick will go under the hammer, they’re also the favourites for many viewers and even one of the show’s judges.
After they “Bradbury’d” their way into a penthouse apartment at the start of the season, the Maroochydore parents have made the most of the opportunity to produce a stunning luxury property in one of Melbourne’s most desirable suburbs.
In one of the show’s key predictors, their apartment was deemed the best of the lot by the buyers’ jury, three agents who regularly bid on Block properties for their clients. They’ve also scored a Domain magazine cover feature, based on points awarded throughout the show by Domain’s national managing editor Alice Stolz.
“We’re just so proud that we did it, and on behalf of the Sun- ny Coast, ” Jess told the Daily. “We’ve had so much support from Queensland. We’ve got so much gratitude.”
If Darren Palmer had a spare couple of million, then it’s the apartment he would buy.
The Queensland-born design guru, one of the show’s three judges, is backing our Blockheads for the win.
“We’ve never seen a new structure (on The Block) that was the full apartment. The ceilings are soaring and there’s so much glass. They’re really spectacular properties and they have city views,” he said.
“The situation in terms of light means Jess and Norm’s apartment is going to be easier to heat and cool (than the other penthouse) and it’s just a very pleasant outlook from that apartment.
“The one challenge they’ve got is we’ve seen their machine-gun approach of doing ‘what rich people want’, which is very endearing, but there are a few different styles in their apartment.
“The bedrooms are in something called empire lines, the kitchen is a shaker style and then the lounge room is a mid-century style, so you’ve got three different things that actually do mesh together, strangely.
“The thing they’ve done really well is there is this colour throughout the apartment which ties those aesthetic styles together.”
Online bookmaker Ladbrokes tips a tight race between the Maroochydore parents and their penthouse neighbours, netballers Bianca and Carla.
But as Block fans know, the auctions can be unpredictable and Norm and Jess aren’t counting their chicks before they’ve hatched.
“We’re not letting our minds go there that we’re going to win anything,” Jess said.
“We’re still budgeting; we’re just acting as if nothing has changed. If you underestimate then you’ll be all right. Some people look really sad when they make $10,000 on The Block, but we’ll be bloody excited if we win $10,000.”
The Block grand final is expected to air in the coming weeks on Nine.
This plastic bathtub was a hit with The Block judges.
Judges loved the neutral palette in their second guest bedroom.
The master bathroom features plenty of marble finishes.
PENTHOUSE BATTLE: Coast couple Norm Hogan and Jess Eva and their penthouses go to auction in the final episode of The Block